The Best Women’s Rollerblades, According to Certified Inline Skating Instructors

The Powerslide Next Core 80 is loaded with features that suit the whole spectrum of experience levels.

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Best Women’s Rollerblades

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Call it a comeback — inline skating is on a roll once again in the United States. If you’ve been on the fence about getting back in the boot, take this as your sign to strap in. Thanks to thorough research and expert advice, we’ve got a list of solid recs for the best women’s rollerblades to buy right now. 

We spoke to certified rollerblade instructors Lena Vi, co-founder of Los Angeles’s annual skate event Big Avocado Roll, and cousins Dee and Coco, who teach and skate under the moniker Rollerbaddies. The pros shared important tips on what to look for when shopping for rollerblades (fit, wheel size, skate materials, and more) and rolled us through what types of gear work best for different skating styles.

After taking price, purpose, construction, and must-have features into consideration for each category, the high-quality, versatile Powerslide Next Core 80 ranked as our best overall pick for women’s rollerblades (though, to be clear, most skates are designed to be unisex and listed in men’s sizes). We’ve also got top picks for slalom, aggressive, speed, kids, beginners, and more to help you choose the right skates for your goals.

Here are the best rollerblades for women in 2022:

Best Overall: Powerslide Next Core 80

Powerslide Next Core 80

Amazon

Why We Love It: This skate is at the top of its category and delivers prime price-to-performance ratios for several styles of skating. 

What to Consider: The boot’s heat-mold technology doesn’t require you to break in the skates, which some people may prefer. 

The Rollerbaddies both agree that the Powerslide Next is a “high-performance inline urban skate with so many features that help take your skating to the next level.” For Coco, the skate’s two best features are the heat-treated memory foam boot liner that molds to your foot for a more custom and comfortable fit and the increased stability and weight transfer you get from the top-notch aluminum Trinity frames. You’ll also get more flexibility with this skate thanks to the lace-up closure. The high-cut cuff means you’ll have more ankle support and less muscle fatigue. “You can also gain a lot of speed with these skates, too,” says Dee.

We’re also fans of how these skates impress skaters with different experience levels, from beginners to advance. Plus, the Powerslide Next Core 80s also fit a range of feet, including those with high arches and wider builds (you’ll just have to adjust the size). While the heat- mold technology liner gets tons of praise, some people find it can take the fun out of breaking in your skates. 

Available sizes: 5.5-13.5 | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 80 millimeter | Frame: Aluminum

Best Budget: Rollerblade Zetrablade W

Rollerblade Zetrablade W

Amazon

Why We Love It: This skate effortlessly glides over bumpy or uneven terrain for a smooth ride. 

What to Consider: These entry-level skates are primarily designed for recreational skating and exercise, not racing, dancing, or tricks. 

Unlike most of the skates on this list, Rollerblade’s Zetrablade W skates were designed specifically with women in mind and are available in women’s sizes. Like several beginner skates, there is a heel brake under the heel for easy stopping. These skates also give a smooth ride over uneven surfaces, and strides take minimal effort. Dee and Coco have a particular fondness for this skate as it was their first pair, and the duo give lots of credit to them for kicking off their passion for rollerblading. However, this skate is primarily designed as a recreational skate, so buyers wanting to get right down to a certain style of skating may find them limiting.

Available sizes: 6-10 women’s | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 80 millimeters | Frame: Monocoque composite

Best Splurge: FR Skates FR SL80

FR SL80

Inline Warehouse

Why We Love It: This ultra-lightweight skate is designed to fit like a glove for quick response, better agility, and balance. 

What to Consider: There is not a lot of lateral padding to absorb the wear and tear that comes with certain slalom moves. 

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line professional freestyle skate, the FR FR SL80 is a leader in the pack. With a full carbon boot and aluminum frames, these skates are extremely lightweight for better agility and faster movement. The high-cuff boot, four separate closures, and integrated, moldable liners are designed to fit like a second skin. The excellent energy transfer enhances performance with less output of effort. The skates come stocked with freestyle wheels and slalom bearings, though the frames are removable. One downside is that there’s not a ton of padding on the boot sides, which could result in more direct wear and tear on the skates, depending on your moves and skill level. 

Available sizes: 3-13.5 men’s | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 80 millimeter | Frame: Aluminum

Best for Beginners: FR Skates FRX 80

FR FRX 80

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Why We Love It: It’s a quality grow-with-you starter skate that can be customized as you progress.

What to Consider: Skates run small when used with the included removable boot liner, so size up.

One of Vi’s overall brand recommendations is FR skates, and she suggests their FR series as a good introduction to inline skates for beginners. The FR FX 80 skate’s hard plastic shell gives great durability as you learn to skate. Bearings on this skate are designed for an easy glide, and the four 80-millimeter Street King wheels offer a good balance of stability, speed, and maneuverability for beginners. We love that you can grow with this skate — and series — by either upgrading and replacing parts as you progress, or by continually graduating through the series models (F3, F2, and F1). The series’ models “look almost identical,” Lena says, “with slight improvements'' as you move up. Speaking of moving up, the sizing runs small so it’s recommended to buy a half-size up. 

Available sizes: 4.5-13.5 Mens | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 80 millimeter | Frame: Aluminum

Best Kids: Crazy Skates Alpha Adjustable Inline Skates with Light-up Wheels

Crazy Skate Alpha Adjustable Inline Skates with Light-up Wheels

Amazon

Why We Love It: This razzle-dazzle inline skate can be adjusted to fit four different sizes. 

What to Consider: Ankle support could be better. 

Coco advises parents to start their kids off with a pair of inexpensive skates before dishing out real cash for a more professional pair. Crazy Skate’s Alpha Adjustable Inline Skates with Light-up Wheels wins our pick in the kids category because they have easy-to-get-on velcro and hook-and-loop closures, sturdy aluminum frames, and four wheels for better balance. We especially love this comfortable, soft-boot skate because it can be adjusted to fit four different sizes, which means it’ll grow with your kid (or can be used with multiple kids). Plus, the wheels light up — how fun is that? The downside is that the soft boot can translate into less-than-ideal ankle support. 

Available sizes: 2-5 women’s | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: Not listed | Frame: Aluminum

Best Freestyle Slalom: Seba High Light 80

Seba High Light 80

Inline Warehouse 

Why We Love It: It’s a lightweight, supportive, and comfortable skate with updated frames that enhance your response time and maneuverability. 

What to Consider: You’ll swap a bit of speed for better slalom capabilities.

The Seba High Light 80 skates come with a Deluxe V2 frame that was designed to be lighter, slimmer, and more stable, giving the skater excellent agility and response when skating and moving around cones. It’s also got an integrated boot, which Vi, an advanced slalom skater, says makes it “easier to turn, easier to execute those small moves” necessary in the sport. Wheel size will depend on the size of the skates. Since side pads can wear down over time due to the nature of slalom skating, another key feature of these skates are the replaceable lateral pads. Heat-molded boots and optimized toe straps offer a snug but comfortable and stable fit that still allow for good movement (important for slalom). This skate is ideal for slalom but won’t go as fast as some other options.

Available sizes: 7.5-12.5 men’s | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 76-80 millimeter | Frame: Aluminum

Best for Speed: FR Skates FRX 310

FR FRX 310

Amazon

Why We Love It: These skates have built-in shock absorption for riding over uneven surfaces and are extremely comfortable on the foot. 

What to Consider: These skates tend to run a bit narrow, so size up if you’ve got wide feet. 

The FR FRX 310 has an ideal speed skate setup. Three 110-millimeters wheels help get you moving faster with less effort. An extra-padded insole gives added shock absorption for smoother rides over uneven surfaces. The lack of boot vents keeps the skates rigid for more powerful skating. Plus, Coco says they’re one of the most comfortable skates she’s ever owned. “I gush all the time about the extremely cushioned liner,” she says. Since this is the intro skate for the FR 310 series, the boot is made of molded plastic, which is cheaper than fiberglass or carbon but still durable and lightweight. Dee adds that these skates tend to be narrow and advises anyone with wide feet to size up. 

Available sizes: 6-13.5 men’s | Number of wheels: 3 | Wheel size: 110 millimeter | Frame: Aluminum

Best for Aggressive: Them 909 Black

Them 909 Black

Inline Warehouse

Why We Love It: You’ll get a top-notch aggressive skate straight out of the box that looks professional (even if you’re not). 

What to Consider: Due to the wear and tear in aggressive skating, you’ll need to periodically check and tighten the skate’s screws. 

If you’re thinking you can do aggressive skating in any ol’ type of rollerblade, think again. Aggressive skating requires a completely different skate setup than other skates, Vi explains. Them 909 Black skates provide an ideal aggressive skate setup with 58-millimeter wheels, a hard shell boot exterior, and extra durable soulplate with grind lock for sliding on rails and curbs. The larger, “puffy” boot is important, says Vi, in order to protect your foot from impact or accidents. Fiberglass frames and a plastic boot make these skates also lightweight for tricks and durable enough to take a beating. This skate has also been updated with a better-fitting heel-lock in the removable liner to enhance safety. One thing to note is that the manufacturer suggests checking to make sure the screws are tight before use and frequently afterwards. 

Available sizes: 5-12 Mens | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 58 millimeter | Frame: Injection mold glass-filled nylon

Best for Urban Commuting: Rollerblade RB Cruiser

Rollerblade RB Cruiser Inline Skates

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s a great one-skate-fits-most skating conditions and environments that’ll get you from point A to point B. 

What to Consider: People with experience skating in higher-level inline skates will likely find faults in the design. 

The Rollerblade RB Cruiser is a tough skate that is designed to be versatile enough to use in nearly all skating situations and environments (aggressive skaters need not apply), making it our top pick for urban commuting. Low frames keep you closer to the ground to give you more control and good maneuverability for necessary quick pivots. Shock-absorbing heel pads are ideal for skating over uneven pavement, while the molded boot adds durability for any bumps or scratches along the way. Boot ventilation helps keep your feet dry — key for when you have to take the skates off at your destination — and the boot liner can easily be removed for cleaning. Still, anyone above a beginner level of skating may find fault with these entry-level skates. 

Available sizes: 5-14 men’s | Number of wheels: 4 | Wheel size: 80 millimeter | Frame: Aluminum

Most Adjustable Fit: Powerslide Next 110

Powerslide Next 110

Amazon

Why We Love It: There are several different ways to customize the fit of this skate to make it work perfectly for your needs. 

What to Consider: Even though the liner has heat mold technology, you may still need to break it in for the best fit. 

These blades come outfitted with Powerslide’s hailed Trinity frames that keep the skates as close to the ground as possible, which increases control and power. To adjust the frames you only need to remove one wheel, saving time and hassle. One of our favorite customizable features is the ability to adjust the cuff height — something that had not been done before this skate. The boot is fiberglass with reinforced plastic making it durable and fairly lightweight for freestyle skating. Three 110-millimeter wheels go the extra mile when it comes to speed and distance, and slalom skaters will appreciate the toe protection. It’s worth noting that even though these skates come with removable memory foam liners, they may still require a short breaking-in period. 


Available sizes: 5-12.5 men’s | Number of wheels: 3 | Wheel size: 110 millimeters | Frame: 3D casted aluminum

Tips for Buying Rollerblades

Get the right size and number of wheels for your experience level

Smaller wheels provide more flexibility in movement and agility but take more effort to skate in and can make it harder to balance. Larger wheels will give you more stability and speed but are more difficult to do quick moves in. Dee notes that bigger wheels are best for long distance and endurance skating since you can accelerate faster and with less effort, while Vi recommends using four smaller wheels for skating in urban areas. Wheels usually come in 76- to 110-millimeters sizes with the typical skate having 80-millimeter wheels. 

Know the pros and cons of different frame materials

“The type of skating will determine the type of frame you will want,” says Dee. For example, plastic frames are best for aggressive skating because they are more pliable and can take the wear and tear of doing tricks and grinding, while the lightness and durability of carbon or aerospace-grade aluminum work well for speed skating. Frame length is also a consideration; the longer the frame, the more stability and speed (but less dexterity for pivots or maneuvering), while the shorter frames are best for slalom, artistic, and dance skating

Take note if the skates are marked for ‘fitness’ use

Beginner inline skates are often labeled as “fitness” skates or for “fitness” use. Fitness skates often have a soft boot that scores high for comfort but low for support. Dee recommends fitness skates as a good introduction for anyone starting out, while Vi advises against them for anyone who is planning to skate frequently or for long distances, explaining, “your foot will wiggle around and you will have foot cramps. It takes more effort, and you’re using muscles you shouldn’t be using.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I stop on rollerblades?

    Many beginner-level inline skates come with a built-in heel-plug brake behind the wheels and below the heel of each skate. To stop, skaters just need to apply pressure to the padded brake and create enough friction to slow their speed. For rollerblades without brakes (and beginners), Vi advises using the wheels to stop by angling one foot behind the other into an upside down “T” formation, and putting pressure on the back foot to create the friction needed to stop.

  • Is rollerblading good exercise?

    Rollerblading is a low-impact option for toning muscles, strengthening your core, and getting in cardio. It’s easier on the muscles and joints than running or rowing, and helps to improve balance, too.

  • How should rollerblades fit?

    “Skates should feel snug but not tight,” advises Dee, who also recommends sizing up (rather than down) if you find yourself between sizes. Vi warns that sizes aren’t consistent between brands and buyers should go for the skates that “fit like their normal shoes” and don’t leave room for your feet to wiggle around inside.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure?

For this piece, Katherine Alex Beaven spoke with three different certified inline skating instructors for buying tips and recommendations and conducted personal research.

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