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If you’re interested in buying a new pair of inline skates, it’s easy to become confused by the many different choices available. Today there are many different types of inline skating, as well as brands and features that all deserve attention. Understanding the different types of inline skates is among the best places to start:
Recreational Inline Skates - Also referred to as fitness skates, Recreational Inline Skates are for beginning skaters or those that want a greater amount of control or maneuverability. Offering more support with a reinforced cuff, Recreational skates are often the most popular with those interested in casual use for routine enjoyment or exercise.
Inline Hockey Skates - Similar to the style and construction of ice hockey skates, Inline Hockey Skates are designed for Roller Hockey. Frequently with leather uppers and lace-up closure systems, these skates have smaller wheels for control and no breaking system.
Women's Inline Skates - Similar in every way to the men’s version, Women’s Inline Skates vary in the foot shape and sizing specific to women. While some women may be able to wear men’s inline skates, generally skates specifically designed for women should be their first choice.
Aggressive Inline Skates - Designed to be more maneuverable, stronger and more durable than normal inline skates, Aggressive Inline Skates are used in skating that focuses on stunts and tricks. Featuring reinforced boots, wider bottoms and smaller wheel sizes, Aggressive Inline Skates are ideal for those interested in street, park or vert skating.
Considerations in Selecting Inline Skates
Some key specifications to keep in mind when selecting inline skates :
Deck Height - Referring to the distance between the bottom of the skate to the ground, Deck Height directly impacts stability. Generally, the lower the Deck Height the lower the center of gravity, which will improve your ability to balance.
Wheel Size - Among the most important factors that affect the speed and maneuverability of inline skates, wheel size can vary across the different types of skates. Smaller wheels will generate a lower top speed and are often preferred by those with less experience.
Sizing - The sizing process for any new pair of inline skates can require some research, but it can be easily done. Some points to keep in mind include:
Understand your actual skate size, versus your shoe size (Skates run 1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than your shoe size)
Fit should be snug (and support the ankle); this is particularly important for Inline Hockey Skates.
When trying on inline skates:
Wear the type of socks that you expect to use
Ensure that your heel is deeply seated in the back of the boot
Make sure that your toes can wiggle within the toe box