A Quick Overview of Inline Skates
When shopping for inline skates, the selection out there can be a bit daunting. Here at inlineskates.com we understand that and want to help. Inline skating can be fun for people of all ages and it’s a great way to exercise. So here are a few tips to think about when choosing a pair of skates to fit your needs.
Comfort and fit
When it comes to comfort and fit, liners are going to be very important. Being that the liners are the part of the skate that makes direct contact with your foot, you may want to invest in better liners. Less expensive skates tend to come with standard liners that primarily use foam to fit your foot. A step above standard liners are auto-fit liners, which incorporate pads of gel to conform better to your foot. Then there are memory fit liners, which are very similar to auto-fit liners, but as the name suggests, memory fit liners remember the contours of your foot so your inline skates learn the form of your foot over time. And finally, there are heat moldable liners that can be taken to a skate shop and molded to your feet from heating and cooling. These liners will give you the best fit.
Another component that will change up the fit of your skates is the closure system. There are a few different types of closure systems, the first of which is standard lacing. Standard lacing is generally not the only form of closure on inline skates, it is usually paired with buckles or Velcro straps. Ratchet buckles used to be a very popular form of closure, but now they are also typically used in tandem with another system. Finally there is the quick lace system which uses a pull string to tighten your skates, this is one of the most convenient systems for quick on and off. The latest thing in skate closure technology is found on certain K2 skates. Select models of K2 inlines now offer a Boa closure system that works as a spinning dial mechanism which pulls on a cable like lacing system.
Wheels and bearings
Wheels and bearings can make or break your skates. Be sure to check out the size of the wheels on your skates. Different types of skates use different sizes of wheels, but in general, the larger the wheel size, the faster the wheels go, while smaller wheels are better for maneuvering. Bearings are also an important part of your skates as they determine the smoothness of your ride. In general, inline skate bearings use the ABEC system to rate how smooth the bearings are. The ABEC system rates from 1 to 9, the higher the number the better the bearing and therefore the smoother the ride.
Before you purchase your skates, you probably should check out the brakes. Certain types of skates like hockey skates or aggressive skates don’t come with brakes at all. But most recreational skates do have brakes, either traditional brakes or ABT brakes. Traditional brakes are typically attached to the right skate behind the back wheel, allowing you to tip your foot backwards to brake. ABT brakes are found on Rollerblade skates and these brakes include and arm that goes up the back of the skate allowing you to slide your foot forward to initiate the brake. This system is better for beginner skaters.
Now that you know a bit more about inlines, check out our selection here at inlineskates.com and find the right pair for your needs.