The Best Inline Skates for Beginners

The Best Inline Skates for Beginners

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Inline skating can be a social activity.

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

People of all ages and abilities enjoy inline skating. But if you're just starting out you may be struggling to find a pair that works for you. Consider the comfort, technical specifications and overall style to find a pair that's suitable for a beginner.

Price Is a Factor

Even beginner inline skaters should invest in a good quality skate. The cheapest brands may be easiest on your wallet, but will ultimately lead to frustration. Experts recommend paying about $200 as of 2013, although it may be possible to find a good quality pair on sale. This price, while not in the range of a top quality model, still allows for a good basic skate with all the necessary features.

Consider Comfort

Beginning skaters may find that skates have different pressure points than typical shoes. Finding a comfortable pair can make a difference at preventing blisters and general comfort. As a general rule, the boot should fit snugly on the foot and ankle, while still allowing you to flex forward at the ankle for increased balance. For a snug and secure fit, look for boots that have laces or a combination of laces and buckles that can be better fitted to your foot.

Wheel Size Matters

An expert skater will want larger wheels for faster movement, but a beginning inline skater should stick to the smaller sizes. Small wheels give the skater increased stability and maneuverability. Wheel sizes vary from 80mm to 90mm, so look for ones in the lower range. Consider the wheel hardness as well. Softer wheels such as 78A and 80a absorb shock and also grip the ground.

Gender Specific Styles

Women's skates tend to have a lower cuff and narrower boot width than men's, but these two features may not be ideal for beginners. Women shouldn't be afraid to use a man's style inline skate when starting. Also, women who have wider feet may prefer men's styles in general for the better fit.