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Walking isn’t the only way to get around these days. For many of us, getting from place to place could be as simple as getting in our cars, hopping on our bikes, or—if we’re really looking to have a good time—slipping into a pair of roller skates. Though they’ve traditionally been reserved for the roller rink, roller skates have become an increasingly popular way to get around—both indoors and outside. And since roller skating involves cardio and strength training, it can be an incredible way to get a little exercise.
“Roller [skating] is a fun total-body outdoor activity,” Shayra Brown, N.A.S.M., Blink Fitness personal trainer, says. Brown says you can expect to engage your legs as you skate, your core as you balance, and your upper body as you propel yourself forward. She also says it can be a great cross-training workout.
Ready to score a pair of roller skates of your own? We don’t blame you. Ahead—we’ve rounded up 10 excellent pairs of roller skates you can score right now.
Best Overall: Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skates
Clean peach color
Convenient bolt-on toe-stops aid in safety
Cool retro look
Looking for a new favorite pair of roller skates? You can’t go wrong with Moxi Skates’ Beach Bunny Roller Skates. Moxi Skates is a best-in-class brand beloved by experts and recreational skaters, alike. And its Beach Bunny Roller Skates are comfortable and versatile—not to mention, incredibly cute. The skates are crafted from vegan-friendly vinyl, and they come equipped with soft, grippy wheels, which promise to keep all your outdoor rides feeling smooth and comfortable. Since the skates are so popular, they tend to sell out pretty fast. But right now, they’re available in five vibrant colorways—and a handful of sizes.
Size: 4 to 10 (Women's) | Wheel Type: MDI Outdoor | Material: Metal, Leather | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best Budget: XUDREZ Roller Skates
Lace-up closure provides ultimate protection
Has a controlled high top for optimum safety
Comes in many different colors and designs
Could use better engineering
Searching for a pair of roller skates that won’t break the bank? Look no further than PHSDA’s Roller Skates. The classic skates are crafted from vegan-friendly synthetic leather, and their hard polyurethane wheels promise to be perfect for indoor skating. (That said, if you want to use these skates outdoors, you can—just snag a set of outdoor-friendly wheels.) Since the skates are available in three pretty shades—sleek white, light pink, and bright blue—it shouldn’t be tough to find an option you love. And if you feel like kicking things up a notch, you can outfit the skates with light-up wheels for free.
Size: 7 to 13 (Women's) | Wheel Type: Roller Derby | Material: Polyurethane, Synthetic Leather | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best for Beginners: Roller Derby Candi Grl Sabina Roller Skates
Fits true to size
For all ages and skill levels
Lightweight but high impact build
Recreational skaters love Roller Derby’s Candi Grl Roller Skates. The skates are crafted from vegan-friendly synthetic leather, and they’re lined with padding to keep you comfortable as you skate. The skates’ wheels are designed to hold up both indoors and outside, so you don’t have to commit to one style of skating right off the bat. (And if you ever feel like specializing, you can simply swap out the wheels with a different set.) Since the skates come in a range of different shades—both pastel and vibrant—you can easily find a pair you’ll look forward to wearing.
Size: 3 to 10 (Women's) | Wheel Type: Roller Derby | Material: Polyurethane, Synthetic Leather | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best Intermediate: Moonlight Roller Moonlight X Grindstone
Cushioned insole for comfort
Customizable printed padded lining
Convenient bolt-on toe-stops aid in safety
Cool upper lilac color and printed toe-stops
Moonlight Roller is a Black-owned business, known for its signature Moon Boot skates. The skates are known for their quality, versatility, and sleek style. (And hearing that, it should come as no surprise that the skates sell out fast.) Since the skates boast smaller wheels, they’re great for intermediate skaters. But they’re still stable and supportive enough to keep you in control. This makes them a great option for skaters looking to take things to the next level. Just be sure to snag them the moment you find a color you like in your size.
Size: 4 to 12 (Men's) | Wheel Type: Hybrid | Material: Suede, Marble | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best Advanced: Riedell Solaris Pro Skate Set
Follows the natural contours of your feet
Constructed to improve durability, fit, and feel
Places toes in more natural position for balance
When you’re ready to upgrade your skating set-up, Riedell Skates has you covered. The brand’s Solaris Pro Skate Set comes with a set of low-profile skating boots—plus lightweight aluminum plates, smooth bearings, and quick-rolling derby wheels. Since the skate boasts a low cut, it promises to be lightweight and comfortable—but still sturdy enough to skate in. And the skates’ hardware will give you everything you need to pick up speed, stop smoothly, and navigate turns like a pro.
Size: 3.5 to 13 (Men's) | Wheel Type: Quick-Rolling Derby | Material: Microfiber, Aluminum, Urethane | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best Style: Impala Quad Roller Skates
Bold pops of color and classic '70s style
Many different sizes and colors/designs
Ample cushioning for comfort
Impala’s Roller Skates are comfortable, versatile, and beginner-friendly. And did we mention they’re incredibly cute, too? The skates are crafted from vegan-friendly synthetic leather. And since they’re cushioned with ample padding, they should give you that snug, comfortable fit you’re looking for. The skates come equipped with versatile indoor/outdoor wheels, so you can take them just about anywhere. Snag the skates in a fun floral or plaid pattern, or stick with one of Impala’s classic pastel colorways. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
Size: Various | Wheel Type: Roller Derby | Material: Nylon, Aluminum, Synthetic Leather, Polyurethane | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best Vegan: C7skates Forget Me Not Roller Skates
Fun vintage look and feel
Plenty of ankle support for beginners
Looking for a pair of vegan-friendly roller skates that are comfortable enough to take everywhere? C7Skates has your back. The brand’s Premium Roller Skates are crafted from vegan-friendly PVC. And since they’re lined with ample padding, you can rest assured knowing they’ll keep your feet comfortable every time you take them out for a spin. The skates are lined with big wheels designed for indoor and outdoor skating. And depending on where you look, you can find them in an array of pretty colors—including vibrant yellows, pastel peaches, bright aquas, and more.
Size: 5 to 11 (Women's) | Wheel Type: 58mm 83A | Material: Aluminum, Synthetic Leather, Polyurethane | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best for Speed: Riedell Dart Speed Skates
Velcro cinch strap makes adjusting simple and safe
Adjustable toe stop gives greater braking control
Ball bearings minimize friction
No adult sizes
When a pair of roller skates have the word “speed” in the name, you know they’re up for a quick, nimble ride. Lightweight and low-profile, Riedell Skates’ Dart Speed Skates promise to feel incredibly comfortable. And thanks to their massive wheels, they promise to pick up serious speed, too. Though the skates are sleek, they promise to be as sturdy and supportive as any other pair. And their lace-up design makes it easy to get a snug, perfect fit. What’s more? Each skate comes equipped with a Velcro strap that’ll keep your laces in place. So you won’t have to worry about them coming untied as you skate.
Size: 1 (Youth) | Wheel Type: Speed/Dart 62mm/93A | Material: Nylon, Polyurethane | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best for Commuting: Chaya Vintage Sunset Beach Outdoor Skates
Cool '70s vintage look
EVA insole provides ultimate comfort
Lightweight but strong on the skating surfaces
Chaya’s Vintage Sunset Beach Outdoor Skates look like a cute pair of sneakers. They just happen to come lined with impact-absorbing wheels that can handily navigate streets and sidewalks. Crafted from vegan-friendly synthetic leather, the skates promise to be durable. And since they’re cushioned with ample padding, they should keep your feet pretty comfy. The skates are cut low enough to feel lightweight, but high enough to keep you feeling stable and supported—giving you the precise balance of flexibility and reliability you need in an everyday pair of skates.
Size: 6 to 9 (Women's) | Wheel Type: Outdoor 59mm/78A | Material: Fiberglass Reinforced, Synthetic Leather | Closure Type: Lace-Up
Best for Rink Skating: Chicago Skate Leather-Lined Roller Skates
Traditional high top profile supports your ankles
Creates great gliding
Wheels hold up against wear and tear
Don't come in half sizes
Indoor skates look a lot like outdoor skates, but they tend to have much harder wheels. (Think about it: Indoor skates are designed to pick up speed on slick surfaces, whereas outdoor skates need to be plush enough to handle textured sidewalks with ease.) And if you’re looking for a pair of go-to skates to take to your neighborhood rink, Chicago’s Leather-Lined Roller Skates are a great option. The crisp white skates are lightweight and low-profile. And their lace-up design makes it easy to get a snug, supportive fit. Plus, the skates’ hard wheels promise a smooth, speedy ride—and really, what more want from a pair of indoor roller skates?
Size: 5 to 10 (Women's) | Wheel Type: High-Impact Oversized 58mm | Material: PVC, Urethane, Leather | Closure Type: Lace-Up
“Roller skating can be a great way to incorporate movement in someone's routine [and] to get sunshine and more time outside,” Corey Lewis, C.P.T., CEO, and founder of 1AND1 Life, says. Given this, it’s no surprise that many of us want to add more roller skating to our routines—and the right pair of skates can help you do it. Cute, comfortable, and versatile, Moxi Skates’ Beach Bunny Roller Skates are the kind of thing you’ll want to wear everywhere. And since they’re coming from Moxi Skates—a best-in-class brand—you can rest assured knowing they’re a worthy investment. Score the skates in one of five pretty colors, and enjoy the smooth ride their grippy outdoor wheels promise to provide.
What to Look For in Roller Skates
Anyone who’s paid a visit to the roller rink knows that roller skates can get a little uncomfortable. So if you’re planning to spend much time in yours, it’s worth it to look for a pair that’s padded enough to keep you comfortable—even after spending hours on your feet.
Many roller skates are designed to be beginner-friendly, but some are crafted with more advanced skaters in mind. And since skating can be a little tough to pick up, you’ll want to start with a pair that keeps you in control. Look for sturdier materials and bulkier silhouettes. If it looks more like a boot than a low-top sneaker, it’s likely to give you a little more control.
Look—we’re not saying you should buy a pair of roller skates just because they’re cute. But we are saying that style is a reasonable thing to consider, especially when it comes to something you’re planning to wear pretty frequently. Thankfully, there are enough roller skates out there that you don’t have to choose between form and function. So you should be able to find a pair of roller skates that fits right, feels comfortable, and looks great. Don't forget the rest of your roller skating outfit when you go for a spin.
How do you stop on roller skates?
Most beginner-friendly roller skates come equipped with a toe brake you can use to stop. (This is the small, flat knob on the front of your skates.) To stop smoothly, though, you’ll want to slow down before using this brake.
“You want your core to be as strong as possible to control your body so you don’t fall,” Victoria Loza, a California-based personal trainer, says. So engage your core to gain control. Then, bend your knees and stop moving your arms to slow down before pressing your toe brake into the ground.
How do you skate backward on roller skates?
To skate backward, you’ll want to start by turning your toes in and making a “V” shape with your feet. Then, push your ankles out to widen them. Then, bring them back together into that “V” shape. Once you’ve gotten used to this, you can make this motion a little less symmetrical—extending either your left foot or right foot out a little more. This will help you pick up speed and move more smoothly.
If you’re looking for other fun exercises to tackle in your roller skates, Brown recommends sprints and cone skating. (Cone skating is where you place a few cones in front of you and weave between them.) She also suggests tackling classic lunges in skates. “Stand straight, and take a step forward,” she says. “Lower the body so that the front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.” Once you’ve held that position for a few seconds, press back into your starting position—and repeat.
How do you lace roller skates?
There are a few different ways to lace roller skates. Most of the time, though, you’ll want to lace your roller skates the way you’d lace your shoes. Starting at the bottom of your skate, cross your laces and weave them into a hole. Continue crossing them as you work your way up the skate so that your laces form zigzags as they weave up your skate and so that each hole is filled exactly one time. This method should keep your skates feeling snug and secure—and it should prevent your heel from slipping out of place.
If you have toe pain, you may prefer a looser fit. You can accomplish this by weaving one side of your laces up your skate the way you normally would, and weaving the other through only two holes—one at the bottom of your skate and one at the top of your skate. If you have wide feet, you may prefer to skip lacing a few of the holes at the bottom of your skate, and instead start the criss-cross weave a little higher.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Lindsey Lanquist has years of experience in the health and beauty space. And as an avid shopper, she knows what a bummer a bad product can be. That’s why she makes sure to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and widely beloved by those who’ve tried them.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough roller skates from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.