Inline skating is an undeniably fun way to get around—fast and efficient with an air of 1980s nostalgia. It can also be a great form of exercise, offering heart-pumping cardiovascular benefits on par with running,¹ plus improved strength and balance.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
Our best overall pick is the Zetrablade Elite, a high-quality inline skate with a protective structure, breathable uppers, supportive cushioning, and a low profile for better balance. We love the stability these skates provide, a safety feature that works well for all levels. For a more affordable pick, consider the High Bounce Adjustable Inline Skates, which have many of the features of more expensive models, and gel wheels for a smooth ride.
"Rollerblading provides a serious burn for your legs, core, and shoulders," says personal trainer, Joe Vega. "Your quadriceps and glutes help generate power as you accelerate, while your hamstrings and calves assist in climbing hills and decelerating."
So, what type of skates should you get? New York skating coach Ari Bortz says to look for a supportive design. "Ample ankle support will give you the ability to fully enjoy the skating experience regardless of using it for fitness, commuting, or an urban adventure," he explains.
We conducted hours of research on the best rollerblades for every skill level, evaluating each model on design and fit, wheels, capacity for speed, and safety features. A personal trainer and skating coach offered expert recommendations that we used to compile this roundup.
Ahead, find the best rollerblades for every skill level
Rollerblade Women's Zetrablade Elite Inline Skates
Low center of gravity
Not ideal for advanced skaters
Versatile, supportive, and comfortable—there's a lot to love about Zetrablade Elites. The composite shells offer protective structure, while mesh ensures breathability and internal padding provides comfort, support, and a secure fit.
A lacing system anchors your heels, and a super-strong buckle helps prevent your ankles from twisting or spraining. The high-quality wheels are specifically designed to keep you stable at a moderate speed. What's more, these beginner-friendly rollerblades have a lower-than-average center of gravity, making it easier to balance.
Shell Material: Composite | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: Beginner/intermediate | Padded: Yes
High Bounce Adjustable Inline Skates
Runs slightly small
Some of the best rollerblades are priced pretty steep, but this affordable pair holds its own in terms of quality. High Bounce Inline Skates boasts an adjustable lace-free design with buckle closure, reinforced nylon uppers, softly cushioned interiors, and smooth-rolling gel wheels. One thing to note is that they run slightly small, so we suggest sizing up.
Shell Material: Reinforced nylon | Wheel Material: Polyurethane gel | Level: Beginner | Padded: Yes
Best for Beginners
Roller Derby Aerio Q-84 Women's Inline Skates
Memory foam padding
No half sizes
If you're a rollerblading novice, Aerios might be your best bet. Perfect for practicing in indoor rinks, parks, or parking lots, these inline skates have a secure, supportive strapping system and memory foam padding for maximum comfort. The right-side brake is also reassuringly reliable, even on steep hills.
Shell Material: Aluminum | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: Beginner | Padded: Yes
Powerslide Zoom Pro 80 Skates
Some users report the foam liners can be uncomfortable
Bortz also stands behind Powerslide Zooms. These high-end rollerblades have molded shells, plus adjustable straps with supportive buckle closures and MyFit foam liners for a custom fit. Good for intermediate-level skaters, they're designed to power you through your push-off and keep you low to the ground for better stability. And when you're ready to kick it up a notch, you can switch out the wheels for a more advanced configuration.
Shell Material: Molded plastic, aluminum | Wheel Material: Glass-fiber reinforced plastic | Level: Intermediate | Padded: Yes
Rollerblade Women's Macroblade 110 3WD Inline Skates
High cuffs for balance
Supports faster speeds
Some users report braking can be challenging
For high-level bladers, we recommend Macroblades. These three-wheel-drive inline skates have higher cuffs to provide balance and lateral support at faster speeds. The aluminum shells offer rigid protection, while knit mesh uppers and padded liners ensure breathability and comfort.
Shell Material: Aluminum | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: Advanced | Padded: Yes
LIKU Black Professional Inline Skates
Secure, adjustable fit
Some users report the skate felt heavy, making it less comfortable than other models
Liku Inline Skates come in unisex sizes to accommodate all bladers at every skill level, and the all-black design is versatile, chic, and timeless. These sleek rollerblades have durable ventilated shells and a low profile to better control and balance. Laces, straps, and a safety buckle offer three layers of protection while ensuring a secure fit, and the removable lining provides padded comfort and support.
Shell Material: Aluminum | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: All | Padded: Yes
FR FRW 80 Skates
Beginners might have trouble braking
Adjustable designs help ensure a secure fit around your feet and ankles. Bortz is a fan of the FRW 80, which has standard laces, a velcro strap where the foot meets the ankle, and a cuff buckle around the top. These inline skates also have V-cut liners for more leaning and breaking flexibility, and they're rockerable, meaning you can raise and lower the axles to adjust the ride height.
Shell Material: Molded plastic, aluminum | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: All | Padded: Yes
ITurnGlow Adjustable Inline Skate
These inline skates come in children's and adult sizes, and we're here to say light-up footwear is certainly not just for kids. ITurnGlow rollerblades call on the power of motion to illuminate the wheels, so you never have to charge them or replace the battery.
Shell Material: Reinforced aluminum | Wheel Material: Polyurethane | Level: Beginner | Padded: Yes
Rollerblade RB Cruiser
If you're willing to invest in higher-end skates, Bortz recommends RB Cruisers. The molded shells are supportive and durable but also ventilated to ensure breathability. These rollerblades also have plush padded liners and shock absorbers at the heels. Suitable for all skill levels, the low profile offers better balance and stability at faster speeds. Although this pick is expensive, we think its superior design that’s built-to-last and shock absorbency technology make it worth the spend.
Shell Material: Molded plastic, aluminum | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: All | Padded: Yes
Best Color Selection
Impala Lightspeed Inline Skate
Who says you can't make a fashion statement while torching calories and building muscle? Impala's Lightspeed Skates provide the best of both worlds. Available in several pastel colorways and bolder hues with neon accents, they have protective rigid shells, padded interiors for comfortable ankle support, and smooth-rolling wheels. This pick runs a little bit more than others on the list; we think that the fashion-forward colorways justify the cost.
Shell Material: Plastic | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: Beginner/intermediate | Padded: Yes
Best for All Skill Levels
K2 Alexis 80 Pro Inline Skates
Absorbs shock and vibration
Enhanced ankle stability
No matter your skill level, you can't really go wrong with the Alexis 80 Pro. These versatile inline skates flaunt a protective frame with an FBI (frame base interlocking) system to absorb shock and vibration on the road while ensuring ankle stability. The brand's Softboot uppers are also incredibly comfortable, and the wheels promise a super-smooth ride. While this choice runs on the pricier side, we think the added comfort of their superior design makes it worth it—and we love that these skates work for all levels, making them a wise investment.
Shell Material: Composite, polypropylene | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: All | Padded: Yes
Best for Exercise
Oxelo Oxelo Fit100 Inline Fitness Skates
If rollerblading is more of a workout for you than a leisurely activity, go with Oxelo. The brand's Fit100 Skates feature semi-soft boots with mesh uppers to ensure breathability and keep sweaty feet as dry as possible. However, the cuff is rigid to provide ankle support, and a triple-fastening system offers a snug, secure fit. The soft rubber wheels are designed for better balance, shock absorption, and minimized vibration on the road.
Shell Material: Plastic | Wheel Material: Rubber | Level: Beginner | Padded: Yes
Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skates
Great color selection
Braking might be challenging for some
If you're not quite ready to go inline, work your way up with a pair of roller skates. We're big fans of Moxi's Beach Bunny line, which is comfortably padded with supportive uppers, four grippy wheels, and safety toe-stops for easy braking. Reminiscent of fruity sherbet, the vibrant color selection is pretty great too.
Shell Material: Aluminum, vinyl | Wheel Material: Thermoplastic | Level: Beginner | Padded: Yes
Our number one pick is the Zetrablade Elite, a high-quality inline skate with a protective structure, breathable uppers, supportive cushioning, and a low profile for better balance. For bladers on a budget, we recommend High Bounce Adjustable Inline Skates. And if you're willing to spend a little more on a top-notch pair, go with the expert-approved RB Cruisers.
Meet the Expert
What to Look for in Rollerblades
If you’re planning to spend a ton of time in any kind of footwear, you need to make sure it’s comfortable. If you’re a first-time skater, look for a sturdy boot cushioned with tons of padding. If you’re a more advanced skater, you might prefer something more low-profile and lightweight.
It’s easier to have fun rollerblading if you feel in control as you skate, so look for a pair of rollerblades that'll meet you where you are. Beginners may crave a sturdier, heavier boot with smaller, easier-to-control wheels. Meanwhile, advanced skaters may prefer a lightweight, low-profile skate with bigger, quicker wheels.
Style may not be the top priority when it comes to finding a go-to pair of rollerblades. But finding a pair of rollerblades that you love to wear can be the difference between rollerblading a little and rollerblading a lot. And since great rollerblades abound, there’s no need to pick between practical and pretty—you can simply have both.
How do you find the right size rollerblade?
Generally, your rollerblade slide is the same as your shoe size. Some people like to size down a half size for performance. When you try on a rollerblade make sure that you have the shoelaces tied tightly and stand in a skating position with your heel backed into the shoe. It should feel snug and secure, but your toes shouldn't feel cramped. Also, take note of how it fits on your leg. You don't want the skate to cut off your circulation while you're skating.
Do rollerblades have a weight limit?
Most rollerblade brands have a weight limit of around 220 pounds, although there are some that have a higher capacity. The weight capacity of a rollerblade is usually listed on the brand's website.
What's the difference between inline skates and rollerblades?
There is no difference between the two. "Rollerblades" are an inline skate invented by the brand Rollerblade. Over time people used rollerblades/rollerblading instead of inline skate/inline skating to refer to the activity, thus the confusion.
Why Trust Byrdie
Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in fitness and lifestyle within the commerce space. For this article, she compiled insights and product recommendations from two experts, including a skating coach and a personal trainer, then researched today's top-rated, best-selling rollerblade designs. She has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, covering exercise equipment, workout apparel, footwear, and wellness products.