Roller skating is very popular among kids and it can be hugely beneficial for health reasons, social reasons and as a boost to mental health.
However, some kids – especially girls – want to move up from roller skating to roller derby skating.
This is fantastic news for you if your daughter wants to do that, but there’s lots you will need to know before you go out and buy a pair of roller derby skates.
There are distinct differences between traditional girls’ roller skates and roller derby skates, so it’s important that you’re aware of what you’re going to buy before you actually buy!
This buyers’ guide covers a comprehensive amount of information, including the key features of roller derby skates, the differences between them and traditional skates and our picks for the best ones on the market.
What’s The Difference Between Roller Derby Skates And Traditional Roller Skates?
This question is not actually as straightforward as you might think. You see, there are various types of quad skates.
Quad skates refers to the amount of wheels on the boot itself and roller skates will typically have four wheels in two lines of two.
This is important because it distinguishes between a completely different type of skating – inline skating – which is usually a boot with a straight line of wheels.
The five main types of roller skates, though include the following:
Artistic skates generally have a high leather boot with a jump bar for more stability. The sole plate is usually much stronger than other skates because of its purpose.
These skates are used in normal circumstances for synchronized, dance, free, and precision skating.
Jam skates are very lightweight and can be easily distinguished because their boot is incredibly low. These types of skates are ideal for quick movements and promote the skater’s agility.
These types of skates include a high boot, similar to artistic skates, but they have a dance plug, making them a sort of hybrid between artistic skates and jam skates.
They are primarily used for dancing and can also be used as an everyday pair of skates if necessary.
Speed skates are very low-cut boots with an instantly noticeable lack of padding. Due to their design, skaters find it much easier to maneuver around – and most skaters say that speed skates fit like regular boots/shoes.
Many people wrongly think that speed skating is exclusively for inline skating, but these quad skates prove that false.
Roller Derby Skates
Much like jam skates and speed skates, roller derby skates have a low-cut boot but are much more padded than those two – which is no surprise, as roller derby is a contact sport!
Roller derby skates also have a helpful strap that assists in keeping the skater’s foot in place for balance and precision.
Important Features For Roller Derby Skates
Now that we know a little more about the differences between skates, it’s useful that we now know some of the key and important features that roller derby skates have.
You should always consider the following points when shopping for your daughter’s first pair of roller derby skates.
It’s critical that your child’s boots are tight-fit to allow for more control and much better ankle support.
This will add more protection for your child’s feet and lower legs and much better maneuverability and control.
So, always check the sizing before you buy, and if possible, opt for adjustable skates as these may, not only last longer, but protect your child better.
The right wheels are important when your daughter is considering using roller derby skates. You would normally use indoor wheels because roller derby is played indoors!
However, there’s nothing to stop the user from changing the wheels to outdoor wheels should the requirement arise.
Whatever the case, you need to choose wheels that are the perfect balance for your child, the floor and the boots.
Here are a couple of points to consider when choosing your child’s wheels:
Flooring And Durometer
If the floors are slippery, you should opt for a wheel hardness rating of 88-92A.
These are soft wheels and allow for the skater to have much more grip to the surface and less of a chance of falling or slipping.
For floors with perfect grip though, you could go for a wheel hardness rating of 93-99A.
In the center of it all, many people choose 92-95A for things like sports arenas. This allows for the best of both worlds.
The weight of your child will also play a role here. Harder wheels will normally be chosen for heavier children, whereas softer wheels are ideal for lighter-weighted children.
One of the most sure-fire ways to know what is best for your child is to see if they can borrow a pair from their new teammates for a few minutes.
Contrary to other types of skating, the bearings are not a huge consideration to make for roller derby skating.
As roller derby typically takes place indoors, the longevity of the wheels will be longer anyway.
However, it is still something you should think about. The bearings of wheels play a role in the precision of how the wheels turn. If the precision is higher, the wheels will roll better.
The bearing’s precision is indicated by an ABEC rating or score. The higher the number, the better the precision. However, this is not always the full story.
You’re always better off looking at the bigger picture, such as the brand’s reputation.
This is because in the past, many people have purchased an ABEC-7 rated pair of roller derby skates which have been faster than a pair of ABEC-9 rated roller skates.
What’s more, the ABEC rating will not indicate the durability of the bearings either.
Therefore, whilst you should pay attention to their rating, it’s never going to be the driving factor behind your purchase.
Roller derby skates typically have two distinct types of plates; aluminum and nylon.
The former is the usual decision among roller derby skaters – but some beginners might be okay with nylon, especially if you want to save a couple of dollars.
It’s important to note, however that nylon will be okay for a while and can actually be better for movement due to their lightweight, but their durability is much weaker than aluminum and, therefore will likely have a shorter lifespan.
Additionally, you’ll want to have the highest possible safety and protection for your daughter – so aluminum plates are probably your best option as they offer a little more for impacts.
They are also a better choice for heavier kids.
The angle of roller derby skate trucks will play a major role in the direction and agility of your kid’s skating.
There are many angles available, but you’d normally see between 10 and 45-degree angles.
Lower angles will provide more stability, whereas higher angles can provide more agility. In fact, agility will also be affected by the truck’s cushions.
You normally get trucks with hard cushions, but this can affect the directional stability of the skate.
As a result, your child might benefit from softer cushions for better stability and even slightly more comfort.
This will be affected further by the set-up itself, such as cone or barrel. Cones allow for better speed and liveliness for example.
Can’t My Child Just Have A Normal Pair Of Skates For Roller Derby?
No, there’s a reason that roller derby skates are different from other skates. The biggest factor is protection due to the contact sport element.
They are more durable and offer more impact protection than other skates do.
Remember, when it comes to roller derby skating, it’s not a case of if your child will fall – but when they will fall.
This is why buying a pair of roller derby skates is critical, but supporting safety gear is also important!
Best Roller Derby Skates
Now, let’s take a look at some of our top picks. We’ve seen tried and tested pairs of skates which are all highly reviewed.
Best Beginner Roller Derby Skates: STMAX
For any girl who is completely new to the sport of roller derby skating, they might like to take a look at these beautifully crafted pair of skates.
We first see the stunning colors of pink and floral patterns, allowing for the skater to show off their personality as well as their skill.
They are lightweight and boast extreme comfort. As the wheels are easily adjustable, your daughter can add more flexibility to their skate and enjoy their time much more!
Speaking of being adjustable – the laces are too. This is ideal for getting the tight fit required for roller derby skating.
Perfect for beginners, this pair of roller derby skates will be a welcome sight to your daughter. They come with excellent bearings and appropriate wheels for hardness.
Pros And Key Features
- Great for beginners
- Their Pro line of roller derby skates might offer more longevity
- 🥇 CLASSIC QUAD SKATE: Expect the most comfortable and safe ride from this four Wheel skates for women and girls thanks to its ergonomic material and high cuff with adjustable lace system
- 🎁 PERFECT GIFT Roller skates are a perfect Gift for Girls Birthday, graduation or Summer times. Our Quad roller skates are design for all age all size available for kids and for adults.
- ⛸️ INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SKATES- A high quality, comfortable roller skate that can easily be used indoor for rink skating and outdoor on paved trails, sidewalks and boardwalks. Skates with...
- 👸 ADJUSTABLE WHEELS Adjust the wheels to a much looser position which make them extremely flexible in terms of the level of skill and skating ability. Models available for beginners, intermedium...
- 💝 FASHIONABLE DESIGNS Pink Red flowers Glittler Shine Bright Diamond Sparkle perfect for Girls and womens looking for Vintage and classic Rink roller skates
Best Intermediate Roller Derby Skates: Roller Derby Roller Star 350
For teen girls taking up the sport but have got a little more experience, you can’t go wrong with this pair of roller derby skates.
With its beautifully striking color design, which not only looks great – but makes it easier to see indoors – your daughter will fall in love with this pair!
These roller derby skates offer fantastic comfort with a cushioned liner and a collar padded too.
It’s sport designed, allowing your daughter to feel comfortable in the knowledge that these are being used for what they were made for.
Fashion, comfort and practicality all come together here. The boots have both a power strap and the classic laces, which give your daughter the best possible fit they can have.
It has a lightweight frame, allowing for better movements and smooth carbon bearings with ideal wheels.
Pros And Key Features
- Lightweight frame
- Great fit
- Comfortable materials
- Replacement parts may be difficult to find, but you might not need to!
- Freestyle comfort fit boot with padded lining, reinforced heel support, and lace closure
- Torsion Beam Chassis
- 54mm Urethane wheels
- Excellerator 608ZB bearings
Best Pro Roller Derby Skates: Milky Way
Once your daughter has got to grips with the basics and decides it is time to move up in the world of roller derby skating, then why not take a glance at this pair of roller derby skates?
With its leather, it provides fantastic protection for those high speed movements and allows for plenty of skaters to feel comfortable when they’re skating.
This pair of skates allows for great breathability, meaning no worries of losing control within the skate boots.
Not only do they look great, but your daughter will be fully protected on their feet and feel both comfortable and in control of their movements.
What more could you ask for?
Pros And Key Features
- Protective material
- Fast wheels
- No strap for added security
- Wheels with ABEC 5 bearings: Wheels with ABEC 5 bearings: Both men's and women's roller skates are equipped with ABEC 5 bearings, and the upper's ecological leather perfectly complements the entire...
- Perfect Roller Skates: These roller skates use controllable high-top shoes to ensure optimal safety, and high-quality shoelaces provide maximum protection to ensure comfortable and safe feet. The...
- Classic Double-row Design: Our classic double-row roller derby skates are safer and more stable than straight-line roller skates, ideal for beginners and women or men who want to easily learn roller...
- Ideal Gift: The roller skates in extremely vibrant colors are the perfect gifts for children, boys, girls and boyfriends, girlfriends or family members. It is also ideal for indoor ice skating and...
Roller Derby Accessories You Should Buy
It’s all fine and good buying a great pair of roller derby skates, but there are very important accessories you must also consider to keep your daughter safe.
To compete in junior roller derby, your daughter should have the following:
These are essential for your daughter’s safety but also a requirement when competing.
In other words, your daughter may not be able to step foot on the rink without these additional accessories.
The Bottom Line
Roller derby skating is a great hobby for your daughter to take up, but they must be prepared with the right type of skates and the right safety equipment. We hope this guide has helped you make a decision!
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