Roller skating is a beloved pastime that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for decades. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to stay active or want to relive nostalgic memories from your childhood, roller skating is a great option. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to shopping for your first pair of skates, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best roller skates available, so you can find the perfect pair for your skating style and skill level.
Roller skating has along history that dates all the way back to 1743, when a Belgian inventor named John Joseph Merlin created the first pair of roller skates which were made of wood and had wheels attached to the bottom. The four-wheeled quad roller skate as we know it was invented in 1863 by James Plimpton. From there roller skating only gained momentum as a popular pasttime, becoming an icon hobby of the colorful decades of the 80’s and 90’s in America.
Gliding on wheels has recently made a resurgence in the last few years, becoming a popular hobby for the new generation that was stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many used roller skating as a way to get outside in a time during citywide lockdowns. And getting outdoors is certainly good for your mental health! A study conducted by researchers at Plymouth University reports that individuals who spend more time outdoors in green spaces and feel connected to nature feel better mentally and physically. Those who take regular time to commune with nature also tend to make more environmentally conscious decisions.
Ready to get rolling? StudyFinds did the research for you, putting together a list of the best roller skates after consulting ten expert websites. Our list contains the most frequently recommended roller skates across these sites. Let us know which pair you’re planning to purchase in the comments below!
The List: Best Roller Skates, According to Experts
1. Moxi Skates Lolly Roller Skates
The Strategist ranks these skates at the top of their list and writes that “roller-skating blogger Kaci Bell agrees that the Lollys are more than capable of handling the rough pavement you’ll encounter skating outdoors. RousHer also likes the Lollys, adding that the skates’ suede boots ‘feel so comfortable as soon as you put your foot into them.’ And skater Marician Dedeaux Brown notes that while ‘they are definitely an investment, they are worth the money.’ Because the Lolly skates as is are designed for street skating and can handle ramps, cracks, and concrete, Heiden suggests buying an extra set of wheels if you want to use them for indoor skating.”
“To be perfectly honest, we wouldn’t advise someone who is only thinking about roller skating to spend almost £350, as we really feel you need to be passionate about this activity to see the value in these skates,” advises Roller Girl Gang. “You should also know where you can use them and probably how you are going to use them. The Moxi Lolly was the first roller skate released by Moxi, and it is truly a joy.”
“Four of the experts we spoke to recommended buying skates from Moxi Skates, which is a newer brand founded by Michelle Steilen (aka Estro Jen) and manufactured by Riedell, one of the oldest skate producers in the United States,” says The Verge. Moxi Skates are handmade in the United States and come in a variety of colors.
2. Moxi Skates Beach Bunny Roller Skates
The New York Post ranks the Beach Bunny model skates at number two. “Be you on the boardwalk at the beach or in the roller rink, the Beach Bunny skates from Moxi Skate come highly recommended for all levels. The removable toe caps and adjustable toe-stop are also features to note for a fully customized and comfortable feel.”
“Are Moxi skates worth it? Absolutely! I believe that Moxi offers the best roller skates for beginners! I have Moxi Beach Bunny Skates for my outdoor skates (and I also use them indoors but I change out to set of good indoor wheels),” says a reviwer at Boardwalk Skater. “The boots are firm, high quality & well padded around the ankle and on the tongue. The base plates are alloy and the wheels are super gummy/grippy. The Beach Bunnies are on the lower price end of Moxi’s Roller Skate line.”
“For beginners, three of our experts suggested going for this less expensive pair of Beach Bunny skates from our best-overall brand. According to RousHer, they have all the durability and support of many higher-priced skates. The Beach Bunny skates are versatile enough for basic outdoor skating, too”, adds The Strategist. Thee Beach Bunny skates do well indoors and can even withstand some outdoor terrain. Overall, they’re perfect for beginners!
3. Moxi Skates Rainbow Riders
Big Wheel Blading says “the Moxi Rainbow Rider is an excellent quality and affordable skate for your teenager just getting into skating. These casual high-top beginner skates come in three fun rainbow colorways made of drum-dyed vinyl that resists fading and scratching. They have a high-impact Die-cast aluminum plate with strong metal trucks for optimal support and durability. The Moxi Rainbow Rider comes with 58mm x 40mm outdoor wheels and ABEC 5 bearings that are suitable for outdoor and indoor skating.”
“Two of our experts recommended Moxi’s newest skates, the Rainbow Riders, as an even less expensive pair that’s great for beginners. They have ‘adjustable toe-stops and a colorful design’ that made roller skater Toni Bravo ‘feel like a star’ the first time she stepped into them,” writes The Strategist. “Moore agrees: ‘These are a great go-to, no-sweat skate for basic cruising and beginner jam skating.’ (Given how affordable they are, springing for a set of indoor wheels shouldn’t set you back too much more.)”
“These awesome skates look super cool, and are very well reviewed. We like the black color option the best, but there are also yellow and pink options to choose from. Reviewers are noted that the size is true to form, so you won’t have to order a size up or down. We loved the retro vibe of these skates, and we know you’ll love them too,” raves Stoked Ride Shop.
4. Impala Quad Roller Skates
The Verge approves of these skates, explaining “four of our experts suggested also going for Impala roller skates as an entry-level choice. Like Beach Bunny skates, Impalas come in a variety of stylish colors and patterns (lime green and leopard make for some particularly wild options) and can be used at the rink or outside without changing wheels. But unlike the Beach Bunny, these come at an even more accessible price point.”
“Impala’s Roller Skates are comfortable, versatile, and beginner-friendly. And did we mention they’re incredibly cute, too? And since they’re cushioned with ample padding, they should give you that snug, comfortable fit you’re looking for,” writes Byrdie. “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.”
“The Impala brand is all about retro skate vibes and the boot comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, so you’re bound to find a look you like. In particular, the Impala Quad Skate has a PETA-approved vegan boot, an aluminum plate, toe stop, and hybrid 82A wheels. Mousessian recommends Impalas for beginners,” notes Insider.
5. Sure-Grip Stardust Roller Skates
According to Rolling Stone, “these supremely sparkly skates feature a nylon plate, wood heel, and durable wheels that can be used indoors at the rink or even outdoors. They can also hold up to tough training and learning new tricks, with sturdy, soft lining inside. This pair is completely free of leather or animal-made materials, with a hard vinyl body that fits fine once it’s broken in.”
“Even though the Fames are suitable for spinning and turning, if you’re really looking to bust a move, RousHer suggests Sure-Grip’s funkier Stardust skates, which feature a glitter boot (also available in black, gold, blue, or pink) with a groovy ‘70s roller-disco vibe to match your dance routine,” writes The Verge. “RousHer adds, ‘The boots are vegan, and the skate comes with adjustable toe stops.’ The Stardust also comes with harder, smaller wheels that make executing dance moves (such as turning and gliding) even easier.”
“For a cheaper pair of skates (that comes with wheels) you can rhythm skate in, RousHer suggests Sure-Grip’s funkier Stardust skates. The Stardust skates also come with harder, smaller wheels that make executing dance moves, such as turning and gliding, easier and faster,” says The Strategist.
You might also be interested in:
- The Strategist
- Boardwalk Skater
- Stoked Ride Shop
- New York Post
- Rolling Stone
- The Verge
- Big Wheel Blading
- Roller Girl Gang
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.
Impala are NEVER on any respectable skaters list. And moxi are good but not all top 3 good. Check our sure grip boardwalks, chaya brand, bonts, and reidell too.
Yeah this is the most inaccurate list I’ve ever seen ever.
I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any of those let alone skating in them lol
Moxie skates are fine, but they are definitely an entry-level Skate. I’ve been selling skates for 50 years and Riedell was the go to Skate when I started and Riedell is to go to Skate today. However, you were going to pay three times what you might for a Moxie skate. But you get what you pay for. May I suggest a Riedell 595 Boot (this low top boot will give you more ankle, maneuverability), a power track plate, or possibly a more cost efficient but very durable Suregrip XK4 plate, wheels based on the type of surface you will mainly be skating. Keep in mind. The hardness rating of the wheel is very important. For example, an 85 is a soft wheel and great for skating on asphalt. As a 101 is a very hard wheel and great for skating indoors on a smooth surface. The softer the wheel, the slower your roll. And finish it off with Bones Swiss bearings. If you need help putting this all together, RC Sports can help you.
This is absolutely WRONG as a rink operator this is an injustice to consumers. The Moxi Lolly is a great shate and the beach bunny is also a great introductory skate but impalas are the one of the most dangerous skates on the market.
Any reputable roller skater will tell you how dangerous Impalas are, putting them on this list is irresponsible and I hope it doesn’t get people hurt.
This was a moxi ad, what about Jackson’s. They’re well regarded and comfy skates.