The question I hear time and time again is what are the best inline skates brands. For quads, you hear about Riedell, Moxis, Chicagos, etc. but what are the recognised name brands for inline skates? Popular brands are Powerslide, Rollerblade, K2, Seba and Roces.
Based on experience and discussions with other inline skaters, I’ve selected the Seba, Powerslide and FR skates as the top 3.
The Best Inline Skates Brands – K2 vs. Seba vs. Powerslide
So which of the top 3 is the best? I will be comparing the inline skating brands K2, Seba, and Powerslide in the following post.
There is no clear winner with K2, Seba, and Powerslide as they cater to different kinds of skating (e.g. are you casual skating or aggressive skating?) and skaters (whether beginners, intermediate or advanced). K2 is great for casual or beginner skaters, while Seba offers both comfort and performance. Powerslide works well for niche inline skaters that demand durability and excellence – infact, I know of people who have had theirs for decades!
Want to know which brand is most likely to fit your personal style and requirements? Then keep reading to find out!
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An Introduction to K2, Seba, and Powerslide
Here is a quick introduction to each of these brands.
K2 was founded in 1962 in Vashon Island in Washington State. Back then, the company mainly manufactured ski equipment. K2 Sports only began creating K2 skates in 1993. Since then, the company has gone on to become a household name, targeting both beginners and professionals alike.
Seba is a newer player on the field as it was only founded in 2005. The brand has developed its niche as a skate company run by skaters, for skaters. In particular, they are well-known in the skating competition world. The company later split to FR & Seba but were both allowed to continue to produce the same skates but under different companies. I know right? confusing.
Powerslide may have only launched in 1997, but collaborators Matthias Knoll and Stefan Göhl have been designing skates for fun since 1994. One of the top elements of the brand is that the skates are performance-oriented. However, there are options for all skaters.
Here is a breakdown of the features in different models of these brands and how each brand measures up:
Inline skates for beginners are built differently to those for intermediate or expert designs. This is because new skaters have different priorities. For instance, they will prioritize balance and stability over maneuverability and flexibility. So, which of these brands caters to this audience best?
K2 is a fan favorite among beginner skaters and it isn’t difficult to see why. One of the main advantages of these skates is that most of their models have larger wheels of around 80mm. This creates a smoother performance, allowing you to glide along without too much effort. As an added benefit, they also have a BOA Fit System that creates a more snug fit around the ankles.
The F.I.T 80 BOA is the best example of this. In addition to having large, high-performance wheels, these skates are also fitted with a lower profile, allowing skaters to stay lower to the ground and feel safer. The stability cuff also does wonders when it comes to helping skaters feel more confident.
The Seba brand is meant more for experienced skaters. As such, their selection for beginners is limited. However, the E3 80 Premium does have features that new skaters require. This includes the safety strap and the E3 double buckle for a better fit. The larger 80mm and lower profile improves stability.
The Powerslide brand is also largely meant for professionals, but they also have some beginner-friendly designs. At the top of the list is the Next Core Black 80. The features can be adjusted to suit skaters who desire rigidity, and support. Not to mention, the larger wheels offer greater balance.
In this scenario, K2 is the clear winner. The company does focus on those who are new to the inline skating scene. As such, it has included various models to fit the bill.
Professional inline skaters demand a bit more in terms of maneuverability. They may also look for a stiffer boot and top-notch plates and bearings for a great performance. However, which brand is the best option here?
While K2 is a better option for beginners, it isn’t out of the pro category completely. Skates such as the Redline 110 help to nudge it back in. These skates have been designed for speed, agility, and to help skaters cover longer distances in a shorter period of time.
Seba is familiar with the inline skating competition scene and it does have more to offer in terms of pro inline skates. One of the models that hits the mark is the Marathon 110. The larger wheels on them allow you to go faster and the bearings offer a smooth ride. The frame promotes endurance as well.
Powerslide is a brand that is meant for the pros. Their racing skate selection is particularly impressive. The Core Performance Black 4X110 is also well-designed, and attractive. The sleek profile combined with the lightweight frame and large wheels makes it one of the fastest inline skates out there.
Powerslide wins in this particular category. It has more to offer advanced skaters or those who are looking to compete in inline skating competitions.
Comfort is quite important with inline skates as it can determine just how long you are willing to wear them. As such, it should be an area of focus with both simple and complex inline skates. So, which brand works the best here?
K2 is a brand that does place a lot of emphasis on comfort. This is because they cater to people who skate on a more regular basis and casually. They also have a large audience of consumers who are new to inline skating.
The Alexis is especially comfortable as it has a thick and cozy liner. This prevents chafing and helps to cut down on the breaking in period. The frame is also lightweight and the safety cuff helps with a better fit and stability.
The Seba brand isn’t too shabby when it comes to comfort either. All of its skates are equipped with an integrated liner that works to add padding to your foot, particularly around the ankles. The Street series also has an additional foam layer to keep you comfortable even when skating over rougher terrain.
Many of the Powerslide skates come with a well-designed My Fit liner. This works to help the boot mold more easily to your foot while simultaneously ensuring that you have enough padding. With the racing skates, though, the brand does sacrifice comfort for performance.
K2 would certainly be one of the more comfortable options to wear. The boots have a thicker lining and even the frame has been built to offer just the amount of stiffness to maintain proper support.
Types of Skates
There are many different types of inline skates – practically for every kind of inline skating there is. Typically, the more variety, the better. This is especially true if you are looking for skates for a particular niche.
K2 has a great selection to choose from. You can find skates that fit the Lifestyle, Recreational, Marathon, and X-Training inline skates. However, the Marathon and the X-Training skates don’t have as many options as the other series.
With Seba, you can choose from the Freeride, Freestyle, Marathon, Grand Tourism, and Street categories. You also have the option of customizing your own boot. While the selection isn’t anything to sniff at, it isn’t as comprehensive as it could be.
On the surface, it can seem as though Powerslide doesn’t have much variety to offer. Its main categories are Fitness, Urban, Racing, SUV, and Hockey. When you take a look at each category and the selections offered, you will realize that this brand has quite a few options to choose from.
While K2 does have plenty of categories for skaters, Powerslide covers more niche options. Not to mention, Powerslide has several designs for each category and offers more unique and distinct styles.
It can be argued that sizing is definitely a top feature to consider. After all, if you can’t fit into your skates properly, you’ll have trouble skating. To add to this, many inline skate companies mess up their sizes. So, which brand would offer the best fit for you?
K2 has an incredibly diverse range of sizes. They go from Men’s 11J to 14. This means that you can find sizes from 19.5 to 32cm. What’s even better is that the skates tend to be true to size. As such, you can figure the perfect fit simply by searching for your shoe size.
Seba’s skates are measured in EU sizes. However, you do get a lot of range. Most skates are available from size 36 to 44. So, it doesn’t matter if you have smaller or larger feet, you can find a pair that is right for you. It should be noted that these sizes run a little narrow, though.
If you have larger feet, you will appreciate the fact that Powerslide does have larger sizes. Most of their boots are available in 37 to 46. This means that if you can’t find your size with other brands, you may get lucky with Powerslide. However, the brand isn’t great when it comes to smaller sizes, which can be a drawback.
In terms of finding a great fit, you would be hard-pressed to beat the K2 brand. Not only does it have a ton of size options to choose from, but they are also true to fit.
Cost is always a consideration when choosing and buying inline skates. This is especially true for new skaters who are looking for a good balance between price and quality who may not want to invest too much right off the bat.
K2 is certainly the most affordable option from the selection. You can even find skates starting at around $80. At the same time, keep in mind that skates with more performance features are on the more expensive end of the spectrum. The most expensive pair of skates are around $600.
In contrast, Seba is a mid-range skating brand. As such, the starting point for their skates is a little over $200. The more performance-oriented ones are naturally going to cost more. So, you could potentially end up spending more than $700 on a pair of Seba skates.
Powerslide does have a bit more to offer in terms of price range. On the one hand, the cheaper options can go for a little over $100. You will also find plenty of skates under $350. At the same time, the most expensive pair will be over $700.
If you are looking for more affordable skates, then K2 is the option you should consider, although Powerslide isn’t out of the running. However, rememeber you get what you pay for in terms of quality.
K2 vs. Seba vs. Powerslide: The Winner
It is quite difficult to pick a winner in this comparison. This is because the skating companies cater to a very different target audience. Due to this, it is tricky to compare them perfectly.
If you are a beginner, then K2 should be your go-to choice. They have been designed to help new skaters find their legs and learn important skills such as balance and maneuvering. At the same time, they offer comfort and excellent sizing options. You can check out the best inline skates for beginners here.
Intermediate skaters will find a lot to like about Seba. These skates are performance-oriented, but don’t forget that they also offer factors such as comfort and usability. They help with maneuvering and learning tricks without making things too uncomfortable for you.
If you are a competitor or have a niche such as speed skating, then Powerslide will be an excellent option. These skates are beautifully designed and are all about ensuring that you get the best possible performance each and every time.
This is what you need to know about each of these skating brands. If you think you have found the right match, you can head over to Amazon to check if your preferred brand has the size that you want.