Best Roller Derby Skates for Beginners

Of the 5 top picks, I have selected the Riedell Dart Quad skates as the best roller derby skates for beginners.

As someone who has been part of the roller derby world for years, I appreciate just how much the right pair of skates can make all the difference. Of course, good derby skates are even more important for those who are new to the sport. 

Since I have been around the block, I’ve become pretty good at figuring out what features make the best derby roller skates. This is why I picked the Riedell Dart Quad Skates as the ultimate option. 

These skates are all about a smooth performance while still providing you with enough safety and comfort for newbies. They are also pretty hardy and can take a beating while you are still figuring out skills. 

However, just like there is more than one kind of derby roller skater, there are also different versions of the perfect pair of skates. To increase your chances of finding what you are looking for, I’ve included skates that are known for various properties. 

Check them out: 

Top Roller Derby Skates for Beginners 

Here are the top options to select from: 

Riedell Dart Quad Skates – Best Overall

Specs

  • Wheel Size: 62mm
  • Wheel Type: Indoor
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane
  • Boot Material: Nylon

Smooth Performance

If you are new to derby and still trying to improve your overall performance, then a smooth gliding motion can make all the difference. Well, this is exactly what you get with this Riedell Dart skates. 

The Dart skates boast polished, chrome ABEC-5 ball bearings that have been designed to minimize friction. As a result, you will be able to glide over all surfaces, particularly those at rinks and roller derby races.  

Safe Design 

In case you aren’t as steady as you would like, the Dart skates have built-in safety mechanisms. This begins with the low profile around the ankle and the accompanying Velcro cinch strap. These features work to keep the boot snugly strapped on your foot at all times. 

The Midi Gripper toe stoppers also play a role here. These give you total control over your movements, allowing you to stop precisely when you want to. This feature makes you feel more at ease too. 

Comfortable Fit 

While the skates aren’t overly padded, they are comfortable enough so that you don’t need to break them in. This means that you can begin skating for longer periods of time without having to worry about blisters or discomfort. 

At the same time, these skates are meant for narrower feet. As such, some skaters may find it a bit difficult to find the perfect size. 

Durable 

If there is one thing you need in a pair of roller derby skates, it is durability. This is precisely what these skates offer. The wheels, plates, and soles have been designed from high-quality materials, ensuring that they can withstand heavy-duty wear and tear. 

Pros

  • Smooth 
  • Safe 
  • Durable 
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not suitable for narrow feet

Crazy Zoom Roller Skates – Best for Speed 

Specs

  • Wheel Size: 62mm
  • Wheel Type: Indoor and Outdoor
  • Wheel Material: Urethane
  • Boot Material: Nylon

Designed for Speed 

If you want to win at roller derby, then you will have to improve your speed. Well, this is exactly what these skates do. What makes them so fast? To begin with, you have the low profile wheels that are responsive on all kinds of surfaces, allowing you to pick up speed anywhere. 

Then, there are the ABEC-5 rubber shielded bearings that allow for a smooth roll, allowing you to cover more distance with minimum friction. These two features mean that even as a beginner, you can be a real competitor. 

Good Performance 

Now, it isn’t just speed that these skates are good for. In general, they offer a great performance. The wheels, bearings, and general design of the boot ensures that skating with them is very intuitive. They respond to even the slightest movement and maneuvering, allowing you to make only a minimal amount of effort. 

Supportive Fit 

Most skates can take a while for you to grow into but not this pair. Since they boast a sneaker-like design, even those who are brand new to derby will get used to these in no time at all. 

The wider fit makes them a good option for people who typically have trouble finding skates to fit them. What’s more, the padded interior helps to make the skates more comfortable as well. However, be aware that it can take a while for you to break in these skates. 

Durable

These skates have been specifically designed to be tough. Thus, the manufacturer has made an effort to use the most durable and highest quality material available. So, you shouldn’t worry about these boots giving out in no time. 

Pros

  • Speedy
  • Good support 
  • Good performance
  • Durable 

Cons

  • May take a while to break in 

Riedell R3 Roller Skates – Best for Durability

Specs

  • Wheel Size: 62mm
  • Wheel Type: Indoor 
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane
  • Boot Material: Vinyl 

Robust Design 

Since roller derby is a pretty intense contact sport, it is important that your boots are capable of taking a good beating and not showing any wear or tear. Well, this is exactly what you can expect with these skates. 

To begin with, there are the Powerdyne plates. While these have been built to be lightweight, the manufacturers haven’t skimped on quality. As such, these are more than capable of taking a bashing and continuing to keep you rolling. 

The wheels are also hardy and not prone to any kind of damage. This is especially good news if you want to use these roller skates to practice and perfect your performance. Last, but not least, the synthetic material holds up incredibly well.

Smooth Performance 

These skates just go to show that you don’t have to pay top dollar for an ultra-smooth performance. The R3 capabilities are largely to do with the bearings and the wheels. The polished chrome bearings reduce friction considerably, allowing you to glide more smoothly and with less effort. 

To top this off, you have the hard wheels that provide you with optimal grip. Therefore, you can be skating on the smoothest floors and still feel like you are in total control at all times. Needless to say, this helps you to gain forward momentum more easily. 

Comfortable

These skates prove that derby doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. The synthetic material has just enough give and padding to keep your comfortable yet secure. The material is also quite breathable, making it great to use for longer periods of time. 

Secure Fit 

A secure fit can do more than just offer comfort, it can also increase the safety factor of your skates. This is why it is great that these skates have a low profile where the boot sits snugly around your ankles. The Velcro strap also helps to keep the skate secure. 

The only issue is that these skates do run a bit small so you do have to be careful with the sizing. 

Pros

  • Durable 
  • Smooth performance 
  • Comfortable 
  • Secure Fit

Cons

  • Sizing runs too small

Sure-Grip Rebel Roller Skates – Best for Wide Feet

Specs:

  • Wheel Size: 62mm
  • Wheel Type: Indoor
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane
  • Boot Material: Leather

Wider Fit

It is easy to underestimate the importance of a good fit until you are trying to compete in a pair of ill-fitting skates. One of the trickier elements of finding any good skate, let alone a roller derby one, is finding the right size.

The good news for roller skaters with wider fit is that the Rebel skates will offer a comfortable fit for you. These have been designed for wider feet, ensuring that they don’t pinch you at any point. Not only does this allow you to skate better, but it also allows you to do so for longer.

Good Performance

One of the coolest features on this derby skates is the Fugitive wheels. It has been one of the most popular designs on the scene and it isn’t difficult to see why. The flexible spoked core along with the wide shape affords these wheels incredible grip. This allows you better control on slippery floors, particularly when competing.

There are also the top-notch bearings that ensure a smooth and efficient performance each and every time. The bearings make it a breeze for you to pick up speed and maintain it, allowing you to get ahead of the pack with ease.

Comfortable

This boot is pretty unique in the fact that it is made from leather. This isn’t about style, though, but rather comfort. The leather molds to your foot more easily, creating a cozier and more breathable fit. The fact that the boot is moderately padded also makes it incredibly comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

The only downside with the leather is that it has a tendency to scuff. Due to this, your boots may begin to show signs of wear and tear sooner rather than later.

Pros

  • Wider fit
  • Good performance
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Leather gets scuffed 

Moxi Beach Bunny – Best for Responsiveness 

Specs

  • Wheel Size: 58mm 
  • Wheel Type: Outdoor
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane 
  • Boot Material: Vinyl

Responsive Performance

If you want a pair of skates that respond to even the slightest turns or movements, this is the best pair out there. The Beach Bunny comes equipped with a Marvel die-cast aluminum plate. This is what lends such responsiveness to the skates. 

Even the slightest movement of your foot and boot will result in the skates moving the way you want. Thus, there will be less effort involved on your part. The downside, however, is that the plate is pretty heavy and may not be suitable for more petite skaters. 

Also note that the heels can affect your stance for roller derby so best to switch to flat heeled roller derby skates as soon as you are confident enough to do so. 

Comfortable 

The padded interior, including the tongue, makes it a really comfortable fit, even if you aren’t used to skates just yet. The lace system allows you to secure the boots firmly, allowing them to mold to the shape of your foot better. This, too, makes it a more efficient option while skating.

The inner portion is also made from moisture-wicking material. So, you can practice for hours or engage in some heavy-duty racing and not succumb to wet skates. Also, since the skates are made from vinyl, there is no breaking in period either. 

Durable 

Don’t let these boots fool you – they are really quite durable. This is because they are made from high quality materials that aren’t easily damaged, even when engaging in a sport like roller derby. Your skates are also outfitted with toe caps, keeping scuff marks and damage to the front of your skates to a minimum. 

Stylish Design 

As you are well aware, roller derby is just as much about flair and style as it is about performance. So, with this pair of stylish, retro-like skates, you are sure to both stand out in your right as well as fit in with your roller derby group. 

Pros

  • Responsive performance 
  • Comfortable 
  • Great design 
  • Durable 

Cons

  • Can be heavy
  • Heels can affect your stance for roller derby

Candi GRL Carlin Roller Skates – Best for Indoor and Outdoor Use 

Specs

  • Wheel Size: 66m
  • Wheel Type: Outdoor 
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane
  • Boot Material: Suede

Versatile Grip 

Sure, you want a pair of roller derby skates, but that doesn’t mean you will only use them for that purpose. If you are looking for skates that are just as good for skating outdoors as they are in a rink, then your search is over with the Carlin roller skates. 

The advantage is courtesy of the wheels. They are large and grippy, which means that they will be great for traction on smoother surfaces. At the same time, they have just enough bounce to roll over pavements without a hitch. So you will get the best of both worlds. 

Good Stability and Control 

The larger wheels also means that it is easier for you to be stable on your derby roller skates. Naturally, this is a great feature to have if you are still learning the rolls. This stability will come in useful when you are trying to get your maneuvers down. 

Also note that the heels can make affect your stance for roller derby so best to switch to flat heeled roller derby skates as soon as you are confident enough to. 

Speaking of which, these skates are great for gaining control over your turns and other movements. The lightweight aluminum chassis and the smooth chrome bearings allow you to move with efficiency and ease, even though you may still be learning. 

Comfortable 

The boot is nice and well-padded, making them a lot more comfortable to wear, especially for longer periods of time. You are also less likely to have to deal with chafing or injuries that are typically associated with the breaking in period. 

Another nice touch is the high ankle design that offers a lot of support. So, if you still feel wobbly on your skates, this support should help you to balance out a little more. 

Great Design 

This is a really great design. If you are looking to make a statement, you can certainly do it with this pair. The only feature to be concerned about is that the boot is made from suede. As such, it can be easily scuffed if you aren’t careful. 

Pros

  • Good for indoors and outdoors
  • Responsive performance 
  • Comfortable 
  • Stylish

Cons

  • May scuff easily
  • Heels can affect your stance for roller derby

Pacer Mach-5 GTX500 Roller Skates – Best Value 

Specs

  • Wheel Size: 63mm
  • Wheel Type: Indoor
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane
  • Boot Material: Nylon

Suitable for Uncertain Skaters 

If you are only just getting started with roller derby skating, you may be undecided about whether you want to stick with it. In this case, the last thing you want to do is to spend too much on a hobby you may eventually give up. 

Since these skates are affordably-priced and have most of the required features, they are a good option for skaters like this. The only issue is that these skates may not be as durable as higher priced skates. 

Good Glide 

Due to the high-quality chrome steel bearings, these roller skates glide like a dream. This is ideal for when you are trying to pick up speed and outrace other skaters. You will be able to do just this with minimal effort. 

Easy to Balance 

The wheels are slightly on the larger side. However, this isn’t a disadvantage to newer skaters. This is because the larger wheels actually make it easier for you to balance. In turn, this reduces the risk of you falling while you are trying to learn new skills. 

Comfortable 

These skates have been designed with tons of padding. Therefore, you can use them for hours at a time and not be concerned about chafing, blisters, or any similar issues. So, you will be able to practice as much as you need and get better in no time at all. 

Pros

  • Good value 
  • Easy to balance 
  • Comfortable 
  • Good gliding action

Cons

  • Not very durable 

How to Buy the Best Roller Derby Skates 

It is just as important to know how to choose the best roller derby skates for beginners. If you want to find out what features to look for, check out this post. It contains all the information and tips that you need to know. 

FAQ

Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about roller derby skates for beginners: 

1. What Kind of Skates Do You Need for Roller Derby?

It is best to use skates that have been specifically designed for roller derby as they offer a better performance. However, there are some regular skates that may work just as well if they have the appropriate features. 

2. Are Roller Derby Skates Good for Beginners? 

Many roller derby skates have been designed for professional use. Due to this, it is important to select skates that are specifically designed for beginners. 

3. Can You Wear Roller Derby Skates Outside? 

Some roller derby skates are fitted with wheels that are suitable for outdoor use. So pick one of these if you plan to skate outdoors. Or you can buy some outdoor wheels and swap them. Check out our post on outdoor skating for more tips. 

The Final Verdict

The Riedell Dart Quad Skates are certainly the best choice when it comes to roller derby skates for beginners. For one thing, these skates provide you with a smooth performance that is great for building up your skills. For another, these skates are safe and stable enough for you to feel at ease on them. Last, but not least, the Dart skates are comfortable and durable. 

This list takes a look at the best skates for various kinds of roller derby skating styles. So, check out each link to find the right choice. You never know, your next favorite pair of skates could be right around the corner. 

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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