We have put together a guide to buying roller skates for kids. It covers everything you need to help you choose the perfect skates for your kids.
One of the best feelings is being able to roll downhill on roller skates without a care in the world. With the wind in your hair and the fresh smell of the outdoors, there is nothing else like this experience. It truly feels like you are free and can conquer anything. This is just one of the many gifts you can give your kid by introducing them into the world of roller skating early on in their life.
However, you might be debating on whether to invest in a pair of skates or to continue with rental skates at the rink. Well, the great thing about having your own skates is that they are your own and you can take them anywhere you want. But when you are shopping for your first pair, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly. In this article, we boiled down the best strategies on how you can pick the best roller skates for your kid.
Table of Contents Hide
- A Guide to Buying Roller Skates for Kids
- Should I get my kids inline or quad roller skates?
- What is the right age to start roller skating?
- What are the benefits of roller skating for kids?
A Guide to Buying Roller Skates for Kids
As with any potential buying decision, you have to do your research first. There are many factors to consider when buying roller skates, including price point and safety. Below we will take you step-by-step on the qualities to look out for when purchasing skates suitable for your kid’s needs.
For roller skates, you do get what you pay for. With that being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get the most expensive skates possible. In fact, that is probably a bad idea, especially if your kid is a beginner. There are different skates for different people, and which one your kid needs is personal to them. The following are suitable skates for kids price.
Up to $50
These are what many in the roller skating community call “toy skates” because they are meant more for beginners and children. Try not to start out with cheap roller skates as they can give your kid the wrong impression of their own skills when they first begin. Since cheap skates are not performance-oriented, your kid could get frustrated in this type of skate and underestimate their abilities when it is really no fault of their own.
Many skates in this range are mostly made of cheap material – usually plastic. The boots often lack support, which can make you more prone to injury. Additionally, plastic wheels are more difficult to skate in because they have no grip and can be easily worn down. Skaters have also observed that it can be difficult to maintain control in these skates. Overall, they will not last as long, especially as your kid gets progressively better at roller skating. However, there is nothing wrong with choosing cheaper skates. Your kids can still have a blast in them even when you’re on a budget.
$50 – $100
This is the sweet spot for kid’s roller skates. If you are willing to make a little bit more room in your budget, then you should aim for these higher-end beginner roller skates. These skates have features suitable for beginner skaters looking to start and eventually up their game. What distinguishes these from lower-end skates is that they have more structure, vinyl boots, wheels that roll more smoothly, and are more durable. You will definitely get more bang for your buck by investing in these skates.
$100 – $200
Within this range, you are not only getting quality skates, but you also have the option to customize them. Older kids who are more conscious of style can find skates that meet their aesthetics. They can swap out the wheels, plates, and toe stops as well. What is even cooler is that you can get adjustable toe stops that allow you to adjust the top stops closer to the floor or the boot. The possibilities are endless here!
Next, you want to consider sizing. The biggest question you will face here is whether or not to buy skates that fit your child’s current shoe size or opt for one size bigger. Let’s face it: children are constantly growing. Sometimes it can feel like a waste if we don’t buy clothes and shoes that will last them a bit longer. For roller skates, you can buy them one size bigger, but not anything over that as it can become a safety issue.
It may be tempting to have them wear two pairs of socks so that the skates are more snug, but this is also a bad idea. Because your kid is going to be active in these skates, they will inevitably sweat through their feet. Moisture, skin, and friction result in painful blisters. It is better to wear one pair of socks with the boots themselves fitting as snugly as possible around the feet to prevent potential blisters. If in doubt, check the sizing guide for your desired shoes.
Fortunately, many roller skates for kids are size adjustable and can grow with them. The adjustable quad roller skates for kids sizes usually extend 3-4 sizes.
Your kid’s age has a direct impact on what roller skates you will get for them. Younger kids tend to gravitate toward the toy skates that are more vibrant. This age group wants to maximize fun and doesn’t care too much about how the skates look. On the other hand, older children or young adults look for more of an aesthetic look that fits their style.
Whether it’d be roller derby or artistic skating, there are various skates that serve different styles of roller skating. If your kid is a beginner, chances are they probably don’t know what style of skating they like yet. In this case, it is better to pick up recreational skates and let them explore on their own. Once they found their niche, you can buy the appropriate skates for them then.
While safety gear doesn’t pertain to the actual roller skates themselves, they are just as essential as the skates. To keep your kid fully protected, it is strongly recommended that they wear a full set of gear, including a skating helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads. For the helmet, in particular, make sure to find one that fully covers the back of their head. This is because people are prone to falling backward on roller skates. For wrist guards, find ones with plates on both sides of the hand to prevent possible fractures.
Last but not least, you want your child to try on the skates and gear to make sure they are comfortable. The skates should fit snug and not too loosely. But keep in mind that some skates require them to break in, which will take time to form to their feet.
Should I get my kids inline or quad roller skates?
The two types of skates you can choose from are inline and quad roller skates. Inline skates differ from quad skates in that they have a single row of wheels, while quads have two wheels in front and back. Both skates have rubber wheels for better grip and great ankle support. They also have their differences. Inline skates are built for speed and are ideal for longer trips. Roller skates have a more stable foundation for balance. Plus, they have resistant wheels that prevent your kid from going too fast.
Younger children should start on quad roller skates until they have more coordination. In the end, the decision to choose one skate or the other really depends on your kid. Get what they are most comfortable in, and it will be smooth riding from there.
What is the right age to start roller skating?
In the early years of their life, kids are still learning gross motor skills such as walking, balancing, and sitting. Over time, they better understand their bodies, and their movements become more sophisticated. The consensus is that if you can walk around with good balance, you should be ready to roller skate. This gross motor skill is typically developed around four to five years old. This is also around the time where kids can learn proper roller skating techniques with instruction. But there is technically no right age to start roller skating.
Some skaters as young as two years old are capable of starting their skating journey at this time. It all depends on if you feel comfortable letting your kid try this sport and are capable of handling it. The earlier they hit the rink, the more potential they will have in making significant advances in the sport.
What are the benefits of roller skating for kids?
Roller skating provides kids an avenue to let all of their energy out in a productive and fun way. It can be done in a variety of environments under many types of settings. The great thing is that it also has many other benefits for kids detailed below.
More physical activity
Kids have more energy than they know what to do with. They want to be active and are open to different ways they can be. The CDC recommends that children ages three to five stay active throughout the day, while older children should exercise for at least one hour every day. Luckily, roller skating can satisfy their craving for fun while also helping kids stay active.
Along with increased activity, roller skating improves your kid’s overall health, from building muscle to lowering blood sugar levels. What you may not know is that exercise, in general, can also make them smarter. Roller skating can enhance intelligence because of the amount of concentration and quick decision-making needed to skate well. The coolest part is that they don’t have to think about it necessarily.
Improved balance and coordination
As we have discussed extensively, young kids are still growing, which is why this is one of the best times to introduce them to sports like roller skating. While they can develop balance and coordination on their own, they will be exceptionally good at these skills when they are older just because they started roller skating early.
Part of learning roller skating is the ability to make mistakes and improve on them. This sport is an excellent learning tool for kids to understand the power of learning from their failures. As they advance in the sport, they will learn more techniques that will challenge them to go outside of their comfort zones. Also, it gives them a sense of independence and control that will continue to serve them greatly as they grow older.
Because roller skating is accessible to most people, it can be done with family, friends, peers, and even strangers. It encourages socialization by bringing people together in a fun bonding environment. There are many opportunities within roller skating, such as roller hockey or roller derby, where your child can interact with their peers. Even if they prefer to fly solo, roller skating is a conversation starter in and of itself. Naturally, people will be curious and want to learn more about it.
Choosing the right roller skates may be taking more time than you initially thought, but the end result is completely worth it. Just like any other sport, roller skating is all about the experience, so having the right gear can make or break it.
Variables such as price, quality, size, and skating style need to be taken into account so that you can make a more informed decision for your child and family. Age is another factor that needs to be considered when getting skates. Younger children will need more support as they are still developing and learning the ropes of being human.
Children can start at any time in their lives as long as they can walk and balance, but each individual is different, so there is no exact time that they can or cannot enter the sport. Once they start rolling, they will be able to experience the wonderful benefits of roller skating.
Check out our top picks for kids’ roller skates here.