Sure grip Skates vs Riedell Skates

In this post, I will compare the roller skates brands Sure Grip skates vs Riedell skates, to figure out which one offers the most in terms of value for money as well as other factors.

As a professional skater with experience in different types of skating including roller derby (five years plus), my experiences have allowed me to extensively test and try out the best roller skating brands in real world and competition situations.

Not only do I know what makes a great pair of roller skates, but I can also distinguish which brands live up to the standards of balance, speed, precision, and comfort that I look for when buying skates.

Sure grip skates vs riedell skates

At A Glance

I would declare Riedell the winner of this roller skate brand comparison. The company outshines the competition in terms of quality, range and variety, and style. I would also point out that it is the go-to brand for professional and competitive skaters.

Feature Winner
Sizing Sure-Grip
For Beginners Sure-Grip
For Pros Riedell
Variety for Skating Types Riedell
Quality Riedell
Price Point Both
Style Riedell
Overall Winner Riedell!

As you can imagine, this doesn’t tell you a lot about what Riedell or Sure-Grip has to offer. These brands have been around for quite a while and have developed their own niches, ensuring that they cater to specific skaters.

Want to know what each of these brands have to offer you? Well, just keep reading to find out.

An Introduction to Sure-Grip and Riedell

Before we go any further, let’s take a brief look at some of these brands.

The Sure-Grip Skate Company was first established in 1936 by John L. Wintz. Its first claim to fame was the invention of the rubber inlay wheel, allowing skaters everywhere to ditch their too-slippery wooden wheels. However, it wasn’t until 1945 that the company manufactured its first pair of roller skates.

Throughout the years, it has evolved alongside the roller skating world, improving its designs to keep up with the times. The Sure-Grip brand is known for producing cost-efficient roller skates for the masses.

Riedell Shoes Inc. was founded in 1945 by Paul Riedell. It is known for producing comfortable hand-crafted roller skates. As skating rinks became more popular around the country, Riedell began creating durable rental shoes for these rinks.

In addition to producing high-quality boots, the Riedell company has also made a name for itself with roller skate components. This includes plates, wheels, bearings, and more. These days, the brand is synonymous with derby and speed roller skating.

The Comparison

Here is a side-by-side look at each brand to see how they perform at every stage of the process:

The Sizing

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or if you are a pro. No skater can deny that the right fit is key when it comes to buying a pair of roller skates. Unfortunately, this is a tricky area to navigate with most brands as they either tend to run too small or don’t have many “in-between” sizes. So, how do Sure-Grip and Riedell rate in this area?

Well, Sure-Grip has cornered the market for wide boots. In general, the company’s boots have been designed to fit people with wider feet, creating a more comfortable fit. You will also find that the Sure-Grip boots go all the way up to size 15.

When it comes to sizes, Riedell does have a narrower range. When it comes to width, most of their shoes are available in medium. Another point to consider is that the sizes only go up to 14. On the upside, you can order custom shoes with Riedell, ensuring that you get the perfect fit.

If you want a better fit without having to order a custom one, Sure-Grip wins this round. In particular, it has better choices for skaters with wider feet.

Winner: Sure-Grip

For Beginners

Not all brands work well for skaters who are just starting out. Roller skates for newbies need to be well-balanced, comfortable, and have enough support so that individuals can learn new skills.

Sure-Grip has plenty to offer beginners with the classic Fame and Malibu models. The components on these are pretty basic, but they do offer plenty of support. The 57mm wheels make it easier for new skaters to maintain their balance, while optimizing their glide. Also keep in mind that Sure-Grip has several options for children as well.

By comparison, Riedell has just one option for beginners and children – the RW Wave roller skates. These have smooth rolling wheels and offer plenty of support. The boots can also withstand the knocks that are inevitable in the early learning stages. However, it is also a pretty limited range.

Thus, if you’re looking for roller skates for beginners, Sure-Grip would be the option to go for. So, I would give this round to the brand as well.

Winner: Sure-Grip

For Pros

While basic roller skates are great for newbies, they just don’t offer the kind of features and performance that intermediate or pro roller skaters need. Therefore, you will need to upgrade at one point or another. Which brand will serve you well in this instance?

Sure-Grip produces beginner to intermediate roller skates. While the brand does offer good performances, the focus tends to be more on offering comfortable and user-friendly shoes at affordable prices. Due to this, they don’t cater to more experienced clientele.

Riedell, on the other hand, is a go-to for many professional skaters. Now, this isn’t just because the company produces well-crafted skates that focus on speed, control, and durability. The company is also known for giving skaters the option of choosing high-end and customized bearings, wheels, and plates. This makes it much easier for pro skaters to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Due to this feature, Riedell wins this round. If you want to upgrade your current pair of skates or are interested in hitting the big leagues, Riedell is sure to have you outfitted with everything you need.

Winner: Riedell

Types of Skating

As you are well aware, there are many different types of roller skating. The most popular ones include derby, artistic skating, rhythm and jam, and speed skating. There are specific roller skates for indoor and outdoor surfaces as well. Which of these brands has the greatest range to offer?

On the surface, it would appear that Sure-Grip has more skate options to select from as you can go for models like Artistic, Derby, Outdoor, and Speed Skates. However, on closer inspection, you might notice that many of these skates are multi-purpose and have been designed to fulfill several roles.

That being said, the Sure-Grip Boardwalk skates are one of my favorite outdoor skates. The overly large wheels have a nice, gummy feel to them and the boot is durable enough to hold up to most wear and tear.

Riedell, on the other hand, has an incredible range to choose from. This includes Outdoor, Rink and Speed, Derby, Rhythm, Jam, and Artistic. Each category has skates that are specific to a certain area, ensuring that the boot is designed for improved performances.

Once again, Riedell leads the crowd when it comes to derby shoes. My personal favorites are the R3 and the Dart as they are speedy, performance-oriented, and can take almost anything that is thrown at them.

I would declare Riedell the winner for this category as well. This brand just has so much to offer and ensures that it provides the very best for each type of skating.

Winner: Riedell


As you can imagine, quality is pretty important when choosing roller skates. High-quality roller skates perform and look better, not to mention, last longer. So, which of these brands offers the best quality?

For the most part, Sure-Grip tends to be a middle-of-the-road brand. The skate boots tend to be of good quality and are meant for daily wear. While some of the boots are made from leather, there are plenty of synthetic and vegan options as well. The components aren’t the best, but they work well for most beginner to intermediate skaters.

Riedell, however, is a brand that has made its mark with high-quality skates. Most of these skates are meant for regular use, which is why they have been made from durable leather and aren’t prone to scuffing or tearing.

Where the Riedell series shines is with its components. Not only are they custom-made for various types of skating, but they also use high-quality materials which make them more efficient and durable.

Due to this, Riedell is the clear winner of this round. If you are looking for a pair of skates that will stand up to some use and abuse, this is the brand you need to invest in.

Winner: Riedell

Price Point

You can’t deny that price will often factor into your decision when it comes to choosing a pair of skates. If you’re on a budget, you might feel tempted to settle on a cheap pair of skates. However, keep in mind that if you’re truly interested in skating, you may need to splurge a bit to get a good pair that will last. If you are headed in a more professional direction, you will have to move your price point up as well.

As mentioned before, Sure-Grip’s main focus is in providing a more affordable pair of skates. Due to this, you will be able to find designs for just under $100. Also, if you are looking for a higher-end pair, you can still spend less than $500.

Riedell is all about performance. Therefore, the cheapest pair you can get from this brand will be just under $150. If you’re looking for a more professional pair, you can spend up to $700 on just the basic boot. If you want to upgrade the plate, bearings, or the wheels, then the price will climb higher.

It’s more difficult to pick a winner when it comes to price. Yes, Sure-Grip is cheaper and a good bet if you are looking for a budget option. However, if you’re all about performance, you could potentially justify the price tag for Riedell skates.

Winner: Both


As a professional skater, I know just how important style can be when selecting a pair of skates. It’s just like picking out any other pair of shoes. You want to make a statement about your own personal style. So, it stands to reason that you should select a brand that appeals to you in terms of appearance.

The Sure-Grip brand tends to stick to neutral colors, so there isn’t much in the way of exciting design. If you are more of a whimsical skater, you will enjoy the Stardust and Prism roller skates as they have plenty of sparkle.

The Riedell brand does have a bit more to offer in terms of patterns and colors, however. For instance, with the Dart series, you can select from Ombre as well as Pixel. With the R3, you have the Camo option.

While style comes down to personal preference, I would say that Riedell should be awarded this particular category as well. The brand simply has more options for the average person to choose from.

Winner: Riedell

Sure Grip Skates vs Riedell Skates: The Winner

I have crowned Riedell as the winner of this comparison. Over the years, the brand has evolved to offer the very best in terms of quality and performance for a wide variety of skating categories. As such, it is one of the top brands today and beats out Sure-Grip in this particular competition.

If you are someone who is looking for more professional or well-designed skates, again Riedell is the best option. In addition to offering high-end boots, the company also allows you to choose well-crafted and personalized components to complement these features.

This doesn’t mean that Sure-Grip is completely out of the running, though. If you want a reliable pair of skates that fit well, is suitable for beginners, and will suit most budgets, then Sure-Grip will have what you’re looking for.

Now that you have your answer, the next step should be to snag up the right pair of skates. For the best prices, range, and selection of sizes, check out Amazon’s offerings. You will have no problem finding the latest and greatest models here.


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