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Quads vs. Inline Skates: Parents’ Guide to Buying Kid’s Rollerblades

Roller skating is a wonderful sport for children as it can help them develop their motor skills and strengthen their muscles. It’s fun, it’s liberating and surely will interest any child. If your kids are just learning how to skate, you can join them and spend some time together. They, of course, need to have suitable rollerblades and be safe.

If you’re looking for rollerblades, you’re probably wondering what model is the best, what features should you look for, and are there special rollerblades for boys and girls? Many parents wonder what’s better – rollerblades or roller skates. Let’s take a look at the things you should keep in mind when buying the first pair of rollerskates for your kid.

Is Your Kid Ready to Skate?

picture of a boy riding inline roller skates on a bridge

Roller and inline sports skating are sports that require balance and strength, but also good judgement, as well as a desire to learn how to avoid road obstacles. Little children still don’t have these skills. So when purchasing new rollerskates for your kid, you should consider your kid’s activity level in other areas, their balance when they do simple activities, physical strength, coordination, attention span and maturity.

Keep in mind, the younger the kid, the more help they will need. When you purchase rollerblades for little ones, you should also get them the proper protective equipment. Do your best to be patient and there for them while they are learning this new skill.

What Type of Roller Skates to Get for Your Kid?

There are two options when buying rollerblades for boys or girls – quad skates (the original skates you’ve seen in indoor rinks) and inline skates also known as rollerblades. Quad skates are more conventional and are recommended for younger beginners. Every type requires a different level of skill and muscle development. Of course, there are advantages to both quad and inline skates.

Quad Roller or Inline Skates

picture two girls riding a quad rollers in a park

Quad skates have four wheels – two in the front and two in the back. They provide better balance than inline skates. Inline skates have four to five wheels in a line, which don’t give that much of a balance when they aren’t in motion. Quad roller skates don’t put that much stress on the kid – your little one will feel as if they’re standing in a normal position. These skates are similar to wearing regular tennis shoes with wheels.

Kids don’t have much strength in their legs and ankles, which makes it more challenging for them to stand upright on inlines. If they haven’t practised before, inlines might not be the best option for beginners. If your kid is a teenager who has some strength in their legs and ankles and has practised before on quads, they could easily learn how to skate with the inlines.

Your child should feel comfortable and safe when standing on the rollerskates. Don’t rush them right ahead with inlines. Start slowly with quads and let them learn how to move and then slowly but surely, you can get inline skates for them.

Choosing the Right Size Skates for Kids

picture of different ages in different roller blades in a parking lot

Just like with regular shoes, your kid will eventually outgrow their skates. Most skating models for kids have an adjustable size which is a good thing because you wouldn’t have to buy a new pair every year. Feel free to buy girls or boys rollerblades that are one size bigger than your kid’s regular shoe size. More than one size isn’t a good idea, since it’s a guarantee for ankle and feet injuries.

Loose skates can easily cause blisters because of the rubbing and slipping of the over-sized skate. When buying a pair that’s one size bigger, make sure the laces are tied tightly so the foot and ankle are firmly supported. Don’t suggest an extra pair of socks; this can lead to moist feet which is another way for your kid to end with athlete’s foot and blistering.

Things to Consider When Buying


picture of kid on a green roller blades
source: A. Zuhri on Unsplash

Young kids will do great with adjustable rollerblades. Their feet grow fast and this is a very good investment. The last thing you want is to buy a new pair every year while the previous one is still new and barely used. Most adjustable skates offer 4 adjustable sizes and come in several size ranges.

Extra Parts

Most kids don’t take good care of their rollerblades, especially while they’re learning. Maybe they’ll break a brake, or lose a bolt or a buckle. Just because of this, there is no point in buying a new pair. Instead, be sure to seek models that offer replacement parts that will spare you from buying new skates. A model that comes without replacement extra parts won’t be used for a long time.


picture of a boy riding inline rollerskates
source: Ethan Hu on Unsplash

Skates’ weight is especially important. Of course, they shouldn’t be too light, but avoid models that are too heavy. Be sure that the construction and the structure of the rollerskate aren’t compromised to keep the weight down. Cheaper models may not affect your budget, but they won’t offer the quality you’re looking for.