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Roller Skates vs. Inline Skates: Which is Best for Kids?

Skating has been around for a long time, and lately, it’s gaining popularity once again.

And if you are looking for an activity for your son, this one comes with a huge number of benefits. However, once you decide to get him into the sport, you also need to decide whether you will buy your child roller skates or inline skates. Any parent who has ever wanted to buy their child skates has had thought about which option is better, and of course, which is safer, and less likely to hurt their child.

Roller Skates and Inline Skates
Source: momlovesbest.com

Regardless of the choice of skates, skating is a great sport for anyone, of any age or gender. Whether you decide to buy boys roller skates, or you opt for inline skates, one thing is for sure, kids love to overcome challenges that separate them to have the maximum fun, which is why a sport like this is perfect for them. It can hold their attention, while also keeping them physically active, and away from screens. Skating will provide your child with a full-body exercise, helping them strengthen their muscles, it will boost their motor development, improve their coordination, focus, balance, stability, and so much more, and it’s also incredibly beneficial for their cognitive development, emotional development and their mental health.

But when it comes to choosing one or the other, the truth is, unlike something more stable, like a tricycle for kids, both options are great but they certainly come with the risk of falls, after all, they are shoes on wheels, and they both take time and patience to master. Which ones you will choose can depend on many things, including the age of your child, as well as your and their preferences. So, when we are comparing roller skates, also called roller quad skates and inline skates, also called rollerblades, we can’t be talking about which ones are better than the other. Instead, we can talk about the different characteristics they come with, how stable they are and how hard they are to master.

The Difference in Wheels Arrangement

The Difference in Wheels Arrangement
Source: shopee.com

Even though sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, while both run on wheels, boys quad roller skates and rollerblades are different not only in the way they look but also in other characteristics, including how they are used, the stopping and turning techniques and which muscles they keep more active. Nevertheless, the most important physical difference between roller skates and inline skates is the placement of the wheels on the frame. The ones that have two pairs of wheels on both sides of the shoe are roller skates, while the ones that have the wheels arranged in a way that resembles ice skates – in one row, are inline skates. These differences in the construction of the skates also influence how they are used.

The Different Skills Required

Skills for roller skates
Source: wikihow.com

The most important difference between roller skates and rollerblades is the technique used to skate, turn and stop. Essentially, because of the different alignment of the wheels, and how the weight is distributed, as well as how you need to move your body to skate, roller skates aren’t as fast as inline skates. So, skating in their boy’s roller skates children can’t go fast, and they also need to make wider turns, and if they want to make a sharp turn, they will have to slow down.

Inline skates on the other hand can go much faster, and they are easier to manoeuvre. However, they are also harder to master, because stopping and turning with them will take more practice and skill. This is one of the reasons why many parents choose roller skates for little boys instead of rollerblades. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better for younger children.

The Different Levels of Stability

roller skates boy
Source: jumponwheels.com

At first look, anyone would think that roller skates are more stable than inline skates. This seems logical because when you put the latter on the floor they will fall on the side, whereas, when you put roller skates on the floor they will remain on their wheel. But things aren’t so simple

When your son puts inline skates on for the first time, naturally they will feel a certain instability, because it will seem complicated to keep balance on the side. Nevertheless, if the skates fit well and they are adjusted properly, very rapidly he will realise that it doesn’t take much to stand on them. The real instability is towards the front and the back – the direction towards which the wheels are naturally turning, and this happen both with roller skates and inline skates.

Because the wheels on inline skates have a larger wheelbase, which goes more forward, past the toes and backward, behind the heel, they offer more stability while you are moving than roller skates. Even though the four wheels on roller skates are arranged in a way that feels much more stable, the roller skate plate is shorter and only goes from under the toes to the heel, which can make it harder to keep balance – that is to not fall forward or backwards.

This also means that there is a bigger chance to clip the wheels of one skate on the wheels of the other, which can result in a fall. Even though standing and stopping are easier for children and beginners with roller skates, skating requires separating your feet, to avoid clipping. This can be particularly hard for younger children. In other words, even though your first instinct may be to choose roller skates for your small child, they may be better off with inline skates. Another thing that influences stability is the boot itself. Inline skates have higher boots, that keep the ankle secure, which makes them more stable.