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Inline Skates Buying Guides

Tags:  inline skates | roller skates  | speed skates | hockey skates  | recreational skatesWrite a guide!

Gone are the days of clunky roller skates with metal wheels. Today, you can opt for inline skates, which offer four or, in some cases, five wheels arranged in a single line to give the skater better control and balance.

Determine Your Needs for Inline Skates


Determine Your Needs for Inline Skates

You’ve watched people using inline skates in the park, on the streets, and just about everywhere else. But if you’re in the market for high-quality inline skates, you’ll first need to understand the basics. To make sure you’re getting the right skates, think about the kind of skating you’ll do.

  • Multipurpose inline skates: “Fitness skates," or "recreational skates” are most popular with inline skaters. The body is usually made of plastic with an inner foam liner, and the fasteners may be buckles, laces, or both. A variety of manufacturers, including Rollerblade, K2, Ultrawheels, Roller Derby, Razors, and Salomon, offer multipurpose skates.

  • Hockey skates: Hockey skates, meant for use in a rink, do not provide enough shock absorption to handle rugged outdoor terrain. Most hockey inline skates are made of leather, leather composites, and/or nylon, and they lace up, although some may have an ankle strap. Manufacturers of hockey inline skates include Bauer, CCM, Mission, and Koho.

  • Speed skates: If speed is the name of your game, consider speed skates or five-wheelers. Speed skates are typically made of leather and come with a long wheelbase to accommodate the five wheels. Technically, it's not the extra wheel that makes these skates go faster; it’s the extra length built into the wheelbase to make room for the fifth wheel. The price for speed, however, is that these skates tend to be less maneuverable.

  • Aggressive” or trick inline skates: Made for doing tricks, aggressive inline skates come in one of two categories: competition and street. These types of skates come with a wider frame and shorter wheels in order to give the skater more control.

  • Component inline skates: With component inline skates, you can pick the best of each category in order to create your ideal racing skate. You’ll have to purchase skate boots, frames, bearings, and wheels. The expense of buying individual components is worth it for skaters who want a personalized fit.

  • Skate shoes (aka roller shoes): Roller or skate shoes feature a wheel inside the heel of the shoe, allowing you to walk, run, and roll at any moment. These shoes also serve as a fashionable pair of street shoes. Heelys is a popular brand for this type of product.

Get the right fit for your inline skates

As a general rule, most people wear the same size inline skates as they do shoes. Think of your inline skates as a natural extension of your foot. They should fit snugly, be comfortable, and respond to your every move. You'll want your toes to lightly touch the front of the boot when you bring it home so that it supports your legs and ankles. To get a more snug fit, consider buying inline skates with laces. Or, consider an inline skate that provides a combination of buckles and laces.

Don’t forget protective gear

In addition to purchasing a good-quality pair of inline skates, you should also consider appropriate protective safety equipment, including wrist guards, knee pads, and a safety helmet. You can purchase high-quality protective gear from manufacturers such as Salomon, Ultrawheels, and Rollerblade.


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Compare Features of Inline Skates


Compare Features of Inline Skates

Now that you’ve established how you’ll use your skates, it’s time to compare the features of different inline skates.

Inline skate wheels

The quality, size, and maneuverability of your wheels will largely determine your inline skating experience.

Wheel sizes range in diameter from 72 mm to 76 mm, with some higher-end models at 80 mm. The shorter the wheel, the more stable and maneuverable the skate. On the flip side, shorter wheels will also be slower.

“Durometer” refers to the hardness of the wheels, and most inline skates come stocked with 78A wheels. The 78A is considered a softer wheel, while 82A and 85A in the upper range are considered harder wheels. If you plan to skate mostly indoor surfaces, opt for a harder wheel, since it’ll provide greater durability. If skating outdoor surfaces or rough terrain, opt for a softer, more shock-absorbent wheel.

Bearings

Wheel bearings enable you to turn. Bearings come in various ratings, according to the Annual Bearing Engineering Council (ABEC). Inline skates with higher ABEC numbers offer better performance.

Inline skate brake systems

Different manufacturers often have entirely different braking systems. Some systems allow you to adjust the height of the brake pad, which is ideal for beginners.

Frames

Most inline skates have aluminum alloy or nylon skate frames. High-performance metal frames are often more expensive, lighter, and faster.

Inline skate uppers

The upper portion of the skate is made of a diverse array of materials, anything from synthetics, like nylon, to natural leather. Uppers often incorporate a soft liner to cushion the foot. Uppers are constructed with either “hard shell” that is similar to a ski boot, or a soft boot, which is much like a hiking boot. The hard shell offers the best protection, but the soft boot is lightweight and designed for better performance.

Closures

Inline skates offer two types of closures: lace closures and buckle closures


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Find Inline Skates on eBay


Find Inline Skates on eBay

Once you know what type of inline skates you want, go to the Sporting Goods portal, click Inline, Roller Skating, and start searching for item listings on eBay.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Inline Skates, Roller Skates, Skate Shoes, and more. As you dig deeper into the site, you'll also be able to narrow down your choice by brand.

  • Keyword search: Search eBay title listings for specific words. For example, if you want to find aggressive street skates, type "aggressive inline skates” or “street skates" (without the quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.


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Buy Inline Skating With Confidence


Buy Inline Skating With Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that you don't receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection will cover your purchase price plus original shipping. Learn more.


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