IW Fitness Learning Center

IW Fitness is here to ensure you have all the information you need to make the right purchase for your game. Whether you are looking for help choosing size, selecting the appropriate gear, or improving your fitness through cross-training. IW Fitness has the tools you need.

Buying Guide for Inline Skates

Whether buying your first pair of inline skates, or upgrading from an old pair, choosing the right skates can be intimidating if not overwhelming. Inline Warehouse designed the below steps to narrow your focus and make shopping easy!

Step 1: Determine your skill level and intended use.

Starting / First Timer - Recreational Inline Skates (72-80mm wheels)

  • Having small wheels helps keep the speed down and control high. By starting out in this wheel range, you will learn more quickly, safely and have more fun. Recreational inline skates have high-cut boots that offer the stability and confidence needed when learning to skate.

Beginner / Returning - Recreational/Urban Inline Skates (80–84mm wheels)

  • Here the skater has some experience and comfort level on wheels. As skills increase, so will the desire for more performance and speed. The larger wheels will provide this without having to purchase new skates. Both molded plastic AND soft-boot constructed skates would work well at this level. Urban skates use a molded plastic shell to be more responsive and controllable.

Intermediate - Recreation/Urban/Performance Skates (80-100mm wheels)

  • Most skaters fall into this category and the selection starts to widen. For this reason, intended use becomes major deciding factor. Intended use may vary from recreation, freestyle, slalom, urban, cross-training and even marathon skating. Speed boots are the only type of skate not recommended for this level of skater.

  • If skating recreationally or in tight urban areas where control and maneuverability are needed, smaller wheeled skates in 80-84mm would work best.
  • If skating for fitness, training, or for longer distances or periods of time, performance skates in the 90-100mm are recommended.

Advanced - Recreation/Urban/Performance/Speed (80-110mm wheels)

  • Being an advanced skater, no skate is beyond your ability. It is now even more crucial to pay attention to the intended use planned. Seek a skate in the appropriate wheel size for your surroundings and the type of skating you will be doing.

  • Smaller wheels are more maneuverable but 84mm likely the smallest you would want to go. 90mm wheels should feel plenty maneuverable at this level and give the ability to skate in urban areas while still providing some speed and performance when wanted.
  • Performance skates from RB or K2 at 90-100mm will provide a great deal of comfort that you may not find if limiting your choice to a speed skate. Consider some comfort over performance and you will be amazed at how well and how long you skate.
  • If skating long distance training sessions, marathons, or seeking maximum performance from your skates… Go for it! High-end speed skates feel and perform differently than large wheeled performance skates. The boots are low cut by design and fit far more snug to maximize energy transfer.

Step 2: Determine your brand options.

Once your search is narrowed to a specific wheel size (or range) based on skill and/or intended use, it is time to focus on the brands. Some basic brand knowledge is helpful as some focus their technology toward specific skaters.


  • Geared toward entry-level skaters and come at a low price point, Bladerunner skates are made in smaller wheel sizes with limited performance features.

K2 / Rollerblade / Roces

  • Offer the widest selection of inline skates at various wheel sizes. Descriptions for these models will outline their targeted skater. All types of skates can be found for all levels (beginner, urban, freestyle, cross-training or performance).


  • Seba skates originally targeted freestyle and slalom skaters. Seba is known for a snug and firm boot that provides the response and control needed to skate dance and/or maneuvers. Seba has expanded their line in recent years to include 90mm performance skates, but firm boot should still be expected with possible break-in time needed. Seba skates do not come with a brake (can be purchased separately).

Bont / Luigino / Powerslide / Vanilla

  • These brands make up the speed skate category at Inline Warehouse. They target advanced level skaters seeking maximum performance (even if it may mean sacrificing comfort). Speed boots have a lower cut at the cuff to allow more range of motion. They are designed to fit snug and stiff to maximize energy transfer. Most inline speed boots require heat molding prior to skating to obtain a proper and comfortable fit.

Step 3: Determine your price.

Choose a price range that works for you and stick with it. Models from previous years are a great option to save some money while still getting a great skate. Consider joining the IWIN program which rewards those loyal to Inline Warehouse with discounts.

Step 4: Determine your size.

It is important that you reference the sizing and fit recommendations provided in the skate description online. Even if staying within the same brand, do not assume all skates in their lineup fit the same. It is even more important to reference sizing charts and fit recommendations when moving across brands. Some brands are sized unisex (Seba, Bont, Luigino, Vanilla and Powerslide). Meaning one scale is used for both men and women. So again, it is crucial to read the recommendations and/or visit the brand specific size charts to help get the correct fit on your first attempt.

Sizing is preference. Sometimes our recommendation may not get you the fit expected. For this reason, IW offers a guaranteed fit program that allows free skate returns (click for details).

Step 5: Skate Hard. Skate Safe. Have Fun!

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