Inline skating is making a comeback and the craze has reached new heights not seen since the turn of the millennium, when skateboarding and ‘rollerblade’ (after the renowned brand) were dominant. With the pandemic favoring individual sports, many dusted off their old inline skates and some rushed to stores to reconnect with their old passion, by buying new pair of inline skates.

Inline skates are now offered in different styles of skating, each with different purposes, the most well known being fitness, urban, aggressive and speed / long distance. To help you sort out all of these categories, here's a summary of the main types of inline skates:

Fitness inline skates

The fitness or recreational inline skates are the most popular type for those who don't want to worry, grab their skates and go for a ride on the bike path or in the streets, whether it's to get some fresh air or rack up the miles. These are usually skates with a soft and comfortable boot. There are often different ranges of fitness skates, the most high-end offering lighter weight, better rolling, more speed and more durability for skaters who go out regularly and for longer distances.


Speed & long distance inline skates

For skaters looking for speed and performance, the speed / long distance inline skates are the best choice. Typically we find a stiffer boot, very large wheels and quality bearings for a higher and constant top speed. This is the go-to option for long distance training enthusiasts with a competitive spirit.


Urban inline skates

The urban or freestyle inline skates are a new type of skate that is gaining popularity for city skating. They are designed to perform both over long distances and short distances with fairly large wheels, but with a more robust structure, which allows for jumps, slalom and other figures using street furniture or whatever the street before you offers. The wheelbase on these types of skates is generally shorter, to make them more maneuverable and responsive around turns, for busy streets!


Aggressive inline skates

Finally, back in the 1990s with the aggressive inline skates! Rollers and inline skates categorized as aggressive were popularized in the mid-90s, among others by extreme sport competitions such as the X-Games. Even today, many competitions bring together pro skaters and interest remains high in the community, for these inline skates which are intended for jumps, figures, grinds and slides, performed mainly in a skatepark. They notably have a soul plate to perform slides and figures. These are skates with a much more robust and resistant construction, thanks to a stiff boot. There are typically smaller wheels for more stability and a lower center of gravity.

October 21, 2021 — Francois Therrien