Best Kids Roller Skates of 2020

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Introduce your child to roller skating, a favorite pastime of kids.

Roller skating is a fun and playful way for kids and adults to enjoy some exercise either alone, with a friend or two, or in a group.

But at what age is it safe for your child to try roller skating? Do you choose inline skates or the traditional style roller skate with two wheels?

Do you have to buy new skates when your child goes up a shoe size? With how quickly children’s feet grow, that could get expensive. And how do you choose the best skates for your child?

We’ll answer all that and more, plus we’ll recommend the best roller skates for kids that are available today.

Our Top Picks

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When Can Kids Start Roller Skating?

At the age of 3, most kids have reached the stage where they don’t have to concentrate on their balance for everyday movement. However, they may still have to think about other physical actions such as standing on one foot (1).

It’s not until the age of 4 to 5 that the majority of children develop the balance and coordination of an adult. That means it’s best to wait until at least the age of 3 before giving your child their first pair of toddler roller skates.

Benefits of Roller Skating

Kids get a lot out of roller skating — and they don’t even know it because it’s fun to do. Here are some of the benefits they’ll experience.

Aerobic Activity

For older children and teens, roller skating is an excellent form of aerobic activity (2). Aerobic activity increases the heart and breathing rate which, when performed regularly, will improve the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.

As their cardiovascular system strengthens, your child’s body will have to do less work to meet its needs.

Other Physical Benefits

There are plenty of other benefits to exercise (3). Roller skating can also help to:

  • Improve the development and strength of muscles.
  • Increase flexibility.
  • Maintain a healthy BMI.
  • Increase endorphins, which reduces stress.
  • Lower blood sugar levels, which can be particularly beneficial if a child is overweight.

Building Confidence

We all benefit from the mental boost that comes with learning a new skill. So, learning to roller skate can help your child build self-confidence.

And, as your child matures and proves they can handle a little freedom, you can allow your older child to go roller skating without your constant direct supervision. That helps to boost self-confidence and build a trusting relationship between you.

Social Benefits

Roller skating can be a solo or social activity. Your child can enjoy roller skating with their friends, or happily do it when their friends aren’t available.

Types of Roller Skates

Roller skates can be either quad skates or inline skates. One type of skate isn’t better than the other — they both have advantages.

Quad Roller Skates

Quad skates have four wheels, two on each axle, with one axle near the front of the skate and one near the back.

Because of their wider wheelbase, it’s generally easier to maintain your balance on quad skates. This makes them the best choice for younger children and beginner skaters. But they are not just for beginners or little ones.

Quad skates are more maneuverable than inline skates and this makes them the best children’s roller skates for tricks and fancy footwork. Fans of quad skates would also argue that the wide range of styles and colors provide greater scope for self-expression.

Inline Roller Skates

Inline roller skates have a row of wheels in a straight line down the center of the skate. Depending on the skate, there may be three wheels or four. The wheels may be directly under the foot or extend past the toes and heels.

Some people find it more difficult, initially, to find and maintain their balance in inline skates. This makes them better suited for older children or those who have already learned to skate.

Inline skates are said to be more comfortable for long periods of skating because of their padded inner boot. It is easier to build up and maintain your speed in inlines which is another reason why they may not be the best choice for younger children or beginners. You don’t want them to go faster than they can handle.

How to Choose the Best Roller Skates for Kids

It’s easy to become wrapped up in the color or pattern when choosing the best kids’ roller skates, but there are other factors to consider.

Child’s Age

The first thing to think about is your child’s age. Although a baby in skates might look cute, let them learn how to walk and run before expecting them to skate.

For younger children, adjustable quad skates will make it easier to learn how to skate. They’ll also last longer than a single size skate.

Safety

Having the correct safety equipment is only one element of roller skate safety (4).

Consider the size of the roller skate wheels. Smaller wheels have a lower center of gravity which provides greater stability. They are also slower than larger wheels, which is great for kids who are still learning to skate.

Look at the hardness of the roller skates wheels. The softer the wheels, the better they are at providing traction on smooth surfaces. Soft wheels also absorb bumps from irregular surfaces when skating outside.

Finally, look at the braking system for your potential skate. Inline skates have a break at the rear while quad skates have a brake at the front. The bigger the brake, the easier it will be for your child to use.

Size

For any brand of roller skate, research whether the skate size is an accurate reflection of the shoe size your child wears. Some brands of skates come up smaller than regular shoes, so they may be too tight. But some may be larger than expected, which can be a safety hazard.

An excellent choice for a growing child is a pair of adjustable skates. These are designed to tighten or loosen at the twist or press of a button. They can cover up to four shoe sizes.

How to Size Roller Skates for Kids

Finding the right size is important for comfort and to avoid clumsiness. Here is what you should look for:

  • Roller skates should fit snugly, but not be too tight.
  • Do not buy more than one size larger than your child’s needs, as the movement of their foot within the boot may make them dangerous. The only exception to this is when you’re buying adjustable skates.
  • When your child tries on their roller skates, ensure they are wearing the same style of socks they will wear when skating.

Purpose

Think about whether your child will be skating inside or out. The best roller skates for outdoors are ones with softer wheels. The softer wheels will absorb vibration which will make for a more comfortable and smooth ride.

Boot Style

Roller skates come with either a sneaker-shaped boot or a taller boot that encompasses the ankle.

Much of the decision over which style of boot will be purely cosmetic. However, a taller boot that holds the ankle firmly can reduce the chance of ankle injuries.

Boot Material

Leather roller skate boots can feel overly tight to begin with but this allows them to mold to the shape of your child’s foot as your child breaks them in. This can make for a more comfortable roller skate in the long run. Leather roller skates weather well and are good for both indoor and outdoor use.

Suede boots mold to the foot in the same way as leather but can be cosmetically damaged more easily by water and dirt. That makes them best for indoor use only.

The final choice is a synthetic material. These boots are usually easy to clean, fit well, and are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.


The Best Roller Skates of 2020

Need help finding the best roller skates for kids? Here are our top 10 favorites.

1. Roller Derby Trac-Star for Girls

Best Adjustable Roller Skates for Kids

Roller Derby Girl's Fun Roll Adjustable Roller Skate, Medium
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These adjustable quad skates have 2.1-inch cast polyurethane wheels for a low center of gravity and a smooth ride indoor or out. This makes these roller skates an excellent choice for younger kids who are learning to skate, as well as for experienced skaters who are still growing. It also comes with a choice for boys.

The adjustable mechanism is simple to operate and does not require any tools or expertise. It is also secure enough not to move while in use.

PROS:
  • The skates come with tightened wheels. This prevents them from moving too quickly when your child first tries them out.
  • Non-marking toe brakes make these suitable for indoor use.
  • The inner liner is washable.
CONS:
  • The smallest size covers shoe sizes from 12 to 2, so they are not available for those with smaller feet or the youngest of new skaters.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableAdjustable
Closure StyleCam-lever buckle closure straps
Boot MaterialMolded plastic and polyester
Boot StyleAbove ankle
Size Range12J-2 and 3-6

2. Lenexa Sonic Cruiser Rebound Wheels

Best Outdoor Roller Skates for Kids

Lenexa Sonic Cruiser 2.0 Unisex Outdoor High Performance Rebound Wheels Quad...
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The Lenexa Sonic Cruiser high-performance roller skates are quad style with sneaker type boots.

The wheels are 2.2 inches and made from high rebound urethane. This makes them good for maintaining a low center of gravity. But they are large enough to get some speed.

The materials used are all lightweight, which reduces fatigue. But they are strong enough for the roller skates to last. Plus, these skates are maneuverable and have great directional control.

PROS:
  • Made from ballistic grade nylon so they will stand up to a lot of use.
  • Lightweight aluminum trucks (the part with the wheels) make these roller skates lighter than most, yet still strong.
  • Reinforced eyelets enable you to tie these skates tight without fear of ripping.
CONS:
  • Limited range of sizes available.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableFixed
Closure StyleLaces
Boot MaterialNylon outer, cotton terry inner
Boot StyleSneaker style
Size RangeWomen’s 5, 6, and 7 and men’s’ 4, 5, and 6

3. Roller Derby Stomp Factor 5 Quad Skates

Best Roller Skates for Teens

Roller Derby Stomp Factor 5 Black Quad Skates Color Green Size 4
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Bright, light, and excellent for racing, as well as for roller derby, these skates tick all of the boxes for intermediate to experienced teen roller skaters.

The quad wheels, which are 2.5 inches wide, and race-grade bearings make these fast roller skates with a relatively high center of gravity. They are best for indoors unless you choose to swap the wheels. You might want to look elsewhere if you’re searching for a pair of beginner’s skates to be used outside.

PROS:
  • The leather shoe is strong and durable with additional anti-abrasion toe and heel caps.
  • A leather sole provides plenty of cushioning for the bottom of the foot.
  • The stoppers can be swapped out.
CONS:
  • Not the best option for newbie skaters.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableFixed
Closure StyleLaces and strap
Boot MaterialLeather
Boot StyleSneaker
Size Range1 to 12

4. Circle Society Classic Adjustable Children’s Roller Skates

Safest Roller Skates for Kids

Circle Society Classic Adjustable Indoor and Outdoor Childrens Roller Skates -...
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This Circle Society pick is an excellent all-rounder quad skate for beginner to intermediate skaters.

The 2-inch urethane wheels are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The skates are adjustable so they have a longer life span. Meanwhile, the boot of the skate has both laces and a strap closure for double the security.

They are available in fabulous colors, which gives your child a fun factor that skates made only in basic colors don’t.

PROS:
  • Dual front brakes provide additional stopping power.
  • Low center of gravity for easier balance.
  • Laces allow for a tight fit around the entire foot.
CONS:
  • The laces are long so you may want to trim them.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableAdjustable
Closure StyleLaces and ankle strap
Boot MaterialSynthetic leather
Boot StyleAbove ankle
Size Range12 to 3 and 3 to 7

5. Roller Derby ION 7.2 Inline Skates

Best Inline Roller Skates for Kids

Roller Derby ION 7.2 Inline Skates with Aluminum frames and Adjustable Sizing...
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These skates have a lightweight aluminum frame which can be adjusted by up to four shoe sizes.

The urethane wheels are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The larger skates have 2.9-inch wheels which may make them less suitable for beginners who are unsteady on their feet.

Roller skate size adjustment is through a button on the side of the skates, so no tools are required.

PROS:
  • Speed lace and strap closure keep these roller skates tight.
  • The padded boot is extremely comfortable.
  • Versatile skates that can be used inside and outside.
CONS:
  • Only one brake, on the right skate, but it can be moved to the left side.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableAdjustable
Closure StyleSpeed laces and strap closure
Boot MaterialPlastic and nylon
Boot StyleAbove ankle
Size Range11 to 1 and 2 to 5

6. Xino Sports Kids’ Adjustable Roller Skates

Best Light-Up Skates For Kids

Xino Sports Adjustable Roller Skates for Children - Featuring PU Wheels,...
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These kids’ adjustable roller skates from Xino Sports are a great choice for beginner and intermediate skaters. With smaller wheels and dual brakes, your child will be able to go slow and stop easily with less chance of tipping over. And, since they’re adjustable, they could last for years.

The LED wheels light up when they move, and don’t require batteries. The wheels are also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and the brake is non-marking.

PROS:
  • Reinforced boot seams for added strength.
  • Breathable mesh fabric.
  • Adjusts across four shoe sizes.
CONS:
  • The lights in the wheels are not rechargeable, so they will eventually fail, although you can buy replacement wheels.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableAdjustable
Closure StyleLaces and strap
Boot MaterialPlastic and nylon
Boot StyleAbove ankle
Size Range1 to 4 and 5 to 8

7. SULIFEEL Rainbow Unicorn Adjustable Light-Up Skates

Best Roller Skates for Girls

SULIFEEL Rainbow Unicorn 4 Size Adjustable Light up Roller Skates for Girls Boys...
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If you have a child who loves glitter and rainbows, these Sulifeel skates will likely put a huge smile on their face.

The glitter wheels are not just sparkly. Once they are in motion, all eight of the wheels light up and provide a multicolor rainbow display. Those same wheels are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and small enough to keep your little one’s speeds at a safe level.

PROS:
  • Adjustable design means you won’t have to buy new skates every few months.
  • Extra thick, double strap closure keeps these skates secure.
  • Also available in an ice blue color scheme, which might delight girls who love the movie, Frozen.
CONS:
  • The boots are straight, so it’s difficult to tell left from right.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableAdjustable
Closure StyleLaces and double strap closure
Boot MaterialPlastic and nylon
Boot StyleAbove the ankle
Size Range9 to 12, 13 to 3, and 3 to 6

8. Chicago Boys’ Sidewalk Roller Skate

Best Roller Skates for Boys

Chicago Boys Sidewalk Roller Skate - Black Youth Quad Skates - Size 3
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The traditional look of the Chicago roller skate is deceptive because behind the classic styling are modern skates made with durable materials.

The eight, extra-wide wheels give exceptional stability alongside a smooth and easy ride. That makes these a wonderful skate for the roller rink or other indoor skating. That’s not to say you can’t use them outdoors — they are good skates on an even sidewalk, but they excel inside.

PROS:
  • Large front brakes make it easy to stop.
  • Easy to pull off quickly.
  • The boot protects the ankles.
CONS:
  • Not the most maneuverable of skates.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableFixed
Closure StyleLaces and strap
Boot MaterialFaux leather
Boot StyleAnkle height
Size Range13 to 5

9. Fisher-Price Grow-With-Me Inline Skates

Best Roller Skates for Toddlers

Fisher-Price Grow-with-Me 1,2,3 Inline Skates - Boys
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These are billed as inline skates but don’t worry, your little one should be safe on these. The wheels down the center of the skate are extra wide so your child can stand in them without having to balance much.

Wheels can be locked, set to go forward only, or freewheeling, so they are an excellent beginner’s skate. Plus, you have the peace of mind from the Fisher-Price name — it’s a trusted brand for kids’ products.

PROS:
  • These fit over your child’s existing shoes.
  • Suitable for kids’ shoe size 6 to 12.
  • The thick wheels will help your child stay balanced.
CONS:
  • Weight limit of 44 pounds.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableAdjustable
Closure StyleStrap only
Boot MaterialPlastic
Boot StyleOvershoe
Size Range6 to 12

10. Ehauuo Rechargable, Retractable LED Roller Shoes

Best Roller Skate Sneakers For Kids

Ehauuo Kids Roller Shoes USB Rechargeable Double Wheel Shoes LED Flashing...
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If your little ones want the best of both worlds, how about some roller sneakers?

These roller shoes not only have retractable wheels in their soles, but they have a strip of rechargeable LED lights around the top of the soles. One word of warning, though, shoes with wheels in the soles have additional safety precautions to take note of. The American Academy of Pediatrics says while wearing them your child should never wheel faster than they can walk and they should wear protective gear (5).

PROS:
  • Lights are rechargeable via a USB cable.
  • Do not have to swap between sneakers and skates.
  • There are multiple colors to choose from.
CONS:
  • Not as versatile as full skates.

Additional Specs

Fixed Or AdjustableFixed
Closure StyleLaces
Boot MaterialSynthetic uppers
Boot StyleSneaker
Size Range1.5 to 6.5

Kids Roller Skates Comparison Chart

ProductBestFixed Or AdjustableClosure StyleBoot MaterialBoot Style
Roller Derby Trac-StarAdjustableAdjustableCam-lever buckle closure strapsMolded plastic & polyesterAbove ankle
Lenexa Sonic Cruiser Rebound WheelsOutdoorFixedLacesNylon outer, cotton terry innerSneaker style
Roller Derby Stomp Factor 5TeensFixedLaces & strapLeatherSneaker
Circle Society Roller SkatesSafestAdjustableLaces & ankle strapSynthetic leatherAbove ankle
Roller Derby ION 7.2InlineAdjustableSpeed laces & strap closurePlastic & nylonAbove ankle
Xino Sports Kids’ Roller SkatesLight-UpAdjustableLaces & strapPlastic & nylonAbove ankle
SULIFEEL Rainbow Unicorn Light-UpGirlsAdjustableLaces & double strap closurePlastic & nylonAbove the ankle
Chicago Boys’ Sidewalk Roller SkateBoysFixedLaces & strapFaux leatherAnkle height
Fisher-Price Grow-With-MeToddlersAdjustableStrap onlyPlasticOvershoe
Ehauuo Rechargable, Retractable LEDSneakersFixedLacesSynthetic uppersSneaker
Jump to the Full Kids Roller Skates Reviews

Roller Skating Safety Tips For Kids

Choosing the best roller skates for kids is important. Helping your child enjoy their new roller skates safely should also be a top priority.

Here are our top roller skating safety tips for kids:

  • Ensure your child has appropriate safety wear: A helmet, ankle and knee pads, and wrist guards will all help prevent serious injury.
  • No excuses: Make sure your child wears their safety equipment. Don’t slack off because they complain about it or it doesn’t look cool.
  • Watch for repairs: If your child does have an accident, inspect their safety equipment and replace any that has been damaged. This is especially important in the case of helmets.
  • No solo skating: Do not allow your child to roller skate alone. If they are under 10 or even older and living in a high-traffic area, they should always be closely supervised by a responsible adult. If you aren’t a skater, you can ride your bike next to your child.
  • Look for safe spots: Identify safe spaces for your child to practice roller skating. They will need somewhere smooth and flat to begin with. Even small obstacles, such as stones or twigs, can cause a roller skater to lose control and crash.
  • Beware of night skating: Do not allow your child to skate anywhere after dark. It’s too easy to miss a branch or other obstacle in your path and fall.

Now You’re Up to Speed

Roller skating can be an excellent way of being physically active while having fun. It’s the ultimate versatile activity because you can skate alone, with friends, or with family. Plus, you can do it indoors and out.

You never know, you may see your child roller skating and be inspired to buy some for yourself.

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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.
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