Welcome. Also known as traditional, four-wheel, retro or vintage skates, quad skates are ideal for people at different skill levels. In addition to guaranteed fun for people of different ages, skating brings many health benefits such as muscle strengthening, calorie burning, improved posture and balance gain.
To choose a good pair of skates, you only need to analyse the sport you want to practice and the intensity you intend to use. In this article we will address these and other topics to help you choose the best model.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Quad Skates: Our Picks
- 4 Buying Guide
- 5 Purchase criteria: factors to compare the different models of quad skates
- You can find quad skates in the following versions: traditional, recreational, radical, artistic, roller derby and hockey.
- This is the ideal model for beginners or those who have difficulty balancing on wheels, because the base is wider and the wheels are parallel, offering stability and safety.
- The best national brand of quad skates is Traxart. If you prefer an imported model, you can find more options: Fila, Rye, Edea, Roller Derby, Powerslide and Rollerblade.
The Best Quad Skates: Our Picks
Skating is for everyone: children, young people and adults, female or male and at different skill levels. The best thing is that, although it is an individual sport, you can practice it together with your friends or family.
But to start skating, you will need to invest in a good pair of quad skates. With that in mind, we have prepared this Buying Guide, with all the information you need to know about this product. Enjoy your reading!
What are the features of quad skates?
Also known as traditional, four-wheeled or roller skates, quad skates have four wheels: two parallel wheels at the back (near the brake) and two at the bottom of the skates. Because of the arrangement of the wheels, this model is more stable and easier to balance on.
However, these skates are heavier, less fast and are not suitable for those who want to do radical manoeuvres. As the base of the quad skates is a little smaller and wider, you have less front and rear support and more lateral support. The front brake also serves to give impulse in some movements.
What are the benefits of roller skating?
Rollerblading is an excellent activity for those who want to burn calories and lose weight. As effective as or more effective than running, skating for about an hour will help you lose between 500 and 800 calories (if the exercise is done intensely and constantly).
Besides losing calories, this activity helps to strengthen and define the muscles of the legs, buttocks and abdomen, besides increasing the physical conditioning and muscular resistance of the whole body, benefiting the lungs and the heart. Those who suffer from back problems, such as deviations (lordosis, scoliosis or kyphosis) or pain, will also benefit from roller skating, as skating forces the person to keep an upright posture.
Other benefits are improved balance, increased concentration, stimulation of quick thinking and a sense of well-being and pleasure. Finally, skating requires a learning curve. As you develop the skill of skating, your sense of balance, flexibility, control and reflexes will improve significantly.
How to start skating?
- Use socks: it is essential that you use socks when you go rollerblading. Give preference to cotton socks, with thick fabric and with a high chanel (four fingers above the chanel of the skates), because they help to make the skates more comfortable and reduce friction.
- Use safety equipment: helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and wrist bands are essential for those who are learning to skate, because falls are common and you can get really hurt.
- Stretchout: before you start skating, stretch out your whole body muscles, this way you will avoid possible injuries and muscle pain after the activity.
- Go slowly: start skating for short periods and increase progressively, as you gain more skill and confidence to skate.
- Ask for help: if you are a beginner, seek help from a professional or someone who already knows how to skate well, this way you can learn techniques of how to walk, do manoeuvres, brake, among other skills, with someone who knows about the subject.
- Learn how to fall: it is inevitable, you will fall a few times when you are learning to skate, so it is important to learn how to "fall the right way" to avoid accidents.
What size skates should I buy?
Opinions differ widely as to the ideal size of a pair of skates. Some people suggest that skates should be the same size as shoes, others advocate that skates should be one or two sizes larger. When in doubt, we suggest you visit a shop and try on skates (even if you are going to buy them online later) because that way you can test what works for you.
The ideal is that the skates are neither too tight nor too loose, they should fit you perfectly.
I am obese, can I buy quad skates?
If you are overweight, you should know that this is no excuse not to skate, because you can find quad skates models that can support people with up to 100 kg. The secret is to choose a model made of good quality materials.
The boot should be made of leather and the base of aluminium or titanium, because these materials are more resistant. The adjustment by laces, allows you to leave the skates according to the shape of your feet.
Quad or Inline Skates: Which is the best model for me?
The Inline skates, as the name indicates, have the wheels (from three to five) arranged in line. This model is ideal for those who want to skate on smooth and irregular surfaces, such as on paved streets or parks.
These skates are light and comfortable, but require some effort and motor skills so that you can balance (especially for beginners), because the base is long and narrow and the supports are front and rear, not lateral as in the quad. But with a little training, you can perform some manoeuvres such as spins, jumps and pirouettes and skate at high speed, as this model offers flexibility, fluidity and agility.
|Quad Skates||Inline Skates|
|Support||Smaller and wider base: lateral support||Long and narrow base: front and rear support|
|Wheel arrangement||Two in front and two at the back||From three to five wheels arranged in a line|
|Brakes||In front of the wheels||Behind the wheels|
|Ideal for||Walking||Performing manoeuvres and riding at high speed|
|Advantages||Easier to balance||Faster|
|Disadvantages||Less speed||More difficult to balance|
|Where should I skate||On smooth surfaces||On smooth or uneven surfaces|
Which one is the best? That depends on your objectives, if you want an easier model to walk and balance, go for quad skates, if you want to skate at high speed and perform radical manoeuvres, bet on inline skates.
Purchase criteria: factors to compare the different models of quad skates
Those who have been on skates for some time know that they don't last forever. Since the acquisition many things change: the skater's skill improves, the equipment wears out, new technologies emerge, among other reasons.
At the time of the change, it is normal that even the most experienced skaters have some doubts about how to choose the ideal pair of skates. With that in mind, we have prepared some tips on what you should analyse and compare when buying:
- Other features
Are you interested? Then check out the explanation about each of the items listed above throughout this section. In case you still have any doubts, leave a comment and we will answer it.
The first step to get the right choice of skates is to establish what will be the purpose of use of the equipment. Most people start skating with recreational skates.
With experience, some preferences begin to emerge and the skater can evaluate if he/she prefers a model geared towards running, sports, artistic modalities, dance etc. We list below the main models of quad skates and the modalities for which they are intended:
It can be a low or high boot, with or without heel (the heel serves to improve the position of the body and prevent back falls). The brake is in the front, to facilitate the use by beginners and to propel the skates. They are for general use and the best choice for dancing in clubs.
They have a high heel and heel, for an upright and elegant posture. It is the ideal model for artistic presentations, where music, dance and technical elements such as jumps, spins and pirouettes are combined. These skates are for indoor use.
The differential of this model is the absence of brakes on the front of the skates. They are used in competition sports, in which the athletes must work with the axes of the skates to go through circular lines drawn on the ground.
Quad Street skates are recommended for those who wish to practice radical sports, as they have a resistant plastic plate called grind block, which can be used to slide the skates over rails.
The barrel is shorter (to give mobility to the ankles), can come with or without heel, the wheels are indoor or hybrid and are more resistant. This is the ideal model to practice the sport with the same name.
When choosing a pair of quad skates, analyse the material, thickness and degree of hardness of the wheels, because these parts can influence positively or negatively your experience with the skates. Regarding the material, the wheels can be made of urethane, polyurethane, rubberized (similar to silicone) or plastic.
Stay away from plastic wheels and brakes, because these parts don't help to pick up speed, hinder the development of the technique, skid easily, cause falls due to lack of control, can create injuries by excessive effort and spoil easily.
Regarding the diameter, measured in millimetres, there is a variation according to the model in question, but in general, quad skates do not support neither too large nor too wide wheels.
- Artistic skates: the measure varies from 49 to 63 mm.
- Leisure skates: around 32 mm.
The degree of hardness works as follows: harder wheels are better for flat floors, because the grip is lower, while softer wheels have more grip, ideal for rough floors (but the durability is lower). The degree of hardness varies from 78A to 103A, and the higher the degree, the greater the level of hardness, the less adherence and the higher the speed. Analyse and compare the information in the table below:
|Roller Derby||88 to 92A||Concrete or skate track|
The size and degree of hardness are indicated in print on the wheels themselves. Although all skate models come with wheels, you can purchase these accessories separately, the price varies according to the quality of the pieces.
The ideal is that the boots are rigid on the outside and comfortable inside. Prefer the stiffest for street, the lightest and most comfortable for walking and the extremely light for speed. These materials may be leather, synthetic leather or plastic alloys.
The shaft can be low, medium or high, but this variation is more related to the model in question (as we described in the first item). The internal padded lining will reduce a lot the friction of the boot with the feet during the course, reducing the chances of appearing some bruises on the feet as the terrible blisters.
Another feature that you need to analyze and compare before buying a pair of skates is the design of the model. You can find more basic versions, in sober colours like black, cream or nude.
Most models are coloured, you will find from pastel shades to models in vibrant shades like purple, blue, pink, green, red, among others. An alternative is to choose a printed model.
- Ventilation system: compare which is the best among the options available, but the ideal is that the internal boots are breathable, to inhibit the formation of bad odours.
- Impact absorption system: it is important to choose a pair of skates with a good cushioning system, because this feature offers comfort and safety to the skater.
- Liner: it is very important that the boots of the skates are lined and with foam, because the padded inner liner offers comfort to the skater.
- Base: The base can be made of PVC plastic, aluminum, titanium, steel, among other metallic materials. Look for a model with a resistant base, durable and light (to facilitate movements).
- Bearings: the bearings must be of excellent quality, because these parts are responsible for the sliding of the wheels and gaining speed. Check the ABEC classification according to your needs with the skates.
There is no point in having excellent quality wheels if the bearings are bad. After all, they are responsible for the wheels' movement and speed gain, that is, they are directly connected to the equipment's performance.
The bearings are classified by means of the international acronym ABEC, according to some criteria such as precision, tolerance, dimensions and noise levels, in grades ranging from 1 to 15, whereby the closer to 15, the better the performance. The simplest models are classified between ABEC 1 and 5, while the intermediate models are between ABEC 5, 7 and 9 and the advanced ones reach ABEC 15 (generally, professional use models).
Did you know that some modifications you can turn a pair of figure skates into leisure skates? All you need to do is change the wheels and bearings. Since we've already talked about the wheels, now let's delve into the bearings. First of all, choose shielded bearings, they don't give much trouble as they don't require deep cleaning or constant lubrication.
You will need 16 bearings per pair, as each boot uses eight bearings (quad skates). Leisure bearings can have 7 or 8 mm internal diameter (also named as 627 and 608 bearings respectively), 7 mm height and 22 mm external diameter (these last two values are standard, they don't change). If buying online, choose such standards: for professional skates: 22x7x8 mm and for leisure skates: 22x8x7 mm.
(Source of the highlighted image: Belchonock / 123RF)