How to Choose Outdoor Skates and Wheels

Indoor roller skates differ from outdoor skates mainly due to the wheels. If you intend to skate indoors, it is ideal to have harder, shorter wheels.

Indoor skates are available with both low top and high top boots. Low cut boots allow for easier maneuverability and tight turns and are generally offered in “speed” skates. So if you want to go fast, look for a low cut boot. High top boots offer more ankle support and protection and are often used for recreation and rhythm.

There are so many places and reasons to skate indoors that we wanted to cover as much as possible in the information in this article. There are sections on general information on all types of indoor skating information including safety, wheel specifications, and overall wheel preference. We’ve also included sections for recommendations on both skates and wheels for the following:

Rink and Rhythm
Roller Derby
Speed Skating

If you are also interested in outdoor skating, check out our article on How to Choose Outdoor Skates and Wheels!

How to Choose Indoor Skates and Wheels

Safety First – Pads and Helmets are Important

If you’re going to skate on concrete, wood, or other hard surfaces, it is important that you get some protection for your knees, elbows, and wrists. At the very least you want knee and wrist protection because these areas are the most likely to get scraped up if you fall (and you will eventually fall). There are many types of pads on the market, and we have many package options. Don’t go cheap on your protective gear, it’s important that the gear holds up in the event of a fall. Depending on how you’ll be skating indoors, you may also need a helmet. We’ve included a couple of our favorites below.

Pads Package

Pads PackageThe Our Pads Package will get you great knee, elbow, and wrist protection and an awesome value! Choose from 5 quality opions and take comfort in knowing you’re protected. Each package option is great and we wanted to offer suggestions for every skill level so take a look and pick the package that is best for your skating style.

S1 Helmet

S1 HelmetThe S1 Helmets are one of the most protective helmets on the market. They test their products constantly to guarantee that! The Lifer Helmet by S1 is one of the best multi impact helmet. If you are wanting a Multi Impact Helmet that will continue to protect time after time the S1 Lifer Helmet is for you.

Triple 8 Dual Certified Helmet

Triple 8 Dual Certified Helmet The Triple 8 Dual Certified Helmets are multiple impact helmets, meaning they can continue to be used after it has taken a major hit. There are adjustable straps to help fit it to every head size. Stay safe and skate like a maniac with this awesome helmet. Just when you thought the Triple 8 Dual Certified Helmet couldn’t get any better, they have now made it available in their amazing Sweatsaver option!!

Wheel Measurement Specifications

The measurements of skate wheels are specified by diameter and durometer. The diameter is basically going to be the height of the wheel. The diameter of quad wheels usually range between 55mm and 65mm. The durometer scale measures the softness or hardness of a wheel. The durometer is measured using a scale that typically ranges from approximately 74 (softest) to 106 (hardest) and is usually labeled with the letter “A”. Durometer is normally seen as the second measurement listed on a skate wheel, with both millimeter measurement and durometer, or hardness, of the wheel. For example, a skate with the label “59mm/95A” shows the diameter, in millimeters, first – in this case, the diameter is 59 millimeters. The second number displays the hardness – in this case, the hardness level is 95. In general, indoor skate wheels are usually within the 88A to 103A range on the durometer scale. For comparison, outdoor skates and wheelse are, on average, in the 74A to 84A range.

Types of Skaters and Overall Wheel Preference

Different types of indoor skaters prefer different types of wheels. Recreational and rhythm indoor skaters may prefer a small to medium, softer wheel. These wheels offer an improved grip with decent control over speed and impact.

Derby skaters usually have varied perferences in wheel type depending on the surface they are skating on and how they skate on that surface. As they improve, they may adjust their wheel hardness and size so that they can better certain skills. Want to know more? Check out our Best Wheels for Roller Derby Article here!!

Speed skaters looking for wheels typically opt for a larger, semi-harder wheel due to the increased roll. Aggressive skaters notoriously prefer small wheels, due to the increased maneuverability they need in order to maneuver quickly.

Rink and Rhythm Skating

We offer a few special rink quad skates in our Phreakskate line. The Phreakskates are a line of skates we have designed to offer ultimate performance at an affordable price including high quality boots and great wheels. The outdoor skates in this line are designed to handle the rigors of outdoor skating and are a great choice for all junior and adult skaters. We’ve also included a couple other great options for rink and rhythm skating.

Phreakskate Rink Runner

Phreakskate Rink RunnerThe Phreakskate Rink Runner offers the best in quality and value. If you purchased ONLY the boot and the wheels you would pay over $150. This skate is complete and needs NO upgrades for rink skating. We have worked extremely hard to bring you a solid value and the Phreakskate Rink Runner is one of the best Rink skates we’ve ever offered.

Jackson Rave Skate

Jackson Rave SkateThe Jackson Rave Skate is the new entry level quad roller skate from Jackson. Constructed from premium vinyl materials, a PVC sole and the Jackson Plate, this skate is a great beginner package for kids, juniors (teens), and adults. With multiple options for customizing this great skate, you’re sure to find that you can mix your own personal style with an awesome skate package!

Riedell Angel and Boost

Riedell Angel and BoostThe Riedell Angel and Boost skates have one of the most popular boots and wheels that are perfect for rhythm skating in the rink. The combination of performance and value has made the 111 boot and Riva wheels some of the most popular skates in rinks everywhere.

Roller Derby Skates

We offer a some awesome roller derby skates including some from our Phreakskate line. The Phreakskates are a line of skates we have designed to offer ultimate performance at an affordable price including high quality boots and great wheels. We’ve also included one of our favorite Mota packages in this category.

Mota Black Magic Package

Mota Black Magic PackageThe Mota Black Magic Package is an amazing value for a fantastic derby skate. Not only is this a great skate for a great price, it looks awesome too. The Mota Hybrid/Toxic wheels come with this package and you can even upgrade your wheels and boot. These are some of the lightest skates on the market!

Phreakskate Annihilator

Phreakskate AnnihilatorThe Phreakskate Annihilator offers one of the absolute best in quality and value. If you purchased ONLY the boot and the wheels you would pay almost $300. This skate is complete and needs NO upgrades for derby skating. We have worked extremely hard to bring you a solid value and the Phreakskate Annihilator is one of the best derby skates we’ve ever offered.

Phreakskate Brutal Beauty

Phreakskate Brutal BeautyThe all new Phreakskate Brutal Beauty skates have one of the most popular boots and the amazingly light Atom Savant Wheels. The combination of the Vantage boot from Atom along with these wheels make these skates an investement of quality and lightness no derby player could pass up!

Speed Skates

We offer a some amazing options for speed skates including one from our Phreakskate line. There are so many great combinatinos of skates and wheels for speed skating, the list is endless. Are top three picks are below!

Atom Competitor or Elite Viper Alloy Skate

Jackson Competitor or Elite Viper Alloy SkateThe Jackson Competitor or Elite Viper Alloy Skate by Atom is the ultimate starting skate bundle at an unheard of price. This package includes the Jackson Elite or Competitor skate boot, lightweight aircraft aluminum Viper Alloy Plate, and your choice of countless Atom wheels. Our personal favorite are the super light Savant wheels available in 5 hardnesses.

Mota Black Magic Package

Mota Black Magic PackageThe Mota Black Magic Package with TKO wheels will make an excellent speed skate. Not only is this an amazing value, it looks great too. The Mota TKO wheels that you can upgrade in this package are high performing and light so you can speed skate with the best of them! The Mota boots are also heat moldable so you can get the perfect fit easily!

Phreakskate Predator

Phreakskate PredatorThe all new Phreakskate Predator is a high-end skate without the high-end price! We included the new Mota Savage Boot, Crazy Skates Apollo plate, Atom Savant wheels, Moto Deluxe Abec-7 bearings, and a Mota Monster toe stop. Want even more strength? Upgrade to the ultra light Pilot Falcon Plate! All of the components purchased separately would cost almost $400. Includes matching Lock Nuts and Laces.

Derby and Speed Skates

We often have customers ask what skates we recommend for skaters who speed skate and play roller derby. We have quite a few skates that will perform amazingly for both and these are two of our favorites!

Mota Carbon Custom Skate Package

Mota Carbon Custom Skate PackageThe Mota Carbon Custom Skate Package will let you customize one of the lightest skates we sell. This skate has been a favorite of speed and derby skaters since it came out. The TKO wheels are super light so they won’t slow you down on any track. You can even choose custom colors for each major section of the boot as well as custom color plates and trucks! Mota is constantly improving everything they sell so you’ll get the highest performing components that you’re sure to love.

Custom Atom Skate

Custom Atom SkateThe Custom Atom Skate is the best way to get the exact premium skate you want. This package includes four boot and plate options and we recommend the Q4 or Q6 if you’re going to be speed and derby skating. Choose your favorite plate and then add some super light Alloy Juke or Savant wheels. Now that you have chosen the basics, make it yours by customizing everything else down to the color of your lock nuts.

Rink and Rhythm Wheels

If you intend to skate indoors, it is ideal to have harder wheels like the ones below and bearings like the Bionic Abec 7s. Hard wheels provide a smoother roll on smooth surfaces like rinks. Don’t forget, you can always contact us to adjust the wheels offered on any skate you purchase. We are always happy to help!

Atom Snap Wheels

Atom Snap WheelsThe Atom Snap Wheels utilize the same urethane as the highly-popular Poison wheel but provides even more roll! It is ideal for multiple skating surfaces. This is a great wheel for beginners as well as experienced skaters looking for a tough wheel with great grip.

Radar Riva Wheels

Radar Riva WheelsThe Radar Riva Wheels are a great indoor wheel measuring in at a 96A. These are great for coated surface like what rink floors. These Wheels are mainly used by recreational artistic skaters. Check them out if you are looking for a harder wheel for indoor surfaces.

Sonar Demon EDM Wheels

Sonar Demon EDM WheelsThe Sonar Demon EDM Wheels are a great recreational wheel for speed, jam, and session skaters. Available in 8 colors and with an improved urethane formula, the Demon EDM is better than ever. Available in Green, Purple, Blue, Black, Yellow, Orange, Pink, and Red. All colors feature improved 95A Urethane with Black 12 hole Hub.

Derby Wheels

Wheels used for roller derby can vary greatly depending on many facters especially the surface that the league uses to skate on. Below are a few of our favorites that work well in many roller derby leagues all over the country and if you want even more options, check out our Best Wheels for Roller Derby Article! If you fall in love with a skate and the wheels won’t work for your surface, you can always contact us to talk to us about the best wheels for you. We are always happy to help!

Atom Boom Wheels

Atom Boom WheelsAtom Skates knows Derby and it shows with the always popular Atom Boom Wheels. The new wheel technology sets these wheels apart from the rest. The exclusive ‘Power Lip’ technolgy makes the Boom wheel an all-in-one wheel giving the skater power, speed, grip, agility, and so much more. This innovative formula guarantees maximum grip on multiple surfaces.

Atom Savant Wheels

Atom Savant WheelsThe Atom Savant Wheels will prove once again why Atom Wheels is at the top of their game. These wheels promise to be light, fast, and have just the grip you need. A new core design allows each wheel to weigh in at just 68 grams. A 5mm center urethane allows a fast roll, with a 7mm molded lip giving that grip in the turns.

Reckless Morph Wheels

Reckless Morph WheelsThe Reckless Morph Wheels are a game changer! Dual stacked urethane in multiple hardnesses allows you to have the hard fast roll for performance and speed while still providing grip and edge control. With a linked one-piece core, the Morph wheel gives less flex than standard wheels and gives you the faster roll you need to beat out the competition. Once again, Antik Reckless comes through with a great wheel for roller derby.

Derby Hybrid Wheels

Many roller derby leagues practice indoor and outdoor so we wanted to include a section on derby hybrid wheels. The recommendations below are a great option for a wheel that performs well both indoor and outdoor. Just like anything used for high performance, especially outdoors, maintenance is important. Check out our bearing maintenance article for instructions and recommendations on keeping your bearings clean!

Atom Poison Wheels

Atom Poison WheelsThe Atom Poison Wheels are a great hybrid that give skaters the choice to skate inside or outside getting a great roll and in many cases, a great grip. This wheel is the most popular soft wheel for a reason: it works. The Poison wheels will keep you from sliding in turns and you will get the same great roll as any hard wheel out there. In 2016, Atom released the Pink Poison wheel to give skaters a choice of colors. These awesome wheels are also available with the brand new, lighter Savant Core as well!.

Mota Toxic Wheels

Mota Toxic WheelsThe Mota Toxic Wheels are a hybrid wheel that performs for all levels of derby at an affordable price. There are several key differences in the design of the Mota Hybrid Toxic Wheels that make it more comfortable and easier to control. Because the 62mm wheel is 41mm wide, it provides superior grip as well as more surface area to dampen vibration. This makes skating on the wheels more comfortable. This hybrid wheel was manufactured for all levels of play. After thoroughly evaluating the derby wheel market, Mota decided there was a need for quality wheels that perform on multiple surfaces. The Mota Hybrid Toxic features a completely new core, new width, new formula, and now in new awesome colors!

Reckless Envy Wheels

Reckless Envy WheelsThe Reckless Envy Wheels are a great hybrid wheel. Much like other Hybrids you are able to take it either indoors or outdoors. This wheel has a great reputation for a reason. If you are in need of some extra grip check out the Reckless Envy. It is available in 2 sizes in this awesome pink and yellow combo.

Speed Wheels

Many speed skaters are very picky about their wheels and with good reason. Many factors go into making wheels that will be better for speed skaters so we’ve picked some of our favorites to share with you.

Atom Savant Wheels

Atom Savant WheelsThe Atom Savant Wheels are like nothing we have ever seen! These wheels promise to be light, fast, and have just the grip you need. A new core design allows each wheel to weigh in at just 68 grams. A 5mm center urethane allows a fast roll, with a 7mm molded lip giving that grip in the turns. These vibrantly colored wheels are available in 5 awesome hardnesses so you can get just the right amount of roll.

Atom Juke Alloy Wheels

Atom Juke Alloy WheelsThe Atom Juke Alloy Wheels have been a staple of the skating industry since they launched back in 2011. These wheels are the fourth edition and were released in 2016. That means this is the fourth time Atom has strived to get the perfect wheel design for the Atom Juke. The Atom Juke 4.0 features several changes in the design. Atom took the high-performance urethane of the original Juke wheels and ‘tweaked’ the chemistry with proprietary ingredients to meet the demands of today’s modern skater! You’re going to love the lightness of the Alloy Hollow Core Jukes.

Radar Halo Wheels

Radar Halo WheelsThe Radar Halo Wheels is a brand new high-end wheel. The Halo is a culmination of nearly 2 years worth of research and design. The Halo features our innovative, signature H-shaped hub. More than simply a larger core, the Halo hub is designed for optimal performance with excellent feel. The inner and outer rings of the Halo hub are oversized, which reduces the amount of urethane on the edges of the wheel and offers excellent response. The middle of the hub has room for more urethane, which offers grip, increases control and improves ride. With 9 different hardnesses to choose from, you’re sure to find the best fit for you.

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