by Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels
It's not Moonlight Roller Skates' fault that we are the last shop on Earth with pre-orders to get their roller skate shipment. A catalogue of delays at every level from manufacturing, through shipping from China to the USA, customs in the USA and the UK meant that we are last! But they're here now, and we don't see them being in stock for long.
First few pairs drop Friday 5th February, 5pm.
The Moonlight roller skate or Moon boot is possibly the most highly anticipated skate release that Roller Girl Gang have ever had. Perhaps there is just more interest in roller skating, perhaps there is interest in supporting a company owned by a young Black woman? We are very impressed with the product Adrienne has visualised and created. Scaling up manufacturing is no easy task, and we know that far more established companies are really struggling with providing realistic delivery estimates during the pandemic, as the sales of roller skates have overtaken the output for the first time in many years.
The muted colours of the Moonlight Roller Skate range is lovely. The colours are subtle and feel elegant. I can easily imagine them in a cool roller disco setting. The colours would compliment any outfit rather than taking centre stage. I'm not dissing brightly coloured roller skates, (I own brightly coloured roller skates) but there is something slightly mysterious about the colour choices of the Moonlight skates and I like it! 'Feel the call of the disco ball' is printed inside the box, and yes, you will!
On closer inspection:
The suede is super soft, as you would expect, and very fine, almost like a velvety texture. The tongue of the boot is padded and soft, and there is a stitched tab in the centre to thread your laces through, so that the tongue is less likely to slip to the side. The sole of the boot has visible stitching too, which is the first I've seen at this mid price-point. I also noted the curve under the boot - the heel curves into the sole of the boot - giving them a somehow smoother quality. The lining of the boot is a little starry sparkle abstract pattern and Moonlight have even gone as far to provide printed, lightly padded innersoles.
The wheels and toe stop have the cute moon logo on them, and the outer ankle has the moon logo cut out. The plate looks similar to the Beach Bunny, or Rookie artistic roller skate - moulded aluminium - however, it does feel lighter. I'm not sure if these have been designed for the skate park or not - at the time of writing, I would say (like all roller skates) you use them at your own risk. Just bear in mind that some skates are designed for aggressive park skating. Moonlight have advised that they are fine for starting out in the skate park, but are not recommended for advanced park skaters.
Wheels are on the soft end of the spectrum at 82A, but they are relatively small, so you'd probably be comfortable rolling outside on them, and still feel that you have half decent footwork because of the wheel size and shape. I'm still learning about wheels, but I've found that wheels with a curved outer edge are great for flowing. Moxi do this really well with both their Fundae and Outdoor wheel. A more cylindrical shaped wheel has more defined edges that you can actually skate on.(I'm still working on this!) Different shaped wheels allow for different skate possibilities. Cylindrical wheels also feel better to work on balance, for example, toe-toe or heel-heel type tricks, because that flat surface is predictable which every way you are moving. The feeling is so nuanced though, you can start to learn any of this type of trick on any wheel. Just that some are easier to perform a particular movement than others. I think the Moonlight skates were originally made for their pop-up roller disco events, so it makes sense that they are designed more for dance, with a small wheel.
Oooh! So roomy! I'm a UK6.5, so full size skates are a bit of a struggle, and I tend to pad out with innersoles or hope they 'give' a bit. I don't think I have particularly wide feet, but I have noticed that some skates feel pinchy, and I'm not keen. Putting Moonlight skates on is like putting on slippers. They are lovely. Initially, I tried the same size as my Moxi size, as both brands use US men's sizing, however, the extra room in the toe area actually meant they felt too big. I then switched and tried a size down (only half a size bigger than my UK size) and they fit like a dream!
I've also been getting feedback from the lovely pre-order customers, who have mostly agreed that one size up from your full UK size, or half a size up from your half UK size. Some of our pre-order customers who have self-proclaimed wider feet have said Moonlight are the best skates they've found. Roller Girl Gang will continue to update this information once our Corn Exchange shop is up and running again and we are able to fit customers there.
Skating in Moonlight roller skates:
I like to try out new skates as they've been built. I've been skating in the Amethyst Moonboots for a couple of weeks for online classes and video tutorials, and only this week did I swap anything on them. I swapped toe stops for jam plugs, and also the wheels for Von Merlin Dots, as I'm also testing them. Having said that, I didn't adjust the kingpins at all. I enjoyed the stock skates as they were right out of the box.
Left to right: Moxi Rainbow Rider, Rookie Artistic, Luna Skate, Moonlight Skate
What I noticed about the Moon Boots, was that the plate felt a little shorter than other skates at a similar price point. When I lined up the skates, it is really clear to see how the heel has been shaped a lot to provide both ankle support and comfort, compared to other roller skates that are a bit cheaper. Compare the end of the heel to where the heel wheel is - do you see what I mean?
A shorter wheel base makes some movements a little easier as you have a shorter wheel base. Roller dancers often choose to have their plates mounted one size smaller than a standard mount. On the downside, it can mean it is easier to fall backwards, as your heel wheels are a little further under you. It's fine, you just adjust by leaning forward a little more. Once you learn to skate on a shorter wheel base, you won't go back! This is not a super short wheel base, don't be overly put off.
I've included these photos of other similarly styled roller skates stocked by Roller Girl Gang so you can compare the shape.
Note the shape of the Moxi Lolly, below, has a fitted heel too, but the ankle is more in line with the rear wheels, compared to the Moonlight.
Left to right: Luna skate, Moonlight roller skate, Moxi Lolly
Moonlight say that their boots are handmade in China. They certainly look hand finished compared to other brands made in China that we know use a more automated process. I'd imagine the sole being stitched to the boot would require a human to operate the machine doing this.
I'm delighted that Roller Girl Gang stock Moonlight Roller skate boots. They offer a different skate experience to other brands we stock. They are instantly comfortable, and feel supportive enough to skate around on my toes. I like ankle freedom, so tend to wear my boots not fully laced up anyway.
At RGG we always say "Buy the best you can afford." We are proud to offer a carefully curated selection of roller skates that we believe represent good value for money.
I was keen to have members of our instructor team additionally evaluate Moonlight roller skates, however, due to the restrictions of January lockdown, we have struggled to find a suitable space (and the weather) to get together. Please remember that this is the opinion of just one person!
Roller Girl Gang and Moonlight Roller Skates are currently working together to work out further orders. We are both keen that future customers do not unexpectedly wait for 5 months! We will let you know once we have established a delivery schedule.
Thank you for reading!
Do you have Moonlight roller skates? What type of roller skating do you enjoy? Do you have any other roller skates? Tell us what you think.