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Our Favourite Roller Skates for Starting out in 2024



six roller skates in the background with etxt over it,

by Mel @troubleon8wheels


You've made the resolution and set the intention that in 2024, you're going to learn to roller skate and join the worldwide movement. Now is a great time!


You have started researching "What roller skates are good for beginners?" or "What are the first roller skates I should buy?" only to learn that everyone has a different opinion, and you've come away more confused than ever...


Are cheap skates really cheap skates, or will they 'do' until you decide if you enjoy it?


This is always an issue for folks learning a new hobby, and for an activity such as roller skating, the aesthetic is just as important as the function! Your skates are an extension of you, a way of expressing your personality without having to speak to anyone. They help you identify your tribe, like fashion.


So, back to the main issue - buy cheap skates or invest in something higher quality?

We just say buy the best you can afford.

RGG shop lit up. The curved outer arch has pink woodwork and an oval sign

We are not here to judge anyone about what they can or cannot afford to spend, or brand-shame anyone. When you are starting out, how can you know? It is perfectly normal to go to the most accessible place you know (likely to be online retailers, or a national high street shop) and just grab the first pair of shoes on wheels you see.

However, not all roller skates are created equally. If you've bought skates and didn't realise that you've basically bought a toy, please don't beat yourself up. Just decide that when you upgrade your boots, you'll choose one of the independent skate shops in the UK to spend your money with. The service, knowledge and passion from supporting your local roller skate shop will far exceed anything you can expect from a generalist sporting goods retailer.


 

Here is our round up of roller skates designed for those starting out. All these roller skates are intended for the generalist recreational skater. The most important thing you can do is start. Get out there and just start skating! You need to build experience by building time on those wheels. Roller skating is tricky, but don't worry, we have an on-demand video course to get you started. You can find it here.


Of course other skates and brands are available - so many new brands are being launched we simply cannot try them all. We will say that we have tried a lot of roller skates and rejected a lot of roller skates. As skaters ourselves, we are only willing to sell roller skates, products and accessories that we truly love. We prefer roller skates with a heel as they lift the skater slightly onto the ball of the foot, supporting a more balanced position when skating upright. Flat style skates just require the skater to bend their knees more to keep their bodyweight in a forward position.


Prices are subject to change throughout the year!

 

Rookie Rosa £59.99

Sizes UK 3 - 8


We used to say if your budget is less than £80 it's probably best to buy second hand - but we have since checked second hand selling sites and seen some very sketchy roller skates for sale at that price.


Our choice is the Rookie Rosa.

We choose to stock this in black, although it is available from other online retailers in white.

Sizes range from UK3 - 8 and fitting fairly true to size. This vinyl roller skate is fairly soft, but offers some ankle support.


Pros: cute roller skate for an affordable price.

Cons: Not designed for durability - the plate is plastic and has not been tested for skaters over 100kg. Size UK5 and below has only been tested up 60kg. You cannot swap the wheels for larger ones (they won't fit). Bolt-on style toe stop and built-in cushion recesses in the plate mean you will not get a full articulation from the trucks, so some movements will be more challenging. If you have no other experience though, you won't know, so don't worry!


 

Rio Signature £109.95

Sizes UK 3 - 12


It is twice the price, but this roller skate is a much better investment in our opinion. It may be a little plain to look at, but choose to see it as a canvas that you can add some personality and flair to! We offer this roller skate in black, as this colour is available in all sizes. It is also available in yellow and blue, which we can order in for you in just a couple of days. These colours are available up to UK9.

The plate is a nylon / plastic plate, offering better strength. It is also built with fully separate components and you will be able to switch out the wheels in the future if you choose to. The adjustable toe stop is chunky - so lots of wear and ideal for roller skating on all surfaces you may want to go to when you are starting out. The material is a fabric covered vinyl, so seems to withstand scuffs quite well.

Fit wise, these are fairly true to size. We recommend you buy your regular UK size.



Pros: Great quality for the price, choice of colours, suitable for all spaces, adjustable toe stop.

Cons: The grey sole - sorry Rio - the aesthetic is just not that fine!



 

Chaya Melrose Elite £159.99

Sizes UK 4 - 8 (EU 37 - 42)


Padded, super comfy roller skate, this model packs loads of fabulous features. We love the marble swirl wheels and note that these are the softest wheels that we are aware of (74A) making them particularly comfortable for outdoor skating. The adjustable toe stop additionally has a locking nut, which you won't appreciate until you DON'T have this style! The highly padded boot is a favourite for our skaters who like their feet to feel extra cushioned. Even when these are laced to the very top, they still are super comfy. We carry the deep purple colourway, but are able to order in the pastel blue too. Please note our supplier is based abroad, so we place orders once a month.




Pros: Vegan microfibre gives a suede-like finish. Toe scuff built in, extra soft wheels, very padded and comfy, toe stop lock nut. Folks with wider feet like this boot.

Cons: Slightly bulky appearance due to the padding



 

Riedell Orbit £179.99

Sizes UK 3 - 9


This is a great roller skate with an ombre-finish vinyl upper. This is based on Riedell's 111 model of roller skate. It is lightly padded, offering some ankle support. The love the teal-purple colourway called 'Ultraviolet' (I wonder why!) The colour co-ordinated accessories on the skate - the toe stop, wheels and even laces, mean you don't need to spend anything extra for these parts, they already look cute! Wheels are the Sonar Zen - a great all rounder wheel and in a lush clear teal. Also available in 'Orchid' bright pink - yellow ombre and 'Ocean' pink - blue ombre.



Pros: Metal plate is stronger / less flexible than nylon. The colour combos are ace! Vinyl is lightly padded and shouldn't take too long to break in. Adjustable toe stop.

Cons: We can't see any at this price!


 

Riedell Crew £259.99

Sizes UK 3 - 10


We love the styling of the Crew skate. It reminds us of early Doc Marten boots. Punchy, unisex colours make a bold statement that is timeless. The Crew is a leather upper with light padding on the inside. It is based on the 120 model, which is one of Riedell's most popular roller skates. Investing in this roller skate will mean you are set for years! Other aspects of the skate are similar to the Orbit - colour co-ordinated wheels, toe stop and laces. The main difference are the more expensive materials used in the boot.

We love all the colours! Petrol blue, Tumeric yellow and Crimson red are all great choices. They are jazzy without being too 'look at me'. Expect a little break-in time for these.



Pros: Hardwearing, polished leather boot at a great price from a highly reputable roller skate manufacturer.

Cons: Some break in-time needed for the leather to soften up.


 

Moxi Beach Bunny / Ivy Jungle / Panther

£199.95 / £199.95 / £239.95

UK 4 - 9


Moxi, made by Riedell, offer a range of vinyl roller skates in pastel colours or the Ivy Jungle's leopard print. The Panther is a black suede skate, with a leopard-print lining. (Suede is slightly more expensive than vinyl, hence the slightly higher price.)

This range is Moxi's answer to an entry level roller skate, although plenty of more experienced skaters do like the stiffness offered by the boot. It IS a stiff boot, stiffer than the Orbit, so it WILL require more patience to break in. Due to the stiffness of the boot, many UK skaters prefer to upsize by two sizes compared to the other skates in the Moxi line, where they may wear just one size bigger. Our experience is that once this boot is broken in, it will become a favourite and you'll make loads of skate memories with it! It's initial issue is trusting the process, especially if you've not broken in a shoe for a while.





 

Moxi Lolly

£349.95

UK 4 - 13


One of the first (and much copied) brands to bring colour to roller skates. Moxi Lolly skates are made by Riedell in the USA - you are paying for a product made by a very well reputed brand. We know the internet has very mixed opinions about these, with some skaters describing them rather unflatteringly as a 'sock on wheels'. We do not agree. The Lolly skate has a toe and heel cup to ensure your foot does not slip about. The suede upper is lined, but not padded - this part offers full ankle movement - we once played roller derby in these! Moxi is a Californian brand, where the lifestyle of work / home to beach front, using super comfy roller skates as transport, was born. The wheels are large, soft and comfy - in our opinion the BEST outdoor wheels there are. The nylon plate is perfectly fine, and keeps the skate lightweight. Folks choosing this model are not looking for extreme precision - it is more about exploring and enjoying your skate journey in comfort.



Pros: Amazing wheels, really suited to outdoor skating. Fabulous range of colours. Long lasting natural materials

Cons: Only Black available for sizes UK10 - 13


 

WIFA x RGG Black Diamond Roller Skate

£275

UK3.5 - 8 (EU 36 - 42)


Built in our workshop, we are delighted to launch the WIFA x RGG Black Diamond Roller Skate for 2024. This uses the WIFA Street Suede boot in black, a nylon plate, black Sonar Zen wheels and a black rubber adjustable toe stop. We felt a smart black suede roller skate was missing from our offer, so decided to build one. We LOVE the WIFA boot - this is a boot made mostly in Europe and has a stacked plywood heel, making it ultralightweight. It is also leather lined, and offers light padding around the ankle. The WIFA street suede was our most popular boot for a reason! It is available for pre-order now. As a thank you for our pre-order customers, we will add a black skate strap to carry your skates with!



Pros: Fantastic quality roller skate that we expect to bring you joy for years!

Cons: You may have a slight wait (up to one month) for your skates.


 

Skate Fitting

We know that roller skates are as different as you are. Your needs, including where you skate and how you move will affect your experience. What suits one skater will not necessarily be another person's favourite, which is why it is important to try skates on.


We encourage skaters to book a skate fitting with us in our shop, so that we can gather skates you want to try in advance. You can also come to the shop without an appointment, however we may have limited time to support you.



 

If you are local to us in West Yorkshire, come to sessions and hire skates until you are ready to make a decision! When you do, buy the best you can afford.


Most importantly, have fun!


Love from your skate sisters

Roller Girl Gang xo

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