Rollerskates vs. Rollerblades: What’s the difference?

Rollerskates and rollerblades are distinguished by several performance and design factors.

This post will discuss the differences between rollerskating and rollerblading and the differences between rollerskates (quads) and rollerblades.

It’s important to know the differences between rollerskates, and rollerblades to fully appreciate what each type of skate does.

What is a rollerskate, you ask? What’s a Rollerblade? What are rollerskates better at? What do inline skates do better than rollerskates?

We hope that you find the information you need to make an informed decision about which type of skate is best for you.

What are Rollerblades?

Before choosing between rollerblades and roller skates, it is important to know what they are. Inline skates are also known as rollerblades.

A single frame runs along the length of the sole, with 3 to 5 wheels running in a straight line from heel to toe. Rollerblades typically have four wheels.

Rollerblades require a supportive, tall boot to ensure balance. This is so your ankles are protected while you skate.

Rollerblades have a brake at the back of their frame that helps you stop when necessary. However, serious skaters don’t need a break because it could prevent them from moving as they wish.

Inline skate and rollerblade are frequently used interchangeably. Rollerblade, a brand name for inline skating skates, has become the most common term for inline skates.

What is Roller Skates?

Rollerblades and roller skates are different things. Standard rollerblade have all the wheels on one line. A rollerblade is set up in this way. Roller skates are not built with one frame. Instead, they have two horizontal trucks.

One is on the heel and one on the toe. Two wheels are on each truck: one on the left and one on the right.

There are many types of boots that you can use for your roller skates. There are many different heights of boots for roller skates. It all depends on your needs and the purpose of the skates.

Rollerblades have wheels smaller than those on a skate, but wider and flatter. The toe brake is usually on but can be removed when necessary.

Pros Of Using Rollerblades

Both rollerblades, as well as rollerskates, have their pros and cons. Let’s begin by looking at the benefits of roller skates vs. blades.

Rollerblades are the best choice if speed is your priority. They are significantly faster than roller skates. The larger wheel diameter gives you a smoother ride on rougher surfaces.

Even if your speed isn’t your main concern, you might consider rollerblading if you want to move faster and more efficiently.

Rollerblades are more stable than other bicycles, which may surprise some. Rollerblades are more stable because they have a larger wheel size. This means that you are less likely to slip on them.

They are also more flexible in their use and more open to changing locations. They can easily switch between roads and paths without falling.

Rollerblades are great for getting around town, whether you’re going to school or work.

Pros Of Using Roller Skates

Be aware that roller skates can hold their own in the endless battle between rollerblades or rollerskates. Roller skates, like rollerblades, have pros and cons that need to be considered.

Roller skates are best if you’re looking for something to help you do fancy footwork. Because they have a shorter wheelbase than the rollerblades, they are easier to maneuver when turning, spinning, or performing tricks.

Roller skates can be a great option if you are interested in a roller disco environment.

A roller skate’s wider wheelbase means you won’t tip from one side to the other. Because they have balanced wheels at the front and back, they are much more stable than an inline skate.

It is reported that roller skating is easier to learn than if one has never skated before. But, remember that both types of skates have wheels that are moving on top of you, and there is a risk of falling or slipping.

What Makes a Roller Skate Different From a Rollerblade?

There are many differences between a quad skate and a rollerblade. I WILL COVER EACH DISTINCTION SEPARATELY because I cannot list all of the differences in one paragraph. So, let’s go.

1. Wheel arrangement, number, and attachment

A rollerskate comes with four wheels, whereas a pair of rollerblades have 6, 8, or 10 wheels.

The number of wheels on each type of skate is not the only difference.

A quad skates wheels are organized in a rectangular form. An inline skate’s wheels are arranged side by side, creating a straight line underneath the frame.

Rollerskates are equipped with two similar skateboard-like trucks that connect to the boot, and each one supports two wheels.

Rollerblades don’t have wheels that roll under trucks. Instead, the wheels are housed in a frame made of metal or plastic that runs parallel with the boot.

Take a look at the photos below to see how quad skates wheels align with rollerblades’ wheels.

rollerskates and rollerblade
On the left is rollerskates and rollerblade on the right

2. Boot type & flexibility

Another distinguishing feature is the boot type. The boot is similar to a regular shoe’s upper when worn with rollerskates.

The boot is supportive enough for the ankle but not too stiff. It flexes quite a lot which encourages agility.

Quad skates can be very comfortable. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that rollerblades are less comfortable. However, recreational rollerskates can be just as comfortable as roller derby rollerskates.

The rollerblade boot is a bit more rigid than the one on a bicycle. For balancing on uneven gravel or pebbles or jumping over obstructions on the sidewalk or roadway, you need a lot of support.

This is true even when performing complex tricks and stunts with your rollerblader. Inline boots offer a lot of support for the ankle.

How about comfort? It matters what type of rollerblade you’re talking about. Recreational rollerblades tend to be more comfortable than speed inline skates.

You want to squeeze out comfort and support from the former, while from the latter, you’re more interested in performance. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that rollerblading boots will cause blisters or discomfort.

3. Which skate is faster?

Rollerblades have lagger wheels than rollerskates. Inline skates are faster because they have bigger wheels. They’re therefore the best choice for speed skating.

Inline skates are better than quad skates if you want to lose some body fat by long-distance skating.

Quad skates are also quite fast. But since quads’ wheels are significantly smaller than rollerblade wheels, they’re not as fast.

The wheel height of quads is in the 68mm to 110mm range, while rollerblades’ wheels diameter range from 58mm to 65mm. This brings me to my next distinction between quads & blades…

4. Where the skate is used (the skate’s purpose)

People usually get into quads to skate indoors, such as on a roller rink. You’ve probably seen people roller-dancing around an arena on wheels. If you had looked closely, you would have seen that they were wearing quad skates and not inline skates.

Quad skates can also be seen at a roller rink during a roller derby practice. You can also use quads to play roller hockey (also known as quad skater roller hockey). Quads can be used outdoors for skating, but they are most effective indoors.

In contrast, most people use inline skates mostly for outdoor skating. Indoor use still happens in rinks during rink hockey/inline skate roller hockey. However, rink hockey’s popularity has declined since 2013.

Few people, if any, are now able to rollerblade except teenage girls. Inline skating was originally meant to be a male activity after the winter ice skate season. Rollerblading is essentially the same as ice skating in technique and form.

5. Skate stability & agility

Rollerskates are a bit more stable right out of the box than rollerblades. Stability is how easy or difficult it is to balance on the skates.

Quad skates are easier than inline skates for beginners who have never skated before. Quads are more stable when you skate slowly on a smoother surface, such as high-quality asphalt.

Quad skates can roll backward or forwards without warning, so be careful. It is possible to end up in a quick fall. This will not be fun.

Quad skates don’t have the same capabilities as inline skates for rolling over small obstacles like rocks. If you fall on a pebble on quads, it’s much easier to sprain your head than if you are blading.

Quad skates are noticeably more agile than rollerblades because they sit on trucks. Your skates are turned in a similar way to a skateboard. A rollerskate offers more maneuverability than an inline skate.

Quads are also easier to make sharp turns with than rollerblades. This is why Quad skates are a better option for roller dancing.

Inline skates don’t have much flexibility, unlike quads’ trucks. Blades are, therefore, a bit more difficult to maneuver.

I believe rollerblades have less agility than quads. Indoor skating and roller dancing on roller skates are more popular than inline skating.

6. The braking system & ease in stopping

Ah, stopping. You must stop somewhere, even if your speed hovers around 15mph.

Quads seem to be easier than inline skates for stopping. The brake system for quads is located on the front. It looks almost like a knob. Just Drag your toes a specific way to stop a rollerskate.

However, the braking system for an Inline Skate is located on the back. Most beginner rollerblades have brakes. Speed skates and performance skates don’t usually have brakes.

It’s not difficult to stop inline skating, but it does require some practice. Once you learn how to blade, you will be able to travel at an incredible speed while maintaining great control.

Which is easier? rollerskating or rollerblading?

You will need to put in the same effort to get comfortable with each type of skate. Quads are lighter and more flexible than inline skates. Quads are easier to balance, at least in the beginning.

Both types of skates can be learned very quickly. In about an hour, you should be able to rollerskate/rollerblade forward. If you are determined enough, you may be able to learn how to skate backward on either type of skate in just 3-4 hours.

Rollerblades Are Heavier and Their Frames Flex Less

Rollerblades weigh more and have the wheels placed centrally underneath a frame rather than side by side. This skate’s frame is also very stiff and can be difficult to flex.

The extra weight of the rollerblades is now part of the overall exercise routine. It can be a bit difficult to turn and stop.

These factors can combine to make rollerblading more difficult than quads.

It doesn’t matter if you are wondering if you should get rollerblades or rollerskates. You can begin with either type of skate. How quickly you can learn to skate on either type of skate depends on how committed you are.

Start with beginner rollerblades if you are an outdoor person and have never skated before. What if you prefer to jam or dance indoors? Instead, buy quads/rollerskates.

Is it Possible to Lose Weight by Rollerblading or Rollerskating?

Yes, You can lose weight by rollerskating and rollerblading. How many calories can you lose by rollerblading, and how many calories can quad skating burn? Let science answer that question.

A study found that a person weighing 143 lbs can lose 330 calories by rollerskating 60 minutes per session. If the person works harder and skates at 10 mph for 60 mins, they can lose as much as 600 calories.

Rollerskating can be a great way to improve your health. It is an aerobic exercise that provides a total cardiovascular workout.

Rollerskating is a great way to move your body as you glide down roads and sidewalks. Rollerskating is also recommended by the American Heart Association as an aerobic exercise sport.

Harvard Health claims that rollerblading burns nearly as many calories as running. It is also a great way of strengthening your core.

A person weighing 125 lbs can skate for half an hour and burn 210 calories. This compares to the 240 calories they would burn running12-minute miles for 30 minutes.

Final Word for Rollerblading vs Rollerskating

Both rollerskating as well as rollerblading can be fun. While they are similar in many ways, there are some differences.

Rollerskating is where you roll on four wheels, placed side-by-side under a pair of skateboard-like trucks. Inline skating involves using 4, 6, 8, or ten wheels attached to a frame.

Rollerskates are best for indoor skating, but you can also use them outdoors. Inline skates have larger wheels than quads. Quads can be used outdoors, but inline skates have more versatility.

Rollerskating can be easier for beginners because of the stability of four wheels placed side-by. Although inline skates might not feel very stable when you first start skating on them, you will find that it becomes more fun and easier to ride them as you improve your skills.

Both skates are easy to learn. A complete beginner should be able to roll forward in about an hour.

Remember to use adequate protection. Do you really need to wear a helmet when rollerskating? Yes, You do.

Use a rollerskating helmet that is certified. Also, make sure to use good knee pads for skating too.


I will shared expert tips, tricks, and advice for those who love inline skate. I do sometime share unique selection of videos and photos that will inspire you to get out and skate!

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