What is the difference between rollerblades and inline skates?

Inline skates and rollerblades are different by their names.

Rollerblade is a type of inline skate made by the Rollerblades brand.

On the other hand, inline skates are the common name for all skates with straight-line wheels.


It is difficult for beginners to tell the difference, as some intermediate skaters can still not distinguish the two (rollerblade and inline skate).

Rollerblades and Inline Skates are the same.

However, inline is a general term for skates intended for outdoor use.

Rollerblades refer only to a specific brand name of inline roller skates manufactured by the manufacturer of rollerblades.

Inline skates are named after the unique frame and the wheel design.

The wheels attach to the frame in straight lines.

There are three, four, and five wheels types of inline skates.

They come in a variety of sizes.

The Rollerblade Inline Skate brand is the most well-known inline skate manufacturer.

It aims to make the world a better place through stronger communities, healthier people, and less congestion.

In 1980, the idea for the company was born when two Minnesota hockey players discovered an inline skating pair in a sporting goods shop and decided it would be a good hockey training device during the off-season.

The skate was refined, and they began assembling their first Rollerblade skates in the basement of their Minneapolis parent’s house.

This was also the year that they founded Rollerblade Company.

The Basics: Quad vs. Inline Skates

  • Wheels. Both types of skates are equipped with four wheels. Quad skates have 2 wheels in the front and 2 in the back. On the other hand, inline skates have all four wheels in a single line.
  • Advantages. Inlines are faster and easier to maneuver, while quads are more stable. Quads are more accessible for beginners, while inlines offer better ankle support. People familiar with ice skating may find inline skates easier than quads. Because the wheel configuration is very similar to the blade.
  • Uses. Quad skates can be used for artistic skating or roller derby. They are also standard skates in most indoor tracks. Roller hockey and speed skating use inline skates, similar to ice skating.
  • Braking. Quad skates are equipped with brakes on the toe. Inline skates, however, require braking at their heel.

The only way to know which type is the best is to test them both!

Which One To Choose – Inline or Quad?

There are no rules about which type of skate to use.

However, Quad skates are recommended for beginners due to their stability.

Many skilled skaters start their journey on inline skates.

The choice is entirely up to you and will depend on your preferences and comfort.

Quad skates are safer once you start learning the tricks because:

  • They place less pressure on your joints and ankles. This reduces the chance of major ankle injuries.
  • They can be used in rinks. Quad skates were designed to be used in enclosed areas such as indoors and paved skating rinks.
  • They can be used on any surface and have a manageable speed. These skates are great for developing balance, confidence, agility, and control.

The brake system is the most important difference between each type of skate.

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With the toe brakes on quad skates, beginners often find it easier to learn than the heel brakes on inline skates.

Rollerblades are better for intermediates skaters because:

  • You can use a rollerblade at a higher speed
  • Urban skating is better suited for inline skates or rollerblades

Inline skates or rollerblades are better for speed and urban skating.

The curved wheel profile makes it easier to glide over uneven surfaces, and the bigger the rollerblade wheels, the smoother the ride.

Roller skates can be more stable sideways than inline skates, so bladers are more common to fall sideways.

The good news is that you can learn and practice the right techniques to improve your rollerblading skills.

This will allow you to enjoy the rolling sensation and feel more relaxed while skating.

Before you buy a pair of Quad Skates or Rollerblades, consider the following:

  • Where do you skate most often? Indoors, outdoors or rink?
  • What type of surface do you skate on most often? Concrete, asphalt, wood, or a sports court? Your choice of surface will dictate the type and size of your wheels.
  • How easy and comfortable can you balance on your skates? If you have a good balance, you may prefer a pair of advanced boots.
  • Are you into any other type of sport, or do you prefer a particular skating style? The choice of your skates may be determined by your interest and experience.
  • Do your skates meet the requirements of your preferred roller sport in terms of balancing and control? For example, freestyle skaters will need specially designed equipment. While artistic skating just needs a pair of basic quad skates.

Do I Have To Use Inline Skates If I Want To Skate Outdoors?

Outdoor skating is a popular choice for inline skates because they allow a skater more speed with less effort.

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These are ideal for outdoor skating, particularly if you’re skating on rough roads, sidewalks, or trails.

These are the best if you need to travel long distances or speed up on uneven surfaces.

There are two types of inline skates: outdoor and indoor inline skating.

The only difference between indoor and outside inline skates lies in the wheel.

Indoor skating is a sport where skaters glide on smooth, hard, and clean surfaces.

This is why indoor skate wheels are made of hard material.

Outdoor skating surfaces are often filled with dirt, cracks, and rocks.

So the outdoor wheels are therefore made of rubber.

Their wheels are malleable as they absorb shocks from uneven terrain.

Outdoor inline skates have a larger wheel than indoor ones, allowing the skater to glide over uneven surfaces easily.

Select Skates that Match Your Interests

If you’re looking for tricks, stunts, and advanced maneuvers, traditional quads are made for this purpose and offer more freedom with less skill.

Although inline skate design has advanced greatly, almost any maneuver is possible with them.

However, for beginners who don’t have specialized inlines, it will take extra effort to do one-foot turns, spins, and jumps on a rigid inline frame than a traditional quad frame that has cushions for “steering” built-in.

Both quad roller skates, as well as rollerblades, require balance, strength, and stamina.

Each person will perceive difficulty differently.

It is important to know your goals, such as speed, aggression, freestyle, slalom, or figure. And go for the skate that is most appropriate for your activity.

The one that you have the most enjoyment with will be the easiest.

The bottom line is that your skating interests should not be limited to exercise and fun.

You will need the right equipment, training, and other gear if you choose to skate.


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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