Each roller skate has its own unique features. The toe stop is one of the most important features of roller skates.

Toe stops come in different sizes and shapes, and they can be made of different materials.

Depending on your skating style, you may want to choose a particular type of toe stop.

And here is a guide to some of the most popular types of toe stops.

Types of Toe Stops

1. Adjustable Toe Stops

Depending on how far you want your toe stops (or “brakes”) from the ground, the toe stops themselves can be adjusted from long to short. 

In addition to the adjustability, you can also rotate the toe stop when grinding down certain parts to make the most use of the toe stop! In addition, adjustable toe stops come in a variety of cute & fun-shaped shapes, so you can personalize your skates with them. 

For people who want to jam or park skate, adjustable toe stops are definitely a good idea!

2. Bolt-On / Fixed Toe Stop

There is no way to adjust the distance between your toe stop and the ground with fixed toe stops, since they are bolted on with screws.

3. Jam Plugs / Toe Plugs

They are not toe stops or brakes, just plugs. The toe stops need to be removed in order to jam/dance skate (a form of skating), and while jam plugs are not necessary, they keep dust out of the toe stop insert, hold your toe covers in place (if you have any), and protect your plate from hitting the ground.

What material is used for the toe stop?

Toe stops are an important part of roller skating. They are what keep you from slipping and falling when you make sudden stops.

Toe stops are made from a variety of materials, but the most common is rubber. Rubber toe stops offer good grip and durability, making them ideal for beginner and experienced skaters alike.

If you’re looking for a toe stop that will give you the best performance, look for one made from high-quality rubber.

Other differences on toe stops

1. Shape

It is the shape of the stopper’s face, also known as the footprint. Although the most common shape for derby stops is circular, but there are many options with cutouts and different shapes as well! 

In addition to shape, size also plays a role in stopping, with smaller stops being more agile and larger stops having more “bite” and stability as well. 

Now, Some manufacturers use cut-aways to avoid causing interference with your wheels when using very large stops.

2. Size

The size of toe stops is broken down into three sizes: small, medium and large. 

The smaller toe stops are nimble and unobtrusive, while the larger toe stops provide a solid platform for pushing through the pack as a jammer, or for slowing things down while defending.

3. Density

The density of the stopper refers to its hardness. While harder stoppers offer greater durability, but they may be less grippable on slippery surfaces, so they are not as effective at stopping. 

On the other hand, soft compounds are less durable, but they can provide smoother and more aggressive stops.

4. Stem Length

The normal range for toe stop stems is 17-30mm, which is typically referred to as “short” or “long”.

The stem length will determine how low or close your toe stop sits to the ground. If you like your toe stops low to the ground, you’ll need a longer stem to ensure that the threads remain properly threaded. 

On the other hand, If you want your stops close to their boots, they should use short stems to avoid hitting ground!

Short or long stem toe stop?

This is a matter of personal preference that will develop with time.  A standard toe stop is also known as a long stem. Toe stops like these sit lower to the ground, but are still held securely inside the toe stop housing. 

In order to secure the toe stop, you must screw about half or two-thirds of it into the plate.  If you’re not used to skating without a toe stop, we recommend sticking with a long toe stop.

When skaters have developed their balance more on their toes, they use short toe stops.

For short stem toe stops to be secure, they must be screwed pretty much all the way in.  

When your toe stop is set further away from the ground, your heel can be lifted at a greater angle before the toe stop touches the ground. This angle of clearance allows some movements to be done more easily.  

And of course… you can put a short toe stop in your skates at any time, and simply learn how it feels and adapt. However, prepare to fall over a lot!

The pros and cons of each type of toe stop

There are two types of toe stops available on the market: Adjustable and Fixed.

Each type has its own set of pros and cons that you should consider before making a purchase.

Adjustable toe stops offer the skater more control over their skating. They can be adjusted to different lengths, which allows the skater to find the perfect setting for their skating style. However, adjustable toe stops can also be more difficult to replace if they become damaged.

Fixed toe stops are less expensive than adjustable ones, and they are also easier to replace if they become damaged. However, skaters do not have as much control over their skating with fixed toe stops. They may find that they need to adjust their skating style to accommodate the fixed stop length.

How do I know when to change my toe stops?

Your regular maintenance schedule should include checking your toe stops for wear and security.

Whenever the toe stops wear unevenly, rotate them, and when one side is really worn down, switch the left and right toe stops. As we all have a dominant side, the toe stops will wear unevenly.

With 5/8″ adjustable toe-stops, it’s time to change them when you can see the metal stem! (Ideally change them before this!)

With 5/16″ non-adjustable toe stops, it’s time to change them if they are cracked or split. Also check your bolt has not been bent.


My name is Patricia Toh. I was born in the southen of China but I live in Hawaii. I work as a translator. I love skating. But in the future, I’d like to try yoga too."

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