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Roller Skates: How To Choose for Fun and Fitness


Do you want to add some fun to your workplace or encourage a recreational sport to your employees that’s on trend? Whether it’s a weekend hobby with friends or done competitively, roller skating is making its debut again—and not just for transportation. 

Today’s consumers are dusting off their old skates, buying new ones, joining social clubs, and making roller skating fashionable again. And businesses are seeing a demand that must be met. Discover why and how roller skating has made a resurgence and what trends to watch out for. 

Table of Contents
Overview of the roller skating market
Key roller skating trends to spot
Let the good times roll

Overview of the roller skating market

Roller skating is a popular recreational activity and competitive sport that has been enjoyed for generations. The market for roller skating equipment, skate apparel, and accessories is driven by factors such as increased health awareness, popularity due to social media trends, and organized roller skating competitions and events. 

The market isn’t limited to public rinks; it also includes rink management services and parties. Growth is influenced by family-friendly and social gatherings. There’s also a demand for more sustainable roller skating products, including biodegradable wheels and recycled parts. In 2022, MarketResearch stated that sales of roller skates are projected to have a CAGR of 3% from 2023 to 2033. 

A 2022 Statista report noted that 2×2 skating was the most popular form of skating in 2017, with 6.3 million Americans participating. These statistics indicate that roller skating continues to be a popular and growing recreational activity, with a strong market for equipment and services.

Key roller skating trends to spot

Flashing skates

The flashing roller skate trend refers to skates with LED lights or other lighting effects. This style is functional and visually appealing, making it popular with children and teenagers. LED technology has driven this trend, and now many manufacturers offer a range of flashing skates with different lighting options to suit preferences. Flashing rolling skates are expected to expand into other areas of the market, including inline skates and skate accessories. 

Quad skates vs inline skates 

Person skating on the pavement in inline skates

Quad skates, also known as traditional roller skates, have four wheels arranged in two sets of two wheels. The wheels are positioned at a 90-degree angle, giving quad skates more stability. Inline skates have three or more wheels arranged in a single line. The design gives a more aerodynamic feel because the wheels are positioned under the foot in a straight line. Quad skates are better for recreational use, while professional inline skates are suited for athletic activities. 

Indoor roller skates

Most roller skates are for indoor use at rinks or other indoor facilities, along with competitive activities. These types of skates are made with a smooth and hard wheel to provide a better grip and control on indoor surfaces. Indoor roller skates come in quad and inline styles and are designed for support and comfort. 

Some styles feature adjustable wheels and trucks (the part between the plate and axle) so that individuals can customize them to fit their needs. With style in mind, flashy lights and bold colors are a popular choice for indoor roller skates.  

Outdoor roller skates

Overhead shot of two people’s feet in roller skates

Consumers buy outdoor roller skates for bike paths, pavements, and sidewalks. They’re usually made with softer and larger wheels to help with stability, and traction, and to protect the ankles and feet from outdoor obstacles. This type also comes in inline and quad options and has adjustable wheels and trucks. 

Outdoor roller skates come in low top and low top versions to absorb any rough paths. To incorporate fashion elements, manufacturers have released outdoor canvas roller skates with flashing lights to appeal to younger crowds. 

Roller derby skates

Group of roller derby skaters actively skating with safety gear

Consumers can find roller derby skates online, in sporting goods stores, and in specialty shops. What makes them different is their high-top design, which offers extra protection and support for the ankles. Their wheels are flat and hard so that they can grip the track and handle sudden movements. Individuals can adjust roller derby skates to improve performance. These skates are made of higher-quality materials to ensure durability. 

Speed skates

Group of male skaters getting ready for speed skating event

This type of roller skate is designed specifically for speed. Speed skating is a competitive sport involving racing around a track as fast as possible. Racers need lightweight skates to reach high speeds and stay balanced. As for style, this option comes in a high-top design for ankle support and adjustable trucks, wheel width, and turning radius. 

Kids’ skates

Child sitting on the steps outdoors wearing white inline skates

Kids’ skates are smaller and lighter for comfort and maneuverability. They come in inline and quad types, but safety is the most important factor. Kids’ skates have padded liners, reinforced toe caps, and adjustable trucks, and come in a greater variety of colors and designs.  

Let the good times roll

Roller skating is trending again with more excitement than in previous decades. With new designs and the rise in social media posts, recreation has seen consumers of all ages spend money on skates like never before. Businesses are readying themselves by keeping skates for novices all the way to professional users. 

For consumers, the more styles and forms (like electric skates) that hit the market will only add to their demand and interest. Customization is likely to be an upcoming trend for adults, kids, and professional skaters, which will only encourage individuals to use this recreation as part of their fitness goals and as a source of stress relief. 

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