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|In-line skating is a fun and healthy activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. There are in-line skates designed specifically for all levels of performance:
- Children's: Built for durability, comfort and safety. Both skates typically have a brake system.
- Recreation: Great first-time skates. For recreation and fun with family and friends.
- Fitness: Engineered to be skated hard for a cardiovascular workout.
- Advanced: Made for racing, in-line hockey, advanced cross-training and stunts.
One of the options to consider when buying a pair of skates is the closure system:
- All-buckle closures: Easy on-and-off access. The greater the number of closure adjustments, the better the fit of the skate.
- Lace/buckle combination closures: Allow more fine-tuned adjustments for fitting narrower or wider feet. Buckle on the ankle cuff delivers additional support.
There are many characteristics to consider in selecting the right wheels for your in-line skates:
- Durometer: Hardness of the wheel. Softer wheels have better shock absorption, greater traction and cornering and are better suited for rough surfaces. Harder wheels work well on smooth surfaces.
- Profile: Fat radius wheels deliver stability and control suitable for activities like hockey. Thin radius wheels provide less rolling resistance and designed for speed.
- Size: Range from 64 mm to 82 mm. The larger the wheel, the faster the skate.
- Rebound: Amount of energy put into the wheel that is returned and not absorbed by the energy source.
Remember that wheels will wear out so you can always change the style you choose when it comes time to replace your original wheels. To prolong the life of your wheels, periodically rotate them from side to side and move toe and heel wheels to the center and vice versa.
Fit Your Foot
Now that you've selected the best skate, closure system and wheels for your style, you need the right fit. A skate should fit comfortably, allowing slight toe movement, but no foot movement. The difference between a properly fitted skate and an improperly fitted skate is the difference between enjoying your ride and feeling miserable.
Keeping Your Skates Great
For increased safety, skate life and enjoyment, follow these simple skate care tips:
- Wipe bearings and skates clean after each use
- Replace worn brakes
- Periodically inspect boot, frame and buckles or laces for damage
Don't skate naked! Always wear protective gear: helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and gloves for your safety.