Want to buy a pair of roller skates but don’t know whether a cool pair of inline skates or a funky pair of quad skates would suit you best? While inline skates (or roller blades as their commonly called) and quad skates (the skates with two wheels in the front and two wheels in the back) look pretty similar, the two types of roller skates are actually quite different.
Last year during quarantine I invested in these beautiful rose gold Impala quad skates and this awesome pair of performance rollerblades and I’ve been rolling non-stop ever since. In this guide, I’m breaking down some of the differences between inline skates and quad skates for beginners. I hope that my insight as an owner of both types of skates will help you choose the perfect pair for you.
Getting [back] into roller skating.
I first got back into roller skating when the entire world shut down during quarantine. After weeks of being cooped up in the house, I was anxious to get outside and move my body.
As a kid, roller skating was one of my favorite hobbies. And when I wasn’t on a pair of rollerblades racing around the neighborhood or a pair of quads dancing around the local roller rink, you could find me and my younger cousin at the local ice skating rink.
So when I found myself obsessing over some super talented skaters on Tik Tok and Instagram (thank you algorithm) during the total pandemic lockdown, I felt in my heart that I too had to get rolling ASAP.
Finding a pair of skates would prove to be a not-so-easy task as apparently everyone else in the world also wanted a pair of roller skates around this time and skates were absolutely sold out everywhere. But after searching every imaginable place online and offline, I finally stumbled upon this pair of beautiful pink/rose gold Impala quad skates and I just had to have them.
I was having so much fun skating around that a few months later I decided to also invest in another pair of wheels — this time a pair of rollerblades (this is a “men’s” style and color but I just sized down to the appropriate size for me).
How to decide if you should get inline rollerblades or quad skates.
Maybe you’re wondering what are the best roller skates for women? What are the best types of rollerskates for men? Or perhaps what the best types of roller skates for kids?
Well, before you start wondering which brand and style of roller skates to get (I’ll recommend some shortly), it’s best you first figure out whether you’d like to buy a pair of inline skates or if you’d prefer a pair of quads.
The easiest way to figure out which type of roller skates would suit you best is to ask yourself the following questions…
- Where do you plan on skating? Do you plan on skating around your neighborhood or concrete pavement? Or do you have a designated area like an old tennis court or a local roller rink with a smooth surface?
- What do you want to do on your skates? Do you want to really work out and break a sweat? Do you want to go fast on your skates? Or cruise, dance and learn how to do tricks?
With these answers in mind, it’s going to help make it a lot more clear as to whether inline skates or quad skates would be best for you, how you plan on using them, and where you plan on skating.
What’s the biggest difference between quad rollerskates and inline skates?
The biggest difference I find between inline skates and roller skates is most obvious is the design of the actual boot. Inline skates have typically found narrow wheels that align in one row. Quad skates on the other hand have two rows of wider wheels, two in the front and two in the back.
The two types of skates also differ in their performance. Rollerblades are typically for working out, speed, and are more practical for outdoor skating where as quad skates are more for style, tricks, and are more suited for indoor or smoother surfaces.
When I want to break a sweat, really get my heart pumping, and get a real full-body workout, I’m definitely reaching for my inline rollerblades. With the inline skates, they’re going to roll much much more effortlessly over bumps and cracks in the road. And that’s true even if I’m racing down the sidewalk where there may even be grass growing through the concrete or down a normal street road.
With my quad skates, on the other hand, these are the skates I reach for when I want to dance, groove, and practice some cool trick I saw on Tik Tok or Instagram. With my quads, I’ll head to an area with a smooth surface (like an old tennis court), dress up a bit more fun, pop my AirPods in and I just groove.
Recommended inline roller skates for women (and men too).
Are you starting to get a better idea of which kind of skates would be best for you? Are you gonna cruise some smooth indoor (or outdoor) surfaces and pick up some cool tricks on your quads? Here are some really stylish quad roller skates for women that I’d recommend you check out.
Recommended inline rollerblade skates for women (and men too).
Or will you pick up the momentum outdoors with your inlines? Here are some of the best performance inline roller skates for women that I’d recommend you check out (that also look damn cool).
But can I still skate outdoors in my quads?
Before I got my rollerblades I went everywhere with my quads. That’s because when I got my quads during quarantine there were no roller rinks were open so I would just go skating on the street. I took my quads everywhere and over all kinds of outdoor surfaces, you’d find in the average neighborhood.
I much preferred however going to an old abanded tennis court not far from my house to skate around and around just grooving to some good tunes.
With my quads, I find that I’m looking at my feet more often than not when I’m on the road watching for obstacles like little rocks that might trip me. If I really can’t be bothered I might just tote them in hand and just walk to my smooth surface skating spot (something I wouldn’t have to worry about nearly as much with my inline roller blades).
And can I do tricks with inlines?
Of course! Although if you want to learn how to skate backward, do spins, do cool-looking dance moves, I would definitely say that the quads are more practical, they also look much cooler while groove skating than with rollerblades.
Which is easiest – inlines rollerblades or quad roller skates?
On first thought, one might assume that skating on quads is easier than skating with inlines. But after rolling on both quite regularly over the last months, I’d actually have to disagree.
Believe it or not, I find that rollerblades are much easier to skate with than quads are. The only thing is that you have to kinda get used to standing on such a narrow footing (kinda like with high heels ladies). But once you get that balance and you get used to keeping your ankles stable and steady, rollerblades are quite easy to skate in.
Roller skating indoors and outdoors with quads vs inline skates.
The closest thing I’ve gotten to indoor skating since the pandemic has been skating on an abandoned tennis court in my neighborhood. Furthermore, I don’t want to spend any more time inside than I have to. I personally love getting outside, feeling the sun on my skin, the breeze in my face while I have fun cruising and skating around. Perhaps that’s another reason why I prefer my inlines skates over my quads.
My neighborhood is pretty quiet, so I usually will skate on the road against traffic so that I can see drivers as they come and get out of the way when need be. I’m also super happy to call Miami home so quite frequently I head down to South Beach and skate the boardwalk along ocean drive where there are plenty of other skaters as well.
Stopping with inlines vs quads.
While I skate outdoors in both inline skates and quad skates, it’s a lot more effortless to skate outdoors with my inline skates. I also find that it’s much easier to stop in my inline skates. Stopping in my quads feel a bit clumsy. Additionally, to stop in either my quads or my inlines roller blades, I use the same technique — the t stop.
So which type of roller skates are right for you?
Inline skates are for you if:
- You want to go fast on your skates and feel like you’re flying.
- You want to break a sweat and get your heart racing.
- You want to skate outdoors on a variety of surfaces.
Quad skates are for you if:
- You want to do cool tricks and spins.
- You want to groove and cruise.
- You want to skate indoors or have a smooth surface to skate on.
As an owner and lover of both quad roller skate and inline roller skate, I can promise you that with either choice you’re going to have a lot of fun.
Although they are both more practical for different reasons, anything you can do in quads you can also do in inlines. And anything you can do in inlines you can also do in quads.
So just snag a pair roller skates or rollerblades sooner than later and get rolling!