Looking for the BEST roller skates for beginners? You’ve come to the right place because our in house roller skating pro Lisa Jaspers is here (along with her 35 years of roller skating experience) to give her recommendations and reviews for the best beginner skates for women. Looking for the Best Men’s Roller Skates? Head over HERE to read our in depth reviews for men’s skates.
To quickly summarize our recommendations…we LOVE Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skate Line. It’s our top pick because it hits every quality metric at a reasonable price point. We know this brand lasts over the long term (we’ve personally tested them over ten years). These skates can go with you as you transition from beginner to intermediate skater.
We also put Sure Grip’s Boardwalk Skate & Moxi Lolly Roller Skates at the top of our list. These are high quality boots that break in the fastest on our list (due to the suede that will more quickly conform to your foot/ankle). These skates will also take you into intermediate level skating with no problem. I would upgrade the plate when possible.
If you’re on a strict budget the Impala Roller Skate Line. It’s a decent beginner skate for the price point but the quality, padding & support isn’t as good as our top pick (the Moxi). They’ve had some well documented quality issues. This is strictly a beginner skate and you should probably expect to upgrade your skates when you hit the next level.
Our top budget pick is the Glam Roller Skate Line. The styling is absolutely fantastic but the lack of padding on the tongue and harder/plastic-y wheels are a definite negative. This is also strictly a beginner skate and you should probably expect to upgrade your skates when you hit the next level.
We hope you’ll stick around to hear in detail all the things you should consider before making a purchase. Our subject matter expert will be answering all your burning questions and help you select the right pair of roller skates for your needs. She’ll also provide you with solid recommendations for roller skates to check out. So let’s hand it over to her…
Should I buy roller blades or roller skates?
Roller stakes (or quads) are best for beginners because you have more stability, balance and support as you are learning to skate. It’s not impossible to learn how to skate on rollerblades…it’s just more difficult. I always tell people to start with quads and move to roller blades (if they choose to) once they are fully comfortable on roller skates.
What should I look for when buying roller skates?
When selecting your first pair roller skates you’ll want to pay special attention to the boots, plates & wheels (in that order). Boots should be firm and supportive with ample padding around the ankles. Plates should be made of metal NOT plastic. Wheels should be gummy and not made of hard plastic. Let’s take a deep dive into all three of these important roller skate components.
It’s helpful at this point to show you an illustration of all the major components we’ve highlighted above (and a few others you’ll want to take note of for the future). We’ll go through the important components one by one so you can know what to look for while your shopping. Note! Roller skates come as a complete set! While we’re going to talk important components and what to look for while shopping…you’ll be buying the whole enchilada at once!
What to look for in a quality roller skate boot…
Chances are you’ve rented a pair of skates at the local skating rink….remember how awful those skates were? Thin, single layer, leather boots with zero ankle support, wheels that barely spin and brakes worn down to a nub? Keep that downright awful skating experience in mine as we discuss boots..
The boot is LITERALLY the most important component of your roller skates and if you don’t have a decent quality boots on your feet, chances are you won’t be skating for very long.
When you’re looking at skate boots, look down at the sole through the top of the boot. Make sure that the ankle area has thick padding and isn’t just a thin, single piece of leather or synthetic material. The tongue should ideally have substantial padding as well. Here is an example of what to look for:
This ankle area of the boot should be firm and stiff when you put the boot on. This area needs to support the most important area of your body while your skating…your ankles. It may seem stiff at first but you will break them in over time to a comfortable level.
As a beginner you may be tempted by some of the low price point options but I can assure you that you get what you pay for…usually lots of blisters, zero support and lots of ankle/leg pain. I want you to be a life long skater (and I think you do too) so spend a little extra to get a boot with good ankle support. A quality skate boot will take you from beginner to intermediate level skating and last longer (don’t forget to protect your boots so they last).
What size roller skates (BOOTS) should I buy?
Your roller skates should fit comfortably much like a pair of normal shoes. The absolute worse situation is having skates that are too tight as this can cause blisters and extreme discomfort. Skates that are too big are clunky to wear. Learn How to Measure Your Feet for Skates HERE.
Be sure to try on any skates with thicker socks (or whatever socks you anticipate wearing while skating). Thicker/quality is better when it comes to socks but if you buy decent boots you won’t need crazy thick socks. When the boots are on make sure that you can comfortably wiggle your toes and they aren’t crammed into the toe cap. Your heel shouldn’t pull up out of the heel area when you skate. The boot should be close around your mid-foot but not choking it.
You may want to size up .5 to 1 size for roller skates. I’m a 7.5 in women but I wear a size 8 in skates. Recently I’ve seen strange sizing charts where you need to match up your US or EU shoe size to the manufacturers unique sizing system. Pay close attention to those sizing charts when making your selection.
What to look for in roller skate base plates…
Plates (or base plates as they are formally known) can be made of plastic (or nylon), aluminum or magnesium. They adhere the boot to the lower skate components like the trucks and axles.
Obviously plastic is cheaper and lighter weight than metal BUT in some cases it’s just not a good idea to buy skates with plastic plates. Plates hold together many, very important components and when you put a lot stress on a cheap plastic plate (even with very normal, run of the mill use) it can crack.
If you are approaching the weight limit for a pair of skates, plastic plates can break more easily. I’ve seen base plate cracks/breaks happen many times out in the real world. In some cases you can replace a plastic plate with a metal plate down the road.
When I see a plastic base plate, for me it’s an instant sign of lesser quality and it should be the same for you. Most who buy plastic initially will upgrade to metal plates later.
What to look for in roller skate wheels…
Wheels come in a variety of hardness levels. The hardness will affect how your skates feel. One end of the spectrum is grip and the other end is slide. When you’re a beginner you want wheels with some grip.
In a moment I’ll get into the specifics about hardness but to simplify the discussion- you should look for wheels that are “gummy” or rubbery feeling…these are the wheels that have grip. Wheels that feel like hard, shiny plastic have less grip and more roll/slide…slide is NOT what you want as beginner.
You can pinpoint a wheel’s hardness (durometer) and size (profile) by looking at either the side of the wheel itself or searching in the product description. Look for the durometer number followed by an “a” in the wheel’s graphics or on the product description.
Softer wheels have a lower durometer and generally provide more grip. Harder wheels with higher durometers offer more roll/slide. Ideally, you want to be right in the middle for durometer on your first set of beginner wheels.
Remember that you can ALWAYS change out the wheels on ANY set of skates. Some skates will have their wheels labeled as indoor or outdoor wheels. You can purchase a 2nd set of wheels to compliment whatever set comes with the skates. You can even purchase indoor or outdoor LED light up wheels (so fun for the rink or nigh time skating)!
Which type of roller skates are best for beginners?
Based on all we’ve deemed important early on in this article we’re going to recommend the best roller skates for beginners. We’ll start with women’s roller skates (or quads) and then we’ll make some recommendations for men.
Roller skates have come a long way in style over the years. Back when I was a kid you had a choice of white….or white roller skates. Wheels came in maybe 3 or 4 colors. Today there are tons of colors and patterns to suit just about every taste out there!
Everything we’re recommending meets all the important criteria we laid out above including padded, stiff and supportive boots, metal alloy plates and gummy/grippy wheels right out of the box. These complete roller skates are ready for beginners to start using today.
We’re going to recommend just a few manufacturers that produce good, high quality roller skates. They are Moxi, Sure Grip, Roller Derby, Bont, Riedell, Jackson, Crazy Skates & Candi Girl. All of these skates and brands can be found on Amazon with easy shipping and return policies if your skates don’t fit like a dream.
IMPORTANT ORDERING NOTE! I’m updating this article in 2023 but I did witness first hand what the pandemic did to the availability of roller skates. During the pandemic ALL outdoor sport equipment pretty much sold out in the spring/early summer. Demand was HUGE for outdoor activities and thanks to the pandemic many overseas factories were shut. Demand completely outstripped supply and that is still the case with some brands. If you’re going to order a pair you may have the best luck ordering early in the off season (cold weather months) or early spring.
If you plan on ordering online (as it is pretty difficult to find a place to try on skates these days) you may want to grab two close sizes and return the size that doesn’t work for you. Amazon returns make this really easy.
I would not be surprised to see any of our recommendations sell out as spring arrives as we are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic and all the same supply/demand inequities are in place.
Sadly, there are many unscrupulous people who are trying to take advantage of this supply/demand imbalance by selling roller skates at 2X or more of retail on sites like Ebay and Facebook marketplace. Do your price research & buy from reputable websites to make sure you’re not overpaying.
Okay, let’s dive into to our recommendations for best roller skates for beginners (for women). We’re going to review three brands we love- Moxi roller skates, Impala roller skates & Glam roller skates.
Head here for >>> The Best Roller Skates for Men
Best roller skates for Beginners – Women
Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skates
Are Moxi skates worth it? Absolutely! I believe that Moxi offers the best roller skates for beginners! I have Moxi Beach Bunny Skates for my outdoor skates (and I also use them indoors but I change out to set of good indoor wheels).
The boots are firm, high quality & well padded around the ankle and on the tongue. The base plates are alloy and the wheels are super gummy/grippy. The Beach Bunnies are on the lower price end of Moxi’s Roller Skate line. The Brushed Suede Moxi Lolly’s are also highly recommended but come in significantly higher price point and are geared towards intermediate skaters.
I’ve had my Moxi Beach Bunnies for just over ten years now and I use them quite often indoors and outdoors. Dancing, cruising paved trails, skate park…I’ve done it all. I’ve only had to replace the bearings, wheels & laces if you can believe it. It’s a good all arounder for this price point.
These skates are high quality, comfortable and long lasting for beginner to experienced leisure skaters. The boots definitely have a longer break in period but I wouldn’t call it out of the norm. They hold their shape over time for those of us who need that extra ankle support.
What I love about Moxi skates (besides the quality, support and comfort) is the styling. The colors are bright and bold and just cheer you up every time you see them. I made a review/unboxing video so you can see them in real life! Check it out below:
Moxi Beach Bunny Skates will transition with your to intermediate level skating…no need to upgrade when the time comes. If you’re looking for an all black version you might want to check out the Moxi Panther. This comes with black hand brushed suede and will hide dirt & scuffs more easily.
Sure Grip Boardwalk Roller Skates
Sure Grip’s Boardwalk Skate is also at the very top of our list. This is a high quality boot that breaks in quickly (the fastest on our list) due to the suede upper that will conform to your foot/ankle like a glove.
The wheels on this skate are 100% geared towards outdoor skating. It’s easy to transition them to indoor/rink skating with a set of good indoor wheels. If you only skate outdoors then they’re ready to go.
The ankle support is excellent but this skate would be best suited to someone who already has some skating experience under their belt because the boot isn’t quite as stiff as the Moxi…especially after break in.
What I love about Sure Grip’s Boardwalk Skate is that they will take you to the next level (intermediate level skating) without having to purchase another pair of skates. You can upgrade the components (like that plastic plate) and take your skating to the next level.
Because suede is hard to clean (and particularly susceptible to road grime or scuffs from falls) I recommend looking into ways to protect your skates like skate boot covers or toe covers.
Moxi Lolly Roller Skates
The Moxi Lolly Roller Skates are a top pick on our list. With a high-quality, suede boot that breaks in super fast (one of the quickest on our list). This colorful suede upper will mold to your foot and ankle like a leather glove.
These skates come with outdoor wheels. However, with a set of set of good indoor wheels you can easily transition to indoor or rink skating. If you plan to skate exclusively outdoors, they’re ready to roll right out of the box.
While the ankle support is pretty good, this skate is better suited for those with some prior skating experience, as the boot is not as supportive or rigid when compared to the Moxi Beach Bunnies (especially after break in).
These skates will fully transition to intermediate and advanced level skating without the need to buy a new pair of skates. By simply upgrading components like the plate or wheels, you can take your skating to another level.
I really LOVE the Lolly’s colors and style. This is by far one of the most popular skates out there. With seven trendy colors (with matching outdoor wheels)…you’re bound to find a color that resonates.
Don’t forget to check out the Lolly Malibu Barbie Tribute Skates or the Moxi Panther’s if you want a pair of black suede skates (which won’t show grime/dirt and scrapes as easily when skating outdoors).
One downside is that suede is hard to clean (and particularly susceptible to road grime). I recommend looking into ways to protect your skates like skate boot covers or toe covers. You can easily remove & clean covers while keeping your skates looking brand new underneath.
Riedell Orbit Roller Skates
These eye catching Orbit Roller Skates come from an iconic roller skate and ice skate world: Riedell. These quad skates cater to both beginners and experienced skaters alike, offering the perfect blend of style, comfort, support and performance.
The Riedell Orbit Roller Skates feature a high quality synthetic boot that is lightweight, easy to clean and durable. This boot is comfortable and supportive around the oh so crucial ankle area and includes a well padded tongue.
Much like their closest competitor, the Moxi Beach Bunny, this skate has a longer break in time when compared with a suede or vegan suede boot. In my opinion the Orbit does not have as much padding inside the boot as the Moxi Beach Bunny which is a bit of a knock on the Orbit.
The Riedell Orbit Roller Skates come equipped with tried and true Marvel aluminum plates and trucks which should last you the lifetime of these skates.
The Sonar 57mm, 85A urethane wheels on the Riedell Orbit Roller Skates will give you a smooth and comfortable ride on rough, outdoor surface. These are among the best roller skates for outdoor use because they are SO easy to clean. If your goals are to skate indoors at the rink, dance or jam skate you may want to invest in a set of indoor wheels.
The ombre colors are really, really on trend and you know these skates are gonna turn heads. Overall, I do like the Moxi Beach Bunnies a bit more based on the additional boot padding but if you don’t feel like you like or need or want that extra padding this is an excellent choice.
Jackson Finesse Roller Skates
The Jackson Finesse Roller Skates feature comfortable, supportive and soft boots right out of the box. The boot exterior is made of vegan leather which is durable and easy to clean but have a longer break in time. The inside is nicely padded providing excellent cushioning. It feels kinda like your foot is being wrapped in a puffy cotton cloud.
The Finesse comes with a lightweight nylon plate. They also feature my hands down FAVORITE outdoor wheels- the Atom Pulse (62mm, 78A hardness). These wheels provide a smooth and cushy ride on a variety of rough, paved surfaces. If you think you’ll be skating indoors you’ll want to grab a pair of indoor wheels down the road.
The width falls medium side but I wouldn’t exactly describe them as ideal for wide feet…they’re kind of in the middle. There are 4 colors to choose from that are visually pleasing. I do wish it had a metal plate but if lightweight is really important to you then this is a good choice for the price point.
Impala Roller Skates
The Impala roller skate line comes in next on our list for best roller skates for beginners. This line falls right in the middle of our price range. These skates tick all the boxes (padded boots, alloy plates & gummy wheels) but the padding around the ankles and on the tongue is just not as good as the Moxi Skate Line previously discussed.
The padding compresses more and won’t provide as much comfortable support long term. The hologram version of these boots are pretty stiff and we suspect a longer break in period. The wheels are sticky/gummy and will work both indoors and outdoors.
That said…for this price point….these skates are jam packed with cute styling! The color options are eye catching and the hologram style boots in silver and pink are unmatched on the market. This one will turn heads wherever you go.
Some cons to ponder: These skates are strictly for beginners or normal, recreational skating use. By this I mean skating backwards and forwards on the boardwalk or at the rink. Simple turns and spins but no jumps or skate park use. If you feel like you want to take your skating to the next level after purchasing these you’d need to upgrade to a higher quality skate.
Crazy Skates “Glam” Roller Skates
The Crazy Skates “Glam” line comes in on the budget end of the price spectrum. Crazy Skates are relatively new as a brand and I’ve only found them on Amazon so far. The reviews have actually been really good for their short life in the marketplace. I recently tested a pair and I was impressed with the quality level of the boot/hardware for this lower price point. There was great padding around the ankles and the boots were firm. The glitter was awesome and they really do sparkle like crazy in the sun!
Some cons to ponder: The tongue lacked sufficient padding and moved around too much for my liking. This could be remedied somewhat by purchasing thick adhesive shoe insoles and trimming them to fit the tongue (extra adhesive may be required for long lasting use).
The wheels were also a bit too tight from the factory and needed to be loosened but that is a simple fix. The wheels themselves were not as grippy as I would have liked for both indoor or outdoor beginner use. I would say that they are too hard for outdoor use and should only be used indoors. You could purchase grippy/softer wheels like these Moxi outdoor wheels or hybrids but that will bring up your overall costs above our top recommendation (which works well indoors and outdoors….so why not get the Moxi?).
The boot was quite firm…and I suspect a longer breaking in period than roller skates in the mid to high price range. Overall, for the price, the Glam Crazy Skates were a decent pair of skates (and a pretty good pair of skates if you only plan on skating indoors).
Some Cons to Ponder: These skates are strictly for beginners or normal, recreational skating use. By this I mean skating backwards and forwards on the boardwalk or at the rink. Simple turns and spins but no jumps or skate park use. If you feel like you want to take your skating to the next level after purchasing these you’d need to upgrade to a higher quality skate.
VNLA Parfait Quad Roller Skates
Since I first published this post I’ve received a few emails from readers asking what is the best roller skate for wide feet? The good news is that there is a roller skate out there for wider feet that has ALL the bells and whistles we love in a quality beginner skate. The VNLA Parfait Quad Roller Skates have solid aluminum plates, stiffer upper boot for support and great styling.
The price point is commensurate with our top overall pick (Moxi Beach Bunnies) but the boots have a much shorter break in period than the Beach Bunnies (this is because of a softer boot with faux suede material that breaks in faster). They come with outdoor wheels but you can pick up a set of indoor wheels when you’re ready). If you have narrow or narrower feet you *could* make these work with some inserts.
In our eyes these skates are right in line with our top overall pick but they are a better choice for people with wider feet. If you have narrow or regular width feet you might want to lean towards the Moxi Beach Bunny. The VNLA Parfait Quad Roller Skates will transition with your to intermediate level skating…no need to upgrade when the time comes.
If you have dreams of carving it up at the local skatepark someday- the Bont Parkstars may be the best skatepark skates out of the box on the market today. This skate comes in a really wide range of pretty, vibrant colors so you can express your unique style
While this skate is technically built for outdoor skating at the skate park (ramps, bowls. rail grinds etc) there is no reason why you couldn’t use these as your primary skate for paved trails, the rink…you name it. Just make sure you’re using the appropriate wheels for the job.
Note, these skates do not have heels. If you’re used to quads with heels this may be a bit of a balance adjustment. You may find them overall more comfortable than heeled skates, especially if you have wider or flat feet. The Parkstars are definitely one of the best skates for wide feet.
Parkstars are super lightweight and and come with heat moldable boots which allow you to DIY a custom fit at home with your hair dryer in a couple of minutes. This is the only quad skate on our list with this feature.
Another nice feature is the Parkstar Roller Skate is that it includes a replaceable rubber toe stop. This area usually sees the most damage in a fall so it’s nice to see that you can replace this when it wears out.
The high-top boot design provides nice ankle support while the suede or vegan suede like material allows for excellent flexibility and movement.
You’ll find that the break-in time on these boots is pretty short. Everyone I know who skates Parkstars absolutely loves them and would never skate on anything else.
The Bont Parkstar Roller Skate comes fully equipped for the skate park with Street Flow 58mm x 32mm, 89A hardness urethane wheels. These are ideal for street skating and park skating. If you did want to take these indoors you’ll need to grab a set of indoor wheels.
The Bont Parkstar Roller Skate offers a nice blend of comfort, performance, and style. You really can’t go wrong with a quality skate like this….it’s among the best roller skates for wide feet and the skate park.
If you like the look but you’re looking for something a little less expensive you could also check out the Bont Prostar. Note: the ankle support on the Prostar isn’t as good (due to the low cut boot), the wheels are geared towards strictly outdoor skating (not park) & the plate is fiberglass reinforced nylon (so a step down in plate quality).
Best Roller Derby Skates for Beginners
Bont QuadStar Speed | Roller Derby Skates
The Bont Quadstar Roller Skates are our top pick for roller derby skates. After putting these skates through camp, I can confidently say that they live up to hype and offer a fantastic skating experience for all levels of skaters.
The Bont Quadstar Roller Skates feature a heat-moldable thermo plastic boot that can be custom molded to your foot at home with a hair dryer in minutes. It also features a light weight carbon fiber base made for speed.
The boot has a durable genuine leather uppers that provide a glove like fit over time. The ankle area and tongue are well padded for overall comfort.
I love the overall build quality, after several months of use, my skates still look and feel like new. The Quadstars are built out of the box to withstand the rigors of high-intensity roller derby and speed skating.
They come fully equipped with the lightweight Bont 6061 Aircraft Aluminum Tracer plate and a 20-degree king pin angle which will deliver responsiveness, cornering and agility on the roller derby track.
The Quadstars come with 60mm, 92A Bont Ballistic wheels that offer an excellent balance of grip and roll on indoor | roller rink surfaces. These skates come loaded with ABEC 7 bearings.
The Bont Quadstar Roller Skates have an fun, retro design that will absolutely appeal to many OG roller derby and speed skaters.
While the Quadstar comes in on the higher end of the price spectrum, the quality and performance make them worth the investment. If you are a dedicated roller derby skater or just have a need for speed at the rink this is a high-performance skate that can keep up with you.
Sure-Grip Rebel Avanti Roller Skates
The Sure-Grip Rebel Avanti Roller Skates are a tried and true roller derby skate used by MANY derby skaters. These skates to cater to a wide range of skill levels, from beginners to seasoned veterans.
They feature a genuine leather boot designed to take a beating and come with comfy padded lining and tongue. The Sure-Grip Rebel comes with much loved Avanti Aluminum plates which are specially angled for speed and cornering.
The Sure-Grip Rebels are fitted with 62mm, 89A Sure-Grip Fugitive wheels that provide a smooth and fast ride over smooth surfaces. These can be used outdoors…you just need a set of outdoor specific wheels.
The Sure-Grip Avanti Roller Skates offer a great combination of performance, comfort, and durability. The price point makes them an excellent choice for roller derby skaters of all levels. With their comfy boots, robust aluminum plates, wheels made for speed it’s no wonder they are a top choice of the roller derby world.
To summarize our recommendations…
We love Moxi Roller Skates | Sure Grip’s Boardwalk Skates and for those with wider feet, the VNLA Parfait Quad Roller Skates. These are our top picks by far. We know these brands last over the long term (we’ve personally tested them) and you won’t be disappointed with the quality. All three of these skates can go with you to the next level in your skating.
In a distant 2nd place we like the Impala Roller Skate Line. It’s definitely a good buy for the price but the padding just isn’t as good as the Moxi or Sure Grip’s Boardwalk Skate. Our budget pick is the Glam Roller Skate Line. The styling is fantastic but the lack of padding on the tongue and cheap wheels are a definite negative.
Impala and Glam are strictly beginner skates and really should be replaced by better quality skates as you improve and grow with your skating. If you want to save yourself some money (and trouble) over the long term just go straight to a quality skate that will take you through beginner and intermediate skating like the Moxi Roller Skates, Sure Grip’s Boardwalk Skates or VNLA Parfait Quad Roller Skates discusses earlier. You won’t be sorry!
You may want to check out our post- Ways to Protect Roller Skates before you head out today. This article goes over all the ways you can protect your roller skates from damage and keep them looking pretty and new!