While Big Box stores offer you convenience for buying many items, we suggest that you not attempt to purchase skates at chain stores (eg. Big Five or Target).
Purchasing a $70 pair of kids’ skates means that they will be of cheap construction; and the wheels, brakes and spacers are often made of plastic instead of urethane, rubber, and aluminum respectively. You should expect to pay approximately $115.00 for good quality skates kids and $175 for adults. These skates will also likely have a high resale value.
We will check your skates and determine if they will provide your child, or you, with what is necessary to learn and improve. Please see our Purchasing Skates tab for reliable vendors, then you can be confident you have purchased quality skates that you can use for learning, playing and they will last.
If you are buying skates elsewhere, please do not purchase these brands:
Skates without a brand
The biggest issue that is easily seen, is that the wheels on the cheap skates DO NOT ROLL. Spin the wheels and you will see them roll less than three revolutions. Secondly, and the bigger issue is one of support, as new skaters tend to cant their feet inward, creating a triangle with the skates and legs instead of having the skates directly underneath them in a parallel, upright (center edge) position. A good quality skate will insure that the new student is set up for success.
We loan you our skates, at our rink classes for free for your first four classes, so try our skates out first before purchasing. and any of the major brands models that are less than $170 for adults and $110 for kids are generally not good-quality skates (Exception: Shop-Task Seattle does offer good-quality Roces skates for about $80 after a 10% skate Journeys student discount). Do not believe it when they state the original price for an adult skate is $250 but it’s on sale for $125. Work with our director to find the right skates for your goals!
Skates/gear that we recommend:
• Quality Roces brand Skates
• High-Quality Rollerblade/Rollerblade Jr. / K2 / SEBA, SEBA Jr. skates
• High-Quality Triple 8 Safety Gear
• High-Quality Triple 8 Helmets
Protective gear: This type of gear is easier to find and some of the big chain stores have great quality brands. Look for gear that has cushioning for impact in the knees and elbows and good sliders on the palms with wrist protection on the back.
Look for Triple 8 (our best bet). Also, Hyper, K2 & Rollerblade brands in no particular order. Just look for gear that has some cushion. You must try it ALL on to insure it will fit because rarely do the elbows and the knees both fit. Triple 8 gear tends to fit most people. You can store and machine wash your gear (with the Velcro fastened) in mesh laundry bags. Richards Homewares makes a good quality mesh bag that is widely available. We like the tab that allows you to hang or attach it for drying, transport or storage. Also, note that Shop Task offers Triple 8 gear for $28 (after your 10% Skate Journeys student discount).
Helmets: Our helmet of choice is the Triple 8 brand with the sweat saver band inside. “Protect” and other ‘utility’ helmets also provide good protection and are often cheaper. While bike helmets work fine, if you are taking up skating, we recommend purchase of the utility helmet with the flat back. Please note that ‘bike’ helmets have been rated appropriate for skating, but the inexpensive ones tend to be “one-hit” use meaning if you drop them on the ground, or fall, they should be replaced immediately. We hope you don’t fall, but it is likely and we want you to protect your head.
Please note that Skate Journeys has a very limited supply of helmets for rent. Please ensure that you bring your own helmet. For parents, please check for proper fit regularly as the straps loosen up, your child’s head grows, and inspect the helmet for damage. Bike helmets are most often ‘one-impact’ and if you drop them they can often sustain fractures. Make sure the “brain bucket” is in great working order.
We receive no remuneration from the above brands or stores, although SEBA & Triple 8 have provided us with a non-profit price discount for our rental fleet purchases.
Adult Skate Recommendations:
Adults – Our best bet!
Many of the instructors prefer the Seba brand skates and it is the brand we use for the majority of our rental fleet.
The supportive boots and adjustable frames provide a level of control that makes it easier to achieve more advanced skating skills, and also can help with pronation problems. The Seba skates ($180 – $390) come in European sizes.
Twister 80, just a really good skate! Kids’ skates work quite well.
One of the really great things about K2 is that often fit very well. Insure you are getting both a snug and sturdy fit.
Buying skates for kids
The skates you will want for your child will run you around $100 (and above.) Our recommendations are the Seba Skate which is in our rental fleet. We also recommend K2 and Rollerblade Name Brands. There are some which are $60 but they will not last as long and they are not as good for kids who take lessons and need to perform well in their skates. See specific recommendations below.
Recommendations for kids skates:
A solid, supportive skate, built for longevity and durability. Size is adjustable, buckles and liner are replaceable. With no laces to contend with, we find kids easily learn how to put on their own skates. $110-$125
If your child is an accomplished skater, we suggest you buy the Junior Skates in Red or Blue. They have an insole that comes out instead of an adjustable boot. They are designed for the rigorous edging that accomplished skaters use.
Rollerblade and K2
One thing we can say for all skates, you get what you paid for. The more you spend the better the quality. Assume you will spend around $100 and if you do, you can likely sell the skates on Craigslist for half the money you spent. A good deal all around.
Buying Quad Skates:
Roller Derby Skate Shop carries quad skates and can help you learn about about them. Best Brand? Hands Down it’s Riedell. (note, do not purchase Roller Derby or Chicago quad skates, you will outperform them in just a few lessons.
Because we rent several area gyms, we are now required to inspect skates before you skate on the floor. Unless they are a recommended skate they are likely to be denied because they will mark or ruin the floor and we would be at risk of losing our lease. Your understanding of this concern by the gym owner is greatly appreciated.