Choosing Skates & Safety Gear

Skate/Gear Recommendations

Hello parents and skaters. Please note that we reserve the right to deny participants the opportunity to use certain skates on our gym floors due to the fact that they will ruin floors. A quick hit of what we do not allow: Roller Derby; Schwinn; Nike; Bladerunner; K2 lower end models (only the ones that run $139); Rollerblade lower end models (only the ones with “X” in the name like GTX are acceptable; any model without a brand on it. There are also others not mentioned here. Feel free to email us to ask us if they are acceptable. Why?  We have replaced two gym floors already due to incorrect brakes and the above brands and models of skates do not provide sufficient support (the foot moves around inside) and the wheels are often plastic, not Urethane and are not designed to roll. 

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).  Please only buy at high quality stores, like our local skate shop: You get a 10% discount here when you tell them you are a student, or will be a student. 

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 $125 -190 for good quality kid skates and $175-$275 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:
 Roller Derby
 Schwinn
 Chicago
 Nike
 Bladerunner
 Skates without a brand

We loan you our skates at our weekend classes for free for your first 4 classes, so try our skates out before purchasing. Any of the major brands models that are less than $170 for adults and $115 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:

• High-Quality Rollerblade/Rollerblade Jr. / K2 / SEBA, SEBA Jr. skates
• Quality Roces brand Skates• High-Quality (These are disposable skates and will not be appropriate for reselling)
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. Try it on because we have found that only Triple 8 offers gear that always fits elbows, knees and wrist.

Look for Triple 8 (our best bet). Also, recommended are 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: Seba Skates:

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.

Rollerblade skates:

Twister 80, just a really good skate! Kids’ skates work quite well. Maxum with smaller wheels

K2 Skates:

One of the really great things about K2 is that often fit very well. Insure you are getting both a snug and sturdy fit. Their skates mostly come with 90mm or above, so for weekend classes, buy skates with 76-88mm wheels only.

Buying skates for kids

The skates you will want for your child will run you around $115 (and above.) Our recommendations are the Seba Skate which is in our rental fleet. We also recommend K2 and Rollerblade Name Brands but only their top model in each category (running about $129-$139). There are some models 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:

Seba Junior

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.

Final Note:

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.