6 Stylish Roller Skate & Rollerblade Brands That Won’t Kill Your Feet

Thanks to quarantine and the addictive nature of TikTok, roller skating and rollerblading have made a fierce comeback since their retro, gogo-boot heyday of the 1970s and 1980s. COVID-19 has totally scrambled our hobbies, making outdoor roller skating safer than hanging out in groups and way more liberating. Coincidentally, there’s also been a renaissance of roller skating brands that are producing stylish and (mostly) affordable skates/blades that have aesthetic with a capital “A.” You can even purchase vegan neon green roller skates, and if that’s not 21st century progress, I don’t know what is!

Before these trendy skating brands hit the scene, most skating gear was clunky, masculine and in dull colors that looked dreadful with mini skirts or jumpsuits.Your average roller derby skate or speed skate looked like a costume out of The Incredibles, and not the sleek ones made for Violet or Elastigirl. With the increase of women designers, there’s been a more concerted effort to create fashionable, comfortable and conscientious gear for all types of people, not just hyperactive males.

My sleuthing for this article included talking with members of the Arizona Roller Skating Facebook group, watching copious amounts of Karen the Karrot YouTube videos and my own experience with buying inline skates. Skate culture is thriving, and this momentum is only heightened by the sickass gear available on the market. 

  1. Impala is arguably the trendiest and “it” skating brand of quarantine. Their retro, pastel tones and whimsical videos make roller skating a lifestyle, not just a wobbly sport from your childhood. Impala is famous for their eclectic roller skates including neon colors, leopard print and rose gold tint. They’ve also got a stellar collection of classic skates as well as rollerblades, protective gear and skateboards. Did I mention their products are also vegan?! If you want to know more, check out my review of Impala blue & yellow inlines and my YouTube video that explains how to install an Impala inline break. 

  2. Hot on Impala’s heels is the Moxi brand of roller skates. Moxi Outdoor Lolly skates are iconic and a staple for anyone getting into skate culture — their colors are funky, bright and more rugged than the cotton candy feel of Impala skates. Moxi’s are pricier than your average skates, but they’re also comfortable and durable when you’re skating outside.

  3. Reidell is a classic skating brand that’s been around since the 1940s. They began with manufacturing ice skates, but the company has branched out into every kind of roller skate imaginable: outdoor, rink & speed, rhythm, derby, jam and artistic skates. If you’re looking for a skating brand that’s withstood the test of time, Reidell is your best bet for high-quality. Their design is more athletic than fashionable, but they’re also vintage (i.e. these black and tan Zone Roller skates). 

  4. Bont is another oldie but goodie: founded in 1975 by Australian speed skater Inze Bont, Bont offers reliable and classic-style skates for all levels of experience. Their skates are also on the pricier side (~$200 to $300), but they combine comfort with a vogue exterior. I love the look of their ParkStar Roller Skates in “Soft Teal/White/Bubblegum Pink.” The skates are an ice cream dream and are rock solid with a suede skin and fiberglass base. 

  5. I snatched this recommendation from a Karen the Karrot video! Sure-Grip skates are an awesome brand with bold, saturated colors that go great with an LBD or beach cover-up. The Golden Hour skates come in a knockout yellow, and are also vegan (pleather instead of leather) with adjustable toe stops.

    A quick note on Karen the Karrot: she’s the best roller skating content creator I’ve found! She films skating tutorials, unboxings and review of new skates, skate painting tutorials, and roller skating cosplay videos. Her sister, Mely, also has a popular roller skating Instagram with inspirational and creative skate content from Long Beach, CA. 

  6. What’s cooler than a roller skate called “The Moon Boot?” These skates are disco-themed and glamorous with jewel tones, luminescent skins and soft sparkles. The Flashdance skates, part of the Moon Boot line, are mobile, easily adjustable on the trucks and have little moon designs on the wheels and boot. The average cost is $250, but you seriously look like an effervescent Flashdance movie actress. Watch the Karen the Karrot review of Moonlight rollers to get an expert’s opinion.

If it wasn’t obvious by the vegan skates and resurgence of Flashdance aesthetic, roller skating is the place to be. Comfortable and stylish skate options are available for women now, which is a vast improvement from the thick, heavy skates of decades past. However, as a member of the Arizona Roller Skate group pointed out, “Just be careful as ‘cute’ may not be the best quality.” Always do your research and if you’re doing more intense skating (i.e. speed skating), functional might trump fashionable. But for all those quarantine bandwagoners (right here 👋🏼) who are casually skating around neighborhoods, in parking garages and Long Beach boardwalks, you can be a comfy fashionista.

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