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6 Different Types of Skates – What’s Your Preferred Type?

types of skates
Written by Colin Kint

Whether you’re trying to figure out the best suitable skate to buy or have a store where skates are sold; this piece is recommended for you. In this article, we’ve shared some quick guides on the basic classes of quad skate to help you get an overview of all types of skates and the essential difference that occurs among them.

6 Different Types of Skates

6 different types of skates

1. Speed Skates

Although inline skates are common, quad skates are also popular too. Similar to a running shoe, most speed skates are explicitly created for speed. They have a “close to foot fit,” which creates a striking resemblance with a normal shoe than with most skate boots.

The speed skate is designed solely for speed! If you intend to make the skate a bit faster, the skate is created with less padding and also made from a lightweight material (plate); this feature allows its wheels to roll over a distance and also suitable to run over an intense session of training.

Most of the time, the boot is created with a low cut underneath the ankle, which is meant to give room for a vast range of flexibility, movement, and ability. These are the basic ingredients for maneuvering speedily.

2. Jam Skates

Jam skates are created lightweight and have a low cut within the ankle region which permit enough room for motion. This ankle space allows you as a skater to exhibit fancy footwork; this is one of the significant features that set jam skating from other forms of skating.

One of the distinctive differences that occurs among skates marketed as “speed skates” and “jam skates” is the positioning of your toe. Most speed skates are created with a speed stop, which oftentimes gets across your way whenever you want to try certain jam skating stunts.

Jam skates are designed with a toe plug, and you can choose to replace this with a wide variety of colors to suit your style and choice.

Check Out Our Pro-Recommended Skates!

Product Name Thumbnail Features Price
VNLA Junior Code Blue Jam Skate VNLA Junior Code Blue Jam Skate
  • Material: Nylon, Aluminum, Leather
  • Wheel Type: Jam Skate Wheel
  • Closure Type: Strap-On, Lace-Up
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Roller Derby Elite Primo Skates Roller Derby Elite Primo Skates
  • Material: Leather
  • Wheel Material: Polyurethane
  • Size: Mens 4 / Ladies 5
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3. Roller Derby Skates

Roller derby skate is used for intense sporting wheel activities; it goes beyond being an action-packed activity to providing perfect entertainment, though the process involved can most times be considered as rough on both skaters and the skates they use. You could say, it’s a fun roller skate type.

The derby skate shares lots of common similarity to the jam skates, but this time, it has more pad that helps build protection against the impact you tend to have with other skaters while on track. The roller derby skates have a unique Velcro strap, which serves as a bonus to most traditional laces, this time –it helps to secure fit and also ensures a perfect lockdown. There are different roller skates that don’t come with velcro straps.

4. Artistic Skates

This roller skating is similar to figure skating or ice skating, so if you’ve seen any of these, then the artistic skating is not far-fetched. Artistic skates are created with the old fashion style of silhouette, which is basically what comes to your mind when you think of a roller skate.

The boot higher cut provides its users with perfect ankle support than a lower cut skate will; this feature is essential when performing jumps and spins.

Most artistic skates are normally created with high heels; this feature is unlikely to appear in most skate. As a result, the skate distributes a huge amount of weight on the front plate, which helps to increase agility and control. These qualities are the major intricate of artistic skating. Note that you need different types of skating shoes for different skate types. This category requires specific ones.

5. Rhythm Skates

When compared, this type of skate has a striking resemblance to an artistic skate, though both types of skates are used mainly for dancing. On the other hand, unlike the jam skate that is primarily inspired for break dancing, the rhythm skates are used for old school moves, which are also known as rhythm skates, shuffles skate, or the R&B skate.
The style is generally meant to ensure all the wheels are well positioned on the ground, and the primary focus here is to ensure bouncing rolling and dance in line with the beat/ music.

6. Outdoor Skates

Outdoor skates and indoor skates are pretty similar, although they have a bit of difference, which is spotted out on the size and type of wheel used. Indoor skates are created to move on even, hard, and clean surfaces; as a result, they need wheels that are a bit hard to roll gently. And if you try to take the skate outside for a ride, the rough and uneven surface will make your entire cruise unenjoyable.

So what’s then the best solution to make your skate ready for a perfect outdoor move? All you need to do is trade the previous wheel for something softer. Outdoor skates are created with more “give,” this makes it possible for the skate to absorb a lot of shocks when it comes in contact with bumps, cracks, twigs, and other limiting factors while you cruise along.

There you go, hopefully, our brief discussion on different kinds of skates should give you some basic ideas about them. Primarily, you need to pick from the kinds of skating that are prevalent, and then make a decision which one to go choose.

Honorable Mention

All-Terrain Skates 

These skates are designed for rough terrain skating and those who love adventure. The size of the wheels permits the skater to coast through sloppy paths, sands, ice, mountain trails, and rough streets. There are also some designs that you can attach to your shoes or boots.

A few models include a hand-activated braking mechanism to get more control. The structure of the wheels allows you to skate around easily on different surfaces with less collision.

Speed Roller Skates vs. Inline Speed Skates

While comparing Roller skates vs Inline skates, the primary difference is that Roller skates have side-by-side wheels and Inline skates have wheels in a single line.

Most roller skates wheel diameter is highest 65mm while inline skates wheel diameter starts from 70mm and up to 125mm.

At last, roller skates vs Inline stakes additionally have different styles of boots. Most skates have high boots that are firm and lock the lower leg more into the right spot. Inline skates for speed skating typically utilize low profile boots and permit the skater to get low in their position, as a matter of fact.

Then again, roller skates can have either high-top or low profile boots relying upon what the skater is after- greater mobility or greater stability.


Q. 1: What kind of skates are best for the outdoors?

Ans: Skate types including the Roller skate (quad skates) and rollerblades (inline skate) are known for their merits and drawbacks in terms of outdoor skating. One of the significant differences is that most Quad skates are used in indoor skating activities and for skating outdoor on flat surfaces. On the other hand, inline skates are suitable for outdoor cruise

Q. 2: What is the difference between speed skates and regular skates?

Ans: One of the major differences that exist between speed skate and jam skates is the use of toe. Speed skates are created with a toe stop, and this gets inline once you exhibit certain jam skating moves. When using a jam skate, you can easily have a toe plug, and this can most time be replaced by a variety of colors.

Q. 3: What are four-wheel skates called?

Ans: Rollerblades, which are also known as inline skates, are created with a streamline arranged in a straight row. It’s categorically one of the different skating types that lack wheels, and the way to stop it is also different. The skate is a perfect suit for most outdoor skating activities. Different from the quads, it is a perfect recommendation for speedster and is used in roller sporting activities.

Q: 4: How many types of skates are there?

Ans: There are several types but most prominent ones fall into 6 specific categories–Speed, Jam, Roller Derby, Artistic, Rhythm, and Outdoor. Check out our blog to learn more about them. A single type might have sub categories. For example there are different kinds of roller skates in the roller skate category. We tried to elaborate briefly on all types of roller skates here.

About the author

Colin Kint

I’m a professional skateboarder and have participated in most skateboarding competitions in San Francisco. I believe my innate passion for the sport drove me to pursue my career as a professional skateboarder.

Another reason I’ve got so good at it is because of my relentless practice sessions with my friends. As an environmental activist with an undergraduate law degree, I volunteer in different community awareness programs. I’m also into photography and do most of the photography for this site.

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