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Indoor vs Outdoor Roller Skates: Can You Use the Same Pair for Both?

Indoor vs Outdoor Roller Skates
Written by Colin Kint

Except for the wheels, there is no difference between indoor vs outdoor roller skates, and you can use the same pair of skates for both.

But you need a set of softer wheels for outdoors and a harder set for indoors, or a hybrid wheelset for both.

Furthermore, special outdoor skates include boots with a higher cut that allows you to stand still on rough surfaces and provides additional ankle support for the comparative hazard trails.

Indoor roller skates require harder and smaller wheels for flexibility and better control on surfaces like polished wood, concrete, and sport courts; and the boots are frequently made of softer materials for more comfort.

On the other hand, outdoor roller skates have softer, larger wheels with more aggressive tread patterns designed to provide better grip on rougher surfaces like asphalt or concrete, and boots are usually made of tougher materials to resist the wear and tear of outdoor use. Let’s find out more about the differences between indoor vs outdoor roller skates.

What’s The Difference Between Indoor vs Outdoor Skates

Features Indoor Outdoor
Wheel hardness 88A – 103A 90A
Wheel size 50mm – 60mm 60mm – 70mm
Boots Soft material and low cut Hard material and high cut
Price $70 – $500 $50 – $300

Wheel hardness

A roller skate wheel’s hardness is measured on a durometer scale, where a higher value indicates a harder wheel and a lower value implies a softer wheel.

The standard rating for indoor wheels should be (88A – 103), and (60A – 70A) for outdoors.

Wheel size

The diameter of an indoor roller skate wheel should be between (50mm – 60mm), whereas the diameter standard for outdoor wheels is (60mm – 70mm).


Indoor boots are usually low cut and made of lighter materials such as synthetic leather or vinyl for more comfort and flexibility. Outdoor boots, on the other hand, are high cut and made of leather or nylon to be durable and weather resistant.


Outdoor roller skates can cost between $50 to $150, with higher-end models costing up to $300 or more whereas indoor roller skates can set you back $100 to $500.

How to Use the Same Skates Both Indoors and Outdoors?

When it comes to indoor vs outdoor roller skates, having a separate pair of roller skates for different occasion can be convenient for you if you prefer both options for the thrill.

However, if you don’t go out very often or can’t afford two different pairs right now, you can convert your indoor pairs for outdoor use by simply changing the wheels. Just follow these steps:

  • You only need an Allen wrench or skate tools to replace your wheels.
  • If you already have indoor/outdoor wheels, the first thing you need to do is buy outdoor/indoor wheels, and if you want to shorten your conversion time, buy bearings for the new wheel and set them with the wheel.
  • After that, remove the bolts from the wheel and set them aside.
  • Now remove the old one’s spacer (and bearings if you didn’t spend extra money on bearings) and replace it with the new one.
  • Tighten the new wheels to the frame with an Allen wrench or a skate tool. If your skate spacers are made of plastic, be careful not to over tighten them; otherwise, they will crack.
  • Give your wheels a spin and examine their movement. If they don’t move freely, loosen the bolts; if the wheel is shaky, tighten them.


1. Can I use the same pairs for both indoor and outdoor use?

Ans: Yes, you can use your outdoor wheels inside, but dirty wheels can damage your floor. However, it is not recommended to use indoor wheels outdoors because they are harder than outdoor wheels and will cause discomfort. Instead, you can use hybrid wheels.

2. Should I buy a new pair for the outdoors or stick with my current indoor ones?

Ans: If you have the money, try brand new pairs. Otherwise, just add new wheels to your indoor pair for outside use. There actually won’t be much difference between a brand-new pair and an indoor pair with new wheels.

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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