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Roller Skates Vs Rollerblades : Which One Is Easy For Skating ?

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First of all the term Rollerblades is a wrong one. The right one is Inline Skating. So remember whenever I use a term Inline skating, I depict the term Rollerblades.

Skating is one of those tremendously admired activities which is predominant all over the world. The craze on skating is nothing new. It became the part of most popular sports like Roller Ball, Roller Soccer and Roller Hockey. When it comes to skating one may confuse about which one they can use for skating? Whether it’s roller skates or it’s Inline skating. Which one is easy to skate? Which one is easy for turning and stopping? Which is more durable, how they are designed to work and many more. These questions are often discussed in reddit. Based on their discussion and out of our personal experience, we have written this article. Before we tell you the disparities of Roller Skates vs Rollerblades (Inline Skating) let’s unearth the brief history behind them.

When Were Roller Skating And Rollerblades Invented?

Roller Skating evolved from being a recreational activity to a competitive sport just similar to the evolution of ice skating. However, roller skates and roller blades originated differently.

Initially, the roller skates were seen on the stage for the first time in London in 1743 and then the first patented roller skate was invented by Belgian inventor John Joseph Merlin and its present form was devised in 2000 by Joseph Colonese.

The Rollerblades (Inline skates) were originated in the early 1700s by a Dutchman who made wooden spools united it with wooden strips, and nailed it with his shoes. Later in 1980s Scott and Brennan Olsen discovered Inline Skates.

Why The Term Inline Skates Has Got The Term Rollerblades?

Unfortunately, the term Rollerblades has equated the term Inline Skates in most of the people mind. Because Rollerblades, Inc was the only manufacturer of these skates for a long time.Rollerblades was a generic name given to these Inline skates.

There is a funny sentence I read on roller skating official site

“All Rollerblades are Inline roller skates, but not all Inline roller skates are Rollerblades”.

It is true. Isn’t it?

So if you use skates from the brand Rollerblades, it is right to use the term rollerblading. Otherwise, you should make use of the term Inline skates.

The Basic: Wheel Arrangement Roller Skates Vs Inline Skates (Rollerblades)

The major difference between the two is the pattern of arrangement of wheels as these are placed differently in both the sport gears. Let’s have a look at the key structural differences between them.

In roller skates, the four wheels are aligned in two rows and they are thick and similar to those seen in skateboards or a car. The rubber brakes are arranged in front of the wheels so one has to always lace up the skates. They are similar to wearing the leather boots just having the wheels underneath them.

On the other hand, Inline skates have four wheels aligned in a single row and are much thinner as compared to those of roller skates. The rubber stopping are placed in the back and thus there is a huge difference in retarding the blades and skates. The body of Inline skates is quite hard and has some air spaces that enable your feet to breathe easily while wearing a plastic gear.

What Is Easier To Learn? Roller Skates vs Inline Skates 

This is a bit trickier question as both the apparatuses are designed in their own unique way to enhance the recreational experience of the users. To get the best experience, you should know both of them. If an individual is new to skating, he/she is completely clueless regarding the use of both the gears.


In terms of stability, skates are easy to balance and the individual can easily overcome the initial hurdles of learning, he/she can go seamlessly with the skates with continuous hard-work and practice.

The Inline skates (Rollerblades) are quite tricky initially because the wheels are aligned in a single row which makes it difficult (for the beginners alone) for the individual to maintain an apt balance with the blades.


There is no comparison between skates and blades as Inline skates will sure-shot win the arguments. For those who are the admirers of speed, find it reliable to go on with the blades as the same effort is required to push the blade as needed for a skate and one just needs to adjust the hip and the pace can be easily gained. The blades are made up of larger wheels which provide the necessary balance when one reaches a specific pace as they prevent the rider from getting imbalances as he/she encounters uneven roads.

Variation In Methodologies Of Turning And Braking

Undoubtedly, roller skates are easy to handle in terms of turning and application of brakes as compared to the rollerblades.

With Inline skates (rollerblades) you can make sharp turns as compared to roller skates which take much wider turns and one needs to slow down the skates while making sharp turns. One should have extraordinary knacks for aptly controlling the blades while turning and decelerating the blades.

Impact of Blades and Skates On Different Muscles

When a person is either using the Inline skates or roller skates, the different muscles of his/her body are being impacted, although the way of driving both the gears nearly appears to be the same. The major disparity lies in the way one propels his body forward for driving the gear.

 Roller skating predominantly involves the muscles of thighs, lower abdomen, hamstrings calves and gluts but along with this the inline skates also involves the movement of your hip muscles. This can be easily understood by the fact that in Inline skates, the wheels are aligned in a single row and one has to regulate his/her hip movements also for balancing the body on the blades. Rollerblades (Inline skates) thus provide a wide array of flexibility to the body while the movement is restricted while driving the skates.

Difference Between The Roller Skates And Inline Skates

It’s a well-known fact that skating depends totally upon the nature of the wheels and the practice that usually makes an individual perfect in any kind of sports gear he/she maneuvers. However, every gadget, gear or entity has its own positives and negatives which have to be accepted.

 Roller Skates Vs Inline Skates ( Rollerblades)

Roller Skates Inline Skates (Rollerblades)
Well balanced and less training is required to learn to maneuver them Beginners find them difficult to maneuver
When comparing to the Inline Skates, it is much slower Easy to attain lofty speeds
Difficult to go on Uneven roads Small wheels that can work smoothly on uneven roads
More comfortable shoes in comparison to those of roller blades Usually the footwear comes with straps
Involves extensive workout of upper body Additional workout of hip muscles
Tumbling probabilities reduced by heavy wheels Wheels are light so tumbling possibilities are high enough
Significant front stoppers help in easily decelerating the skates Very difficult in the application of brakes and deceleration
Not usually preferred for roller derby and other alike sports Preferred by the sports like Roller derby, Roller hockey,
Shock absorbers are less supportive when comparing with Inline Skates Better shock absorbers as compared to skates
A lot more stability on the sideways Being aligned from tip to toe, wheels provide ample support
Because of the balance, it will be easier to skate, if you never been skate For rough surfaces, the Inline Skates are better
To turn & carve you have to lean one side or the other Turning/sliding can be done using the edges

 Although, it’s a very typical answer to the question ”Which skates are the best?”, yet it can be said that both the gears are designed in an atypical manner having their own mechanisms of operation and own pros and cons so it totally depends upon the maneuver to select the one that entirely accomplishes his/her requirements. If you are just a beginner and ask “which skate is easier”, my answer would be the Inline skates (rollerblades) and nothing else.

For advanced users, we hope that the aforementioned points will surely be beneficial in selecting the one out of the duo, Roller Skates vs Rollerblades (Inline skates). Happy Skating!.