K2 101: Inline Skate Buying Guide

Inline Skate Buying Guide

Skating is so much fun; and we’re sure that K2 has the perfect skate for you. But which skate should you choose? To help get you rolling, our team of experts put together a comprehensive skate buying guide that should answer all of your questions.

How should my skate fit?

Inline skates should fit like a comfortable pair of running shoes. Properly fitted skates shouldn’t be overly tight, but should limit the amount of foot movement inside the boot to reduce the chance of getting “hotspots” or blisters.

Visit a K2 Skates authorized dealer or any reliable shoestore to measure your foot using a Brannock Device and get a good idea of what size skate is best for you.

Why does wheel size matter?

Simply put, bigger wheels roll faster and are more challenging to control.  Wheels are measured by their diameter in millimeters, and most skaters begin skating on smaller wheels (<84mm).  Every K2 Skates frame lists the largest wheel size that will work with that skate, so when you’re ready to try a larger wheel size you will know the max size your skate can accommodate.

What’s up with rockered frames?

Rockered frames allow you to set the individual wheels of the skate at different heights, adding a customizable feel. Typically, beginner skaters don’t utilize this feature at first, but every skater should play with their setup to find what works best for them.

This comprehensive article from our friends over at Inline Planet goes in-depth about the pros and cons of common rockered setups.

What about bearings?

Generally speaking, bearings with a lower number are manufactured at a lower tolerance and are a bit less smooth (read: slower) than their higher-rated counterparts. However, all K2 Skates are designed with bearings that can be upgraded or replaced.

Now, which skate should I choose?

Inline Skate Buying Guide: Fitness Category
Fitness Category

Fitness Skates are our most popular category, and if you’re just getting into inline skating, this is a great place to start. Fitness Skates are well ventilated, feature 80mm and 84mm wheels, and are best for casual cruising on paths with friends or short-to-medium distance training sessions.

Check out models: Alexis | F.I.T.

Inline Skate Buying Guide: Aggressive Category
Aggressive Category

Aggressive Skates are freestyle focused, feature smaller wheels for maximum maneuverability and agility, and frames that are built for sliding and grinding. If your goals include skating ramps, rollers, jumps, rails, or ledges, these are the skates for you.

Check out models: Front Street  | Unnatural

Inline Skate Buying Guide: Lifestyle Category
Lifestyle Category

Lifestyle Skates emphasize street style and durability, feature 80mm wheels (besides the SODO, which features 100mm wheels), and are perfect for skaters of all abilities who prefer a more urban look and feel. Picture hanging out with friends, drinking milkshakes, and cruising the city streets.

Check out models: Midtown | Broadway | Uptown | Sodo

Inline Skate Buying Guide: X-Training Category
X-Training Category

X-Training Skates feature 90mm and 100mm wheels, increased ventilation, and are designed for skaters who focus on higher speeds, miles logged, and calories burned. Beginners typically don’t learn on X-Training Skates, as the larger wheels are more difficult to maneuver. As a beginner, we recommend upgrading to this type of skate once you’re comfortable on skates from the Fitness or Lifestyle lines.

Check out models: VO2

Inline Skate Buying Guide: Marathon Category
Marathon Category

The ultimate for distance and speed, Marathon Skates are generally best for advanced skaters who hammer out long training sessions and love high speeds on open trails. These skates feature 110mm or 120/125mm wheels, high-end bearings, and premium uppers (boots) to create the ultimate distance tool.

Check out models: MOD 110 | MOD 125

What should I do if I still have questions about which skate is right for me?

With years of knowledge and experience, your neighborhood K2 Skates authorized dealer is the best bet when it comes to selecting the right inline skates for your needs. Plus, they live and breath skating and would love for you to stop in and chat with them.

Not close to any shops? Shoot us your question over on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll see what we can do to get you rolling.

Happy skating!


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