Roller skating outside
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Where to Find Roller Skates for Cheap Summer Fun

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Roller skating outside
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Back to the Future

In case you haven’t heard, roller skating is back. Take a whole lot of people who are bored at home, mix in a few buzzworthy Tik-Tok videos, add the warmer weather, and you’ve got the makings of an honest-to-goodness fad. Roller skates aren’t exactly new — they’ve been around since the 1860s. But every decade or so, a new generation discovers how much fun it can be to scoot around on eight wheels, whether it’s the roller derby craze of the early 2000s, the roller discos of the 1970s, or the speed-skating tournaments of the 1910s. Although you can spend hundreds of bucks on a pair of skates — and if you’re serious about the sport, you probably will — there’s no reason to if you’re new to roller skating and just want to give it a try. 

Prices and availability are subject to change.

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row of roller skates
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Where to Buy Cheap Roller Skates

You may be able to find a pair of cheap skates at your local skate shop — and we always love to shop small — but online is where you’ll find the most selection. Here’s a brief rundown of what you can expect to find:

Amazon: Pages and pages of roller skates — the most of any retailer we looked at — from cheap no-name kids’ roller skates to pricey adult models for roller derby, jam skating, and more. Prices range from about $35 for beginner youth skates (factory refurbished pairs can be had for about $10 less) to about $225 for VNLA brand adult roller skates.
Walmart: Fewer options than Amazon, but still well over 100 roller skate options to choose from (more if you include third-party sellers on the Walmart site). Prices range from about $25 for a pair of Roller Derby brand adjustable kiddie skates to $120 for a pair of traditional-style adult skates by Epic.
Target: Less selection than Walmart, but the same basic selection of roller skates for kids and adults from brands including Chicago Skates, Roller Derby, and Circle Society. Prices range from $30 to $120.
Dick’s Sporting Goods: Dick’s carries around 75 different models (most of them for traditional indoor/outdoor skating) for kids and adults from brands such as Epic, Roller Derby, Roces, and Chicago Skates. Prices run from $35 for kids’ skates to $120 for a pair of classic adult skates.
Academy Sports & Outdoors: This retailer carries only a couple dozen roller skate models from brands including Roller Derby, Airwalk, and Chicago Skates. Prices range from $20 for a pair of youth skates to $100 for an adult pair.
Ebay:  Hereyou can find new-in-the-box roller skates for kids and adults as well as gently (and not-so-gently) used and vintage models. Price and selection are all over the map, but are in line with big-box retailers when it comes to new, name-brand roller skates.

Roller Skates
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Types of Roller Skates

There are a mind-boggling number of roller skate styles available. If all you want to do is take some gentle turns around the local roller rink or your neighborhood streets, a pair of traditional or artistic skates — they look a lot like ice skates — that have a stiff above-the-ankle boot and prominent toe stop are your best choice. Once you’ve learned the basics and want to graduate to track skating and racing, a pair of low-cut speed skates, which resemble athletic shoes on wheels with a toe stop. If showing off your groovy moves is most important, choose a set of jam skates instead. Like speed skates, jam skates have a low-cut ankle, plus a cover to protect the laces while you’re turning tricks and a smaller toe stop. Look for a known brand like Roller Derby, Chicago Skates, Epic, or Riddel. 

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Roller Derby Girl's Trac Star Adjustable Roller Skate
Amazon

Roller Derby Girls' Trac Star Adjustable Roller Skate

Price: $30 and up from Amazon
Buy It
This is one of Amazon's top sellers, and plenty of parents say these make a great first pair of roller skates for a youngster. Buyers say the molded plastic shell is supportive, the ratcheting straps are easy to adjust, and the washable inner liner is comfortable. A handful of parents complain that sizing seems to run small, so be sure to measure your child’s foot before ordering. A boys' version is also available.

Roller Derby FireStar Youth Roller Skate
Walmart

Roller Derby FireStar Youth Roller Skate

Price: $35 and up from Walmart
Buy It
Once your kiddo’s gotten a taste of roller skating, it's time to upgrade to a skate like this model, which has a fixed, lace-up boot that provides more foot and ankle support than step-in beginner skates. This is a boy's roller skate, but a girls' model is also available.

Chicago Girls' Classic Quad Roller Skates
Walmart

Chicago Girls' Classic Quad Roller Skates

Price: $45 and up from Walmart
Buy It
If your child loves nothing better than an afternoon at the local skating rink or on the neighborhood sidewalks, these traditional roller skates are a good choice, say parents. The lace-up boot is comfortable and provides plenty of ankle support. A boys' version is also available.

Chicago Men’s Classic Quad Roller Skates
Walmart

Chicago Men's Classic Quad Roller Skates

Price: $55 and up from Walmart
Buy It
Chicago Skates also makes an adult version of their traditional roller skate for both men and women, and they don’t cost much more than the kids’ models. A few buyers say they wish the lace-up boot had a little extra cushioning for outdoor skating, but the majority of buyers seem quite satisfied, based on their feedback.

Chicago Bullet Men's Speed Roller Skate
Amazon

Chicago Bullet Men's Speed Roller Skate

Price: $40 from Amazon
Buy It
If competitive skating is more your thing, this low-priced model is a good pick for beginner track skating, roller derby, and old-fashioned leisure skating inside or out. They come with ABEC-1 bearings, which aren’t as speedy and precise as those on pricier speed roller skates, and a minority of buyers complain that the wheels aren’t ideal for outdoor skating, but both of those components can be upgraded. A women’s version is also available.

Roller Derby Women's Rollerstar 600
Walmart

Roller Derby Women's Rollerstar 600

Price: $70 from Walmart
Buy It
If you harbor dreams of becoming the next Olivia Newton-John and spending your days freestyle skating, owners say this model is a good, inexpensive pick for indoors or out. A handful of owners note that these don’t roll as smoothly or turn as sharply as more expensive freestyle skates with more sophisticated components, but the majority of buyers are plenty satisfied with their purchase.

Riedell R3 Skates
Amazon

Riedell R3 Skates

Price: $135 and up from Amazon
Buy It
If you’re serious about skating, especially track skating and roller derby, these Riedells are a great entry-level choice, say pro skaters and reviewers alike. The low-cut boot is comfortable and supportive, while the ABEC-5 bearings and Radar Cayman wheels are built for speed. However, some owners say that you may want to upgrade those components to match your skating style.

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