Skates & Gear 101

Tall Boots vs Short Boots

There are benefits to both tall boots with a heel and shorter boots without a heel, depending on the style of skating you are interested in!

Which boots are better for dancing?

Tall boots are better for dancing because the heel puts your weight in the ball of your foot which is where you want it while turning and spinning.

For beginning dance we recommend the Riedell BoostRW WaveSG Boardwalk Indoor, or Riedell Uptown. These skates are Skaterobics approved!

Which boots are better for beginners?

Tall boots are better for beginners because the heel allows you to sit back a little more without ending up on your butt. It's a little easier to balance in a tall boot while you're learning. 

Which boots have more ankle support?

Tall boots have more ankle support which can make you feel more secure.

Which boots offer more ankle mobility?

Short boots allow for more ankle mobility which is important for the skating stance required in roller derby and can also be more comfortable for long distance skating.

Short boots don't have a heel which requires a little more balance and forces you to lean forward a little so you don't fall backward.

Beginner Skate Recommendations

Click a skating discipline below for our skate recommendations to get started!


For beginning dance we recommend the Riedell Boost, or Riedell Uptown. These skates are Skaterobics approved!

Outdoor Recreational

For beginning outdoor recreation we recommend the Impala Skates, Chaya Melrose, or Jackson Finesse.


For beginning ramp skating we recommend the Riedell 111 Boost, Moxi Lolly, or Bont Parkstar.

Indoor vs outdoor

Can skates be used both indoors and outdoors?

Any skate can be an indoor skate or an outdoor skate depending on whether it has indoor or outdoor wheels.

What are the differences between indoor and outdoor wheels?

Indoor wheels are harder and meant to be skated on a smooth surface. The harder the indoor wheel, the more slide you will have. There are two main shapes of indoor wheels: small, narrow, hard wheels for dancing and skate parks and wider derby wheels with a hub.

Outdoor wheels are softer and meant to roll smooth over uneven surfaces. The bigger outdoor wheels make for softer, smoother ride but will also be slower. The smaller outdoor wheels will have more agility but you will be able to feel more of the uneven surface under your feet.

What indoor wheels do you recommend to get started?

For beginning dance and park skating we recommend the Bones TeamRadar Riva, or SG Fame wheels.

For beginning derby we recommend the Bones Pet Day of the DeadRadar Halo, or Atom Savant wheels.

What outdoor wheels do you recommend to get started?

We recommend big, soft wheels for beginner outdoor skaters like the Moxi outdoorSG Boardwalk, and Bones Miami.

Protective Gear

Do I need protective gear?

We recommend new skaters wear full protective gear. Wearing protective gear makes most skaters feel more confident which makes learning to skate easier and more fun.

What gear do you recommend for rec or rink skating?

For recreational or rink skating the Triple 8 Savers Series gives you padding without bulk.

What gear do you recommend for derby or park/ramp skating?

For derby and park/ramp the minimum protection we recommend is the 187 6-Pack or the 187 x Moxi 6 Pack.

Do I need a helmet?

If you're skating on concrete we strongly recommend a helmet. Helmets are required for derby. The Triple 8 Certified Sweatsaver or 187 Pro Skate Helmet are both great options.

Get in touch

If you have other questions about skates & gear, please reach out!