If you’ve hit a park this summer, you’ve probably noticed skaters — roller and inline — gliding past. Since stay-at-home orders kicked in around the country, many people are looking for ways to stay fit and have fun without getting too close to others.
Naturally, skating is all the rage on TikTok and Instagram, where a few stars have gone viral with mesmerizing videos. For example, a video of actress Ana Coto skating through the streets of Los Angeles to the tune of Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block” has been viewed more than 14 million times on TikTok, according to The New York Times.
If it’s been a few years, or you’ve actually never tried skating, we found top-rated skates, protective gear and everything else you need to start skating again.
It’s important to learn the basics of skating before you take to the streets, so thankfully, there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube. The Skate Instructors Association has a channel with videos for all levels of inline skaters and roller-skating influencers (yes, that’s a thing now!). Indy Jamma Jones has a playlist for beginners on her channel, as well as tons of tips and tricks.
Epic Nitro Turbo Quad Roller Skates ($79.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
If you like to go fast, these beginner-level speed skates are “very comfortable and nicely made,” writes one reviewer. They’re also available in fun shades like aqua, purple and hot pink.
CSeven Soft Faux Leather Quad Roller Skates (starting at $51.95; amazon.com)
If you roller-skated as a kid, these skates will probably look and feel familiar to you. With an extremely reasonable price and glowing reviews, these are great skates to get you started.
Roller Derby Hightop Roller Skates ($79; urbanoutfitters.com)
These multicolored high-top skates are pure fun, with wild prints (zebra print, anyone?) that remind you of the ‘90s.
Chicago Men’s Classic Roller Skates (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)
These iconic rink skates will have you gliding around securely, thanks to the high ankle support.
Chicago Women’s Classic Roller Skates (starting at $47.97; amazon.com)
The women’s version of that same set is beloved on Amazon, too, and we’re super into the adorable classic white and pink color scheme.
Roces Mania Roller Skate ($62.99, originally $89.99; macys.com)
This discounted women’s skate comes in an eye-catching bright fuchsia.
Pacer Heartthrob Roller Skate (starting at $39.99; amazon.com)
These low-profile skates fit both girls and women, and come with cute graffiti drawings all over them.
Schwinn Unisex Adjustable Inline Skate ($45.99; target.com)
These high-rated inline skates work for both men and women, with one reviewer raving, “Awesome skates, awesome price!”
Otw-Cool Adjustable Inline Skates for Kids and Adults ($64.99; amazon.com)
If light-up skates are an essential part of your roller-skating fantasy, cast your eyes on this gorgeous set that’s available in both kids and adult sizes so everyone in the family can get in on the fun.
Rollerblade Zetrablade Men’s Adult Fitness Inline Skates (starting at $99; amazon.com)
Perfect for the fitness focused, these entry-level skates are ideal for novice Rollerbladers.
Roller Derby Aerio Q-60 Women’s Inline (starting at $160.99; amazon.com)
These women’s skates are designed to go from the rink to the road.
Roces Xenon Inline Rollerblade ($125.99, originally $172.99; macys.com)
These high-rated inline skates are a steal at 30% off.
Safety and gear
Retrospec H2 Ski & Snowboard Helmet, Convertible to Bike/Skate (starting at $30.74; amazon.com)
This convertible helmet works for all of your outdoor fun, roller-skating included.
Mylec Senior Adjustable Street Hockey Helmet ($24.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
If you’re playing hard, this street hockey helmet will keep your noggin protected.
Triple Eight Saver Series Pad Set (starting at $34.99; amazon.com)
“I just started roller derby and didn’t want to spend a ton on gear. I made a good choice with this set,” writes one reviewer, who is obviously putting this to the test.
IPSXP Knee Pads Set, Protective Gear ($28.99, originally $33.99; amazon.com)
It’s always important to protect your knees, elbows and wrists, especially if you’re back on skates for the first time in a decade or more.
Epic Skates Standard Roller Skate Bag ($13.95, originally $19.99; amazon.com)
Traveling with skates? Tuck them into this handy skate sack that’s a favorite of Amazon reviewers.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.