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Roller Derby Skates

Derby Skates. Tough gear for easy skating.

Roller Derby is a powerful and exciting sport that has been gaining popularity in the last years. It has developed to the point that it is now being considered for inclusion into the next Olympics in 2018. If roller derby has caught your attention the following questions will help you to learn more about roller derby equipment.

Do I need derby skates to play roller derby?

If you are a newcomer to roller derby you may not be familiar with the specific gear requirements this game imposes. Roller derby is a full-contact team sport involving elements of racing, maneuvering, as well as shoving, pushing and knocking down. This sport is tough and so should be the equipment used for it. Traditionally roller derby is played in quad skates. However it is not advisable to use your well-tried recreational quads for this purpose even if they have served you perfectly for casual strolls. Unlike any other skating activity roller derby is characterized by aggressive skating style, impulsive movements, collisions and impacts which fall to the lot of the derby skates. Such adverse conditions are likely to end the life of your causal skates right there on the derby track. Due to this reason we recommend to use special-purpose derby skates right from the beginning of your practices.

What makes roller derby skates different?

The rules and setting of roller derby predetermine specific features of roller derby skates which are developed to enhance performance of the skaters in order to obtain advantages over the opposing team. Let us see which roller derby requirements account for special design of derby skates.

Speed, quick acceleration. Ability to skate swiftly with powerful acceleration is probably the most important skill in roller derby. With this in mind, derby skates are manufactured of advanced light-weight materials so as to allow for extra milliseconds of advantage when they are needed on the way to successful score. Every component of derby skates is made of as light a material as feasible: carbon/fiberglass /basalt composite shells, boots of high-quality leather or hi-tech materials (such as Durolite in Bont skates), aluminum alloy/nylon plates, extra light wheels and bearings.

Maneuverability is another must in roller derby as it allows implementing complicated strategies, bold advances and timely escapes. With the view to ensure good maneuverability derby skates usually feature low boots with heat-moldable memory foam padding in the ankle and heel areas providing the perfect support and comfort for your feet and thus a good controllability.

Stability is also an important factor whenyour goal is to keep the speed and stay on your feet in spite of all the pushing and tossing from your opponents. Carefully selected wheels are the key to the right grip. When choosing the wheels it is recommended to proceed from the quality of your skating surface. When the expected skating surface is smooth and slippery (like polished concrete or wood, for example) softer 84-88A wheels should be chosen to provide for better grip and stability. When the surface is sticky medium hard or hard grade wheels 90-96A would be a better choice in order not to lose the speed performance.

Durability is certainly the most specific requirement to the derby skates determined by the rough nature of roller derby.  Toe reinforcements; non-scratch abrasion-resistant materials; extra stitching; durable wheels; large long-lasting no-mark toe stoppers and other advanced design elements are used to ensure long life and good look of your derby skates.

How much should I invest into derby skates?

If you are new to the game and not yet sure if you will stick around, you may purchase a pair of low-budget derby skates for $50-150; they may be new starter’s package derby skates or a pair of used higher level skates that you can buy from an experienced roller derby player. The entry level derby skates will be durable enough to get through the challenges of roller derby practices and give you the required comfort and stability on the track.

If you are a middle level derby skater or a dedicated beginner striving to improve your level we advise you to focus on derby skates from $150-350 price range. Apart from being comfortable and strong, they will cover your need for extra lightness, speed and maneuverability.

If you are a top-league derby skater seeking excellent performance, you have probably had experience with derby skates from different price ranges. If you have come to the point when you want simply the best the derby skates of +$400 price range will complement your roller derby skills allowing for even more power, acceleration, control and balance.

Whatever derby skates you need you will find a wide range of options at If you need an advice on choosing your derby skates, please, contact us at at 818-785-2002 or at