Inline Skates vs Roller Blades – A Deep Dive (2023)

At one point, you’ve probably asked yourself about the difference between inline skates and rollerblades.

The short answer is that one has wheels in the middle and the other has four wheels evenly spaced. 

They both also refer to the same sport.

This article will go deeper into this misconception and more differences between the two.

Inline Skates vs Roller Blades

The Confusion

People may get confused when the terms “rollerblading” and “inline skating” are used interchangeably. 

Even though the words sound like they are talking about two different things, they are actually just two names for the same sport. 

Specifically, “rollerblading” means using inline skates made by RollerBlade, a brand name. “Inline skating” is a more general name for the sport, and it is the one that you should use. 

People get confused because they often say “rollerblading” when they mean “inline skating.”

This happened because rollerblade played a significant role in making inline skating popular.

Rollerblade was so good at selling inline skates and other gear that the word “rollerblading” came to be used for all sports that involve inline skating. 

No matter which company made them, inline skates are often called “Rollerblades.” Rollerblade did not, however, come up with, design, or make the first inline skates.

The correct name for “rollerblading” or “blading” sports is “inline skating” or “inline roller skating.” “Rollerblades” made by any other company should be called “inline skates.” 

If you’re rollerblading, you’re using Rollerblade brand skates. If you’re not, you’re inline skating.

Related Reading: Roller Blading VS Roller Skating – Click Here To Learn More.


Before we can talk about whether rollerblades or roller skates are better, we need to know what they are. Inline skates are another name for Rollerblades.

They have a single frame that runs the sole length, with 3 to 5 wheels in a line from toe to heel.

Roller blades usually have four wheels.

Because you must keep your balance on a line of wheels, most rollerblades have a tall, supportive boot that fits snugly.

This is so that your ankles won’t get hurt when you skate.

On rollerblades, the brake is on the back of the frame and helps you stop when needed.

However, more advanced or serious skaters don’t use brakes because they can get in the way of how they want to move.

Roller Skates

Roller blades are different from roller skates.

Standard roller skates are set up differently than rollerblades, which have all wheels in one line. 

Roller skates have two horizontal trucks instead of a single frame.

One is at the toe, and the other is at the heel.

There are two wheels on each truck’s left and right sides.

There are also a wide variety of roller skate boots available.

There are boots of all different heights, depending on your needs and your plans with your skates.

Rollerblade wheels are also smaller than roller skate wheels, but rollerskate wheels are much wider and flatter.

They usually have a brake on the toe, but it can often be taken off if needed.

Most Significant difference Between Roller Skates and Inlines

The wheels are the main thing that makes inline skating different from roller skating.

Roller skates make it easier for a beginner to stand up straight because they have wheels on both sides of the middle of your foot.

This can make them suitable for beginners because it makes you feel more stable and makes it easier to go slowly. 

They may be helpful for small youngsters whose legs may have problems staying upright on inline skates.

But suppose you want to get used to going in different directions and getting around obstacles.

If that happens, it might be easier to change the direction of each inline skate one at a time. 

With a line of narrower wheels, it’s easier to weave the blades in and out while keeping the skates grounded.

Roller skates can get “stuck” in one direction, which makes it hard to weave.

Inline skates have a back brake that requires you to push down on your heel while extending your leg.

It seems that this is a more natural manner to come to a stop. 

Beginners might find this easier than the front brake on roller skates, which requires you to drag your foot and put pressure on it simultaneously.

But it also comes down to what each person wants.

But on both skates, you must keep your knees bent and get used to how the wheels under your feet move to stay balanced.

So, both inline and roller skates have a learning curve, and the difference between the two is not like night and day. 

Roller skates give you better balance, but after you learn inline skating, you can skate farther and easier without them.

Rollerblading Or Roller Skating Fitness

Rollerblading Or Roller Skating Fitness

Because inlines make it easier to skate with some speed, you see a lot more active people skating for fitness.

It is easier to run marathons or skate for a long time. 

Many people do it on roller skates, but they’re quite proficient by then.

You can reach the point where it’s acceptable to rollerblade for three hours faster.

Which is better for your health and fitness?

The short answer is that they’re kind of the same.

You could make the case that roller skating gives you a better workout because it is harder to move quickly. 

But on the other hand, if it’s harder, you’re probably just going to do it in less time.

Unless, of course, you fall head over heels for it.

Both burn more calories than a brisk walk and some other exercises.

Still, they burn fewer calories per minute than running or cycling.

But all of this is based on the idea that you want long skates.

If you want to dance or do other things, roller derby gets you in better shape than roller hockey.

Well, you could say that roller hockey is a more constant sport because the sprints last longer, and the players go back and forth more often.

Roller derby requires a lot of physical effort, though, since it involves blocking, body-to-body contact, and staying upright. 

At the same time, the other players push you down.

You can use both to your advantage if you want to know which one is better. 

But if you want to lose weight and get fit, interval skating for three hours at a fast pace might be better than roller derby.

Related Reading: What To Wear Roller Skating – Check Out Here.

Final Thoughts

Depending on your balance, try both rollerblades and skates to find which will work well for you.

Once you’ve had the hang of it, you can explore more options between the two.