How To Choose Roller Skate Wheels? – A Must-Read For All Roller Skaters

Roller skating is an exciting and popular sport. If you decide to take up roller skating, roller skating wheels should be your main concern. Why should you know how to choose roller skating wheels? Because wheels are the essential part of roller skates.

To become a good skater, you need an excellent and accordant pair of roller skates. Do you like indoor or outdoor? What are the different wheels for each type? This article will be the key to help you find the concordant roller skates. Let’s scroll down for more information.

How To Choose Roller Skate Wheels

Why Do You Need To Choose Rollers Skate Wheels?

Why Do You Need To Choose Rollers Skate Wheels?

There are many types of roller skating, such as pairs of slalom, slide, park, halfpipe, speed and skate cross. But roller skating is usually divided into the two following groups, which are indoor and outdoor. Depending on the purpose of the skater, there are many types of roller skates with different types of wheels as sizes, hardness, and weight.

Because of the relatively flat terrain, indoor skaters will choose large diameter wheels, high stiffness, and little adhesion roller skates. The skaters can skate quickly and perform spinning movements on the floor. However, the roll speed of small wheels will be slower than large wheels. So speed skaters will choose large and hard wheels.

In contrast, outdoor skaters need roller skates with small diameter, soft and high adhesion because of complex terrain with lots of sand and gravel. It’s dangerous to choose high stiffness, low adhesion roller skate wheels.

Basic Anatomy Of Roller Skate Wheels

Basic Anatomy Of Roller Skate Wheels

There are many types of roller skate wheels, but their basic structure usually has polyurethane, searings, spacer, and wheel Hub. To choose the accordant roller skater wheels, you need to know these pieces of information. 

  • The unit of the wheel diameter is measured in millimeters(mm).
  • The durometer number of the wheels will be added “A” symbol and printed immediately after the diameter index.
  • The standard thickness of roller skates is 24mm.

Roller Skate Wheel Diameter

The height of the roller skate wheels depends on the size of the diameter. The stability, wheel’s weight, rolling time, and top speed are affected by the height of wheels. So, you should determine your favorite type of roller skating to know how to choose roller skate wheels.

Do you know? The less distance between the skater and the surface rink is, the higher the stability is. The stability of small diameter wheels is better than large-diameter wheels.

Did you choose the wheels for your roller skates? Speed skaters often choose roller skates with large wheels to save energy. And small wheels will fit for indoor skaters. If you are an outdoor skater, you should choose wheels with a large diameter.

Read the information in the table to know some types of roller skate wheels diameter and applications.

Roller Skate Wheel Diameter

The Width Of Wheel

Width Of Wheel

Like the diameter, the unit of measurement of wheel thickness is also measured in millimeters. As you know, the broader contact surface with the ground will keep more grip. So, the stability of a wider contact surface wheel is better than a narrow wheel. The narrow contact surface wheels will move quickly but these wheels have less stability.

Choosing The Wheel Hardness

Choosing The Wheel Hardness

The highest hardness index is 105A. The durometer number of the wheels will be added to the “A” symbol and printed immediately after the diameter number. For example, you can know the diameter of a wheel is 56mm, and the hardness is 96A when you see “56mm / 96A” on the wheel.

Why do you need to read the durometer number of roller skate wheels? Because hardness will affect the terrain you skate. The soft roller skate wheels will have a high grip, and they are accordant for outdoor skaters. And, indoor skaters often choose skates with hard wheels.

  • For outdoor roller skating, you should choose soft wheels in the 78A-80A range.
  • For indoor roller skating as polished concrete or gym, wheels in the 86A-89A range are the best choices.
  • For roller rink floors, you need super hard wheels in the 97A-103A range.

If you want to choose some soft roller skate wheels, you should choose the wheels with a small durometer number. The hardness of the wheel will affect the duration of use. Higher durometer number wheels will be more durable than lower durometer number wheels.

Weight Of Wheel

Weight Of Wheel

You might think it’s funny to study the weight of rollerblading wheels. This factor is very important. Half the total weight of a skate is the weight of wheels. So, do you know how to choose roller skate wheels?

You need a lot of power when you use skates with heavy wheels. However, heavy wheels have more stability than light wheels. If you are a newbie, you should choose heavy wheels for skates. Moreover, experienced skaters can easily use light wheels to move or spin.

Hub Materials

Hub Materials

Currently, hub materials are usually made from durable nylons or aluminum material. The hubs and bearing will support the wheels and help you save thrust. However, you can study about hub materials.

Nylon cores have the shortest durability because they have the least hardness. However, they have a very lightweight and affordable price. Aluminum material cores often have long service and heavyweight. And, the wheels with aluminum material cores are usually expensive.


Shape Roller Skate Wheels

There are two basic wheel arrangements as Flat setup and Rocker setup.
Flat setup is the way to install all wheels in contact with the ground. And, Rocker setup is the way the wheels are not in contact with the ground.

Skates with flat setup are suitable for newbies because of the easily balance feature. Also, the flat set up helps maintain a constant speed of the wheels. However, this setup will limit the shift, so you should only skate on flat terrain or indoor rink.

The keeping balance of rocker setup is less than that of flat setup. But this setup enables skaters to move, spin and change direction abruptly. And, the skates with rocker setup adjustment are a good choice for rough terrain.


Roller skating is a great sport. Currently, more and more children and adults are enjoying roller skating. However, many people encounter difficulty in practice because they do not know how to choose roller skate wheels.

If you are a skater, you should study about diameter, width, hardness, weight, hub materials, and shape of wheels.

Hopefully, with this guide on how to choose roller skate wheels, you will find a perfect pair of roller skates with the right wheels for your favorite type of roller skating. You can invite your friends or relatives to practice together. I hope you have a good time roller skating.

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