The Best Roller Skates and Roller Blades for Kids Who Need to Move

Which, these days, is all the kids.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 
Four of the best roller skates and roller blades for kids, set against a multi-colored background, a...

Maybe you’re reenacting the fantastical, mind-bending cheesiness of Xanadu. Or maybe your kid just discovered the Drew Barrymore-directed roller derby romp Whip It! Whatever the case may be, roller skating is not only a great way to get kids off their screens and outdoors, it’s also a fun yet socially distant group activity that lets them burn off some energy while also working on their balance and gross motor skills. The best roller skates for kids look cool, without question, but also last for years and provide ample stability as skaters traverse the neighborhood. And even adults get in on the action: Padma Lakshmi and her daughter skated all over Paris this summer.

According to the pros at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, skating makes for invigorating outdoor exercise, provided you follow some basic safety precautions. Make sure your little athlete wears a helmet specifically for skating; these come down lower in the back to protect the skull in case of a backwards fall. Make sure the helmet fits properly, with the chin strap snug under the chin. And kids should wear knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards because of those things called broken bones and sprains.

The skates themselves should have solid ankle support; if you can squeeze the plastic of the boot, they’re not supportive enough. The wheels and brakes should be secured and not worn out, and the skates themselves should be buckled snugly. The best kids roller skates and blades are maximally adjustable: little feet should feel snug without being uncomfortable.

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