Inline skating vs Roller skating: The Difference in Details

Skating is a unique and fun sport which always marvel me whenever I see those skaters doing their thing and make people. Apart from entertainment, skating is also a form of transportation, a recreational activity, form of art or a job.

Did you know? This sport has been in existence for ages, and right now, many people enjoy it all over the world.

Recently, there is a report that the skating market worth has the estimation of $4.8 billion as its yearly revenue with up to 11.8 million active skaters globally.

 In this right up, we are going to talk about the two main classic skating options that are available to any skater. They are the Inline skating and the Roller skating.

Ordinarily, when you look at Inline and Roller skating, both of them seem very much alike. After all, they all involve action sport, the skates have wheels underneath, and you will have to orchestrate skating motions where you have to propel your body forward.

Even with these similarities, there are still several differences between the Inline and Roller Skating.

Inline Skating

This type is a skating evolved from the traditional ice skating. It involves making use of skates that have either two or five wheels that appear in a single line pattern right in the middle of the skate.

There is usually a brake, or stop block which is attached to base or rear of each one to enable the skater stop or slow down. This action can be successful by leaning backward of the skater on the foot of the braking skate.

You can even turn sharply or pull your back foot while leaning your weight backward.

Inline skating is an exercise that requires speed, and this makes it perfect for outdoor skating. It is possible on surfaces like parking lots, streets and sidewalks.

The skate comes from sturdy plastic which covers the ankles thereby providing maximum support. The wheels are wobbly and need proper balance learning by the skater to avoid accidents.

The wheels touch the ground at the same time, and this action provides a better balance during skating. Inline skating is faster since the wheels are in one single row and you can be sure of speed.

You easily maneuver the inline skate and swerve to avoid hitting any obstacles.  This feature means that you don't need to fear for accidents.

Roller Skating

This skating is another form of action sport that provides recreational activity. It can also serve as a mode of transportation or even used in entertainment events.

To be precise, roller skating is a popular pastime which also works a competitive sport. It dates back to the 1700s, and the improvement continues in the ensuing years.

In appearance, the roller skater looks like leather boots or shoes with wheels.  It comes with two pairs of wheels on the back and front of the skate.

The brake or stopping for this particular type of skating is only with the toe. It involves the skater propelling forward on each of the toe stops.

Roller skating is perfectly suited to indoor skating although it does not provide support for the ankles. It often maintains a slower pace, but you can be sure of its stability. The best place to enjoy roller skating is on wide, smooth surfaces such as the skating rink. 

Differences Between Them:

The Inline and Roller Skating both have some differences between them.

  • Physical difference

When you come to the physical aspect of both sports, their construction is quite different from each other. Both of them have their unique muscle activity, and this means that you need a different skill for maneuvering.

  • The skates

The wheels of the inline skates are slim and aligned in one single row in the middle of the skate whereas the wheels of the Roller skates are aligned in two rows with four sturdy wheels.

  • The stoppers

The stoppers for the roller skates are usually situated at the front of the skater while the stoppers of the Inline skates are tiny, and you can find it at the back of the skater.

  • Fasteners

The Inline skates make use of laces or straps as its fastener whereas the Roller skates mainly use laces as fasteners.

  • Construction materials

The body of the Roller skates is often constructed with leader-like ice skates while on the other hand; the body of the Inline skates comes with thick plastic shell-like ski boots.

  • Technology

Majority of the Inline skates available today can boast of higher technology than that of the Roller skates. Such technologies like air vents that will enable the feet to breathe and shock absorbers.

  • Effects on skaters

The parts of the muscle which both activities affect are quite different from each other due to the thickness and placement of the wheels.

 For Roller skating, the muscles affected are the lower abdomen, the glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. Whereas for Inline skating, the muscles affected are these same ones with the inclusion of the hip movement.

  • Stability

Stability is more assured in Roller skating due to the four solid wheels which are side by side. While for Inline skating, you will need to apply additional effort to balance well.

  • Maneuverability

In the case of maneuverability, the Roller Skater is less flexible due to the wheel placement that makes it stabilized. On the other hand, the Inline Skater is wobbly, and the balance is not assured, but its slim wheel placement creates room for maximum maneuverability.

Also, the placement of the Inline skate stoppers at the rear of the skate comes in handy for quick tricks and turns.

  • Applications

You can use Roller Skates in sports like Roller Derby which is a team sport carried out on a skating track. This type of sport needs a stable skate like the Roller Skate since it involves a "jammer" whose duty is to overtake the other players in other to get points.

Heavy body contact is required since each team will try to slow down or block the "jammer" entirely. You can also use the Roller Skating for entertainment like Dancing.

The four solid wheels of the roller skate provide stability which enhances the style of popular dances like roller disco.

With the Rollerskates, dancers have the assurance of stability which propels them to be more creative and graceful.

On the other hand, Inline Skates can be used as accessories on sports like Aggressive Inline Skating. This type of skating requires the skater to perform jumps, tricks as well as turns on skate parks. Thy maneuverability of the Inline Skate comes in handy in this sport.

You can also make use of the Inline Skate for Roller hockey. This sport needs flexibility, and it is like the ice hockey, but the best place to play it is in a gymnasium or pavement.


Whether you are a professional skater who is looking for the appropriate skate to use or you are just a beginner still in the learning process, it is important to educate yourself with the above information.

These differences will enable you to choose the right skating style that will bring out your best skating potential and ensure that you enjoy the game.

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