Even though hockey season may be over, the fun doesn’t need to stop. Swapping your blades for wheels means you can keep skating, even when the ice doesn’t exist.
When you are looking for the best roller hockey skates, you will need to take into consideration many factors, like your skating level as well as your budget.
To find the best inline hockey skates, you will need to also think about the wheels, the skate bearings, the frames, the liners, and even the sizing. Every piece of the skate is important to not only your performance, but your comfort level. You need to be able to skate for hours on the same skates without having discomfort.
If you don’t know where to start when looking for the best roller hockey skates, we have all of the information that you need to find the right pair of skates for you. You do not want to pick the first pair that you see.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Roller Hockey Skates
Not all roller hockey skates will have just what you need to be successful when playing roller hockey. You need to think about what you need as an individual player, including all of the essential parts of your skates, including wheels, frames, bearings, and even the liners.
The wheels are where all of your balance and power comes from. Some players would say that nothing is as important as the wheels. When you are looking at the best wheels out there, you will need to look at the size of the wheels and the hardness level. The size will affect what your grip is on your playing surface, while the hardness will impact your speed and the wheels’ durability.
Your wheel size should be between 76 and 80 mm, making them in the mid-range. Some skates will also have more than one size of wheel in order to give you better control.
When you are looking at how to get the best speed possible, you will need to look at the roller skate bearings. Just like the wheels, the bearings are incredibly important. The best bearings out there include either ABEC 7, ABEC 9, ILQ 7, or the ILQ 9. The Mission line with the Swiss LE bearings is also a high quality level of bearings.
Bearings give you the ability to skate not only quickly, but they also allow you to spin or turn at high speed. They offer agility during a game, giving you the ability to manoeuvre smoothly around your opponents.
Most of the inline hockey skates have an aluminum frame. This usually helps keep the skates lightweight, keeping you quick on your feet. This type of frame also is stiffer, meaning they will not bend or torque under pressure, giving you solid durability.
While aluminum skates are the most common type, not all skaters prefer them. Some others are made from titanium or even composite. It comes down to what you prefer. The idea is that while some players like the lightweight from aluminum, others would rather have something heavier.
The liner is the part of the boot that you slip your foot into. Usually they are made out of a comfortable material that separates your foot comfortably from the hard boot. They can come in a variety of materials, but the best liners will have an antimicrobial quality or are made from microfiber for the purpose of water wicking.
The preferred type of liner is microfiber, but others can include vinyl or nylon, keeping your skin as cool as possible. If you are a player who does not like to wear socks with your skates, you will need to seriously consider the comfort of the liner when buying your skates.
Roller Hockey Skates Sizing
When it comes to sizing your roller hockey skates, you will need to make sure that you are not just guessing on size. Sizing inline hockey skates is not the same as sizing street shoes or even the same as sizing standard inline skates.
Normally, you can just take your street shoe size and go down one size to get the best fit. But in order to make sure that you are getting the best size, you should consult the size chart for your brand of roller hockey skates and measure your feet properly. When you try them on, they should be snug without any gaps or empty space.
Best Inline Hockey Skates For 2018
1. Bauer Vapor XR600
2. Bauer Vapor XR300
3. Tour Code 1
4. Bauer Vapor XR500
5. Bauer Vapor 1XR
6. Mission Inhaler NLS
7. Tour Code 3
1. Bauer Vapor XR600 Inline Hockey Skates
Best Roller Hockey Skates Overall (Editor's Choice)
Our Editor’s Choice for the best roller hockey skates is Bauer Vapor XR600. Bauer, known for its hockey skates, has hit success with this model of roller skates.
They are a pro-level pair of skates, but they are still easy on the budget, making them a great choice for skaters of all levels and abilities. There is a tech-mesh fiber composite boot with these skates that gives you a lightweight, but responsive upgrade from the mesh that was previously used. Their asymmetrical design is in line with the Vapor series.
These skates have a one-piece heel and ankle support built in, making the internal structure stable and comfortable throughout the entire boot, though the extra support around the ankle might be uncomfortable for some skaters. The Hi-Lo aluminum chassis within the boot also offers excellent ventilation, ensuring that your feet are not going to be too hot or sweaty. This also helps reduce the risk of blistering.
If you have run into lace bite in the past, the Vapor XR600 has an added tongue support, keeping the top of your foot as protected as possible. The revision variant wheels on the skates will help improve your game, taking you to the next level.
For skaters who have also played ice hockey, these inline skates will feel much more like ice hockey skates, making the crossover between the two easy. Since these are thermoformable skates, you can take them to your local hockey shop and have them baked to reach the best fit possible.
2. Bauer Vapor XR300 Inline Hockey Skates
If you are looking for a more budget friendly pair of roller hockey skates, check out the Bauer Vapor XR300. These skates still have the great quality and craftsmanship that you can expect from Bauer, but at a more affordable price point.
Designed with comfort in mind, the Vapor XR300 skates come with a microfiber lining to help with water wicking. This will prevent blistering on your feel, wet socks, and help keep your boots from smelling over time.
The injected comp weave in the boot’s construction will give you more stability. This might seem uncomfortable at first, but once the skates have been properly broken in, you should not have too much trouble. The Vapor XR300 are also thermomoldable skates, meaning you can take them to a pro shop for baking, molding them to fit your feet perfectly.
If lace bite is a concern for you, the Vapor XR300 should put you at ease. The tongue is made with an anatomical 2-piece felt, which is specifically designed to prevent lace bite as well as keep your feet as comfortable as possible.
The Hi-Lo street wheels that come with these skates are standard with ABEC 5 bearings. The Hi-Lo ventilator steel chassis is included to help improve both stability and balance on the skates, which is important if you are just getting into roller hockey.
Ultimately, these are great skates for the beginner roller hockey skater or a skater who is only going out on them once in a while. If you are playing hard and often, a more durable skate might be needed.
3. Tour Code 1 Inline Hockey Skates
For the best roller hockey skates that meet all high performance demands, you should look at the Tour Code 1 inline skates. These are state-of-the-art, combining all of the latest technology with elite-level performance on the ice.
One of the most unique features of these inline skates is that the tongue itself is actually both removable and adjustable, allowing you to get it in the perfect place that you need. The tongue is essential for both comfort and protection so having an option of moving it to where it would benefit you best is rare when it comes to inline skates. It still has a traditional construction that goes all the way down the toebox, getting rid of any troublesome negative space and distributing the stress on the top of your foot to be more balanced. This means that lace bite will not be even a remote concern with these skates and you will still get the custom fit that you really need.
Looking inside of the skate, you will find an Accu-Aire liner, which is designed to wick water away from your feet, keeping them dry, reducing odour, and preventing blisters. The liner also works with the honeycomb ventilation system, ensuring that your feet are going to stay cool and comfortable the entire time that you are skating.
The Tour Code 1 skates have a VORRAC construction, which is a blend of a high quality carbon composite and Surlyn. As a result, the boots are stiff, helping give you a powerful stride while still protecting your ankles.
4. Bauer Vapor XR500 Roller Hockey Skates
Another great choice from Bauer, the Vapor XR500 are one of the best inline hockey skates that you can buy. A mid-level cost meets a strong performance with these skates, making them a great choice for skaters of different levels.
The Vapor XR500 skates have a reinforced Trueform tech PU quarter package with an X-rib pattern. This means that the skates will have a high level of comfort as well as a great amount of stability. The harder you skate, the more stability that you will need, giving you the power you need to skate with high speeds while keeping your ankles protected.
With an anatomical 40 ounce 2-piece felt tongue, your feet will have the lace bite protection that you need. There is also an extra metatarsal padding, giving you next-level comfort, which is exactly what you need.
If you are worried about keeping your feet cool, the Vapor XR500 has a hydrophobic microfiber liner that will keep the moisture off of your feet. This will keep your skates from developing a smell while keeping your feet both safe and dry.
Last, but not least, the Vapor XR500 has a Hi-Lo aluminum ventilator CNC painted chassis with Hi-Lo ABEC 7 bearings. This will give you the stability that you need to play well and move quickly during a game. The stability also means that it can hold up with heavier skaters as well, supporting you perfectly as you need.
For a high performing, but affordable pair of inline skates, you can’t go wrong with the Bauer Vapor XR500.
5. Bauer Vapor 1XR Roller Hockey Skates
Yet another great skate from Bauer, the Bauer Vapor 1XR skates are some of the best roller hockey skates that you can get. These are designed for a higher skilled hockey player who needs durability as well as high performance.
Constructed with a 3D Curv composite with an X-rib pattern, you will get the boot stability that you need to really get the right amount of power from your skates. The materials of the boot are actually full carbon composite, which gives you a high level of durability, but also means that these amazing skates do not weigh a lot, giving you even more power and speed.
The speed plate footbed is thermoformable, meaning it can be baked to the point where you can mold them around your feet for a great fit. This will reduce your break in time.
Made with the latest technology, the Vapor 1XR has a Flex-lock pro tongue and a Flex-lock liner. What this means is that your foot is not going to move or slip at all within the boot when you are skated, giving you even better stability while keeping your feet and ankles safe. With the locking tongue, you will have the flexibility to bend your ankle forward for better manoeuvrability.
These skates were made for the elite skater, someone who really needs a high level of quality with all of the built-in technology for optimal performance during a game. If you are just getting started with skating for the first time, you might find these skates to be a little too much for you. Otherwise, these will treat you well.
6. Mission Inhaler NLS:3 Inline Hockey Skates
For a next generation design of inline skates, the Mission Inhaler NLS:3 inline skates might be the perfect choice for you. Inhaler already has a great legacy and the NLS:3 model will not disappoint.
Designed for competitive players, you will be able to get a customizable fit with the NLS:3. They are built with a Tech Nylon quarter, which offers both stiffness and support. They come with anatomical fit, ensuring that there are not any unnecessary gaps that could cause trouble to your feet. The skates are also thermoformable, allowing you to have the skates baked in order to get the best fit possible.
The breathability and airflow within the entire Inhaler series is excellent and the NLS:3 is no exception. Your feet will stay cool and comfortable on the ice, keeping your feet from overheating and getting blisters. While many inline hockey skates offer water wicking, the Inhaler line is more specific, giving you a completely different feel and aesthetic. Even the toe box is molded with vents to allow even more airflow throughout the skates. You will find that the venting works well whether you are skating on an inside or an outside rink.
With its lightweight construction, the NLS:3 are going to allow you the speeds that you need to be competitive in the rink. The outsole has a Hi-Lo aluminum chassis mounted to it that was designed to bring you both balance and agility. For that reason, competitive players would be happiest with these skates rather than a player who is only skating once in a while.
7. Tour Code 3 Inline Hockey Skates
The last pair of inline hockey skates that we will take a look at is the Tour Code 3 skates. These are a great choice for skaters who are bridging the gap between being beginning skaters to more experienced skaters.
With a quarter package, the skate is reinforced with VORRAC stabilizer panels. This will increase the rigidity and stability of the boot. The Vibram scuff guards on these skates will help protect the areas that receive the most wear in the form of both scuffs and scrapes.
In order to improve your range of motion, the Code 3 has a tendon guard. The guard is flexible enough to move with you, but will go back into place as your foot moves back, meaning the skate is literally moving with you as you skate.
The inside of the skate is a microfiber liner that will allow you to stay on your feet for longer. Your feet will be able to remain as cool as possible, which will also reduce the amount of rubbing and blisters that you could get from the skates.
Since they are thermoformable, you can have your skates baked in order to mold them better around your feet. This will reduce the amount of time that it takes to break them in, making them more comfortable sooner.
The Code 3 also has a TRAXX tongue guards, which will keep your foot protected from lace bite. The guard redistributes the stress you put on the top of your foot while you skate, keeping your feet comfortable. The stress is instead wrapped around your foot so you won’t even feel it.
What's Your Skill Level
Your skill level is a big factor when it comes to choosing the best roller hockey skates. The three skill levels are beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Advanced can be interchangeable with competitive as well.
Beginning skaters and recreational skaters do not need the same type of skates that an advanced skater would need. If you are not sure where you would fall level-wise, you just need to think about how often you are skating and how you are skating. If it is just an occasional acitivity, go with beginner skates. If you are getting better and skating hard, go with advanced skates that can hold up.
When it comes down to it, the best inline hockey skates that you can get will depend a lot on the type of skater that you are as well as what you need as an individual. Advanced skaters should go with more durable skates that will hold up under heavy skating whereas beginners can have skates that are lighter and more flexible.
For the best all-around skates, the Bauer Vapor XR600 are the best roller hockey skates you can get. Bauer is a well-known brand for their hockey skates and you really can’t go wrong with these. If you are a more advanced skater, you might want a pair that is higher performing, such as the Tour Code 1 Inline Hockey Skates.
Ultimately, you will need to choose a pair of roller hockey skates that will have the durability and comfort that you need to stay competitive in the rink.
Hey there, my name is Tomas and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog. And just so you know I’m a big Vancouver Canucks fan!