Is It Easier for a Kid to Roller Skate or Rollerblade?

Roller skates and rollerblades are both fun activities, but when it comes to letting your child do either, you will question whether roller skating is easier for them than rollerblades.

These two are highly similar as they have four wheels. However, roller skates’ wheels are in front and the back – two pairs for both sides, giving it a more balanced feel. On the other hand, rollerblades’ wheels are put in a line, where one wheel is placed behind the other.

woman holding girl child's hand while she is rollerblading

Even though they are similar, the difficulty level would be a little different, especially if it’s going to be for kids. As parents, we want to choose the safest roller skates for kids. But before you do that, read this article, as it will enlighten you on which will be easier for a kid to ride.

Design and Build

As mentioned above, the design and build are almost identical. Even the safety gear we use is the same as helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads.

On the other hand, roller skates look more like shoes with wheels attached to them, while rollerblades look more like skates.

The wheels are usually made of rubber as it gives a more durable feel. However, the affordable ones have plastic wheels on them. Although it’s cheaper, it could easily break, especially when the user isn’t careful.

The brakes are also placed in different places. Roller skate brakes are in front, so kids must put pressure on their toes if they wish to stop. The rollerblades’ brake mechanism is at the heel. When it comes to padding, rollerblades tend to offer more. Kids won’t feel the brace of the wheels attached to the rollerblades.

Their soft feet will have a gentler ride. Since roller skates don’t provide the same padding as rollerblades, your kids will feel more pressure on their feet, resulting in calluses. If you want to give them roller skates, add more padding.


Support affects the ride of the child. Your kid can ride it faster and more comfortably if it has excellent support. The beauty of rollerblades is that their design is usually medium to high cuff. This adds considerable support to the ankle, making them feel comfortable while riding.

Roller skates offer support; however, the ankle support isn’t as great as rollerblades’. This doesn’t mean that rollerblades can provide the best ankle support to your child because roller skates’ support is enough for their weak ankles, giving them safety.

Wheel Size and Speed

Another essential factor about the two is their wheel size. Children’s roller skates have small wheels. They are also wide compared to rollerblades’ wheels; they have slimmer wheels.

Bigger wheels accelerate slower but have a higher top speed than smaller wheels. Since roller skates accelerate slower, they can be a workout tool for you and your child.

Your child will have a hard time gaining speed with roller skates. This will make it easier for them to ride on and, at the same time, be safe. However, rollerblades can provide them with speed quickly.


Regarding stability, we could safely say that roller skates provide more. Since the wheels are wider and on almost every corner of the shoe, it's more balanced. Rollerblades’ wheels are aligned in one area, making balancing an additional task for the child.

The beauty of roller skates is the baseplates. They are on the bottom of the shoe, where the trucks and wheels are connected. Since there’s a baseplate, it would feel more stable to ride on.


The wheel configuration of roller skates makes them more stable than rollerblades, but when maneuvering them, rollerblades will win. Since the wheels are in one area, it would be easier for your child to turn. They wouldn’t need to exert much effort when turning.

However, it’s not the turning your kid needs to focus on; they also need to practice their balance.

Roller skates can provide flexibility but not as much as rollerblades. You need to loosen the trucks to turn faster and easier. Remember that the tighter the trucks are, the more stable their ride will be.

Final Thoughts

Both roller skates and rollerblades have their winning points. Roller skates offer more stability, which is ideal for kids just starting and discovering how fun roller skating is. They may not be as flexible as rollerblades, but they provide more safety.

You may need to check on them in their practice and try to adjust the trucks as they improve on their routine. Remember to add padding to make it more comfortable for your child when using them.

On the other hand, if they have more experience with roller skates, rollerblades would be a significant upgrade. They would be faster and more flexible. They need to ensure that they have practiced balancing and can keep up with speed.


  1. oh i thought i might be the only one wondering this! lol was too scared to ask

  2. My son just discovered roller skating and loves it! He wants to try rollerblading too, but I assumed it would be more difficult. This is a great list of the benefits/differences with each - thanks!


Thank you for dropping by! I would love to hear what you thought. :)