When it comes to Christmas, lots of kids have the same request: "I would love some new skates!"
Whether it's Santa delivering the goods, Elf on the Shelf, the grandparents or a Christmas gift from some other awesome legend it's always a good idea to know a few things before you arrive at Lucky Skates.
Psst: While this post is mainly about buying skates for kids, a lot of the info here can be used for buying skates for an adult too.
1. Do they want inline skates or roller skates?
Inline skates are often referred to as "roller blades" due to the popularity of the original brand Rollerblade. On an inline skate all 4 wheels are in one line down the middle of the boot, hence in-line.
Inline skates were very popular in the 1990s and early 2000s and have recently become popular again.
Roller skates (or quad skates) are the original design with four wheels in a rectangular pattern on the boot, 2 at the front and 2 at the back.
These are the type of skates you think of when you think of roller derby, Xanadu, jam skating in California or at a roller disco in the 1970s or 1980s.
Many children find inline skates are easier to master but some prefer roller skates.
If you're unsure, the best idea is to take them to your local rink so they can try skating on both and decide which ones they like best.
If you can't do that then contact us or visit and we can help you decide on the best ones.
2. What size are they?
Before you come in to the store or purchase your skates online, it's important to know what size to buy.
First, check what size sneaker they are wearing and write down the US size and the EU size.
If the size is not marked you may have to do a foot tracing or measure their feet.
If you're buying adjustable inline skates like the Rollerblade Spitfire then you can determine what size to get from the size they currently are. For example, if they are currently a size 11J you can buy them the Spitfire size 11J-1. If they are a size 1 then you can buy them a size 2-5.
If you're buying roller skates these do not usually adjust so it is common practice to buy them 1 or 2 sizes bigger than your child's current shoe size. For example, if they wear a size 2 then you can go to a size 3 or 4 depending on how much time you want to get out of them.
We generally don't recommend buying them any bigger than 2 sizes up as they can become too difficult to control.
3. Where will they be skating?
Some skates comes with indoor wheels and others come with hybrid or outdoor wheels.
Buying good quality skates means that you will have good quality wheels and bearings in your skates rather than plastic wheels and cheap bearings that you will find in most toy/plastic skates.
If your kids are planning on doing both indoor and outdoor skating then a hybrid or outdoor wheel is a good option for getting started.
If they are getting into roller derby then you will want to invest in a skate with indoor wheels. Something that is harder wearing and will stand up to the rigours of derby.
If they are interested in artistic skating then they may want to have a higher boot with a heel.
P.S. Wheels can and do wear out over time and they can be easily replaced.
4. What are their favourite colours?
Not all skates come in all colours, in fact many skates (especially inlines) are made in plain black with a small pop of colour so that people can accessorise with fancy laces or socks.
Roller skates have a little more variety and a few more colour options depending on the brand and style.
When buying them as a gift it is usually a good idea to stick to neutral colours. They can always jazz them up later with sparkly glitter laces or similar.
If you know their favourite colours already then we can help you find the perfect accessories to match their new skates!
5. Do they need protective gear?
If your child is a beginner skater then they should wear protective gear like wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet.
Not only does that help them avoid painful scrapes, scabs and gravel rash but it also gives them confidence to skate, particularly outdoors.
As someone who has seen a fair few roller skating stacks and collisions I can safely say that wearing protective gear has saved me on many an occasion.
In fact, I don't go skating without the minimum of wrist guards and knee pads on.
We have loads of protective options in different colours and styles and can help you choose the right set.
Yay for new skates!
They are a good fitness tool and help kids develop balance as well as core and leg strength. Plus they get kids outdoors and away from the TV or computer.
Unlike a puppy they don't need to be fed, walked or taken to the vet and unlike a computer game they won't turn your kids into zombies.
Because skating is an all year round activity they can be used outdoors in summer and spring and indoors over winter.
So why not get them some skates and they can roll around the Christmas tree this year. Just don't leave it too late, everyone wants skates in the last 2 weeks of December and stock is limited so get in quick!