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Roller Skates or Roller Blades?

My daughter will be 5 in August and wants to learn how to roller blade. My question is, do we buy her skates first, let her get used to the "rolling" feeling then eventually switch to roller blades or do we just start her off on the blades which look to me to be really difficult to balance on?

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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I think I'll take her to the roller rink and let her try both before I actually buy one or the other. I'll keep everyone posted!

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My boys can't roller skate at all they only roller blade, when my oldest tried to roller skate he broke his legs. Kids seem to do better with the blades than the skates.

Good luck, I can't do either lol.

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Our daughter wanted to learn to rollerblade "like daddy" so we found training roller blades at Target. They have a wider wheel base, and I believe the option to make the wheel base wider still (by repositioning the center wheel). I would highly recommend these...our daughter started using them last year (she was almost 4 at that time) and she did alright. In addition, we can adjust the size of the shoe so they last more than one year! We plan on using them again this year. Hope this helps.

Both of my kids just learned to roller skate. My daughter, who is 8, was just invited to her first roller skating party. We were given a choice of which skate she wanted to rent. By far the majority of the kids had the old fashion skates, so that is what we went with. She struggled at first, but was comfortable within an hour of skating. She was asking to go back to the rink, so last weekend I took both the kids with some other family members. My 5 year old son got on skates. It was more of a challenge for him! We were at the rink for 3 hours and he never really caught on to skating without me or the wall to hold him up. He did have fun, though! I can't imagine him trying it with roller blades. We may not have made it off of the bench!
As a p.s. I will say that my daughter's friend is an ice skater and she has her own roller blades and does very well with them. I never taught my kids to ice skate. The few times I tried with my daughter when she was younger were a disaster.
Good luck!

J. ~
Fisher Price makes roller blades that start out with a kind of training wheel that you can adjust as they learn to skate...also, they only move forward at first. I bought some for my grandson when he was the same age and he loved them!

Kids are very resilient and fast learners. If she wants roller blades then get her roller blades because skating on blades and skates is vastly different. My older son learned to ice skate on a single blade hockey skate at 3 1/2 years old so she is capable of roller blading. K-Mart sells a pair of roller blades that are adjustable for 3 or 4 shoe sizes so that the blades grow with the child and you don't have to keep replacing them. That is a good way to start out as they are inexpensive compared to what you would buy at the skate shop while you are still experimenting with it.

J.; yes, go straight to roller blades, i am a roller skater and loved it very much, when roller blades came out, i tried them and could not do them very well, actually ice skating is more like roller blading, withone blade in middle, roller blading has a stiffer boot and you dont use your ankle as much as you do in roller skating, roller skating has a softer boot and allows you to move ankle in the process, ice skating too has a softer boot than roller blading so its not what you are used to, they are all different in their own way, and roller blading used different muscles than either ice sk. or roll sk. so if she can roller blade, go for it, but either way she has to learn to move and roll, if she wants to roller blade, go straight to them, is my thought, take her to a roller rink, and then an ice rink, and then see if she can rent roller blades and ask her what she likes, rollerblades is what everyone is doing so likely she will want those, its ok to do it, just have fun and enjoy life, D. s

I have 5 year old twin boys and we went to a roller skate party one was on rollerblade and the other got the old fashioned skates. The one who got the old fashioned skate is the athletic and daring one/ To my amazement the one who was on the rollerblade did so much better. I was happy that my little geek got the blades because I realize that the old fashion skates are totally harder to work with. My athlete does not give up so he kept trying. I also asked the individuals who provided the skates and who own the skate rental truck and they all advised me that the blades is easier to use than the old fashion skates. hope this helps


My boys can't roller skate at all they only roller blade, when my oldest tried to roller skate he broke his legs. Kids seem to do better with the blades than the skates.

Good luck, I can't do either lol.

Ok, this one is coming from personal experience... My experience...
We never learned how to skate when I was younger... SO when I was about 19 I decided I wanted to go skating with my aunt. The roller skates are like loose cannons. Roller blades support your ankles, and calfs. You can easily WALK in them and not roll away unless you want to. The turns are easier. You can pivot your feet (think of standing like a duck)and just stand there. Not sure about now, but in the late 90's the brakes of all the skates were in the front of the skate... Breaking with blades is easier since the brakes are in the back...
One of the nice things about blades and kids is that you can buy them on the big side and crank the fittings down until they grow into them... Skates have to be closer to actual size which means you are buying more as your child grows.

Both have their pros and cons depending on the person. I always felt out of balance with skates since my whole foot wasn't fully supported... Some may feel like they are hauling a brick with having a longer wheelbase.

I would take her to the rink and rent a pair of skates, let her try them for about a half hour and then trade them in for a pair of blades. See what she thinks and if you notice shes more stable on one or the other...

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