Best Skates for Roller Derby

If you’re looking for the best skates for roller derby, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Roller derby is a high-impact sport that requires quick movements, agility, and durability from your equipment. Here are some skates that are popular among roller derby players:

  1. Riedell R3: The Riedell R3 is a classic skate that is popular among many roller derby players. It’s affordable and has a low-cut design that provides flexibility and maneuverability on the track.
  2. Antik AR-1: The Antik AR-1 is a high-end skate that is known for its durability and comfort. It features a leather boot and a customizable plate that allows you to adjust the angle of the trucks for better control.
  3. Bont Hybrid Carbon: The Bont Hybrid Carbon is a lightweight and customizable skate that is designed specifically for roller derby. It has a carbon fiber base that provides strength and stability, and a heat-moldable liner for a custom fit.
  4. Sure-Grip Rebel Avanti: The Sure-Grip Rebel Avanti is a popular choice for beginner and intermediate roller derby players. It has a leather boot and a nylon plate that is both lightweight and durable.
  5. Jackson Elite: The Jackson Elite is a high-end skate that is designed for competitive roller derby players. It has a leather boot and a customizable plate that allows you to adjust the trucks to your liking. The Elite also features a low-cut design for maximum agility on the track.
  6. Mota Skates: Mota Skates are known for their comfort and durability. They have a carbon fiber base and a heat-moldable liner that conforms to your foot for a custom fit. Mota also offers a range of customization options, including colored boots and plates.
  7. Atom Skates: Atom Skates are popular among roller derby players for their speed and maneuverability. They have a lightweight design and a customizable plate that allows you to adjust the trucks for better control. Atom also offers a range of colors and designs to choose from.
  8. Chaya Skates: Chaya Skates are a relatively new brand that has quickly gained popularity among roller derby players. They have a retro-inspired design and a customizable plate that allows you to adjust the trucks to your liking. Chaya also offers a range of colors and designs to choose from, making it easy to find a pair that matches your personal style.

Ultimately, the best skates for roller derby will depend on your personal preferences and budget. It’s important to try on different skates and find the ones that feel comfortable and supportive on your feet. With the right pair of skates, you’ll be able to move quickly and confidently on the track.

What is Roller Derby?

Roller derby is a sport played on a circular track with two teams of five players each. Each team has a designated player called the “jammer” who tries to lap the other team’s players while the other players try to block her progress. Players skate in the same direction around the track, trying to gain points by lapping members of the opposing team. The game consists of two 30-minute halves, each divided into multiple “jams” that last up to two minutes.

The History of Roller Derby

Roller derby has a long and storied history, dating back to the 1930s when it was a popular endurance race. In the 1970s, roller derby evolved into a more theatrical sport with staged fights and scripted storylines. The modern version of roller derby, which emphasizes athleticism and competition, began to emerge in the early 2000s. Today, roller derby is played by thousands of athletes around the world, from amateur leagues to professional teams.

Rules of Roller Derby

Roller derby has a complex set of rules that govern gameplay and safety. Some of the key rules include no hitting above the shoulders, no blocking with the head or elbows, and no cutting the track (skating out of bounds). Players who violate the rules can be penalized with a trip to the penalty box, where they must sit out for a certain amount of time. Safety is also a key concern in roller derby, and players are required to wear protective gear such as helmets, mouthguards, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.

Equipment Needed for Roller Derby

In addition to protective gear, players need a good pair of roller skates to play roller derby. Skates should be durable, supportive, and comfortable. Many roller derby players prefer low-cut boots that allow for more flexibility and maneuverability on the track. Plates, wheels, and bearings are also important components of roller derby skates, and players should choose equipment that matches their skill level and personal preferences.

Roller Derby Leagues

Roller derby is played by amateur and professional leagues around the world. Many leagues are run by volunteers and rely on ticket sales and sponsorships to cover the costs of equipment and venue rental. Joining a roller derby league is a great way to meet new people, get in shape, and learn new skills. Many leagues offer beginner-level training programs to help new players get started.


Roller derby is a thrilling and challenging sport that offers something for everyone, from seasoned athletes to casual hobbyists. By understanding the basics of gameplay, history, rules, equipment, and leagues, you can start exploring this exciting world and pushing yourself to new heights on the track. Whether you’re a die-hard roller derby fan or a curious newcomer, there’s never been a better time to get involved in this dynamic sport.

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Written by James Burton
Hey everyone! I'm James Burton, and I love being a chef. It's my full time job and I love it. But what some of you may not know is that I also have a side hustle as a roller skating trainer. In fact, I do it for fun now - it's not my main source of income or anything. But I love it, and I blog about it in my spare time. I'm from Irvine, California and I love spending time with my family and friends. We like to go out and have fun - play sports, go to the beach, etc. And when I'm not working or training (or blogging), you can usually find me eating!