Used for everything from working out to hockey, recreational skates combine a stiff outer shell and comfortable inner liner with good wheels and bearings. Finding the best pair is a matter of testing and shopping for the best combination of price and service.
Racing skates have a frame length of 13 to 15 inches, providing for the addition of an extra wheel. The longer frame provides a more stable and directed stroke and glide, but restricts turing radius of the skater. The frame is made of a very stiff but lightweight material such as aluminium or titanium.
The diameter of racing skate wheels are usually larger, 76 mm to 80 mm. A larger wheel has more surface ares, so it rotates fewer times per mile. The racing skate boot is cut lower around the ankle, constructed of a light-weight yet stiff material. Bearings and wheels demand more frequent replacement.
These skates have a relatively short frame, and you can rocker the wheels; short, rockered skates allow you to turn and spin quickly. The boot and frame are made of heavier than normal plastics, to stand up to the abuses of hockey.
Hockey wheels are small, 70 mm, to lower the skater's centre of gravity. They are also wide profile wheels; the skate can be turned sharply without sliding out from under the skater.
Aggressive skate wheels range in diameter from 52 mm to 65 mm, allowing for better handline and maneuverability; wheels also have a lower profile, enabling rail stunts. Skates often provide power straps, making for better ankle retention. The shell is composed of a rigid plastic, absorbing the abuse of extreme skating.