There was a time when moving from one roller skate brand to another involved a simple change of quality and construction materials. These days, however, the range of craftsmanship, engineering methods and materials involved have diversified to such an extent that each brand seems to be making skates that differ completely from those of its competitors.
That said, it is also true that some methods are standardized across the industry, and a lot of what may appear to be innovation may simply be chop and change. How then, are we to buy roller skates for women from different brands without sweating about quality, durability, comfort and true innovation? One good way to avoid a roller coaster wild goose chase would be to study some of the most popular brands in detail, and then decide which suits you the best.
Roller Skates for Women From Different Brands
1. Chicago Women’s Roller Skates
Though no longer based in Chicago (headquarters are in New Jersey now), the company has behind it a formidable reputation that spans more than a century. In keeping with this reputation, Chicago’s line of women’s skates come with hand-crafted boots that are well-regarded for their excellent stitching, padded collars and soft boot lining. Wheels and plates are made with equal care, offering ABEC-grade bearings and superior urethane wheels at competitive price points. Quite interestingly, Chicago has stuck to aluminum at a time when many competitors have moved to polymer-based plates, thus ensuring that Chicago products never suffer from excess wear and tear.
Chicago offers both quad (four-wheel) skates and inline skates, with each range moving from affordable casual skate models to professional and sporting grade units.
2. Roller Derby Women’s Roller Skates
As the name suggests, this comparatively younger brand was made for those entering the derby circuit. Hence, Roller Derby’s range of skates focused upon excellent fitting using reinforced soles and heels, padded linings and a world-class lace closure system. ABEC-5 bearings and high quality urethane wheels added the stability that competitors needed for the pro circuit, thus giving them a complete circuit companion.
These days, Roller Derby has branched into two – the Recreational skate range and the Elite Derby range. The former maintains integrity of quality with its Zinger and Star ranges of skates while adhering to the needs of beginners and young skaters. The Elite range, on the other hand, covers the needs of professionals using high quality PU-leather, reinforced lacing systems, aluminum chassis and plates and BEVO Gold-9 race-grade bearings. Along with these, Roller Derby has also branched into ice skates and rink skates.
3. Pacer Women’s Roller Skates
Pacer started out as a company that provided rink owners and schools with rental-grade skates that would cater to a range of customers without suffering from damage. Hence, they focused on unibody constructions that would be simple to operate and even simpler to clean out. Beneath the colorful unibody designs, however, were high quality bacteria-resistant fibers, excellent toe and collar linings and a fitting scheme that catered to a wide range of people.
As Pacer has moved towards widening its range of appeal to individuals, it has improved on these designs. It now offers, alongside the excellent boot features mentioned above, good quality bearings, excellent modularity so all parts can easily be replaced (some models), lever-locking buckles and excellent wheels. These features extend to its entire range of skates, including adult inline skates, adult quad skates and children’s skates.
4. Epic Nitro Roller Skates
Epic has been focused upon the needs of beginner and semi-professional skaters ever since its inception. To this extent, it quickly moved beyond simple color-matching to provide features the customers really needed viz. man-made boots that fit true to size, multiple strap and lace options and comfortable padded collars. Coupled with these are ABEC-5 bearings, good quality nylon plates and double action trucks that ensure excellent stability.
In recent years, the company has steadily improved in terms of quality while continuing to provide better fitting options than the majority of its competitors. This has allowed it to enjoy the patronage needed to diversify into a wide variety of skate-types and designs, including quads, inline skates, skating bundles and semi-pro skating options.
If Chicago bank on their excellent tradition and superior plates, Pacer focuses on modularity and Epic on fitting and ease of use. That said, each of these companies maintain a high quality of craftsmanship and excellent customer support modules, so people seeking to try out one or more can decide based on features without having to worry about quality checks and returns. With each company providing a wide range of options, both in terms of skate variants and prices, the above four can leave anyone seeking good roller skates for women, spoilt for choice!