Rollerblade is actually the name of the most popular brand of inline skates. Just as many of us call tissues "Kleenex," the sport of inline skating is commonly referred to the brand rather than the sport. For the sake of popular terminology, this article will use the word "rollerblades" interchangeably with the more appropriate term of "inline skates."
The first thing to do before buying rollerblades is to determine what kind of inline skate you'll need. Being armed with sufficient information will keep you from buying rollerblades that you find later are not right for you. The primary thing you'll need to consider is what you will be doing with the rollerblades. Will you be using the rollerblades to learn to figure skate? Are you going to play hockey? Is speed skating what you have in mind? Or are you simply buying rollerblades for exercise and fun?
The majority of people buying rollerblades are likely planning on using them for recreation purposes. In this case, multi-purpose, cross-training, or fitness inline skates are the right ones to buy. In fact, most of the rollerblade market is made up of these general-purpose skates. They are usually made out of plastic and lined with a soft foam. The tying mechanism can be comprised of laces, buckles, or a combination of both.
Aggressive or street skates are available for those wanting to do more aggressive tricks like grinds or railslides. These skates usually come with grind plates, smaller, harder wheels, and rugged shells.
The next thing to consider when buying rollerblades is how much money you want to spend. As with most things, the more money you put up front the less it will cost you in the long run. But if you don't feel strongly committed to rollerblading yet, it might be advisable to buy a cheaper pair of inline skates from a discount store. You can try them out and discover whether you like the sport enough to make an investment in a good pair of rollerblades. A decent pair of rollerblades can run you $200 US Dollars (USD) and up.
When buying rollerblades, your next consideration is protective gear which can cost around $50-$100 USD. The protective gear you'll need includes a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads which are often offered in combination packs at a discount.