Can Inline Skates be Used Outdoors?

Inline Skating is a fun exercise that can help you with building your strength, agility, and maintaining physical fitness. It is a great way of transportation too. If you are thinking of getting into inline skating, you might be wondering whether you can use inline skates for skating outdoors.

Indoors inline skates be used outdoors, but outdoor inline skates are different compared to indoor inline skates. for best experience you have to switch your existing indoor inline skate wheels with softer and larger wheels to make it easer and safer to skate outdoors.

But there are lots of things related to outdoor inline skating you need to know. Here is all the information you need to know before you start with your outdoor inline skating.

What’s the difference between Outdoor and Indoor Inline Skates?

Some skaters skate at indoor skate parks and rinks and some use their inline skates as a means of transportation outdoors. Inline skates have both indoor and outdoor varieties. The varieties between indoor and outdoor skates are due to the difference between indoor and outdoor surfaces.

The main difference between indoor and outdoor inline skates is the wheel. In the case of indoor skating, skaters glide across the hard, smooth, and clean surface. This is why indoor skate wheels are made from hard materials.

On the other hand, for outdoor skating, the surface is not so smooth and filled with cracks, dirt, sticks, and rocks. This is why outdoor inline skate wheels are usually made from rubber and these wheels are malleable. Because of that, outdoor skate wheels can absorb shocks generated from skating on uneven terrain.

The size difference between the indoor and outdoor inline skate wheels are also noticeable. The wheel size of outdoor inline skates is bigger than indoor skates. Large wheel size allows skaters to easily roll over uneven surfaces with minimum effort.

How to Choose the Right Inline Skates for Outdoors?

Now if you are looking to buy an outdoor inline skate, you need to consider some important factors. These factors are given below:

  1. Boots: The first one is the boot. Outdoor inline skates are available with both high top and low top boots. Low top boots are suitable for indoor skating where maneuverability is important. These boots are also great if you want speed.

Boots with higher tops offer better ankle support and protection compared to low cut boots. High top boots are suitable for outdoor skating. So, in the case of boots for your outdoor inline skates, choose durable, high-top boots that are easy to clean.

  1. Number of Wheels: The number of wheels is also another important factor when it comes to inline skate performance. You can find 2-wheel, 3-wheel, and 4-wheel inline skate configurations in the market. 4-wheel configuration offers greater stability over other skate wheel configurations.

The three-wheel configuration is mostly used by experienced skaters. One less wheel reduces the weight of the inline skate and makes the wheel frame shorter. This allows skaters to maneuver easily while skating.

The two-wheel configuration is the most extreme version between these skate wheel configurations. Two-wheel configuration skates are very expensive and suitable for off-road skating. This configuration is mainly suitable for off-road skaters who skate in rough terrains.

If you are new to inline skating, I will recommend you to go for a four-wheel configuration. If you have some experience with skating, you can also choose a three-wheel configuration outdoor inline skate.

  1. Wheels: The size of the wheels has a great influence on the performance and efficiency of inline skates. The bigger the size of the skate wheel is, the easier it will be to skate on any surface. Smaller wheels are less efficient compared to bigger ones as smaller wheels provide less contact point with the surface.

This is why larger wheels are best suitable for outdoor inline skating. Wheels above 100 millimeters are ideal for outdoor skating. Large size wheels will allow you to skate on uneven terrain easily. Also, the wheels need to be made of rubber or rubber-like materials for outdoor skating.

  1. Frames: For the frame of your outdoor inline skates, check from what material the frame is made of. The frames must be very strong because they will be under lots of stress while skating in rough and uneven terrain.

Another important thing is the length of the frame. The longer the frame is, the better the stability of the inline skate will be but maneuvering will be a bit tough. On the other hand, shorter frames provide great maneuverability but the stability of the inline skate will be lower. This is why shorter frames are suitable for experienced skaters whereas longer frames are best for beginners.

If you already own a pair of indoor inline skates, you don’t need to buy a new pair of outdoor inline skates. You can just swap the wheels with larger size wheels that are suitable for outdoors and you are good to go. Swapping wheels in skates is very easy. You can save some money in that way.

Indoor Skating Vs. Outdoor Skating

There is a huge difference between indoor skating and outdoor skating. Indoor skating, in most cases, is done at a skate park or a skating rink (also known as a roller rink).  The skating surface in those skating rink and skating parks is hard and smooth. Moreover, these indoors skating parks and rinks are maintained and cleaned regularly to offer the skaters a much smoother ride.

Indoor skating parks and rinks are great for beginners to develop their skating skills. On the other hand, outdoor surfaces are very rough and filled with dirt, rocks, twigs, cracks, and many other obstacles like these. Beginners might face a hard time skating outdoors. Due to the differences between outdoor and indoor surfaces, inline skates are also different for outdoor and indoor skating.

Safety Measures

Accidents happen even to expert skaters.  When you are skating outdoors, you will be most likely skating on hard and rough surfaces. So, it is extremely important to have some protective gear for your head, elbows, wrists, and knees.

There are many types of protective pads and helmets in the market. Always prefer quality over cost when it comes to safety equipment. Don’t buy some cheap protective gear to save some money. Remember, the safety of your life is what matters the most.

Also, buy protective gears that fit you perfectly. If these gears don’t fit how they are supposed to, you can get hurt badly in the event of an accident even if you are wearing protective gear.


When you are skating outdoors, you will get oil, dirt coating on your frames and bearings. Moreover, when you skate through a wet area, water can get inside your bearings and ruin your boot. So, dry off your skates and clean them whenever your skates get in touch with water.

Especially your bearings because water will cause your bearings to become rusty. If your bearing gets rusty, they will stop rotating effectively. In that case, you need to change your bearings. To increase the longevity of your bearings, replace them with rust proof sealed bearings. They are a bit costly but they will last for ages without any problem.


After going through this article “Can inline skates be used outdoors?”, by now you must’ve learned all that you need to know before you go out for outdoor inline skating. Please wear all the necessary protective gear. Be safe and have a nice day!


Hi there, my name is Tom and I have been roller & inline skating since I was a little kid. Learning the sport at such an early age allowed to me gain a lot of experience and try different types of skates. It took me a lot of trial and error to learn some of the roller skating tricks so I decided to share my journey with you guys!

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