Choosing your long distance skates
Speed-skates or fitness skates ?
Long distance skating is half way between fitness and speed-skating.
How far will I go?
In Online-Skating.com, we consider that long distance starts around of 70/80 km a day and beyond. It's a totally subjective choice, but we will base our choice of equipment tips for this range of mileage.
Comfort is the key
Unless your low cut skates with carbon shell are slippers, you should rather opt for long distance skates, especially if you decide to travel for several days. It is also useful if you skate on rough or damaged roads...
Raid and long distance skates must still provide a minimum of support. It is not because you look for more comfort that you should sacrifice the support of the ankle.
Therefore we will choose a pair of skates that offers a good lateral ankle support while allowing good flexing in the rear/front axis.
Be careful not to take a size too big!
Your feet swell during long efforts, especially if you remain standing during your breaks. Do not take more than one size bigger than yours: in many skates, the foam settled down. To check for the correct size, stand up and make sure that your toes do not touch the front of the boot, with your heels wedged at the back.
If you choose a size too big, your foot will be loose and the friction may hurt your feet at one point.
The choice of large diameter wheels: 100 mm minimum!
100 mm wheels are almost mandatory for long distances, especially if you intend to take rough roads. If you feel able to skate with 110 mm wheels, why not!
Most trained skaters are able to use a 3x110-1x100 mm setup.
Remember to take into account terrain and elevation changes in your choices. It is easier to skate with small wheels (and short frames) to go uphill.
We recommend a wheel hardness between 83A and 85A for a better comfort without losing too much in rolling. In case of rain, soft wheels often grip better to the road.
If you are sure to enjoy good weather, you can also go up to 85A which will offer you more rolling.... but will also be less comfortable and a little more slippery.
Skates available on the market: 250 to € 500
Count between 250 and 500 Euros for a good pair of long distance skates. You can always try to find second-hand models if your budget is smaller.
Which brand to choose?
As we already mentioned in other articles, there is no firm answer to this question. Depending on the brands, boot shapes will be more or less suited to a particular type of foot depending on the brand.
Only one valid solution: take the time to try your skates in store! Stay at least 15 minutes with the skates tightened on your feet to be sure they fit to your size..
Some useful details that should not be overlooked
- A well ventilated skate will dry better during a raid or long distance rides
- A removable liner is easier to clean and dry
- Removable insoles are easier to clean
- Lateral Kevlar or plastic protective pads are welcome in case of a fall
- A laterally adjustable frame will adjust better to your style of skating
- Micrometric buckles have a more effective fastening than velcro straps, especially at the insole
- Heatmouldable liners take the shape of your feet over time
- The thick foam of the liners gets thinner over time on many models
Have a good trip!
Skates for less than 300 Euros
Let's get into the heart of the matter with a comparison of different skates available on the market. We have classified these products per increasing price. The most expensive is not necessarily the best! And as explained before, it is often the shape matching your foot that will be decisive in your choice ...
Powerslide Phuzion 8
Unlike other models that we present here, the Phusion 8 has a composite shell. It is quite enveloping, but less rigid than the other models in this roundup.
It is a low cut mounting which is more stable than the Phuzion 9 for quite a similar level of equipment.
Seba Gran Tourismo >
The Gran Tourismo is available with 4x100mm or 4x90mm wheels. In the spirit of Seba, this skate is rather designed for urban multi-use skating, slalom or freeskqte, but it is also suitable for long distance if you want maximum support.
- The shell offers excellent support, maybe too much ...
- The fastening is really accurate, the foot does not move inside the liner.
- On the cons side, the GT is quite heavy compared to most models of the range.
- The frame is rigid and effective, but the 165mm mounting is a bit high.
Fila Nine 100
In many ways, the Fila Nine 100 looks like the first version of the M100. Moreover, it costs 100 Euros less than its predecessor, they perfectly fill their purpose! The wheels are the main difference. The Nine 100 has wheels of less good quality and a shorter frame, especially for the womens version.
- The carbon / kevlar shell provides good support and effective performance
- The fastening system fulfills its role and supports the foot well
- The aluminum 6000 extruded frame is both lightweight and slightly flexible, it absorbs vibration on rough roads
- The standard wheels are average but can be replaced.
- Be careful, unlike many skates with a carbon composite base, the Nine 100 are not heatmouldable..
Rollerblade Tempest 100
Rollerblade replaced the "Lightning" line by the "Speed-Machine" and "Tempest" lines. The common feature of all these products: a composite shell and big wheels! We have saved weight over the years...
- These skates are equipped with a Texalium shell (based on a composite structure with fiberglass and aluminum finishing)
- The Rollerblade Tempest 100 combines a shell light enough and comfortable with efficiency
- The frame is equipped with 100mm wheels in the center and 110mm at the ends, a rare and original concept that has already attracted a lot of long distance skaters
- The center of gravity is low without losing in rolling
- One downside: a micrometric buckle at the instep would have been better than a velcro strap, which is less accurate and offers less support.
The Powerslide R4s are originally designed for speed-skating training. The fact that the shell is relatively high and comfortable allows makes them suitable for regular use for long distance rides.
- The R4 is equipped with a composite fiberglass shell
- It is flexible enough to avoid injuries from technical faults
- The mid-cut upper offers good ankle support, even when tired
- The fastening system has laces, a micrometric buckle, and a velcro strap. It is quite effective.
- A comfortable boot finishing
- The extruded aluminum Venom frame has a 3x100mm-1x90 mm setup
- Powerslide has opted for Infinity wheels. Some may have weaknesses in the core. We noticed a few cracks
€ 300 to € 400
Powerslide Phuzion 9 >
This skate is rarely used in long distance skating and is quite uncommon on the market, except maybe in Germany.
- It is quite leggy and a little less stable than the other skates of the range.
- Its texalium shell is equipped with a cuff which provides good support
- The fastening system is effective with its double micrometric buckle combined with laces
- The Vision aluminium frame is extruded and strong
- The wheels are a little fragile, the cores tend to crack
K2 Radical 100
K2 is certainly the brand that has been favoring comfort on the skating market for 20 years. The Radical 100 is no exception to the rule. As for the cons, it is often at the expense of ankle support!
- The Radical 100 does not have sufficient lateral support to perform well during your skate: the parts holding the upper and the cuff are too flexible
- Too bad because it is equipped with a rigid and efficient frame mounted with 4x100mm wheels
The Bont Semi-Race is a bit special, halfway between leisure and race... but it still has a race skate design.
- It is equipped with a mid-cut carbon shell that offers good rigidity and efficient support.
- Cons: comfort is a bit rough!
- It is dedicated to skaters that already used speed skates and are looking for more support on long distance rides.
- The 3-point frame is very rigid and responsive but you lose a little in comfort.
- The standard wheels are often Hyper Mach 2 or HyPerformance + Grip, old design but versatile
The Fila flagship skate in long distance skating since 2003! Early versions of the M100 have delighted generations of long distance skaters. The model has evolved, not always in the right direction.
The 2011 version includes the recipes that made the success of the M100:
- 100% carbon shell
- A comfortable removable liner (be careful, however, no size like before!)
- A 4x100 mm aluminium extruded frame
- ... but the wheels have not changed for ages: Hyper Stripes the design of which dates back to over 10 years! The Stripes have a good rolling and a good grip, a versatile product, still good in comparison with the models available on the market.
Rollerblade Tempest 110 >
The Tempest 110 has the same shell as the Tempest 100 but with two micrometric buckles and therefore a better fit. Its fastening system is more efficient. The frame is mounted with a 3x110-1x100mm wheel set-up. It is still quite low and stable but a bit heavy...
Skates above € 400
K2 Radical Pro
The K2 Radical Pro offers a bit more support than the Radical 100, but it is still not enough! However, comfort is the trademark of K2. The aluminum frame is rigid and mounted with 2x110 mm wheels at the back and 2x100mm wheels at the front. This skate is expensive compared to others of the range, like many K2 skates compared to their equivalents.
Choosing your long distance skates (products comparison)
Choosing your long rides roller-skates (general information)
Choosing skates for your kids
What type of roller-skates will suits you ?
Buying second-hand skates
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