Roller Skates (quad skates) have four wheels oriented in a rectangular shape, two in front and two in back. Inline Skates have between three and five wheels (usually four) lined up one behind the other. Whether you end up skating in quad skates or inline skates is a matter of preference. Your choice will depend on the kind of skating you decide you want to pursue, and your budget. All types of skates can do the same kinds of things. But some are better for jumping, and others are better for going fast. Some are better for intricate footwork, while others are better for going straight. Keep reading to learn what the difference between a Roller Skate and an Inline is.
The front wheel of the inline skate usually extends beyond the toe, while the front wheels of the quad skate line up under the ball of the foot. Inline wheels are narrower than quad wheels, without sharply defined edges. Inline skates require a bit more balancing ability.
Quad skates usually have a stopper in the front, while inline skates, except for speed skates, usually have a stopper in the back.
Quad skates have high or low leather or leather-type boots which are fitted close to the foot and ankle. Recreational inline skates have thicker and often taller boots made of foam-filled fabric partially covered with a hard plastic shell. Speed inline skates have hard, low-cut boots.
All but the least expensive Roller Skates have trucks which are adjustable. Adjustable trucks allow varying degrees of give between the axles and the plate. This movement gives the skater greater maneuverability. Inline skates do not have trucks. The frame is often one molded piece which extends from the wheels to close to the top of the boot.