What to Wear for Roller Skating

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You have just received or purchased your first pair of roller skates. You are about to lace them up and then you ask yourself, what socks should I be wearing? Should I be wearing knee pads? We are here today to give you a guide on what types of clothing and protection would be useful when roller skating.

Safety Gear

Should I wear protection whilst roller skating?

The simple answer is yes, especially when you are just starting out. There is a 99% chance you will fall over if you are taking to this sport for the first time. You are standing on wheels which are placed directly under your feet. It certainly takes some getting used to. Falling over and hurting yourself straight away is only going to demotivate you and slow down your learning so we would recommend you add some protection to those precious limbs of yours so you can fall over yet smile and try again. Of course later in time when you start to get the hang of it and also when you learn how to fall, you can remove those pads if you really wish. But when you are just starting out and do not have that fall experience yet, you should definitely keep those pads strapped on.

roller skater pointing to helmet


Should I wear a helmet whilst attempting roller skating?

YES. Your head is probably the least likely place you will hurt when skating but that is not to say that it is impossible. Sometimes when we fall backwards our back can hit the floor causing our heads to flick back which can cause severe injury. Maybe you could fall forwards and not have your hands in the correct position to stop your forehead hitting the ground. Be sure to get a nice skate helmet that fits nice and secure.

Which helmet should I get for roller skating?

Be sure to get a nice skate helmet that fits nice and secure. The skate helmets offer more support than a cycle helmet as they have protection round the side of your head and also down the back to protect you from all angles. Also be sure to get yourself a certified helmet as there is no point wearing one that ultimately won’t protect your head. All of the helmets on our website are UK certified.

roller skater pointing to wrist guards

Wrist Guards

Should I wear wrist guards whilst roller skating?

Wrist guards are probably the most used pad out of them all. The first reaction of us humans is to put our hands down to protect ourselves so it is a good idea to make sure our hands are ready for those impacts. Most skate wrist guards come with plastic on the palms to protect the hand from scraping along the ground or hard impacts. Most also feature pieces of plastic that sit across the top and bottom of your wrist to stop it from bending up or down when you fall on top of it so you do not damage those delicate little bones inside your wrist that are difficult to heal.

Which wrist guards should I wear whilst roller skating?

We would recommend you go for the most protection you can of course. Some wrist guards will completely cover your wrist and palms whilst others will just protect your palm. It is completely up to you which you go for but maybe consider which type of skating you're doing and how weak/strong your wrists are. Skating to dance and have fun in the park may not require as much protection as street and skatepark skating so consider these aspects when making your choice.

female roller skater pointing to elbow pads

Elbow Pads

Should I wear elbow pads whilst roller skating?

Elbow pads are definitely the least popular of the bunch with most people disregarding them when they receive them in a pad set. This is probably due to them usually being uncomfortable and those dreaded tan lines no one wants. Nevertheless, they can be very useful if used correctly. When falling forwards or backwards you can combine them with your wrist guards and place them on the ground in front of you. This will protect your face and chest without damaging your arms. This can be extremely useful when falling down ramps at a skatepark.

Which elbow pads should I wear whilst roller skating?

Most elbow pads are very similar. Most will come with a large plastic shield and some velcro straps to attach them to your arms. There are a few options that have more of a cushion instead of a plastic shield. These are more useful for protecting you from cuts and grazes rather than hard impacts so beginners should probably look towards the plastic rather than the softer counterparts.

roller skater pointing to knee pads

Knee Pads

Should I wear knee pads whilst roller skating?

Knee pads are another extremely useful piece of equipment. Your knees will likely hit the floor many times in your first few adventures on your skates. It usually takes a good amount of experience to learn how to avoid hurting your knees when falling so we would recommend you keep them on until you master this skill. After all, your legs are the limbs that help you skate so you definitely do not want to break them.

Which knee pads should I wear whilst roller skating?

Knee pads are very similar to elbow pads. You have similar options when it comes to material, so you can go for the plastic shield or the soft cushion. Again we would recommend that you go for the hard plastic to start as hard impacts to your knees are inevitable when you are starting your skating journey. There are heavy duty options for knee pads which can be very useful if you are learning in a skatepark but otherwise the city skating pads will protect you just fine if you are learning how to skate in a park or dancing.

roller skater modelling protective gear

Pad Sets

You can buy all of the above separately to receive better quality padding which would allow you to get large knee pads and small wrist guards for example. Otherwise getting a pad set might be a more effective and inexpensive option for you. Most pad sets come with wrists, knees and elbows inside with a few exceptions coming with just knees and elbows.


What clothes should I wear whilst roller skating?

Your choice of clothing can be important when trying to learn how to skate. We would suggest that you wear something athletic or non restrictive like leggings, tracksuit bottoms or shorts for the best results. Of course it is not impossible to wear jeans but maybe it’s a good idea to start with a pair that are worn in or made of a stretch material.

What socks should I wear whilst roller skating?

When it comes to socks the best place to start would be height. Make sure you have socks that come up higher than the top of the skate to avoid getting those nasty blisters from the new material rubbing against your leg. You can skate with thick socks or thin socks keeping in mind that thinner socks will help make the skate more responsive (if it fits tight enough) whilst thicker socks may feel more comfortable and again protect you from blisters. The chances are that you will receive some blisters the first few times you skate as your feet may not be used to the new movements.

What should I not wear when roller skating?

We know some of you will want to wear that pretty dress or jumpsuit you have in your wardrobe that is patiently waiting for your first photoshoot on skates for your Instagram. We just advise that you practice in your less restrictive clothing first. Also, when you do fall over, you won’t want to damage your good clothes straight away. Let’s also avoid anything that hangs down low to the ground. You don’t want to get anything caught in those wheels.

You now know what you should and shouldn’t wear when taking up your new hobby, roller skating. The last thing to put on is your smile and go have some fun. Remember that this sport takes some time to get used to but once you unlock it, you’ll experience freedom like never before.

Check out our roller skating range here.