INLINE OR QUAD? A close confrontation
The inline skates were invented around 1700, while the quads were introduced in 1863. In the twentieth century, thanks to improvements in materials and the explosion of popularity of skating, the quad-style boot became the norm in the '70s.
In the '80s, the design of the inline skate was updated with modern materials borrowed from the boot composition of quad skates. In the 90s, inline skates took over the market, which lasted until a few years ago, when the decline of one and the rebirth of the other led to a double presence on the market.
With four wheels forming a stable platform under the foot of the skater, the quad skates have a wide and safe support for side-to-side balancing. Inline skates have three to five wheels arranged in a straight line along the center of the foot. They offer a balance from front to back and are easy to maneuver for beginners.
The main differences between the various types of quad skates are the height and the cut of the shoe, the width and hardness of the wheels, the construction of the frame and the type of brake. Recreational quad skates offer medium-to-high performance in a variety of disciplines and are available with wheels inside or outside the liner. The fitness quad offer exceptional maneuverability thanks to the low boot and lack of padding. Roller derby skates are similar to speed skates, but are more padded for added protection. Figure skates are available for artistic performances and ice skating.
Like quad skates, inline skates are available in numerous models that differ in their construction. Inline skates for leisure time generally have four wheels. They offer comfort and durability, together with the possibility of even advanced performance. Aggressive skates generally have smaller wheels and are designed to be sturdier and resist when performing stunts, tricks and ramps. Speed skates are designed specifically for skating faster, they are lightweight and minimalist. Finally, special skates for hockey are available, based on traditional ice hockey skates.