Knowing the differences between reputable inline skating brands can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the market.
In this article, we compare two of the most popular brands, in our Rollerblade vs K2 match-up.
Both of these well-known brands produce quality skates for you to enjoy. There may however be subtle differences between the brands which may make them more appealing to you.
Your skating style and skill level are often determining factors as to which brand is right for you.
The Rollerblade brand focuses primarily on speed, urban, and fitness inline skates.
The significant brand investments in research and development have seen the brand become one of the best for skate performance.
K2 focuses its products on recreational and fitness skating. K2 is widely known for producing some of the most comfortable skates on the market, using premium range materials.
Through focusing on comfort, K2 is generally the brand of choice for beginner skaters. Read on to learn more about comparisons between Rollerblade and K2.
The Rollerblade company was founded by Scott and Brennan Olson, and Christopher Middlebrook in Minneapolis, US in the 1980s.
The Olson brothers believed inline skates would make ideal off-season ice hockey practice skates so started creating and selling their first inline skates.
The company was originally called Ole’s Innovative Sports before being sold and rebranded to Rollerblade, Inc.
Through significant investments in marketing, Rollerblade is one of the leading inline skating brands on the market, with distributors in 22 countries. The brand is the go-to choice for skaters of all levels and styles.
The K2 brand is slightly older having been founded in 1960 by a Washington Ski maker.
The brand had a reputation for designing and manufacturing equipment for various sports, before specializing in inline skates as the activity become more popular.
K2 is famous for pioneering soft boot technology which garnered much public attention. To this day, K2 is the most used brand for inline skates, highlighting its vast popularity.
K2 also designs and manufactures ice skates.
Comparison Between K2 And Rollerblade
Rollerblade and K2 are highly reputable brands, which are well-known for their broad product range and reliable quality.
That said, all skaters have specific needs and preferences that will make them opt for one of the two brands.
Some of the key differences between Rollerblade and K2 skates are found in the points below.
K2 is known for designing trendy inline skates using innovative colors and designs. K2 is therefore the brand for those who also view skates as a fashion accessory.
Rollerblade is less flamboyant with the skate design choices, with fewer color variations.
Most of the skating community agrees that the quality of the K2 frames is better compared to Rollerblade frames.
K2 frames are stiffer, which makes them easier to handle and also more comfortable compared to Rollerblade.
Marketing And Customer Type
Rollerblade has a broader customer base for inline skates compared to K2. Rollerblade positions itself as the brand for skaters of levels, styles, and disciplines.
K2 is slightly more niche, focusing on fitness and recreational skaters to help shape its brand image.
Both Rollerblade and K2 do have skates available for all genders and all ages.
Unlike K2, Rollerblade includes cuffs designed for aggressive skating in its product range. Both brands have high, low, or no cuff options for the skater.
As Rollerblade caters to a wider pool of skating styles, its range of wheels differs from speed, fitness, and urban wheel types.
K2 focuses more on recreational and fitness skates, offering a wide range of wheel types, sizes, and colors.
Both Rollerblade and K2 offer very stable skate options. While both perform well on stability, Rollerblades are typically preferred for stability compared to K2.
K2 performs better in durability compared to Rollerblade skates. K2 skates are highly regarded for their ability to withstand blows and not be cracked easily.
Where To Purchase The Rollerblades And K2 Skates
Because Rollerblade and K2 are reputable brands, their product ranges are very accessible. Whether it be through online or high-street retailers, you won’t have to go out of your way to find the product.
Before purchasing Rollerblade or K2 skates you should be aware of your ideal skate size.
Both brands provide size charts to help guide you, but your experience is also welcome. Depending on the skate type, you may need to select a skate that is one to two sizes larger than your typical skate size.
Both brands do provide generous return policies, but you want to avoid this where possible and get a perfect fit the first time around.
Rollerblade and K2 are direct competitors in the market. As both brands target the average skater, the prices for the products are broadly similar.
There are no major differences in specification between the different levels of K2 and Rollerblades skates, which is why they are pitched at similar levels.
The average prices for Rollerblade and K2 skates range from $100 to $300. Beginner and child models are at the cheaper end, with more advanced level skates at the premium end.
Also, if you want to customize the skate the cost will likely exceed $300. Speed skates are also more expensive for both brands, starting at $325.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing K2 Skates Vs Rollerblades
Skate Size And Fit
When purchasing either K2 or Rollerblade skates, understanding skate size and the fit is important to ensure you maximize want either brand offers in terms of design and performance.
Key to inline skating is choosing skates that have a snug fit as this will enable you to glide with stability, while also preventing blisters on your foot pressure points.
The ideal skate fit differs from an ideal shoe fit, as generally limited wiggle room for your toes is advised for inline skates.
To allow you to find the perfect fit, consult the Rollerblade and K2 sizing guides for the recommended state size based on your regular shoe size.
Inline skates do typically fit like-for-like with the standard shoe size, but the perfect fit can be up to two sizes larger than your regular foot size.
If you have wide feet, finding specific models from Rollerblade or K2 that are suited for wide feet skaters is the priority.
Rollerblade is more friendly to wide feet skaters compared to K2, with suitable models including the Rollerblade Maxxum Edge 90 (Men) and Rollerblade Zetrablade Adult Fitness Inline Skate (Women).
The known levels for inline skaters are entry-level, intermediate, and experienced skaters, with virtually all inline skate products falling into one of these categories.
Beginner skaters should prioritize skates that are comfortable and easy to use.
Typically, this may include having smaller wheels, plastic frames, and lower-quality bearings. With most of these features are upgradable as the skill level increases.
Advanced-level skaters prioritize features that maximize performance. This may include a lightweight boot material, boot breathability, quality wheels, and bearings.
When looking at Rollerblade or K2 skates, you need to know the skating style you will perform to guide you in the skate selection process.
Aggressive skaters who perform tricks and grinds in urban environments need skates that have smaller wheels that provide the necessary agility and speed to handle the stunts. A good model could be the Rollerblade Blank range.
Fitness skates generally include a brake, as skaters use them to perform short and sharp movements to control speed. The K2 F.I.T range is a great choice.
Recreational skates prioritize comfort and a smooth roll for skating on the streets or in the park. The K2 Kinetic or Rollerblade Macroblade ranges are popular options.
Wheel Size And Durometer
Depending on your skating style, the wheel size, and durometer (hardness) are also important factors.
Smaller wheels are recommended for beginners for extra stability. Softer wheels are recommended for outdoor aggressive skating to ensure the wheels can withstand the grinds and be extra responsive.
Speed skaters prioritize a faster roll speed so will often go for harder wheels.
Rollerblade and K2 Skate Models by Skating Style
Below we outline some of the best-known models of Rollerblade and K2 skates based on the skating style.
K2’s recreational skate range is known as the Kinetic range. The range includes men’s and women’s models and standard and pro options.
Rollerblade has the Zetrablade, Macroblade, and RB ranges which all cater to recreational skating, with various designs and price points available.
Fitness skates are K2’s specialty with the F.I.T and Alexis ranges available in standard and pro models. Rollerblade’s fitness skate range includes the Macroblade range, available in three-wheel and four-wheel skates.
Aggressive / Urban
For free urban skating Rollerblade has the Twister and RB range, with standard and elite models available to purchase. The Rollerblade Blank range is specifically designed for aggressive skating.
K2 doesn’t have a dedicated range for aggressive skating but does have the Uptown and Trio ranges which are designed for skating in urban environments.
To give you a sense of some of the best K2 and Rollerblade products out there, we’ve put together product reviews on one of the most popular products for each brand, covering the design, performance, pros, and cons.
K2 F.I.T 80 BOA Inline Skates
K2 F.I.T 80 is an ideal choice for skaters who want to maximize performance. The skates are built for recreational skaters.
The boot is constructed with K2’s pioneering soft boot material ensuring the skates are comfortable to wear. The design also includes a buckle and strap closure system for added stability.
The K2 F.I.T 80 skates are designed with the Stability Plus Cuff which improves energy transfer and foot security.
The K2 F.I.T 80 skates perform well in indoor and outdoor environments. The skates are designed for fitness enthusiasts, with a secure fit enabling fast and agile movements.
The skates are fitted with a brake, which allows skaters to easily control movements which are ideal for skating fitness routines.
The skates also include ABEC5 bearings, 80mm wheels, and a composite frame which ensures a smooth roll on road surfaces.
The soft wheels provide plenty of absorption and forgiveness on road surfaces, which is important for swift body movements.
- Comfortable fit
- Trendy boot design
- Enhanced foot support
- Easy sizing
- Could not find one
The Rollerblade Zetrablade is one of the most popular skates available on the market.
The model is available for men and women, with the women’s model known as the Zetrablade W. Both models contain the same design features, with the sizing and aesthetics slightly altered.
Renowned for its premium design features, the skates include thicker liners to improve comfort and protection levels.
The skate boots are constructed to improve comfort with a seamless toe box and improved mesh material.
The Zetrablade skates are well suited to beginner or intermediate skaters who don’t want to break the bank but also want access to some high-quality features.
For example, the addition of a high cuff adds to the shell’s durability and stability for skaters.
The fit of the skate is snug but casual. Skaters using the Zetrablade shouldn’t expect an ultra-snug high-performance fit as the skate is designed for recreational skaters.
The Zetrablade / W models are focused on being recreational skates for men and women.
The skates are available at an accessible price point and offer a low center of gravity to improve balance and overall skating performance.
The skates are fitted with 80mm performance wheels and SG5 bearings which help to lower the price point.
The SG5 bearings limit the roll speed which is ideal for beginner skaters who want more speed control.
The inclusion of a brake ensures the Zetrablade has decent stopping power which allows skaters to better control their skate speed. This feature is particularly useful for beginner skaters.
- Models available for men and women
- High cuff position for extra stability
- Ideal for beginners
- Affordable price
- Some sizing challenges reported
Rollerblade and K2 are high-quality brands with a significant presence in the market.
Most skaters of all levels and skating styles will be satisfied with products from either brand. Due to the sheer size of the firms, the skates are available at affordable price points for consumers.
While both companies deliver quality products, a few differences exist.
Rollerblade has a broader customer base and provides a wider range of skate options. While K2 is more focused on recreational and fitness skaters.
K2 are renowned for its funky, eye-catching designs while Rollerblade is associated with precision and elegance.
When selecting whether Rollerblade or K2 has the best skate for you, consider factors such as your skating style, fit and skill level to help guide you in the decision.
Hey there, my name is Tommy and I have to admit that rollerblading and roller skating are in my blood. I have been skating since I was seven years old and I have tried many different roller skates during my skating career.
I hope my knowledge and passion for rollerblading and skating comes across and that you’ll find the product reviews insightful.