Why Do Roller Skates Have Heels? [Reasons, Disadvantages, Heeled vs Flat]

Why Do Roller Skates Have Heels

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All types of roller skates don’t have heels. Roller derby is such type. But, some of them do. But, why?

Well, some roller skates (artistic, rhythm skates) do have heels to help the starters in weight distribution. When you dance or skate, the heels help you in distributing your weight onto the skate wheels or blade, which sits just under your foot. This also helps you to turn and spin quite smoothly without the risk of any unwanted falling

In this guide, we will let you know the reasons behind roller skates having heels, the differences between heeled and flat roller skates, etc.

Reasons for Roller Skates Having Heels 

Heels on roller skates have been a controversial topic for a long time. Some people say that they improve your balance and make skating easier, while others say that they are unnecessary and can even be dangerous.

Heels can help improve your balance by giving you a lower center of gravity. This can be especially helpful if you are new to skating or if you have trouble keeping your balance.

In addition, heels can help you generate more speed and power when skating. This is because they allow you to push off the ground more forcefully.

Heels can be beneficial for recreational skating. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before you decide to use them.

Skates with heels can give you the benefit of leaning forward, which helps beginners to dance and skate without losing any balance. Other benefits:

  • You will feel neutral
  • Let you feel great control of moving around
  • It helps you in flexible and stable skating
  • You can move in an upright position
  • Heeled boots reduce any pressure on your Achilles tendon

Disadvantages of Heeled Roller Skates

Heeled roller skates are not for all as they do have some disadvantages as well. 

If you are looking for speedy skating, heeled ones are not for you. With heeled skates, you cannot shift your weight quite easily and skate fast.

Heeled skates are not friendly for professional skating like roller derby. Plus, in skating, you should not choose heeled skates as you can’t move your ankle freely with heeled ones.

In professional skating where you need quick turns and speed, never wear heeled skates as you cannot control them as you want.

Artistic Roller Skates Having Heels

When skating for dances like artistic, rhythm, and style, being able to maintain a sound upright position and move freely is important and relevant. That’s why artistic roller skates do have heels.

It also gives the artistic skaters more control over their skates. Heels provide extra support for jumps and other complicated tricks as well.

Rhythm Skates have Heels

Rhythm skates are another high-top skates, a few inches above the ankle. Like artistic skates, these skates provide stability and ankle support with the help of the heels.

Jam Skates Don’t Have Heels

The low-cut boot design of the jam skate might look like an obvious selling point to some, but there are many reasons why these boots can make your skating a lot easier.

There are several reasons why jam skates have low heels. First and foremost, low heels allow for more maneuverability and flexibility while skating. 

This is especially important for tricks and turns that require a lot of movement. Secondly, low heels provide more stability and balance while skating, which is important for avoiding falls and injuries. 

Finally, for jam skate lovers, low heels simply look cooler and more stylish than high heels!

Speed Skates Have Low Heels

There are many reasons why speed roller skates have low heels. It helps skaters maintain a more consistent center of gravity, which is important for speed and balance. Having a low center of gravity also makes it easier to transfer weight from one foot to another while skating.

Another reason why speed roller skates have low heels is that it gives the skater more power and control. When you have a higher heel, it can be difficult to control your speed and skating technique. Having a low heel gives you more contact with the ground, which gives you more control over your skating.

Lastly, having a low heel on your good speed roller skates can help you stay more comfortable while skating. When you have a higher heel, it can put more pressure on your ankles and feet, which can lead to discomfort. Low heel skates help distribute your weight more evenly, which can reduce discomfort and help you skate longer.

Read also: Jam Skates vs Speed Skates [Features, Pros, Cons, Recommendations Included!]

Difference between Heeled and Flat Roller Skates

There are two main types of roller skates: heeled and flat. Heeled roller skates have a raised heel, which helps to provide more balance and stability when skating. Flat roller skates, on the other hand, have a flat sole and are generally considered to be more maneuverable.

When it comes to choosing between heeled and flat roller skates, it really depends on your personal preference and skating style. If you’re looking for more stability and support, then heeled roller skates are a good option. If you’re looking for more agility and speed, flat roller skates might be better suited.

Of course, there are also hybrid roller skates that combine features of both heeled and flat skates. These skates can be a good option for skaters who want to be able to switch up their skating style depending on the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my heels hurt when I roller skate?

Due to the inflammation in your thick band of the tissue which runs from your heel to toes, you might get hurt on your heels. If you feel serious pain in your heels while skating or after the skating session, you might possibly have plantar fasciitis.

How do you balance the heels on a roller skate?

First, stagger, bent your knees, lift, and then as you skate, you are going to use these benefits for your skates. 

If you lean inside, you turn to the right. However, if you are going to lean to the outside, you naturally turn to the left side. Therefore, remember to keep your knees bent, chest up, and make sure your core is tight.


No matter what kind of roller skates you choose heeled or flat, try them on and make sure they fit correctly before skating in them. 

Ill-fitting skates can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, so it’s important to make sure you have a good fit. Once you’ve found the perfect pair of roller skates, get out there and enjoy the

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