I am sure there is some big inline thread somewhere, or maybe it is part of the main skate thread, but that seems pretty ice related and I did not want to get lost in the many subthreads of that. If there is a better dedicated thread, please point me there and I will delete this.
I am really just looking to find some decent inline skates for cross training. Ice time is very expensive in Northern Virginia and as an older guy with limited time and cash, I was looking to find some inline skates I can use outdoors on roads and school tracks that would
A) last a reasonable amount of time
B) Fit comfortably enough with enough quality that I could go out for an hour or two of skating and primarily just work on striding and conditioning.
C) Not leave me broke.
I do have places to skate outdoors, but they are not rinks so I need some wheels that can take the punishment of asphalt type surfaces. I am also just slightly terrified of killing myself by running into traffic and not figuring out how to stop(or trying a hockey stop out of habit and going ass over teakettle into an intersection).
Any thoughts, recommendations, etc on where to begin my search?
If you're skating that much then focus on getting a pair of skates that fit correctly. There's a very limited selection of inline skates. I would definitely go to a local shop that has a decent selection and go with the best-fitting pair. If you can't find anything you might think about buying a pair of ice skates that you know fit you well and having them converted to inline. I had to take that route as none of the available inline boots remotely fit my feet.
As for wheels, if you're skating on rough surfaces like pavement and asphalt then you're going to want a very hard rating. I believe the hardest is 84A. The harder ratings will have a rougher ride, less grip and more durability. Good for roads. Softer wheels will have a smoother ride, more grip and less durability. Good for inline sport courts. Rough asphalt and pavement will chew through your wheels fairly quickly so be prepared for that.
I really like my Bauer Vapor XR1s. Nice and cheap (Total Hockey has em at $100 right now), come with nice hard wheels, only just now needing to replace them after (admittedly irregularly) using them for a year. Nice tight fit, all in all pretty solid.
Okay, message received. I am gonna head over to total hockey tonight and see what they have in a hockey boot that will fit me. Having huge ones, finding the right size may be tough. I would love to find some at the $100 price point or less. Combining conditioning work while working on my skating stride would be a nice bonus.