Most helpful critical review
39 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Cheap quality, adjustable wheel lock moves involuntarily, strap holder sucks
on November 15, 2013
I bought these for my twin boy and girl who are turning 5 in a few weeks. These skates are the worst skates I've ever seen. I'm an expert roller skater who grew up working in a skating rink so I know what good skates are supposed to be like. Granted these were relatively cheap for around $22-25 each, but for just a little more you can buy an actual pair of quad-roller skates that have BEARINGS and real urethane wheels! These skates require that your child wears a reasonably supportive shoes and then strap these skates OVER your child's shoes. There is a velcro strap that is supposed to hold your child's shoes in place. The length of the skates can be adjusted by squeezing two little protruding plastic pins at the bottom of the soleplate. The width cannot be adjusted so if your child's shoes are too wide then you won't be able to use these skates. My kids were sized 9 and 10 in toddler's shoes and they were able to fit tightly into the skates.
There are no ball bearings on these skates and the wheels are made of cheap plastic that does not grip the floor at all. If you are skating inside a skating rink, these wheels make it almost impossible to actually skate. My kids ended up pretty much just running with them on. The so called 1-2-3 adjustable "feature" is meant to allow you to choose how much friction is applied to the front wheels of the skates by sliding a plastic tab located on the bottom of the skate near the front wheels. At level 1, the front wheels are locked by two metal plates that protrude out to touch the inside of the front wheels. At level 2, the two metal plates are slightly retracted and your child has some any ability to move the wheels. However it makes a constant clicking loud noise as your child tries to move in this mode because the metal plates are hitting the front wheel. At level 3, the metal plates are supposed to be completely retracted and your child can at least move the wheels freely (which is still not at all like wheels on a set of bearings, remember these wheels have NO bearings). Now here comes the worst part about these skates. What the adjustable sliding plastic tab is supposed to do is to control how far out the metal plates would protrude into the front wheels. You are supposed to ONLY be able to move this tab when the child is on the skates putting weight on top. You would expect that once you select a specific level such as level 3, the tab would remain in that position. Noooo, that would make too much sense. Whoever designed this stupid tab must have never actually tried to skate in these skates. In practice, this stupid tab constantly moves itself back and forth as your child is trying to skate such that if you left the setting on level 3, it would move itself to level 2 and level 1 as your child skates. Well at level 1 the front wheels would stop because the metal plates would protrude way out into the front wheels. What do you think would happen if you were skating forward and your front wheels lock up? Yes, the inertia of you moving forward will push your body forward while your skate would stop and thus you will fall forward down to the ground. I tried to remedy this stupid involuntary movement of the front wheel lock by jamming some wet napkins into the plastic tab so that it cannot slide back and forth easily. Nope, that didn't do the trick and every 2-3 minutes I would have to help my child slide the tab back to level 3 because it would involuntarily move to level 2 or level 1. It ruined our whole night of skating because frankly the children cannot get the front wheels to actually move freely for longer than 2 or 3 minutes before the stupid tab slides forward and either slow or stop the front wheels completely. I got so fed up I had to pay for rental skates so my kids can actually get something that has free moving wheels.
I guess if all you want your kids to do is to walk in these skates, then by all means buy these. Or you can save yourself some money and just let your kids wear their shoes onto the skating floor. For pete's sake you are going to the skating rink to skate and even if your kids are learning how to skate, putting them in these poor quality skates would only ruin their learning because there is absolutely no skills that can be learned on these skates other than how to walk on skates. Your children will not be able to actually GLIDE on these skates, which is one of the fundamental reason for owning a pair of skates. Anyhow, here's my advice after thoroughly trying these skates: if you have a very small child (3 years and under) and the child cannot walk or run reliably on his/her own, these skates are fine because they are just like wearing no skates at all. If your child is 4 years or older, do not buy these because your child now has more than enough motor skills to be able to learn how to skate properly using a regular pair of quad skates. I bought these skates thinking the fact that they can be adjusted to different shoe sizes was cool, but now I retract that thinking completely. These aren't even real skates because they have no boots. These are more like strap-ons. I'm going to buy my kids some real quad skates with bearings and urethane wheels so that they can learn how to skate properly. I know they will outgrow the skates quickly but I'll just have to deal with reselling the used skates later. There's no point in trying to save some money by using these sucky strap-on skates if they are not going to actually allow your kids to glide in them. What's even worse is that these skates are accidents waiting to happen every few minutes as the stupid adjustable plastic tab stops the front wheels. You have been warned!