Roller Skate Shoes: Dangerous for Kids?

Roller skate shoes can be a lot of fun for kids. However, they do present certain dangers. To avoid possible accidents, it's recommended that they be used in moderation and under supervision.
Roller Skate Shoes: Dangerous for Kids?

Last update: 23 December, 2018

Roller skate shoes are popular among kids. However, sometimes parents don’t take the potential dangers into consideration. It’s important to keep in mind that while roller skate shoes may be fun and popular, they can cause accidents if overused.

Dangers of roller skate shoes

When kids wear this kind of shoe, it changes their step, as though they were wearing 4-5 centimeter (1.5-2 inch) heels. This means their body weight isn’t properly distributed, with an overload occurring in the heel and forefoot.

These shoes can also have the following consequences:

  • Over time, injuries such as metatarsalgia or the shortening of the posterior muscle chain can occur.
  • There is less surface area to provide support, creating less stability.
  • Wearing the shoes too much can alter the child’s step.
  • There is a good chance the child will fall due to the shoes’ instability.

Roller skate shoes or roller skates?

It may seem odd, but there are big differences between roller skate shoes and actual roller skates. This is mainly due to the fact that the skates are used on specific recreational occasions, while roller skate shoes are often used (mistakenly) as everyday footwear.

This doesn’t mean that roller skates are completely safe. They’re somewhat dangerous and require supervision. However, they do tend to be considered safer than the shoes. Also, kids on skates are usually wearing protective pads. This isn’t the case with the shoes.

Roller Skate Shoes: Dangerous for Kids?

The right footwear for your child

The appropriate footwear for your child will ensure that 70% of his or her body weight is supported by the heel, with the other 30% supported by the forefoot.

Meanwhile, roller skate shoes force the forefoot to carry 40% of the total weight. This can cause bone ailments and general alterations to how the child walks.

For the child to have healthy feet, the shoe should both fit the foot and the child’s age and growth level. Sneakers that fit properly will help the bones to develop naturally and the feet to grow without issue.

“When a child wears roller skate shoes, there is less surface area to provide support, creating less stability.”

Recommendations for buying appropriate footwear

Your child can use roller skate shoes recreationally, but normal shoes appropriate to his or her growth and development should be worn the rest of the time. Here are some important tips for finding the right shoes:

  • The shoe should stop below the malleoli (the lateral bones of the ankle). If they’re boots, they should be flexible enough to allow proper movement of the ankle joints.
  • Even when parents have selected the right footwear, they need to remember that it’s recommended that the children wear the shoes for only a few hours a day.
  • The most suitable footwear for your child is one that fits well and adapts to the foot. Shoes like ballet flats and flip-flops are harmful because they create the sensation that the shoes may come off at any moment. This forces the toes to do extra work.
  • It’s essential that children try the shoes on with their socks on. Pay special attention to ensuring that there is a space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe. If the toes touch the tip of the shoe, it means the shoe is too small.
  • It’s recommended that children try on shoes at the end of the day, when their feet are more swollen. When trying them on, they should stand up to make sure the shoes provide the proper support.
  • Don’t buy shoes significantly larger than your children’s current foot size. This can alter the way they walk and produce blisters.
Roller Skate Shoes: Dangerous for Kids?


Roller skate shoes can be harmful if not used in moderation. Kids love them because they’re more fun than wearing conventional sneakers. However, parents should take special care to allow them only on certain occasions.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.