For inline skaters who want to buck the trend toward big wheels and less ankle support, the Rollerblade Fusion X3 is a good choice. The rigid, plastic boots offer solid ankle support but are comfortable after a short break-in period, and the 80 mm/80a wheels are small enough to be maneuverable without sacrificing too much speed.
Solid support. The Rollerblade Fusion X3 features a rigid boot of molded plastic. For heavier skaters or those who want really solid ankle support, it's just the trick -- although all that plastic means these skates are also on the heavy side. While we found one or two pans about poor padding, most users say the boots are comfortable after a short break-in period. The 80 mm wheels are small enough to be maneuverable but large enough to still be fairly fast, although they won't be as speedy as 90 mm or 100 mm wheels.
Speed and maneuvering. The Rollerblade Fusion X3's 80 mm/80a wheels are mounted on a composite frame with SG7 bearings. Of particular note, the boots have conventional laces and hook-and-loop closures at both the ankle and the instep. The hook-and-loop closure where most skates have a ratchet strap is a weak point; a number of users say that it's hard to get those straps comfortably tight -- especially at the ankle -- while others say they tend to loosen up as you skate.
A couple of InlineWarehouse.com reviewers offer their opinions on the Rollerblade Fusion X3 skates, sans ratings. They say the skates are well-made and durable.
Review: Rollerblade Fusion X3 Urban Inline Skates, Contributors to InlineWarehouse.com, As of April 2014
More than 15 Amazon.com users give the Rollerblade Fusion X3 an average score of 3.9 stars out of 5. The biggest criticism is that it can be hard to get -- and keep -- the hook-and-loop ankle strap tight.
Review: Rollerblade Men's Fusion X3 Urban Skate, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
About half a dozen InlineSkates.com reviewers give the Rollerblade Fusion X3 a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. One notes that they're a little heavy.
Review: Rollerblade Fusion X3 Urban Inline Skates 2014, Contributors to InlineSkates.com, As of April 2014