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Best Aggressive Inline Skates

By: Lisa Maloney on June 20, 2017

Aggressive stunt skates remain very popular -- and very specialized

Aggressive or stunt skating is the stuff YouTube videos are made of: flips, jumps, grinds and slides, with some spins and other crazy footwork thrown in. As always when it comes to skates, performance rules -- but some reviewers lend a lot of weight to style, too.

Until recently, the high-end aggressive skate category was the domain of custom-built skates that you chose pieces for one at a time, depending on what sort of tricks you intended to do. But stock aggressive skates have gotten steadily better, and our new best-reviewed model in this category, the K2 Unnatural (Est. $250), is already beloved of many an aggressive skater.

The K2 Unnatural comes with ABEC 5 bearings and a flat 60mm/88a wheel setup -- that is, all four wheels are the same size, which can keep you from getting hung up on some tricks -- but can be changed to an anti-rocker setup with smaller interior wheels. Hexagonal wheel spacers mean you don't need to buy new axles if you choose to make the switch.

The staff at ONEblademag.com wax enthusiastic about the K2 Unnatural's sturdy construction, great quality control, and comfortable boot design. "It's like wearing shoes you can grind in," they write, along with a note that the Unnatural's boot can run up to a full size large. They also write that the Unnatural has a large sweet spot for balance on both front and backside boot tricks.

That boot design is a high point for most users too, who say they love its combination of adjustability and support, and don't mind putting in a little break-in time to get the fit just right. You can crank down the extra strap at the top of the boot for the ultimate in support and a more flat-footed ride, or tweak the straps and lacing to let you get more of the forward lean that is typical of many aggressive skates.

The one-piece soul plate on the K2 Unnatural is another high point, with a Teflon insert that users say makes it slide smooth and fast. However, that soul plate comes with equal servings of good news and bad news. Because it's both screwed and glued to the Unnatural's boot, the construction is super solid -- a high point for the staff at ONEblademag.com. But that also means the soul plate can't be replaced.

If you'd like an alternative, the Razor Genesys 11 (Est. $200) is the latest update to another perennial favorite. The Genesys line comes with replaceable grind and backside plates and a super-comfortable, well-padded liner with extra heel padding to cushion landings. Users say they fit true to size, with a little extra space to accommodate wider feet.

The Genesys 11 comes with 56mm/90a wheels with 42mm anti-rockers, on aluminum spacers and ABEC 5 bearings. All in all, reviewers say this stock package is good for beginning to intermediate skaters; upgrade the bearings and wheels to get a really high-performance package. The Genesys frame accepts up to 59 mm wheels in a freestyle (all four wheels the same size) or anti-rocker configuration.

The Razor Genesys line packs a few other benefits: In particular, reviewers say the soul and backside plates are easy to replace, and they're pre-grooved, which means you can head right out to the skate park as soon as you pull these skates out of the box.

If you're just getting started doing aggressive inline skate tricks, you don't necessarily need to drop a lot of money on top-of-the-line skates just yet. Users say the Universal Skate Design Realm (Est. $140) is an excellent all-around skate for beginners. The Realm comes with 57mm/90a wheels in a flat setup and ABEC 5 bearings.

Users say these skates are comfortable, don't weigh much, and make it easy to hop onto rails and ledges. There are comments that they fit like an extension of your body, although feedback on sizing is conflicting. The ultimate consensus is that for most people, you should go up at least half a size to get a true fit.

Another solid skate for beginners and intermediate skaters is the Roces M12 (Est. $160). It comes with two 58mm/88a wheels with smaller inside wheels for an anti-rocker setup that aids with some tricks, and ABEC 5 bearings. Users like the memory foam padded liner and the solid build of these skates; one says she used her first pair for more than 10 years. Ultimately, although the M12 isn't anything fancy, users say it's a great non-clunky skate that gets the job done, especially for spins, grabs, fast blading and rails.

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