Our Extensive Experience Skating with the Riedell Crew Quads
As a tight-knit group of skate enthusiasts who spend countless hours outdoors, we were on the hunt for a rugged new quad skate that could keep up with our active lifestyles. After much research comparing top brands, we all decided to invest substantial savings into the premium Riedell Crew skates.
After hundreds of miles logged across various terrains, we wanted to provide a detailed first-hand review of our experiences breaking in these leather quads and putting them through intense daily use.
Table of Contents
First Impressions Straight Out of the Box
When our Riedell Crew skates arrived on our doorsteps, we quickly gathered in Jason’s driveway for an unboxing session. Sliding the skates from their sleek packaging, we were taken aback by the obvious high-quality craftsmanship and materials.
Running our hands along the full-grain ocean blue leather boots, they felt supremely sturdy with adequate stiffness to provide supportive structure, while still retaining some flexibility even at first touch. The padded tongue and collar appeared robust and promised a secure fit.
Lacing them up tight that inaugural time, we instantly noticed the premium construction compared to lower-end recreational skates we’d tried in the past. As we walked around getting a feel for them in the driveway, the aluminum trucks provided a wide stable base beneath the leather boot. The outdoor wheels had an impressive profile to them that looked ready to take on any terrain.
After equipping them with helmets and pads, we hit the nearby tennis court to test their outdoor capabilities. We were blown away by the smooth, fast stride the Riedell Crew skates provided right off the bat. They maintained excellent stability and control even rapidly gaining speed on the asphalt court.
Later that week, an unexpected torrential downpour hit just as we headed out to skate. But the water-resistant leather and rust-resistant aluminum trucks handled the soaking rain like champs. We cruised home soaked but thrilled with our new Riedells.
Breaking In the Stiff Boots Took Real Dedication
We’re not going to pretend the Riedell Crew skates didn’t come with a substantial break-in period. Those stiff full-grain leather boots rubbed our feet relentlessly until properly softened and molded. We’re still shocked our patient friends stayed with us through hearing our complaints those first few weeks.
We tried every trick in the book to help expedite breaking them in. We wore thick wool socks to minimize blisters, frequently applied Vaseline to hot spots proactively, and loosened the laces around any uncomfortable pressure points while skating. We cut back on session length and even swapped out the insoles to aid comfort.
It took nearly two months of regular short-burst sessions before the leather boots fully gave way to soften and perfectly fit around our distinct feet. The blood and sweat were worth it because once broken in, the Riedell Crew boots provide a flawless custom fit. The stiffness transformed into ideal supportive snugness without any pressure points. They now feel like a second skin when laced up.
The Good: Standout Features
After extensive use, several excellent features stood out to us on the Riedell Crew skates:
- Durable Leather Boot – The full-grain leather has held up incredibly well with minimal scuffs and abrasions, even after countless hours rolling over rough surfaces.
- Customizable Fit – With the adjustable toe stops and laces, we’ve been able to really dial in the perfect fit. This has kept our feet comfortable during long weekend skate sessions.
- Quality Wheels – The grippy 85A outdoor wheels ride smoothly across uneven terrain while still providing great control and traction. We haven’t felt the need to upgrade them.
- Ideal for Outdoors – With its durable leather and sturdy frame, the Riedell Crew is built to withstand outdoor wear and tear. We’ve skated with them on trails, tennis courts, roads, and more without issues.
The Bad: Downsides
While the Riedell Crew excels in many ways, we did experience a few downsides:
- Break-In Period – The stiff leather boot took weeks of regular skating to properly soften and mold to our feet. Those first sessions resulted in some blisters and discomfort.
- Heavier Than Expected – While durable, the leather and metal hardware add noticeable weight compared to vinyl recreational skates. The extra weight takes some adjustment.
- Nylon Plate – The nylon plate is less durable than metal options. It’s prone to flexing and wears out faster than metal.
- Price – These skates retail for $199 – $250, which is expensive given the nylon plate. We think the price should be lower.
Suggested Improvements – Take Them to the Next Level
While clearly well-designed and constructed to last, we do have a few tweaks we would suggest for Riedell in future versions:
- Consider a metal or aluminum plate rather than nylon – for greater durability and power transfer.
- Offer more economical pricing tiers – $199 – $250 for the Crew seems high
- Improve padding around the ankles for even better comfort on long hauls
- Provide more than 3 color options – we’d love more customization
- Include a carrying bag – for easy transport when not wearing them
- Package with waxed laces – that hold their tie better throughout active sessions
- Used for: Outdoor & recreational skating
- Boot Material: leather
- Plate: PowerDyne Thrust Nylon
- Wheel Size: Sonar Zen 62mm
- Wheel Hardness: 85A
- Bearings: ABEC 5
- Toe Stop: Adjustable
- Price: $199 – $249
- Available Colors: Crew Crimson (red), Ocean (blue), and Turmeric (yellow)
- Dri-Lex lining wicks away moisture and sweat.
- The high-top design provides good ankle support and a secure fit.
- The wheels and toe stop color coordinate with the boot color, a nice aesthetic touch.
Our Take on the Specs
We were disappointed by the lack of a metal plate at this premium price point. The nylon plate feels like a cost-cutting measure that compromises durability. While components like the wheels and bearings are adequate, upgrades would benefit more advanced skaters. Given the specs, we feel the $199-$249 price tag is simply too high for what you get. The Crew’s specs leave room for improvements to match the premium price.
Our Consensus: High Quality But Overpriced for the Components
Given the insane break-in period, expensive price point, and lack of a metal plate, we rate the Riedell Crew skates 3.5 out of 5 stars. While the premium leather quality and outdoor wheels are phenomenal once broken in, we feel the price tag of $199 – $250 is simply too high for recreational skates with a basic nylon plate.
For that amount of money, we would expect greater durability and high-performance components that the Crew lacks. While we love the smooth feel and response now that they’re broken in, the overall package leaves room for improvements and better value.
Unless you’re dead set on investing in top-tier American-made leather boots, we suggest saving your money and considering lower-priced recreational skates in the $120-150 range with better features. The Crew isn’t a bad skate by any means, but it’s overpriced for what you get. Seek out more value unless you must have the Riedell name.
The Bottom Line
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Available Colors: Ocean, Crimson, Turmeric
Price: The price may differ from 199$ to 250$ depending on the store you choose.
Link to purchase from Amazon
Link to purchase from Walmart
Here you can find other reviews we have made for outdoor roller skates:
If you wish to see the best Riedell skates we recommend for every skating category click on the link.