Rolling in Comfort on a Budget: Our Review of the Riedell R3 Skates
As recreational skaters with a need for speed and adventure, we’re always chasing our next big skate journey. We love nothing more than cruising for miles down seaside boardwalks, weaving through neighborhood streets, and unwinding after work on loops around the park trails.
But as much as we love our outdoor skating hobby, our wallets don’t always appreciate how fast wheels and bearings wear out. We’re constantly searching for high-quality outdoor skates that won’t break the bank so we can keep rolling in comfort without breaking the budget.
When we discovered Riedell’s R3 skates boasted an affordable price tag, we were immediately intrigued. Could these budget-friendly skates provide the smooth performance we need for big outdoor adventures? We eagerly ordered a pair of the R3s to put them to the test.
After impatiently awaiting their arrival, the big day finally came to unbox our new R3 skates! We eagerly laced them up and headed out to take them for an extensive test drive around the neighborhood.
Keep reading for our full review detailing the R3’s pros, cons, sizing, technical specs, and overall performance after many miles. We’ll help you decide if these wallet-friendly skates can really keep up with hardcore outdoor recreational skating.
Table of Contents
Out of the Box Impressions
Fresh out of the box, the Riedell R3 skates made a good first impression with their subtle and sporty style. The black vinyl boots look sleek and minimalistic in a way that focuses on performance over flash.
We immediately noticed the padded vinyl feeling soft and flexible as we eagerly tried them on. The man-made uppers contour comfortably to your feet without any pinching or pressure points.
The 62mm wheels struck a nice balance between speed and stability. They’re not so big that maneuvers feel clunky, but still promise a smooth roll. And the nylon plates kept weight reasonable so we felt like we could pick up speed.
Lacing them up felt easy and natural like we were putting on a pair of cushy sneakers rather than rigid skates. Overall, the R3s made a great first impression right out of the box with their comfort, quality construction, and simplicity.
Taking Them for a Spin
Eager to put the R3s through their paces, we promptly hit the streets for an extended cruise around the neighborhood. Right away we noticed how the plush padding cushioned our feet while still providing stability for pushing off.
The vinyl boots already started conforming to our feet, eliminating any rubbing or pinching. We were impressed that no blisters formed during several miles of continuous skating.
Turning corners felt controlled and fluid thanks to the supportive structure of the boots. The 62mm wheels perfectly balanced speed with bump absorption. They maintained momentum smooth as silk.
We did notice some vibration transferring through the nylon plates on rough roads. The material doesn’t dampen shocks quite as well as aluminum. But the give of the nylon also provided a nice bit of flex for fluid turns.
Overall, our first rides on the R3s proved fast, comfortable, and surprisingly high-performing for such an affordable recreational skate. The components might be basic, but they still impressed.
Pros: What Won Us Over
After logging extensive miles on the R3s, here are the key pros that won us over:
- Cushioned vinyl uppers – Broke in fast with excellent comfort right out of the box.
- Smooth 62mm wheels – Ideal balance of speed and control for recreational skating.
- Budget price – Very affordable for the quality and features making them accessible.
- Minimalistic style – Sleek low-profile design focuses on performance over flash.
- Easy maneuverability – Great balance of flexibility and support for fluid turns.
- Well-constructed – Quality craftsmanship throughout with no cheap corners cut.
- Thick tongues – Provide excellent padding to eliminate lace pressure.
For the price, the R3s checked all our must-have boxes for a comfortable and capable recreational outdoor skate. We felt they over-delivered on value.
Cons: A Few Downsides
While the R3s won us over in most aspects, we did notice a few negatives:
- Basic bearings – The stock ABEC-5 bearings work fine but upgrading would provide faster rolls.
- Nylon plates – Flex nicely but are less durable than aluminum and absorb shock less efficiently.
- Limited colors – Only available in simple black, unlike Riedell’s flashier skates.
- Low-cut ankle – Provides less support and structure than a higher-cut boot.
- Insole quality – Thinner insoles than higher-end Riedells with less cushioning.
Considering the affordable price point, these cons are mostly just opportunities to upgrade components down the road. For recreational use, the R3s deliver great value and performance right out of the box.
For those wondering about the precise specs of the R3s, here are the key details:
- Boot Material: Vinyl leather
- Plate: PowerDyne Thrust nylon
- Wheel Size: 62mm/85A
- Bearings: ABEC-5
- Toe Stop: PowerDyne Adjustable
- Closure: Laces with velcro cuff
- Sizes: 1-14
- Colors: Black
The basic recreational specs like the ABEC-5 bearings and nylon plates help keep costs reasonable while still delivering smooth rolls.
Based on our experience, here are some tips for getting an ideal fit in the R3s:
- Length runs true to size, so order your normal shoe size.
- The width also fits very true with no tight squeezing.
- The vinyl does stretch some during break-in to contour your feet.
- If sizing up for thick socks, the velcro cuff will help cinch the fit.
- Trying on in-store is best to get the exact fit if possible.
- Heat molding can help customize the fit if any tight spots emerge.
- For women one full size down.
Following the standard shoe size charts should get you dialed into the right length. Focus more on getting the perfect width fit as the boot length will give slightly.
Ideal Use Cases
After putting them through the paces, we feel the R3s work exceptionally well for:
- Beginner outdoor skating – A comfortable and affordable way to try outdoor skating.
- Casual recreational skating – Ideal for neighborhood and park cruising at an easy pace.
- Urban skating – Handled well on rough city streets thanks to the flex and shock absorption.
- Boardwalk and bike path skating – Smooth 62mm wheels excel on flat paved surfaces.
- Outdoor dance/artistic skating – Flexible enough for basic moves and choreography.
While super-advanced skaters will want higher-end components, the R3s deliver everything casual recreational skaters need. For the price, they punch far above their weight providing excellent value.
Riedell R3 Skates Review Final Verdict
After countless miles rolling over various terrains, we are happy to rate the Riedell R3 skates 4 out of 5 stars. For recreational outdoor skaters on a budget, they deliver impressively smooth rides loaded with comfort.
The R3s provide a very capable outdoor setup considering their wallet-friendly price. While the basic bearings and nylon plates keep costs down, the performance and quality stand out at this price point.
So if you want a comfortable, well-constructed outdoor skate for casual cruising that won’t break the bank, the Riedell R3s are a fantastic choice. Their simplicity and comfort will have you effortlessly rolling for miles with a smile on your face.
For recreational skating, these budget-friendly R3s are just what we need to fuel our passion while keeping some cash in our pockets. We’d highly recommend them to value-focused outdoor skaters searching for quality low-cut recreational skates. The R3s pass our test and deliver smooth reliability on a roll!
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Available Colors: Black
Price: The price may differ from 155$ to 209$ depending on the store you choose.
Link to purchase from Amazon
Link to purchase from Walmart
Link to purchase Riedell R3 Demon 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.