Rolling Like the Pros: Our Review of the Riedell Solaris Pro Skates
As competitive derby skaters who always push themselves to the next level, we’re constantly searching for the highest-performing skates to give us an edge. We want pro-level skates engineered for all-out speed, precision, and agility to dominate as jammers and blockers.
So when we discovered Riedell’s Solaris Pro skates promising unbeatable quality and performance for derby, we knew we had to try them. We quickly ordered a pair and took them for intense test drives during our competitive team practices.
After logging many hardcore sessions and putting these elite derby skates through their paces, we’re ready to share everything you need to know in this detailed review. Keep reading for the full scoop on sizing, specs, pros, cons, usage, and performance of Riedell’s Solaris Pro derby skates.
Table of Contents
Unboxing First Impression
Opening the signature blue Riedell box, the Solaris Pro skates radiate a pro-caliber aura right off the bat. The supple black leather boot looks and feels high-end with beautiful stitching.
Trying on the Solaris Pro, the snug fit through the heel feels locked in for power transfer thanks to the V-cut design contouring our ankle. The low-profile 59mm wheels seem optimized for derby maneuvers.
The rigid aluminum plate promises precision and responsiveness. Our first impressions reveal the Solaris Pro is engineered for competitive derby domination. This setup means business.
Taking Them for a Spin
Impatient to test how the Solaris Pro skates performed at top speed, we hit the track for intense derby drills. Right away the customized leather boot felt like a natural extension of our feet.
The V-cut padding zone flexed perfectly for forward strides then locked our heels securely for crossovers. The aluminum plate translated every body movement into direct speed.
Carving tight turns felt effortless with the wheels gripping the floor. We felt stable and in total control performing quick starts, stops, and transitions.
Overall, the precision performance of the Solaris Pro blew us away from the very first session. They rose to the demands of high-level derby with responsive speed and agility.
Pros: What Won Us Over
After intense competitive sessions in the Solaris Pro, here are the key pros:
- Custom molded leather – Conforms perfectly to your feet
- V-cut ankle support – Ultimate heel lock security
- Pro aluminum plate – Unreal responsiveness and transfer
- Performance wheels – 59mm size ideal for derby grip/speed
- Competition-grade bearings – Insane acceleration from the starts
- Elite quality – Every component is engineered to perfection
- Aggressive capability – Responds to your most explosive moves
- Flawless precision – Exactness needed for high-level derby
- Stiff support – Ideal for jumps and advanced techniques
Simply put, the Solaris Pro provides a custom pro-level experience crafted for dominating roller derby competitions. The performance is truly unmatched.
Cons: Minor Issues
With any elite skate, there are always small trade-offs and the Solaris Pro does have a couple worth noting:
- Premium price tag – 800$ is a huge investment for most skaters
- Long break-in time – The leather is stiff at first
- Too advanced for beginners – Overkill for recreational skating
- Limited black color option – More styles would be nice
But competitive derby skaters wanting the absolute best will find the Solaris Pro well worth the price. They deliver the pro-level performance you have to feel to believe.
For those interested in the elite specs, the Solaris Pro offers:
- Boot: Black leather
- Plate: PowerDyne Reactor Pro aluminum
- Wheels: Radar Halo 59mm/93A
- Bearings: KwiK Zenith (ABEC is not mentioned but they feel like ABEC 9)
- Toe stop: PowerDyne Jupiter
- Closure: Waxed laces
- Sizes: 3.5 – 13
- Color: Black
With premium components selected by the pros, every detail is optimized for competitive derby and speed skating.
Caring for Your Riedell Solaris Pro
To get the most out of your investment, be sure to care for them properly:
- Use quality leather conditioner regularly to prevent cracking
- Inspect wheels/bearings/plates before sessions for any wear
- Wipe boots down after skating to remove dust and debris
- Rotate wheels frequently to distribute wear evenly
- Replace laces as needed if they become frayed
- Consider upgraded cushions for easy customization
With some basic care and maintenance, your Solaris Pro boots and plates will keep you dominating for many seasons of competitive derby to come.
Based on our experience, here are some sizing tips:
- The leather will mold and stretch over time (they are also heat moldable)
- Length runs true-to-size so order you’re normal shoe size
- Trying on in-store allows you to get the perfect fit
- Take your time breaking them in for the ideal contour
- Thinner socks enhance precision and minimize bulk
Be patient breaking them in to let the leather truly customize to your feet. The result is a skate that becomes an extension of you.
Ideal Use Cases
After extensive sessions, the Solaris Pro dominates in these scenarios:
- Elite/professional derby – Made for the highest levels of competition
- Roller speed skating – Optimized for maximum speed and control
While optimized for elite derby, the Solaris Pro provides unmatched performance anywhere speed, precision, and responsiveness are demanded.
After intense competitive testing, we happily rate the Riedell Solaris Pro skates 5 out of 5 stars. For pro and elite derby skaters, no other skate comes close to the Solaris Pro’s mix of customizable comfort, explosive power transfer, and technical precision.
While the premium price means they aren’t practical for beginners, competitive skaters will reap game-changing performance benefits from the Solaris Pro’s pro-perfect design once broken in.
If you’re ready to invest in the absolute best setup money can buy, we can’t recommend the Riedell Solaris Pro skates enough. Lace them up and prepare for domination!
Here you can find other reviews we have made for derby roller skate:
Click on the link to see the best Riedell skates we recommend for every skating category.