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Home » Best Roller Skates » Riedell Dart vs R3: A Comparison of the Best Riedell Speed Skates

Riedell Dart vs R3: A Comparison of the Best Riedell Speed Skates

If you are just getting started in speed skating and are thinking about getting a new pair of Riedell skates, you have two main options: Riedell Dart Skates or Riedell’s R3. In this article, I will do a Riedell Dart vs R3 comparison and go over the similarities and the differences between these two skates so you can pick out your next roller skates with confidence.

Best Riedell Speed Skates: All Dart and R3 SkatesPin

In this analysis, I’m going to go over the different boots, plates, roller skate wheels and bearings that come on each model of roller skate. Then, I’ll give you a handy table that will compare and contrast these two skates. Finally, I’ll give you my pick on the best Riedell speed skates. Let’s go!

A Closer Look at Riedell Dart Skates

The Original Riedell Dart Skates

Riedell Dart Speed Skates - Aqua Front, Back and Profile ViewsPin
The Original Riedell Dart Skates – Aqua (Front, Back, Profile views)

First on the list are the original Riedell Dart aqua and black skates. These beginner speed skates come in either black or aqua. They used to also come in purple, but those have been discontinued. The boots on these skates come in men’s size 1-14. So, it will fit both the little kids and you guys out there with giant feet (like me – size 13). These skates also have adjustable toe stops that secure into place with a lock nut.

Riedell Dart Speed Skates - Black Front, Back and Profile ViewsPin
The Original Riedell Dart Skates – Black (Front, Back, Profile views)

The Riedell Dart comes with a heavier die-cast aluminum skate plate. It is a heavier skate because of this material in the skate plate, however, it does make these skates quite durable. It also comes with aluminum trucks and axles.

Riedell Dart Speed Skates Aqua Side ViewsPin
The Original Riedell Dart Skates – Aqua (Side views)

The wheels on these skates are a good size for speed skating at the roller rink coming in at 62mm tall and 43mm wide. Most quad speed skate wheels will have a diameter of 62mm. You also want a wider wheel to help with your pushes. They also come with exclusive matching color hubs so the boot color matches the hub color.

Riedell Dart Speed Skates Black Side ViewsPin
The Original Riedell Dart Skates – Black (Side views)

This wheel also has a 93A durometer which makes it fairly hard for indoor speed skating. These wheels will not work well outdoors on surfaces like asphalt, but should do fine on sports court or smooth concrete.

The Dart wheels are also a little on the soft side at the 93A durometer. I typically like speed wheels that are a little harder – in the 95A-98A range. However, these are decent enough wheels for those just starting out in speed skating. The softer wheel will give you more traction, which is more important than top speed, if you are just beginning.

Riedell R3 At a Glance

BootsAvailable in Black or Aqua color. Comes in men’s shoe size 1-14 in medium width.
See the skate sizing charts for help with getting the right fit.
PlatesDie-Cast Aluminum
WheelsDart 62mm tall x 43mm wide with a 93A durometer and matching colored hubs
BearingsABEC-5
Toe StopsAdjustable toe stops using a lock nut

Pros:

  • The 62mm x 43mm wheels are a good size for speed skating.
  • The die-cast aluminum plate is heavy duty and will work well for stability.
  • This is a good, quality beginner speed skate that comes from a reputable brand (Riedell) and at a price point below $150.

Cons:

  • Unlike other Riedell skates, these speed skates only come in one width (medium). This may not be wide enough for those skaters who need a wider toe box.
  • The 93A durometer is a little soft for a speed wheel, but should be good for beginner speed skaters who need more stability especially when doing crossovers around the corners.
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The Riedell Dart Ombré

Riedell Dart Ombre Speed Skates: Neon green or pinkPin
Riedell Dart Ombré – Lime Green/Black & Pink/Purple

The only difference between the original Dart skates and the Dart Ombré are the boot colors. In the Ombré, you have two super cool designs that are sure to turn heads and get you constant attention. The first is a neon yellow with black fade that blends the two colors together. Or, if you want even more color, you can go with the pink and purple that fade together.

You have the same die-cast aluminum plates, Dart 93A wheels and the ABEC-5 bearings. The boot construction is even the same with a medium boot width. However, the neon yellow & black boot comes in men’s sizes 1-14 while the pink & purple boots come only in men’s sizes 1-9.

Riedell Dart Ombré At a Glance

BootsAvailable in several fun colors including Neon Yellow & Black fade or Pink & Purple fade.
The Neon Yellow comes in men’s sizes 1-14.
The Pink & Purple comes in men’s sizes 1-9.
Both come in medium width.
See the skate sizing charts for help with getting the right fit.
PlatesDie-Cast Aluminum
WheelsDart 62mm tall x 43mm wide with a 93A durometer
BearingsABEC-5
Toe StopsAdjustable toe stops using a lock nut

Pros:

  • Same pros as the Riedell Dart skates above.

Cons:

  • Same cons as the Riedell Dart skates above.
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The Riedell Dart Pixel

Riedell Dart Pixel Speed Skates: Front, Back and Profile ViewsPin
Riedell Dart Pixel – Front, Back and Profile Views

The Pixel is the newest skate in the Riedell Dart family. It is very similar to the other Dart models with the boot being the only difference. This roller skate has the same wheels, bearings and die-cast aluminum plates. There are just a few differences.

First, you get two different color wheels. The front 2 wheels are red and the back two wheels are black. This goes really well with the new, stylish boot design that has a black base coating and then fades to white with a red, black and gray pixel pattern along the boot. They are very cool looking and definitely the only boot out right now with this kind of pattern on them.

Riedell Dart Pixel Speed Skates: Side ViewsPin
Riedell Pixel – Side Views

Riedell Dart Pixel At a Glance

BootsAvailable in a cool black, white and orange pixel pattern.
Comes in men’s sizes 1-14 in medium width.
See the skate sizing charts for help with getting the right fit.
PlatesDie-Cast Aluminum
WheelsDart 62mm tall x 43mm wide with a 93A durometer.
Red wheels in the front and black wheels in the back.
BearingsABEC-5
Toe StopsAdjustable toe stops using a lock nut

Pros:

  • Same pros as the Riedell Dart skates above.

Cons:

  • Same cons as the Riedell Dart skates above.
Check Price on Amazon

A Deep Dive into the Riedell R3

Riedell R3 Speed Skates: Front, Back & Profile ViewsPin
Riedell R3 – Front, Back and Profile Views

Next up, we have the heavily padded, hand crafted skates by Riedell – the R3. These skates are one of Riedell’s nicer boots for beginner speed skates. They come in men’s sizes 1-14 with a medium width. They also only come in black – no fancy colors here.

The biggest difference between this skate and the Dart models is the roller skate plates. The R3 comes instead with a lightweight PowerDyne Nylon plate. This is less durable than the Dart’s Die-Cast Aluminum plate but is also significantly lighter. A lighter skate does make for less leg fatigue when you’re skating 100s of laps in practice.

Riedell R3 Speed Skates: Side ViewsPin
Riedell R3 – Side Views

Like the Dart, these skates also come with an adjustable toe stop that is secured with a lock nut. They also come with the same ABEC-5 roller skate bearings.

Finally, the R3 comes with 62mm x 43mm Sonar Cayman wheels. These are a step up from the Dart wheels as these are a little harder – a 95A durometer. The slightly harder wheel on the R3 is better for keeping your top speed.

Riedell R3 At a Glance

BootsMen’s boot sizes 1-14. Black boot in medium width size.
PlatesPowerDyne Thrust Nylon
WheelsBlack Sonar Cayman wheels. 62mm x 43mm with a 95A durometer.
BearingsABEC-5
Toe StopsPowerDyne Adjustable with lock nut

Pros:

  • The Sonar Cayman wheels are nice beginner speed skate wheels. With a 95A durometer, they are a decent hardness to keep you rolling well indoors.
  • The PowerDyne Thrust Nylon plate is nicer because it is considerably lighter than a die-cast aluminum plate – which are quite heavy.

Cons:

  • The only downside is that the nylon plate is a little less durable. Some heavier skaters may prefer the aluminum plate. However, I weigh over 200 lbs. and I have never broken the nylon plates on my skates. Not saying it’s not possible, I just have never done it myself and I’m pretty rough on my skates.
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A Detailed Comparison of the R3 and Dart Roller Skates

Now that we have looked at the Original Riedell Dart, the Dart Ombré, the Dart Pixel and the R3, lets do a deeper comparison of each one. Below is a chart that gives you the important specifications of each skate.

Dart vs. Dart Ombre vs. Dart Pixel vs. R3 Roller Skates: A Skate Parts Comparison

DartDart OmbréDart PixelR3
Boot Sizes1-141-14 – Yellow
1-9 – Pink
1-141-14
Boot ColorsBlack or AquaNeon Yellow & Black
Pink & Purple
Red, Black
& White
Black
PlatesDie-Cast AluminumDie-Cast AluminumDie-Cast AluminumPowerDyne Thrust Nylon
Wheel Profile62mm x 43mm62mm x 43mm62mm x 43mm62mm x 43mm
Wheel Durometer93A93A93A95A
BearingsABEC-5ABEC-5ABEC-5ABEC-5
Toe StopsAdjustable lock nutAdjustable lock nutAdjustable lock nutAdjustable lock nut

The 3 Dart Skates

As you can see from the table above, all of the Riedell Dart skates are almost identical to each other. The only real difference is the color of the skate boots. All 3 Riedell Dart skates come in sizes 1-14, have die-cast aluminum plates and all come with the same 62mm x 43mm Dart 93A wheels. All 3 skates also come with the same adjustable toe stops and toe stop lock nut and have ABEC-5 bearings.

The R3 Skate vs. the Dart Skates

As the table above shows, the main difference between the R3 skates and the Dart skates are the roller skate plates. The Dart skates have a Die-Cast Aluminum plates and the R3 has a PowerDyne Thrust nylon plates. Then, the R3 has nice Sonar Cayman wheels. They are 95A vs. the Dart’s 93A durometer….pretty close, honestly.

Which Riedell Speed Skates Should You Choose?

I personally would go with the Riedell R3. I think the boot is a little nicer and has a little more padding. I also don’t like die-cast aluminum plates because they are quite heavy. That may not be a big deal if you are just doing regular skating at the roller rink, but for speed skating, the weight of your skates does matter. You will get tired more quickly with a heavier skate.


Frequently Asked about Riedell R3 and Riedell Dart Skates

Roller DerbyPin

Are Riedell R3 & Riedell Dart skates good roller derby skates?

Both the Riedell R3 and Dart skates can be used as entry level roller derby skates. However, they are definitely beginner roller skates for that sport and you’ll want to upgrade to a nicer pair of skates once you get more into the sport.

Can Riedell Dart or Riedell R3 be used as outdoor roller skates?

The Riedell Dart skate come with 93A durometer wheels. This is quite hard and will not do well on rough surfaces like asphalt. However, if you are roller skating on smooth concrete or sports court outdoors, then it will do just fine,. Typically, you want a nice, soft 78A set of outdoor roller skate wheels when skating on rough surfaces like asphalt.

Are Riedell skates comfortable?

The Riedell R3 and Dart skates are both pretty comfortable. However, Riedell’s higher end rhythm and artistic roller skates are really the most comfortable. Their art skates are made with multiple sizes and even widths of skates insuring you get a great fit. The R3 and Dart skates all come in one width – medium. If you have wider feet, be sure to check out my best roller skates for wide feet article.

Are Riedell roller skates true to size?

The Dart and R3 skates come in men’s shoe sizes and fit pretty much true to shoe size. However, you should always consult the Riedell roller skate sizing charts before purchase and measure your feet to get a good idea of how well Riedell skates will fit you.

Can the Riedell Dart or R3 be used for jam skating?

Yes. Beginner jam skaters can use the Dart or R3 as a jam skate. You can easily remove the toe stops on these skates and install jam plugs instead. With that said, I’d really recommend VNLA instead of Riedell for jam skates.

Wrap Up

Riedell is really well known for top of the line artistic, jam and derby skates. While they do offer speed skates, really the only two options are the R3 or the Dart – both of which are beginner speed skates. Hopefully the analysis above helps you with making a decision about which of these 4 skates are best for you. Now, grab your skates and start doing some laps!

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Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone started the website RollerSkateDad.com back in 2015. The site specializes in roller skate reviews and advice about skates and all things roller skating. When Jeff isn't skating with his two daughters Lily and Violet, he enjoys writing code, cooking, watching movies and hanging out with his wife Claire and their german shepherd, Electra.

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