Unfortunately, there are few good skate shops in New York City these days, especially compared to the glory days of the 1990s. It seems there are hardly any specialty skate shops left, and the sporting goods stores have either cut way back on their inline skate selection or dropped inlines entirely.
Some stores listed below might no longer sell inline skates, and it's possible that some have closed. Your comments and updates are appreciated.
Blades Board & Skate
659 Broadway at Bond St., Manhattan
As skate shops go, Blades was the city's best source for inline skate gear from around 1990 into the early 2000s. At its peak, the chain had at least eight stores in the city and had opened a few in other cities. But they have faded away, and as of early 2016 were down to just a single store — Blades Downtown, in the Village near NYU — and that store didn't even sell skates.
For those wondering about Blades West, the West 72nd St. store that was a center of inline activity for so many years, it closed in January 2016.
There were a few branches of the Boston-based sporting goods chain in Manhattan, and they offered a discount to Empire Skate Club members. However, the chain declared bankruptcy in October 2015 and a month later began closing all of of its stores. Since then the name rights have been purchased and an effort begun to resurrect the chain. The new City Sports website says they plan/hope to open a store in New York City by the end of 2017. However, the site suggests they are focusing on running gear and workout clothing.
Five Stride Skate Shop
178 Bushwick Ave, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn — 347-529-6787
Specialists in quad roller and especially roller derby gear.
280 Broadway at Chambers St., Manhattan
607 Sixth Ave. at 18th St., Manhattan
Times Square, 234 West 42nd St. at Eighth Ave., Manhattan
845 Third Ave. at East 51st St., Manhattan
135 East 125th St., Manhattan
2929 Third Ave. at 152nd St., The Bronx
31 East Fordham Rd. at Morris Ave., The Bronx
945 White Plains Rd. at Bruckner Expressway, The Bronx
The big sporting goods chain. In the past, some of their really large stores had a half-decent selection of skates. These days, you may have trouble finding much more than (roller)hockey gear and perhaps some low-end rec-fitness skates — i.e., Bladerunner brand and cheaper Rollerblades models.
Paragon Sporting Goods
867 Broadway at 18th St., Manhattan
Large sporting goods store that seasonally carries what is probably the best inline skate selection in the city (which in a way is damning with faint praise). In spring and summer, there will be a good variety of Rollerblade and K2 models at all price points as well as Bauer and Mission rollerhockey skates. Wheels, accessories, and spare parts selection are also relatively sizable. During visits in spring/summer 2015, the sales people were very helpful, with the only problem being whether they had the desired skate model in the needed size. In autumn and winter, they cut the skate selection way down and move the remaining gear to an out-of-the-way room on the lower floor.
9217 Fifth Ave., Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — 718-238-4919
Still carries skates, mostly from K2.
Peck & Goodie
No longer exists. A small store that used to be on Eighth Ave. between 54th and 55th Sts., Peck was a New York institution for 60 years (although as part of the Blades chain for the final decade) before closing in late 2003.
236 Richmond Valley Road, Tottenville, Staten Island
Roller rink. Does not seem to have a pro shop where you can buy any rollergear or parts.
Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, 22nd St at West Side Hwy, Manhattan
The current iteration of a skate shop at the Chelsea Piers sports complex. It's basically the pro shop at Sky Rink, and is thoroughly ice-oriented. Probably of little interest unless you are looking for rollerhockey gear.
The Sports Authority
The big sporting goods chain declared bankruptcy in early 2016 and closed down in late spring. Some store locations were picked up by other sporting goods chains, such as Modells grabbing the Manhattan Third Ave. Midtown site.
Toys "R" Us
In the late 1990s, the chain carried a fair amount of really cheap (both price and quality) inline skates for kids. The website indicates they do still carry such gear, but don't expect that any particular local store still does so.
Primarily an ice and inline hockey shop. Westside originally opened in 2004 selling ice gear and services. In 2006, they expanded into inline and opened a shop on Fifth Ave., across from the Flatiron Building and a block from Madison Square.
Bob Peck's Skate & Sport
31 Lake St., White Plains — 914-949-0579
Family-owned store that's been around 80+ years. Advertises as being the largest hockey dealer in Westchester, which means plenty of ice and inline hockey gear, but also carries recreational inline and ice figure skating gear.
38 Milburn St., Bronxville — 914-771-7100
Specialists in quad roller and especially roller derby gear. Located close to the Bronxville Metro-North station. Note: Business may be closed; their Facebook page hasn't been updated since 2013.
Jesse Halpern Skate and Tennis
99 Cuttermill Road at Chelsea Place, Great Neck — 516-487-6978
Valley Stream Bicycle / Hockey Shop
476 E. Merrick Road, Valley Stream — 516-825-8181
Caters to (roller)hockey players but also advertises recreational inline gear.
Wheelen Willys Skate Shop
3049 Merrick Road, Wantagh — 516-785-4301