How do I Repair The Ankle Tightener on Rollerblades?

by Jeremiah Blanchard
In-line skating is great for exercise and recreation.

In-line skating is great for exercise and recreation.

In-line skating is commonly referred to as "Rollerblading," though the word Rollerblade is a trademarked term from the Nordica Group, which produces in-line skates. In-line skates can take a beating while riding and become loose-fitting over time. This is normally caused by a faulty or worn ankle binding. Rollerblade has several forms of ankle bindings, and all ankle bindings are different on various brands of in-line skates, although their operation is universal. A faulty ankle binding should be replaced completely, but a temporary fix can be implemented on most brands that use plastic bindings and buckles.

Inspect the ankle binding to figure out why it's not tightening properly. This is typically caused by a broken or malfunctioning buckle or a broken or worn plastic strap. Look inside the buckle for any obvious broken plastic that may have been stripped from the strap. Remove any plastic chunks, then try to refasten and tighten the binding. If the binding still won't tighten, then move on to Step 2.

Measure the binding with a tape measure. Cut a piece of cloth to fit onto the binding. Cut the cloth the exact length of the binding, and twice as long as the width.

Wrap the piece of cloth tightly around the binding and secure it into place with tape or glue. The cloth should be very snug onto the binding.

Slide the binding into the buckle, then close the locking mechanism on the buckle. This will be difficult at first, but after a couple of tries it will fit snugly into the buckle and will buy you some time until you can find replacement bindings or purchase new skates.

Items you will need

  • Cloth
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Tape measure


  • You can purchase ankle bindings from the manufacturer or select from other universal ankle bindings supplied by many sports and recreation companies.


  • Wear appropriate protection when skating such as wrist support protection, as well as elbow and knee pads. A helmet is also a safe piece of equipment to use when skating.

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