All About Toe Stops & Plugs: Toe Stops & Plugs 101
Toe stops are generally found on the front of a quad skate. Recreational inline skates will have a stop on the back of one skate, and inline speed skates do not offer a brake at all.
These are designed for use in stopping while roller skating. In some styles of skating they will also be used for faster take offs, for use in other movements as well. There are two versions of toe stops.
Fixed toe stops can come in several varieties larger and smaller and many colors, but they are always made with a small hole in the center where a bolt or screw is inserted to connect directly to the plate. They cannot be set at different heights. The opening they use is 5/16”.
Example of a fixed toe stop:
Adjustable toe stops are just that, they adjust. They come in a variety of colors and sizes as well. They can however be set at different heights. They have a bolt that connects to the rubber but cannot be seen all the way through. Some stops will have options on how long that bolt is, if you have a preference you can choose, but not all adjustable toe stops offer that option. The opening they use is 5/8”.
Example of an adjustable toe stop:
Jam plugs are used when toe stops are not needed. Jam plugs are very popular with skaters who do jam skating or many versions of roller skating that does not require a toe stop and that a toe stop would get in the way. They are not designed to be used for actual stopping. They are very small and designed to simply plug that hole. Most skates have a metal housing for the toe stops to be screwed into, if you do not plug that hole if that makes contact with a skating rink floor it can gash the floor. By using the jam plug it removes the toe stop but protects anything the skate might come in contact with. These are available in two sizes as well so if you are replacing an adjustable toe stop or a fixed toe stop you can choose the correct jam plug.
Example of jam plugs: