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10. 04. 2005

Heelys hidden-wheel skate shoe

heelysskateshoe.jpg
A few days ago I saw a little girl skate across the floor of a department store. I saw her head glide by but what she was actually skating on was obscured by racks of clothing. She noticed that I was watching her and when she got to the end of the aisle and I could see her feet, she was walking normally on what appeared to be regular sneakers. I thought I was crazy but a few minutes later I saw her do it again. This time, when she popped out of the aisle, I had caught up with her and saw her gliding and then coming to a sudden complete stop before walking again. I was an obsessive roller skater as a kid, even had those stupid, insanely dangerous Pop Wheels sandal rollerskates, so I was really curious and had to ask her what kind of skates she had. She denied that she was wearing skates. Repeatedly. I was pretty much arguing with this little girl ("don't lie, I saw you!") when I finally realized that she was afraid of me, thinking I was going to yell at her for skating in the store like a mean school principal and not a cool big-sister type she could play skate-tag with down the slippery floors. After practically making her cry, she let me in on her secret: Heelys shoes, with a hidden wheel in the sole.

After doing a bit of research, I found out that Heelys aren't new and have been popular in Asia for some time, but have been slower to take off in the US. They look like normal walking/running shoes, and are, until you lean back on your heels, and the wheels pop out. The skaters are called "heelers" for obvious reasons. So far, most of the early adopters of these shoes have been serious inline skating enthusiasts, but I don't see why Heelys couldn't be a great mode of transport for adult commuters. I don't see many people on foot-powered scooters these days, but Heelys would be great for people who enjoy the leisurely exercise that a Razor provides. And when you get to your destination, you don't have to put on your shoes.

Heelys are available in men's, women's and children's sizes, and range from about $60 to $95.

Posted by mia    Category: toys
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Comments (10)

I've actually seen alot of kids wearing these, and my 12 year old cousin had me looking for a very specific color scheme in them when he visited in march.

Gem:

I have a pair of these. The wheels don't actually pop out. They're always out. Walking in them sometimes takes a bit of practice for adults. (Kids learn much quicker.) You have to walk slightly more flat-footed. They're fun, though! I use mine a lot.

Simon:

Heely's have indeed been around for some time, my duaghter went through a pair about two years ago. They were very popular here in So Cal.

webbie:

These have been popular in California for a few years...but there are a lot of skateboarders out here :shrug:

John:

I am 28 and totally agree. I got a pair in a size 12 that are mostly black so at first glance might appear as normal adult dress shoes. I am still getting used to wearing them. I would like to just always have them on, but would probably take the wheels out at work. If a company made some specifically for adults in urban environments I think they would clean up.

Toni:

Yeah, I've seen these skate shoes in So. California for years. I think they look pretty cool. One minute the kid is walking, the next he's gliding past me.

D Cooper:

I am the captain of team heelys east coast, and heelys have been out for about 5 years now, Heelys took off in Asia and have seen a slower but steady rise in popularity. As the east coast captian I see hundreds off kids a year with heelys. This is definatly a young sport. I got in on the ground floor about a year after they came out. But the kids I see are amazing. If these kids stick with it and continue to create new tricks at the rate they are Heelys will be a widly recognized form of skating. They are so much fun, but a little tough at first. Use heelys for a week and you will always want them on your feet.

chantelle:

I am gettin heelys on friday at haney place mall in maple ridge. I think they are so awsome.....!!! all my friends have them to ..!! From:chantell,age:11

nick lovvorn:

I bought me a pair of heelys after
i saw my friend with a pair of them I tried them out and i loved them they rock. I almost never take them off. I get in trouble at school but I still where them. I have got more kids to buy them and they thaink they rock to.

demi k.:

i am getting some today or tomorrow i cant wait. im going to the greendale mall and if it doesnt have them i am ordering online

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