Do you remember Heelys?
They first came out in the year 2000 but I first remember them being popular around 2004 with both Abbey and Callan owning a pair, along with most of their age group who used to zoom around the aisles in our local supermarket as the floors were perfect for wheeling around.
Well now they are back with a vengeance with Proline Skates stocking a colourful range for both boys and girls with several of Isaac’s class coming to school on them and then changing into school footwear once they get to the school gates.
If you have not heard of Heelys before, they are trainer type shoes with a single or double wheel in the heel that allow the wearer to go from walking to rolling simply by shifting their weight to their heels. When the wheels are removed, the shoe performs just like any other shoe. Because the wheels have adequately slippery bearings they allow the wearer to glide rather than continually take steps, which can be a more efficient way to get from place to place than walking, and offer an alternative to bicycles, skates, or other alternate transportation in urban areas.
Learning to use the shoes is related to a person’s sense of balance and so the amount of time it takes can vary greatly and both Callan and Abbey mastered it very quickly, but how do you use them safely?
- Wear safety equipment, especially whilst learning to use them. I would recommend a helmet, knee and shoulder pads
- Make sure the wheels are clipped into the sole firmly and are unobstructed. Small stones have been known to jam the wheels if unchecked
- Practice braking before you ride them in public. Transitioning from skating to walking or stopping can be done by simply putting your toes down, but it can be tricky to master at first
- Check your wheels for wear tear or cracks and replace if necessary
- Always ensure laces or velcro are secure to prevent tripping
- Don’t use Heelys in shops, the floor maybe perfect for riding them but I was witness to a few accidents so they were banned from being ridden in the shop eventually
I just hope Isaac’s feet grow to a size 12 by the time it is his birthday as he is desperate for a pair!
Have you owned a pair of Heelys before?
Disclaimer: Written in collaboration with Proline Skates.