are a brand of Roller shoes
(marketed by Heelys, Inc.
) that have one or more wheels
embedded in each sole
, similar to inline skates
. Thus, the wearer can walk, run, or, by shifting their weight to their heels, roll. Braking can be achieved by lowering the back of the foot so that sole contacts the ground. Generally, "Heeling" is a form of skating, and as such may not be allowed in some places, including schools. In February 2007, Yeovil Town Council
were the first English council to ban their use.
Over one million pairs of the shoes were sold in their first year alone. Roger Adams patented Heelys in late 2000.
One wheel: Most common model. Currently, this category's wheels are divided into FATS (smaller) and MEGA (larger) styles. Heelys previously produced the Original wheels, which were not as wide as FATS, and Big Deuce, an alternative two parallel rolling surfaces.Double wheel: These have one wheel placed directly in front of another. The front wheel can be removed although the ride is different as the back wheel is set farther back than in one-wheel models. (Also known as "2X2" models.)Hybrid: In addition to a single wheel, this model features a nylon plate in the middle used for grinding rails and benches, etc.
Mack: Heelys had once produced a style with wheels on its sides. This style only had two models produced.
The wheel can be removed from the shoe, which may be done for comfort reasons or for reasons of practicality or safety. Heelys do not have retractable wheels, although some imitators' products do. The exception to this is the 2x2 models, they do not bring a tool to pull out the wheel, but it is still easily done so by using a screwdriver, or one's thumbs. Current models are supplied with plugs to fill the wheel cavity when the wheel is removed, providing protection for the axle mounting. Early models did not include these plugs.
Heelys are great.You can rolle and walk!
The journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study of injuries resulting from the use of Heelys (and Street Gliders, a similar product that is strapped on to regular shoes). The study counted only significant injuries that required assessment by an orthopedic surgeon, ignoring minor injuries that were treated solely in the emergency department. The 10-week study (conducted during summer school holiday), found:
- An injury rate of approximately 51 injuries per 100,000 children (for injuries requiring orthopedic attention; the rate for less-serious injuries is unknown, but presumably much higher). For comparison, in 1997 the United States, nonfatal dog bites required 151 emergency department visits per 100,000 population (including adults).
- Injuries ranged from dislocations to displaced arm fractures (including one patient with this injury in both arms).
- 38% of the injuries requiring hospital admission and general anesthesia to manipulate fractured bones.
- 34% of the injuries were suffered by children using Heelys (or Street Gliders) for the very first time. 70% had used the products five or fewer times.
- The injuries comprised 8% of the workload for the pediatric orthopedic department.
- 12% of the injured children were familiar with the instructions for use of the products.
Although the manufacturer says, "While protective gear is not required, we highly recommend its use when the wheels are in the shoes," most users do not wear such gear, largely because these shoes are worn for everyday use (unlike more specialized sporting equipment such as inline skates).
For people who have attained a degree of technical skill and proficiency with the sneakers, Heelys, Inc. provides sponsorships with "Team Heelys". Also, these people get free heelys, wheels, and get paid to go to demos. They also get paid access to practice in skateparks, even some parks that charge an entrance fee. There is a National Pro team for Heelys which consists of David Chau, Hailey H., Brian M., AJ Roth, Danny M., Mikey D., Shawn P., Austin P., Britton M.
Advanced Heelys users can perform tricks such as spins, backwards skating and skating on one foot.
There are four categories of tricks used in heeling: flatland tricks, grinding tricks, stalling tricks and vert tricks.
- Ground tricks - the main category of tricks used in heeling.
- Grinds - these tricks can only be performed if the model has a nylon pad in the shoe, it involves jumping on a surface, landing on the nylon pad and sliding across the surface.
- Stalls - generally involves jumping on to a raised object and pausing before jumping off and heeling once more.One stall is the joe stall.
- Vert - any type of tricks performed on a vert ramp.