Heelys have been a trendy Christmas present, and the craze about them continues to rise. With obesity becoming a major concern among young children, people say that their children are better off “heeling” than watching TV and playing video games. Children love Heelys, and every time they come to the shoe store with their parents, they won’t leave without asking if they can get a pair of Heelys! Most parents tell them NO and say they will think about it just to get out of it as soon as possible!
The funny thing is that those children will come back to the shoe store with their grandparents the next time, who are more than happy to please their grandchildren, even if they don’t have a clue of what Heelys are! That’s how most children get their first pair of Heelys!
So, let’s clarify what Heelys are. In a few words, Heelys is a brand of shoes that roll. These shoes come with a removable wheel embedded in the sole of the shoes, which allows children to walk, run, or roll by shifting their weight to the heels. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Maybe to us, the adults, but children have no problem learning how use these shoes.
Parents And Grandparents – Let’s Clarify What Heelys Are
Heelys are shoes with an integral wheel embedded into the heel of the shoe. There is an integrated hole in the heel of the shoe where the wheel can be popped out whenever the child is ready to roll around, and can be put back whenever the child wants to walk or run. They are heavier shoes compared to the regular tennis shoes your child might be used to wearing, but at the same time they are very sturdy.
One of the most common questions parents ask is if they are putting their children at risk if they purchase this type of shoe. The answer is: Yes and No. While Heelys have been a contributing cause to many childrens’ foot and leg injuries, if proper instructions are followed and protective gear is worn, your child will have no problem wearing these shoes.
I have been working at a children’s shoe store for over 5 years now, and we specialize in children that have foot and leg problems. We are one of the best children’s shoe stores in the country, and we understand the importance of well-fitted shoes.
We will NEVER fit a child in a pair of shoes that will compromise the health of his foot or leg. We always emphasize to parents and grandparents the importance of following the instructions when getting a pair of Heelys.
Rolling In Heelys- Are They A Direct Cause Of Children’s Injuries?
Did you know that due to safety concerns, several schools and shopping malls have banned Heelys? A lot of people believe that children are at risk of suffering sprains and fractures when “heeling”.
Studies have actually shown that this type of footwear puts children at an increased risk of suffering injuries.
In all fairness “heeling” is no less dangerous than skating or roller boarding, but I strongly believe that “a shoe should be a shoe, and a toy should be a toy.”
Football, basketball, and bicycle accidents are the most common causes of fractures among children. Studies show that the children who suffered most of the injuries from Heely’s did not follow the instructions or wear the suggested protection.
Can My Child Wear His Heelys As His Everyday Shoes?
No, I wouldn’t recommend wearing Heelys as everyday shoes since Heelys tend to be much heavier and less flexible than your kids’ regular running sneakers. You need to look at Heelys as a pair of fashion shoes! If you are thinking of getting your child a pair of Heelys, you should strongly consider getting them a pair of everyday sneakers also.
Childrens’ Heelys – Getting A Pair For Your Child
If your children have been asking you for Heelys for some time now, and you promised them that they could have them, then be prepared. Provide your child with safety gear when using their Heelys in skate mode. The manufacturer even states that children should wear a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads when using their Heelys skate shoes. Sounds pretty scary, right?
Don’t worry, we have fitted hundreds of these roller shoes and we haven’t had a single issue with them. This reminds me that getting the right size is crucial to keep your child’s stability and comfort when wearing the shoe. Are you not sure if your child is wearing the correct shoe size? I wrote a post where I explain how to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size. The post is called:
Having Fun In Heelys – Read The Instructions!
Before your child starts using Heelys, make sure you go over the instructions with him/her. Reading the instructions is a step that parents often overlook. Go to Heelys.com and watch their how-to videos and in-store lessons. Emphasize the importance of protective gear to your child, like a helmet and wrist pads. Think of Heelys as skates rather than sneakers!
Below is a set of guidelines that you should recommend your child follow when wearing Heely’s:
- Always wear safety gear.
- Don’t wear Heelys in skate mode in or near traffic, on uneven surfaces, or on the stairs. You also might avoid injuries by telling your kids to not go heeling in crowded areas.
- Always make sure the wheels are tightly secure in the shoes and that the shoe laces are not untied (if your child doesn’t know how to tie his shoes yet, I wrote a post where I explain the best proven method to teach kids how to tie shoes. The post is called:
Do I Recommend Heelys? Use Your Best Judgment as a Parent!
As with every other shoe I review, I either have fitted it myself or worn it. With Heely’s, I did both. I came to the conclusion that they are extremely heavy sneakers and they should not be worn as everyday shoes. I do not like the idea of children “wheeling around” since this usually leads to less waking throughout the day. I believe sneakers should encourage children to walk, run, and be active!
Parents should be able to use their good judgment when it comes to Heelys. Most things out there can be dangerous, and we can not protect our children from everything. If you want to provide your child with a pair of Heelys, then you can do it, but understand that these shoes should not be worn exclusively!
Cheapest Heelys Shoes- Where Can You Buy Heelys?
Since this should not be your child’s primary piece of footwear you probably do not want to invest tons of money on it. There is a particular style named the Bolt which I have fitted before. It is lightweight and one of the most affordable ones among this brand. Amazon offers the best price with FREE returns on certain sizes and colors.
Please remember that is always best to take your child to your local kids’ shoe store to have his feet properly measured. If you don’t have a local kids’ shoe store that you trust, below you can find a selection of the best Heelys shoes for kids’:
All of these shoe styles fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Has your child been asking you for a pair of Heelys? Are you afraid that he/she might get hurt? Have you had any experience with your child falling down and hurting himself due to wearing Heelys? Please share your thoughts and comments below so we can all benefit from your experiences!
I will continue to post informative articles penned by me that address important topics such as this one.