Jun
06
2007

A rolling controversy: Are ‘Heelys’ safe?

Sign of the times: More stores, malls and public places are posting signs banning the use of "heeling' shoes, shoes that have a wheel built into the heel to allow them to be used like a roller skate. (Photo by voteprime)
Sign of the times: More stores, malls and public places are posting signs banning the use of "heeling' shoes, shoes that have a wheel built into the heel to allow them to be used like a roller skate. (Photo by voteprime)
In my job on working on the floor of the Science Museum of Minnesota, I see more and more young visitors rolling their way along with the new “heeling” shoes. They have a roller wheel equipped in the heel that allows the wear to scoot around like on roller skates.

Some of the floor staff can’t stand the shoes and quickly ask visitors to stop using them. If it’s not busy, I’m a little more forgiving, but when the museum is crowded, it’s a problem just waiting to happen.

Now a group on international doctors are chiming in…they don’t like Heelys (the brand name of the shoes). The list of injuries incurred from heeling incidents around the world includes broken wrists, arms and ankles; dislocated elbows and even a few cracked skulls.

A hospital in Ireland recorded 67 treated injuries to children over a 10-week period last summer. In the U.S., there were roughly 1,600 emergency room visits last year caused by “heeling” shoes, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Crash landing: National statistics show that there were at least 1,600 emergency room visits last year in the U.S. due to the use of "heeling" shoes. (photo by stevejlovegrove)
Crash landing: National statistics show that there were at least 1,600 emergency room visits last year in the U.S. due to the use of "heeling" shoes. (photo by stevejlovegrove)
All of those incidents have led the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons to put out recommendations that heelers wear helmets, wrist protectors and knee and elbow pads while their zigging around.

Further investigation by the medial organizations has found that many of the “heeling” injuries happen to kids new to the using shoe. Still, many schools and shopping malls have banned use of the shoes for safety concerns.

Overall, since being introduced to the market in 2000, more than 10 million pairs of “heeling” shoes have been sold, making it one of the hottest new segments of the footware business. And officials from Heelys this spring addressed the issue by noting that their shoes are statistically safer than skateboarding, inline skating and swimming. Safety instructions are included with each new pair of “heeling” shoes that are sold.

What do you think? Are these new shoes a problem? Should they be banned? What could be done to make them safer? Is it no big deal? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (11 votes)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Maybe it's because I'm also one of the floor staff at the museum, but, I have to say, heelys, or "those rolly shoes" as I call them, kind of drive me nuts.

I always have this imaginary conversation with the parents of heely-kids when I see them in the museum. It goes kind of like this:

"Hey there, sir/maam. I see your kid is really cruising around with those rolly shoe things."
"Yeah, they're called heelys. Isn't he great?"
"Yeah, I'm sure he is. Say - you wouldn't let your kid wear roller skates to the museum, would you?"
"Oh, God no!"
"Oh, okay, because you just did."
Honestly.

That said, I'm sure they're lots of fun. And I don't think anyone should be acting really surprised that they can sometimes be dangerous - they are, after all, shoes with wheels on them.

posted on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 3:17pm
becca's picture
becca says:

I think Heelys are very safe. Everything can be dangerous, if you use them in a dangerous way! you have be smart to out law heelys would take them away from the smart people just to protecet the dumb people! and don't you think that the dumb people should learn from there mistakes?

posted on Sun, 06/17/2007 - 2:07pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

OK, I confess: I really, really, really want a pair.

I tried to talk my husband into buying me a pair for my birthday last year AND for Christmas, with no luck. (Why didn't I just buy my own? Well, a) I'm lazy; b) I hate shopping; and c) part of the appeal was that they'd just show up, somehow, at home for me to play with.)

Ever reasonable Ken said, "You're too old." (Nice, huh?) Also, "ER visits are too expensive."

And not too long after my latest round of asking for a pair, I saw a girl--maybe 15 years old--lose control and get laid out on her back in the museum lobby. The back of her head smashing into the terrazzo floor made a sound I'm not likely to forget any time soon. (She was OK, though. Just a whopper of a goose egg.) Kind of put me off the shoes for a little while...

posted on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 4:13pm
Doug's picture
Doug says:

Ok, I get it. These shoes do cause some accidents, especially to new users. And I wouldn't want somebody out of control to crash into me in a crowded museum. But an honest comparrison has not been done, or so it seems. How many accidents per thousand pairs sold are there? How does this compare to high heeled shoes, or platform shoes? I see kids twist ankles all the time in shoes designed to add height. How many women injur themselves when their spikes fail? Before we blast the makers of these, we ought to ask if they are truely dangerous. 67 injuries in 10 weeks does not provide me with any kind of reasonable comparrison. What do you think? Let's be a bit more analytical.

posted on Thu, 06/07/2007 - 10:26am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I'm not too far removed from working the museum floor, and I just ignored the kids who used them, unless they were pestering other visitors with their zipping around. They look like WAY too much fun, and I also badly want a pair. It is sort of one of those things that I wish was around when I was a kid, and I think a 33 year old might look a bit foolish wheeling around. But I say let 'em have their fun.

And 1,600 injuries out of how many million users? Less than 1% of owners get injured? I wonder what percentage of "normal" shoe owners fall down and suffer injury as a result of their "normal" shoes? I have seen high heel shoes that look far more dangerous than Heelys. I wonder how many people trip on untied shoe laces? Or a flip-flop blow-out? Perhaps all shoes but slip on sneakers should either be banned or everyone wearing shoes should wear a helmet?

posted on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 9:39am
Kirsten's picture
Kirsten says:

I really really wanted a pair of Heely's, Only because I thought they were cool, because u could skate around stores in them. But with all these new rules and stuff banning them from stores and malls and saying to wear protective gear while using them, I say "Why not just get a regular pair of skates?" And I also have to say "Thanks a lot to the kids who go injured on them, no offense but u ruined a lot of kids fun"

posted on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 5:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

But Nathan really wants a pair. Do they come in pink?

posted on Sat, 06/09/2007 - 1:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I believe that Heely's themselves are not the problem, the problem is the people that use them. If you want to buy a pair of Heely's, you should be careful and smart about it.

posted on Sun, 06/17/2007 - 1:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'd say 1600 injuries per year with 10,000,000 + pairs of them out there is very few.
If it were 1,600,000 out of 10,000,000 it would be a problem.

posted on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 3:14pm
jj's picture
jj says:

I think they are safe because of the fact you can detatch the wheels i havent got a pair but im getting some in July.All of my friends have got them and i have had a go and its easy to learn how to ride them.

posted on Fri, 06/22/2007 - 11:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I know that at the grocery stores near where I live, Heelys are prohibited. I agree with that. I know that they may be fun to go around in, but they can be dangerous. I mean, how do you stop them? Plus, I almost had people run into me because they were wearing Heelys and were going too fast. It's like running, but faster. It can be a real danger to those that are trying to get around, and it seems very easy to fall down while using them. I'm not against them, I just think that they may be dangerous to people, depending on how they are used.

posted on Fri, 06/22/2007 - 4:31pm
Kendra's picture
Kendra says:

I am 13 years old and i beleive they are not safe at all. I have seen many kids fall and get hurt. My friend had a pair and she was gliding and fell and broke her arm. They are also horriable for your ankles because they are so heavy.

posted on Sat, 06/23/2007 - 2:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is soo stupid i mean its their fault if they fall its their fault if they fall down and get hurt soooo just let them do it if they arent good at itthen they shouldn wear them

posted on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 9:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm a 37 year old Dad who has a 7 year old Heely crazed son. Yesterday he talked me into buying some. He said I would be the "coolest Dad ever". I love these things! It took a few minutes to get the glide down, but it's so fun...it's like you're floating on air. We spent 2 hours in Menards "heelying" (and shopping of course). We're not crazy on them, just a little roll here and there. People were pointing and laughing as I heely past the paint section. It's how you use them and how you teach your kids to use them that makes the difference. My son knows not to Heely through hidden areas where people may be. He knows that if he is out of control EVER, they get tossed. He respects this and people should respect and embrace this 21 century innovation, because this craze only will advance. I see more children get hurt running and falling, then on Heelys. I know this because I'm the ER MD who treats them. I treated a patient last year who had fallen on her elbow and slighly fractured it, yes, on Heelys. In my initial interview, her Momther said she just bought her Heelys and sent her on her way. Would you buy your child their first bike and send them on their way w/o teaching them the fundementals and safety of biking? Doubt it. So kids have fun, parents give instruction and Heely all you can, just respect others and remember that until you know how to do all this and stay in control; don't leave the driveway:)

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 10:41am
Carry's picture
Carry says:

This is stupid, heelys are safe if you know how to use them. They were banned in my school due to "Unsafe conduct" /stuipid!!!!

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 12:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

heelys are not safe!

posted on Wed, 02/27/2008 - 11:09pm
Tommy's picture
Tommy says:

I think that heelys can be safe if you use them right. Like I would never use them in a store or museum or anywhere that i wouldn't skateboard or rollerskates. I think people shouldn't classify them as not safe because it all comes down to where and when you use them.

posted on Wed, 06/04/2014 - 8:21pm
grump in the MRG's picture
grump in the MRG says:

when working on the museum floor I often have to ask/tell kids not to run because of the risk of running into smaller children or older adults who are unsteady on their feet. Same thing applies to heelys. Kids can go so fast on them that they cannot easily stop plus manydon't look ahead of them running or using their heelys. If it's ok with their parents they can break their own bones outside but doesn't make it ok to hurt others.

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 4:42pm
 pam thran's picture
pam thran says:

i think that hellys is not safe

posted on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 9:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I just bought 2 of my 3 boys Heelys (my 6yr old is still a bit too young and unstable to throw wheels on his shoes). They love them! When I bought them though I told them that they are not to heely through crowds or in stores. They play outside on them and try to do tricks... They've only had them a few days and mastered jumping off the curb onto the driveway while heeling...

We went into the store the day I bought them and the owner yelled at my kids to get out because their shoes were unsafe... We pushed their wheels into the heel and I told him they were fine. He had told me about injuries and deaths from them... I really think that people are making this a bigger deal than it is... What is everyone jelous WE never had them as kids?

I told my boys don't be stupid with them. If they're irrisposible with them they are GONE. They've both had spills already when they were getting the hang of it, but now when they fall they just put their toes down and stand on 2 feet like normal. :)

People get a life and let the kids have fun!!!

posted on Tue, 07/24/2007 - 12:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

good luck at the hospital. i bet you will be there before it's over. i have an experienced heely -er at my home and still suffered an injury. it's not called getting a life. it's called protecting your child. check they stats at your hospital. bet they could tell you.

posted on Sun, 08/12/2007 - 7:18pm
XxMakedaxX's picture
XxMakedaxX says:

I'm ten now- nearly eleven and I got a pair of Heelys for Christmas in 2013 and they are one wheeled and double threat Heelys. I can do spins, one legs, and backwards heeling. So easy! Only injury I had is when I hurt my arm (no blood) and I ripped my trousers!

posted on Sat, 01/11/2014 - 4:32am
TeenQueen's picture
TeenQueen says:

I think that Heelys are safe if you know how to use them. Before kids start rolling I think they should read the instructions. Reading the instructions might be boring but I say rather be safe than sorry. I think it's more fun to be rolling on Heelys than to be in the emergency room.

posted on Fri, 07/27/2007 - 1:57am
bethprice's picture
bethprice says:

yes i think your right but i' v heard that a little girl died by heelys.

posted on Fri, 08/03/2007 - 3:28pm
tammysammy's picture
tammysammy says:

heelys arent a stupid idea i own a pair myself! its not the shoes you ding a ling heely haters its the people using them! if theyre just doing it with out and fancy tricks or stunts you shouldnt insult them!

posted on Wed, 08/01/2007 - 5:17pm
lasha's picture
lasha says:

Heelys should be banned. I just took my 8 year old daughter to the ER with a horrible break in her arm from the heelys accident. She was not acting stupid. I was standing there watching her. She was just skating along being safe. Now we don't know if she will have to have surgery or not. These are dangerous and they told my husband and I at the ER that these should be banned because you would not believe the number of children they see a day with heelys related accidents. I'm not saying you can't get hurt with other toys, but the chances of getting a serious injury from heelys is very great.

posted on Sun, 08/12/2007 - 7:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

heelys are not dangerous if the kids would wear a proper protective gear

posted on Mon, 03/31/2008 - 4:26am
shelbywelby 6789's picture
shelbywelby 6789 says:

i think heelys are cool but they are hard to get your parents to buy them

posted on Sat, 08/25/2007 - 11:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I will never buy my son "heeleys" . I could buy all expensive shoes available at the market but definitely not heeleys. Ban it!

posted on Sat, 10/06/2007 - 10:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree they are not safe!

posted on Sun, 10/07/2007 - 11:13am
Amber K.'s picture
Amber K. says:

You know what, I'd rather see a kid happy wheeling around getting some exercise and excitement than sitting at home in front of their t.v. bored to death all day.

Injuries are just a part of life, come on, what kid hasn't hasn't gotten hurt during their childhood? I was a pretty tame kid, and even I sprained my shoulder, ankle, and broke my toe once. All I'm saying is, let them enjoy life as they only have one to live. Especially if they enjoy it doing something that isn't drinking, doing drugs, vandalsim, ext. It could be alot worse.

posted on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 11:00pm
maxy's picture
maxy says:

heelys shoudnt be banned every were crowed places yes in un crowed stores go ahead iheard a boy was killed first day he got them got stupid and tried to backflip bbaaaccckkkkfffllliippp of his porch his parents got all mad said they were dangerous well by they way he landed flat on his head killed instantly but any way the got maid went around into stores yellin at kids to stay off em even a couple of kids at there own house closing coment let your kids try to back flip well duh thats dangerus but just rollin around come what abot skates huh

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 10:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

While there are many accidents to be had on Heelys, aren't there just as many accidents that could happen on a skateboard? ...or Skates? Kids of all ages want to be amazing skateboarders and skaters like the Pro's. The only difference is that heelys feel more grounded to them which makes them take more risks sooner trying to do tricks. If your kid does get hurt on Heelys, remember how many other times they've gotten hurt. I've broken both my arms: one time was when I jumped off a tire in a playground that was 1 FOOT off the ground, the other is when I fell off a swing. Anything can cause injury. Walking down the road can cause injury. Also, if kids were really killed on heelys, you would think there would be a recall of the parents would sue the company...but no such thing has happened. I'm getting some this Christmas and I'm 25 years old. You're never too old to play with toys...especially ones as cool as this. I'll wear em at the office.

posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 8:54am
kirsten's picture
kirsten says:

to put it in short form youll be out of a job

posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 11:22am
serpent99912's picture
serpent99912 says:

heeleys are dangerous depending on how u use them. I was spinning in circles wearing heeleys i got to dissy and i slipt of my heeleys and went face first into the ground. i had to get 10 stiches. that just shows how heeleys can be dngerous on how u use them.

posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 12:48pm
elizabeth's picture
elizabeth says:

wow ouch! that must have hurt well good luck w da stiches!

posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 4:34pm
Amanda's picture
Amanda says:

I think 'Heeley's' are dangerous, and a waste of yourtime and money. Your more in risk of getting hurt, falling, and having damage to your hip or head. No one tells those kids to wear helmets, do they? I think their dangerous, and not something to be used.

posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 4:41pm
awesomeheeler's picture
awesomeheeler says:

Um if they weren't safe (well for people who aren't retards and know how to use them) i don't think me and my friends would do this

See video

posted on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 7:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

heelys are stupid

posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 6:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Heelys are not stuid I THINK THEY ARE COOL

posted on Mon, 12/10/2007 - 7:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree with most of these peaple they are pretty dangrous . I know because I have a pair and i fell even when I was holding my dad's hand.IT HURT REALLY BAD I COULDN'T MOVE COULD NOT SIT DOWN FOR 2 DAYS .BECAUSE I HURT MY TAIL BONE!

ALL BECAUCE OF HEELYS!

FROM:ANONYMOUS******

posted on Tue, 12/04/2007 - 6:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that they are safe and cool. I am getting a pair soon.

posted on Mon, 12/10/2007 - 7:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

yes !!!!!!!!!!

posted on Mon, 12/10/2007 - 7:24pm
emma's picture
emma says:

i agree these should be banned ..my daughter fell on a broken footpath that was cracked and ended up fracturing her hip and had to have emergency operation to put the hip back into place she now has 1 leg shorter than the other because they had to pin her hip into place, now she is disabled all because of these heelys..i say ban em

posted on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 7:35pm
Jafar's picture
Jafar says:

I agree, cracks in the road are very unsafe, they can even cause a walker to trip and fall. I would ban all cracks from the road too if I could.

posted on Sun, 10/05/2014 - 3:36pm
 Shaniqua's picture
Shaniqua says:

well, if they want to take the risk, let them take it. say that they'll have to pay for their own hospital bills.

posted on Thu, 12/13/2007 - 12:42pm
Finley's picture
Finley says:

I think most of the time that heelys are ok. But other times there just plain dangrous. It is kind of scary looking at all the kids that get injured every time I go into a mall that allows these shows. But I must confese i to have heelys and almost injured myself in the kitchen. Sometimes I wish there never was heelys.

posted on Sat, 12/22/2007 - 5:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It's as simple as this.It's how people use it,and who hte people are. Like the backflip guy. I wouldn't even try a front flip on grass. I've only done a back flip on my bed with lots of pillows, and my head stuck in my chest like when you do a roll.I'm sure not many people can do that because when you do a backflip you tend to stick our head out, but I am very athletic and I'm getitng my Heelys pair today night.

posted on Mon, 12/24/2007 - 4:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that heelys are very safe, my kids love them and i dont regret buying them. i even have a pair and i love heelys. they are so fun. u should buy protective gear so they wont get hurt.

posted on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 3:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Dear God, I am glad these people weren't around when I got my first pair of roller skates. (That was seriously, like 25 years ago.)
The more I read the more I realize that I should be dead by now regarding people's panic-stricken standards. I am oft to wonder how I ever survived childhood wearing roller skates and riding bikes, etc.
I understand that safety is paramount, but children have been riding skates, rollerblades, ice-skates, etc. for ages, and suddenly when they can be purchased in tennis shoes everyone is up in arms.
I also panic when my children (both boys) get injured, but honestly, that is the nature of childhood. I'd rather see my children out and about doing things than earning couch potato status sitting at home all the time.
I DO think, however, that each store has every right to stop kids from rolling around if it's busy or they deem it dangerous, They do have customers to protect, after all.

posted on Mon, 01/07/2008 - 7:02pm
shelly ward's picture
shelly ward says:

i think they look cool n stuff for the 10-14 year olds cus they are wise enuv not to act stupid wiv them! however, they can be lethal, my friend's daughter had a pair of these heely shoes and tripped over sum broken glass on the path near a busy road, fell into the road and was only inches away from being ran over by a vehicle, luckily the only damage she got was a few lacerations where glass got stuck in her skin and head injury where she came down at such a fast pace she knocked herself out!! whoever invented these should at least provide saftey gear!! i personally think they are worse than roller skates n inline skates at least with them you got more stability with them!! and surely if you use these continually all day every day, you are more likely to run the risk of deformed ankles or at least arthiritis! (which from my personal experience is nothing to be proud of!!) but for those desperate trendy people "get skating n be careful n invest in elbow, knee pads n helmet and hard wearing gloves (if possible ... stabilisers) " you can get the 4 wheels that go on the outside of your shoes they are ALOT SAFER AND CHEAPER!! TRUST ME I GOT A PAIR FOR BOTH MY KIDS!!

posted on Fri, 01/25/2008 - 6:10pm
little okie's picture
little okie says:

i think heelyes are cool i love heelyes ivetryed them three times at three freinds houses. And i road really well . and they are fun to me when i tryed them at my freinds . what do you think about heelys . i loved them when i tryed them byebye.

posted on Sat, 03/15/2008 - 10:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My belief is that Heelys are no more dangerous than skateboards or roller skates. It all depends on who's in/on them and what they are doing or trying to do. Indoor public areas are no place for doing the Heely thing, it's not cool to be a nusance to other people.
Parents should have the kids practice at home first till they're secure and ready to go out where they could collide with dangerous things.
I'm a 56 year old kid who roller skates and loves it.

posted on Wed, 03/26/2008 - 5:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My son fractured his wrist on his Heelys a few days ago, but once it heals, I'll let him wear them. That does not make negligent any more than the fact that I let my older son play soccer again after his finger was broken by getting hit with a soccer ball while playing soccer.
Kids are kids. Accidents happen. Hey, I fractured my tail bone when I was about 11 by slipping on ice. We can't ban snow. I see no point in banning shoes with wheels.
Being courteous is a completely different issue. Bothering people (by whatever means-loud music, foul language, Heelys, rude behavior, etc) shouldn't be tolerated. But it's not the shoes themselves that behave badly. It's the kids wearing them. Would we ban coats because some people act obnoxious while wearing them?
They're fun. And they aren't any more inherently dangerous than participating in any other sport.

posted on Fri, 10/17/2008 - 2:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Ok i dont see what the problam is with heeling i mean its just like skateboarding im joining team heelys and i go to the skate park alot and go on the half pipe and stuf like that but avcors i wear a helmet and some times elbow pads and knee pads but its just like skateboarding how many enjerys did peopol report when skate boards first came out i mean its just another sport they just look at it rong

posted on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 2:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Some of you people are really stupid. Saying that we should ban heelys cause people get hurt? I've gotten some pretty bad injuries from skiboarding but u don't see me saying they should be banned? If you're stupid enough to do things that you can't do and get really hurt on them thats your own fault. I see people who get broken arms and broken legs from skateboarding but they don't want them to be banned. Why? Because its only as safe as you make it. By using heelys with the wheels in them you assume the chance that you might fall. Thats why they say HEEL WHERE ITS APPLICABLE not on a street with cracks everywhere. Heely's arn't that dangerous in my opinion i have a pair and i find that as long as i dont hit cracks in the ground and don't wear the wheel in them when im walking down a shitty sidewalk or at least if i have the wheel in WALK PROPERLY i'm perfectly fine. So no they're not safe but their not dangerous either. Its just the same as any other sport apparatus whether its skis skateboards snowboards trampolines pogo sticks, power stilts etc. OH AND BY THE WAY lol you can't sue the heelys company for injuries because if you look when you buy the shoe theres a sticker on the bottom of it that says "by removing this sticker and using these shoes you void any ability to sue the heely's company or any of its affiliates or employees" so its at your own risk.

posted on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 12:33pm
lindsay's picture
lindsay says:

never ride heelys i broke my ankle and had to have 2 surgerys and i have 1 plate and 6 screws

posted on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 10:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I wouldn't go so far as to say they should be banned, but they are a really bad idea, and I have to question the sanity or intelligence of any parent who gives them to their child. The difference between these abominations and any of the other wheeled toys out there is the fact that there is only ONE wheel on each shoe. At least with roller skates and rollerblades there are multiple wheels to balance one's self on. Not only that, but you have tilt your feet so that you're on your heels. Try getting out of your computer chair and tilting your feet so that you're on your heels. I did, and even as a 22-year-old with great reflexes, I had to catch myself from falling backwards. I'm sure cracking your skull isn't a very pleasant experience.

Just give your kid a pair of roller skates/blades. Or if you MUST give into your kids' begging, give them a high-quality helmet and pads.

On a side-note, I didn't think anyone over the age of 13 got these. I'll admit, they look fun and I probably would have wanted them when I was a child, but an adult wearing these is about as silly as an adult dressing up and going trick-or-treating, or hunting for eggs during Easter. Being an adult doesn't mean you can't have fun, but it should mean that you don't act like a child.

posted on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 12:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I dont think heelys are dangerous. If your smart and dont try to do backflips or spin in circles a bunch or times then your less likely to get hurt. Anything is.dangerous if you use it the wrong way. I've fallen flat on my face when i was in kindergarten using a rolly backpack but those arent banned. Ive gotten hurt doing a backbend. Ive also gotten hurt in cheer. But cheer isnt banned. There are things alot more dangerous than heelys. So why should we want to ban something everytime someone is stupid and gets hurt? Just let kids have fun.

posted on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 1:35pm
samuel kunkel's picture
samuel kunkel says:

I think its stupid.My son has a pair and he dosen't fall

posted on Thu, 12/10/2009 - 7:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think kids should read alot about heelys and the say on banning them or not i ordered a pair a few days ago and
im going to practice until i got it down then i will go to the store and help my mom get grocerys and stuff but im not going to act like an idiot im going to watch out for people
definetly the elder and young kids the most my 5 year old brother wants them just because i got them and i think they souldnt be banned in stores i can understand glass and really small and crowd stores but walmart that like completely empty why not?? i also think kids should save up money to buy them i'm 11 and my aunt gave me a 50 dollar american express gift card and i used it on heelys because she said i could use it anywhere for anything.

posted on Mon, 07/12/2010 - 6:58am
ArcticNemo's picture
ArcticNemo says:

I'm 33, and wear my Heely boots whenever I can.
Having a bit more judgement than your average 10 year old, I have never come close to running down old ladies at the grocery. No store has asked me not to ride on the back of the cart, though this is far less safe than surfing behind it on rollers. Cruising speed is less than a brisk walk, and makes grabbing dinner supplies a breeze. Children merely lack the judgement to use them safely in crowded places, a problem easily corrected by effective parents.
I especially like stepping off my motorcycle, and being able to continue my two-wheeled lifestyle. Since they no longer make the "Rumble" boot (the only halfway grown-up style) I have made molds to adapt various other footwear of my choosing, when this pair wears out.

posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 1:53am
gfp's picture
gfp says:

I am nearer 70 than 60 and when I first saw a young girl (with her mother) gliding around, I had to ask her how she did it, she showed me and then gave me a great demo (in a big old factory turned into an art gallery, lots of space). Great moment!

I am toying with the idea of getting a pair for myself now (I chicken out at skate boards as not being 'becoming' for my maturity, but those heely's, they're so discreet (It's how I landed up here googled "Heely's for adults"

I used to be in a mountain rescue team, rescuing (and carrying away) injured climbers - a dangerous sport, yes, but would I have it banned, of course not. Who wants to do a 100% safe and risk free sport? Well I don't and I'm still above ground, broke a leg ski-ing, another leg horse-riding and broke the bank (mine) forex trading. That's life, it's exciting! Hooray for Heely's but I never admire uncontrolled recklessness and ignorant behaviour, courtesy and consideration for others in the same space goes a long way.

posted on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 2:23pm
AnonymousFoodEater's picture
AnonymousFoodEater says:

Okay heelys are dangerous but they are like skateboards which means practice makes perfect. Practice using them and they won't be as dangerous. I mean come on? If you dont practice, of corse its dangerous but thats the fun part!

[I have wanted them for a really long time..]

posted on Sun, 02/13/2011 - 3:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ive had heelys sinc the summer and nothing bad happened except getting them taked awaw in school

posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 12:50am
Shannon's picture
Shannon says:

I am 14 years old. I got a pair of Heely's because my friend had a pair and I tried them out. I learned pretty fast and I got myself a pair. It is actually very easy to stop yourself. Many people think you get out of control and cannot stop, but if you are gliding and you put your toes down you stop almost instantly, also, there are brakes in the back. If you are rolling and you tilt your heels back just a little further, the back of the shoe slides you to a stop. It is still very important not to go speeding around where you could hurt people. (including yourself) when Costco is empty on a weekday it makes a good place to practice. :)

posted on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 4:44pm
Shannon's picture
Shannon says:

There are so many dangerous things to do on earth! If Heely's are banned people will find something else to do that is just as dangerous. Way more people have gotten hurt riding horses and we have been doing that for hundreds of years. Just last week I got a bruised toe from my draft horse stepping on my foot, of course he didn't mean to but it was still an injury. The key with everything dangerous is being responsible.

posted on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 4:59pm
Daniel's picture
Daniel says:

I am 15 and I think banning Heelys is horrible. It's not the stores fault, but still horrible. Same with driving, kind of... We ban youngsters from driving too young, because they won't be skilled enough, etc... If you aren't skilled enough on Heelys, then please, ONLY SKATE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. Or at least somewhere that isn't crowded, like your home sidewalk. I can ride Heelys well enough that if I slipped ad fell, I would still land on my feet. In the last two years I've fallen about twice and never been injured. If you're as good as I am, only then should you be allowed to use your Heelys in public areas such as stores and malls, etc... (I've been using Heelys for about 3 years now)

posted on Fri, 08/09/2013 - 11:20pm
Daniel's picture
Daniel says:

One more thing, riding Heelys as if you are driving a car is a good idea. Stop at corners and walk around them, slow down in traffic, etc... If people did this, along with my previous suggestion, then I think heels would have less injuries than normal shoes. (Especially high heels)

posted on Fri, 08/09/2013 - 11:22pm
Ninny's picture
Ninny says:

These are good but I was in morrison's and then I fell back banged my head on the fridges and fell on my arm and broke my arm and wrist I was in a cast for 11 weeks but If you use them and LERN how to use them you should be fine but remember be carefull

posted on Sun, 11/03/2013 - 5:24pm
Person's picture
Person says:

I want a pair so badly. Who cares if they're dangerous. I ride horses and MANY more people are injured and even KILLED in that sport rather than heeling. So why not ban horse riding? Because people enjoy it! People enjoy heeling too so it shouldn't be banned. Some parents wrap their kids in bubble wrap and I bet those are the people complaining. Let kids be kids and let people learn by their mistakes! My motto is "You can't live your life by being cautious. Be dumb sometimes."

posted on Fri, 11/29/2013 - 1:35am

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