Heed My Heely Warning – Review
Let’s do some basic math here. Nerd + Girl + Wheels = …Falling. Lots and lots of falling.
I’ve never been particularly coordinated. Partly because i’m an Aspie and we’re notorious for our inability to not-be-physically-awkward and partly because i’m just that damn unaware of where my limbs are at any given point. I think it was a foolhardy desire to overcome this natural inclination towards ass meets ground when I agreed to review a free pair of Heelys!
The shoes with wheels in the heels.
I ordered Style #7672, the “Wave” design in grey, pink and white. They retail at the official Heelys website for $60USD and can be found online for about $55USD at the lowest. If we’re comparing these to the kinds of sneakers I wear (read: Cheap!) then they’re a bit pricy. But they’re more or less on par with standard sneakers. Mind you, these aren’t great for running. I like to wear them when i’m attempting to Heel or for a short school day. Heelys were originally produced with children in mind, but the sizes are listed as Men’s/Youth/Women and you can usually find the design you want for any of the three.
My shoes were ordered on 9/30 and were delivered on 10/7. That’s about a exactly a business week. The item was well packed, no crushing or anything and there was plenty of instructional material, which was nice as they are not slip-on-and-go.
I did have one minor (or major) glitch…they sent me the wrong size. Kind of.
When ordering the shoes I was given size options that listed the Men/Youth/Women’s sizes. I chose a Women’s size 8. What I received was a Unisex 7, which is USUALLY a women’s size 8. But these were definitely closer to my size 7 shoes than my size 8 shoes. Luckily, they are only a little snug and I was still able to wear them without discomfort.
I chose Style #7672, the Grey and Pink “Wave” design with a single wheel. Apparently some of the designs now have two wheels…which confuses me because add one or two more and isn’t it just a roller skate? Here’s the official promo shot:
And here’s what I got.
I left my uncle to talk to me about the quality of the shoes, which he deemed “Not bad at all for a Made in China shoe!” He’s got delicate feet and is really big on high quality sneakers.
The shoe is made of synthetic leather (it feels like suede) and synthetic nubuck…whatever that is (looked it up: it’s more synthetic cowhide.) Laces are standard laces, they ran a bit short IMO – I like my athletic shoes to have long laces. But it’s still enough to tie once securely.
The insole is glued in by a single patch of glue, for ease of cleaning. I like to remove the original insoles and replace them with orthopedics as the originals are a bit thin and lacking in the arch-support department.
The exterior is really nice and resistant to scuffing: a must if you’re skidding around town.
I can wear shoes from between 7-9 depending on the style. I usually go for 8s in my running shoes and that was what i’d wanted for these – but as I said, they fit more like a 7.
The most glaring comfort issue is how high the foot sits inside of the shoe. My ankle is at least a good half-inch above the highest part of the shoe. The shoe has a bit of a platform along the bottom so it seems like this should be a non-issue, but it isn’t. Even though the shoes fit quite snugly, the ankle-portion slips out because of this odd height issue.
I found I can most comfortably wear these loosely laced, with the insole removed and replaced by a Dr. Scholl’s. The original sole, as I mentioned above, is seriously lacking in the arch support department. It’s pretty thin and brittle feeling. Plus, With the original sole inside it feels like my foot is sitting “too high” in side of the shoe.
You won’t get much ankle support from these, they sit quite low on my heel. Still, they don’t overheat easily and are quite cushiony to wear around the house. Certainly more comfortable than some of the torture devices i’ve put my feet through in the past!
The Wheel In The Heel:
I bet you expected a video? PFFT! You wish! I’m not nearly adept enough at it yet to video (and i’ve been trying for a week.) I promise i’ll update this section when I don’t just have a blooper reel full of me falling.
Instead, I give you the instructions for heeling. (P.S. It puts things in perspective when you youtube heeling to find tutorials by 4-5 year olds.)
Find the Balance Point
- Find a rail, counter or friend to hold onto to keep your balance
- Put one foot in front of the other (never side by side)
- Hold onto the counter and lift your toes up- balancing your weight on your heels- and pull yourself along
- If you lose your balance, just put your toes down
- Once you’ve mastered balancing, you can move onto the next step
Step, Plant and Kick
- Take a normal step forward with what used to be your “back” foot
- Take a second step forward with your other foot and plant the wheel with your toe up
- Kick or push off with your back foot
- Raise your back toe with weight balanced on the wheel
- Roll and place your back foot directly behind your front foot (both toes raised)
- Soft brake – lift the toes your back foot up a little bit higher in order to drag the heel of your shoe on the ground to gradually slow your speed
- Hard brake – Transfer your weight to your forefoot on both feet and “jog” or “run” out of your roll
- NEVER skate faster than you can run
- NEVER skate in or near streets, around traffic, or stairs
- NEVER try to skate over cracks, or through rocks, sand, or water
- ALWAYS wear protective gear
Oh. And if you fall and break your face? Don’t expect to be able to sue Heelys. There’s a sticker on the bottom of the shoe that reads:
By peeling this sticker, you agree to waive the right to sue Heeling sports Limited and their owners, officers, directors, employees and/or representatives for any injury, death, property damage, or incidental or consequential damages arising from the use of this product. You also agree to assume and accept all risks of serious bodily injury arising from the use of this product.
While this may seem callous (see how they snuck DEATH in there?) Heelys does do a great job of promoting safe use of their product. They even sell their own line of protective gear, and have plenty of instructions on their official website.
The shoe are adorable, of average quality and are a notorious gimmicky fad. But, I’m willing to admit that as much as I make fun of the guy Heeling around the mall – it looks kind of fun. Like gliding on a grocery store cart when no one’s looking. As long as there are adult sizes I think Heelys are a hilarious way to have a good time. I FELT YOUNG AGAIN, I TELL YOU.
So, what do you think? Would you try this given the opportunity?