Heelys have been one of the hottest kids toys for both boys and girls for the past decade. Kids can often be seen ghost-like gliding alongside their parents at opportune moments in shopping centres and along pavements alike, leaving on lookers baffled while having a great time. They are super simple to use and our buyers guide will take you through what’s available and suitable, how to use them and relevant safety gear.
HOW TO HEELY
Each pair comes with a free How To Heely DVD so be sure to check that out, but we’ll cover the basics here. Heelying is very simple and after some persistence with it you will be gliding along in no time. Typically, you have one wheel in each shoe, always located at the heel. The best way to learn to ride along on those heelys is to follow these five simple steps:
1. Walk as normal but with a slight preference on your toes. Initially just try lifting the toes slightly as you’re walking. Play around with this until you start to balance for more than a couple of seconds.
2. You will naturally have a ‘leading foot’. This is a good thing, as you want to have one foot in front of the other while gliding along. This will help with your balance, as your stance will cover a wider surface area, improving your stability.
3. Have a slight bend in your knees and allow changes in pavement surfaces to be absorbed by having slightly relaxed legs. Stiff legs and stance while gliding means that sudden changes in riding surface like bumps in the pavement will throw your balance off. Slightly bent knees and relaxing those muscles will help this.
4. Look forward, not down. It can be tempting to constantly look at your feet while gliding however looking forward improves your balance. This is because you will be focusing on objects at eye-level, that look relatively still.
5. Be wary of speed. To stop on heelys you will need to put your toes down and sometimes if you’re going a little quicker, do a slight run-out motion to slow down to walking pace. Heelys aren’t recommended for anything much quicker than running pace because of this.
With nearly fifty pairs of Heelys available from our online store you may be a little baffled as to what to buy. This guide should help narrow down that decision for you. Using the navigation on the left of the page you can select sizes from 11J – 7A. All pairs are fixed sizes as they’re essentially trainers with wheels in the heel, not skates. The range is broken into boys and girls models to help you find the right Heelys. Here you will start to spot a few differences in the Heelys models. The main one is the number of wheels in the heel. Beginners, younger kids or those who struggle a little with coordination will find the double wheel models more suitable. Two wheels in each heel gives more balance and half of the boys models and a two thirds of the girls are provided this way. It’s clear in the pictures which are the two and one wheel models.
Some of the two wheel models come with velcro straps, ideal for youngsters and the rest come with laces. The models with laces and one single velcro topstrap give a little bit more stability, so they feel slightly more like a skate than a shoe.
TRICKS: If gliding around isn’t enough for you then you could start to learn tricks on your Heelys. Be warned this is very dangerous and we advise full protective gear (see protection section below). Watch the videos and learn how to grind on your Heelys. You will need to have totally mastered the basics before moving on to this, it’s important that you don’t ride beyond your ability! You will need specific Heelys shoes that come with plastic grind plates in the middle of the sole, standard Heelys won’t allow you to grind on them. Check out the Heelys trick tips video.
PROTECTION: As with all street sports we highly recommend protective gear. Both Triple 8 and SFR offer quality helmets that meet the European protection standards for bikes, boards, scooters, and similar sports. Protec have more comfortable shapes where your head tends to sit deep inside the helmet and SFR offer great value for money, while not compromising on quality. Both brands offer lids in numerous colours and styles. If you’re just looking to be gliding around on your Heelys we highly recommend our SFR triple pad sets, that come with wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads that all meet European safety standards for these sports. Note for those doing tricks: As with any street sport, you’re bound to fall and get a few scrapes along the way, riding Heelys is no different. We recommend knee and elbow pads too, which will help absorb heavy impact and allow you to slide out of tricks, hardshell pads doing the former and gaskets, the latter. Both knee and elbow pads come in various sizes. Oversized pads are great for riders who will be riding ramps, whereas smaller pads, tucked under the jeans tend to be the preference of the street rider. If you’re doing serious tricks gaskets are the more comfortable option allowing you to slide out of tricks, particularly on street, but hardshell pads will always be better for taking hard impact, reducing permanent damage to those elbow and knee joints.