Heelys: Concealed Wheels for the Well-Heeled Kid (or Mom)


Like how I throw my arms out for balance? That's how the cool kids roll.

I got a brand new pair of roller skates,
You got a brand new key.
I think that we should get together and try them out, to see …

“The Rollerskate Song”

Here’s a little something you don’t know about me (unless you know me in real life, in which case you’ve heard about this plenty).

When I was younger, I took skating lessons. Roller skating and ice skating for years, and for one short season I played ice hockey. To this day that’s one of the things I’m most proud of, because I was a little kid. But tough. And a strong skater.

Ever since the things have arrived on the scene, I have secretly wanted a pair of Heelys. I miss skating, and if I’m being perfectly honest I really wanted to recreate that scene in Roxanne— when Steve Martin turns a lever on his shoes to reveal concealed wheels, and then roller skates through an art museum. Holla if you know what I’m talking about.

(I’m not the only one who thought to do that. Check these guys wearing their Heelys in the Louvre.)

So when asked if I’d like to test drive a pair and document it, I couldn’t say sign me UP! fast enough.

I really wanted to order this pair:

pink heelys

but Jeff and Jake wear the same shoe size that I do, and they were unwilling to let me hog all the fun to myself. I know. They suck all the fun out of life.

Turns out, you can’t just turn a lever and have a wheel pop out of the heel. Like Transformers in shoe form.

Maybe you knew that. I did not.

When the wheel is in, you have to kind of walk with your weight on your toes. I get now why they say kids aren’t allowed to wear them in school. BUT. You can pop the wheel out pretty easily using a provided “key” and put in a “heel plug” to wear the things as sneakers if desired. They’re not as comfortable as traditional skate shoes (skateboarding sneakers like Vans) but better than Converse.

But you wouldn’t want to, say, wear these with the heels in to Six Flags for the day, thinking you could get from place to place quickly. Standing in line on your toes for long periods of time would be tough on your ankles, I should think. If you were forward-thinking you could bring the key, I guess, and transfer back and forth, but I’m telling you right now: I’m too lazy for that.

Basically, they are SKATES that can be worn as sneakers. Not Transformers.

Heelys are an entirely different skillset than roller skating or ice skating and I’m a little embarrassed to say I did not pick it up quickly. You have to lean back, shifting your weight to your heels, and lift your toe off the ground, and my subconscious is just not down with that. Or possibly the problem is weak ankles, I don’t know.

Basically I need a push or pull to get started, or I’ll just wind up going maybe a few yards or so before that toe smacks back down and stops me.


heelys learning

Little kid Heelys come in a 2-wheeled version that you can convert to traditional Heelys when you master the technique. Maybe that’s what I needed.

I’m working on it, though! When I get better I’ll post my sweet sweet tricks, I promise. I can definitely see this being a way to fit in a fun outdoor workout.

Jake fared much better, which is not wonderful for my self-esteem, but admittedly makes for a better blog post. Harumph.



I’m pretty inspired by some of the tricks and techniques on the Heelys website (they post helpful Skating 101 videos, too) but really I just want to get better than Jake. Yes, I’m competitive. I’ll probably wind up getting him his own pair so we can do head-to-head skate-offs because I am awesome like that.

They’re fun. You should totally get some. Oh, and your kids might like them too :)


Impressed? Intrigued?
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Disclosure: I received a complimentary pair of Heelys for review purposes; no other compensation was given. As always, all opinions, observations, and embarrassing stories are brutally honest and mine, mine, all mine!



  1. Lisa Picozzi says

    So fun … and love the pics. Which reminds me … my youngest son wants a pair of these for his upcoming bday. Need to start shopping.


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