In the recent one act ‘Zeus on the Loose,’ Josh French used Heelys to portray Hermes, igniting nostalgia for the dangerous shoes.
Central junior Josh French stole the show during One Act performance thanks in large part to the incorporation of his Heelys.
Josh’s portrayal of Hermes was unique due to his choice of shoes. Josh’s Heelys, which had gold wings attached to the sides, drew heaps of laughs out of the audience. However, wearing Heelys was not part of Josh’s original plans. “I wore them for comedic purposes,” Josh said.
Josh had not been a Heelys owner previous to the show. The idea to incorporate the shoes came from senior student director Jon Bader five weeks before the actual show. Josh does find an ironic appeal in the shoes. This begs the question: is there any unironic appeal in the shoe?
Heelys, which were created in 1999, struck a chord with the youth and were one of the most popular shoes in the early 2000’s: the shoe that has a wheel on the heels makes it so you can “ride” your shoes. Along with the excitement and positive outlook of this shoe, there was also a downside.
Heelys were found to be very dangerous. An injury rate of approximately 51 injuries per 100,000 children were related to Heely malfunctions or misuse. The injuries made huge headlines and almost destroyed Heelys reputation. Even though Heelys were frowned upon by parents because of injuries on their kids, kids still loved these shoes based on the pure rush of riding their shoes.
Senior student Albert Williams, a previous Heely owner, describes Heelys as a “solid shoe.” Williams, who has not worn Heelys since he was a kid, explains to us why he stopped wearing this shoe. “My parents proposed that I need to stop wearing these solid shoes, as I am turning into a young adult.” Albert believes all appeal nowadays is ironic or nonexistent.
Photo: Heelys by Dan Taylor-Watt on Flickr