Friday, May 14, 2010

The dark world of Japanese kid's shoes...

For a while there I was almost considering starting up a series of posts focusing on the bizarre world of Japanese kid's shoes. I mean, we have the shoes with the flashing lights and the "squeaky" shoes that keep making a noise for every step the little brat is taking - I never understood how any parent can stand that without going completely insane considering how much they run around. Or maybe they just get immune to it and it just gets to innocent bystanders like me.

But these shoes I can at least be somewhat forgiving about, but the latest trend that I've seen in the last year and increasing more and more are these shoes with built in wheels at the heel. Basically you can walk with them like any regular shoe, but then lean of the heel and roll forward on them; here take a look


I just feel that anyone using these shoes are kinda begging to get off balance, fall backwards and crack their skulls on the sidewalk. I've seen plenty of kids (standard profile would be girl aged 8-12) rolling around on these nasty things, but don't think I've ever seen anyone wear a helmet... Are these type of shoes even available anywhere outside Japan? In my worst nightmares I see how someone starts combining the flashing lights, the squeaky noises and the wheels on the heel...
(Addition: It should be noted that some readers have brought it to my attention that these roller shoes actually have been around in the US for quite some years and might just have caught on in Japan recently, well I learnt something here then at least. But I still think we can feel pretty certain that the squeaky shoes are a local invention)

11 comments:

William said...

Sounds like they're catching up to the US, then. Those wheelie shoes were all the rage here a few years back, and the lighted shoes a few years before them.

We'd never tolerate the noisy shoes, though.

Personally, I thought the wheelie shoes were neat and wished we'd had them when I was a kid.

Zero Sonico said...

This shoes have been around for the past 5 years.

The wheel is not completely at the end of the shoe, so if you lose your balance, your heel will actually make your trip forward.

Besides, it's not like they're doing 90 on those things. I'll be like falling while running.
You don't see kids running with helmets on.

Well, I don't.

I think.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Well, there you go, and I thought this was a Japanese invention.

That's apparently something that I have completely missed, I still feel like they seem dangerous, but I might just have to get some of my own to try out then instead!

Rydangel said...

We call the shoe skates wheelies in the states. They came in handy during my family reunion in Las Vegas. When my nephews were tired of walking, my sisters just pushed or pulled them along.XD The popular brand name are the heelys and they come in adult sizes. I said I was going to get a pair before my next family reunion in Los Angeles next year. Here is the site for the adult version. http://www.adultheelysshoes.com/?gkw=adult%20sized%20heelys

aussiehisshou said...

Hmm I have seen the squeaky shoes for toddlers in Australia too. Though as you mention, the average person would go insane listening to all that squeaking so they are not very popular.

I think they are supposed to be for kids who have just started to walk as a way of making walking more fun than crawling.

Armchair Asia said...

Now that you are married and house hunting, what is next is childrearing. It is full time ungratifying and basically unrewarding task that takes up the rest of your life with no end in sight.

However, you will feel some sadness when your child ages out of the shoes that light up, squeak, and roll.

Yes, all of this has been available for some time in the US and are must haves for the under 7 set.

Mika said...

We have them in England too, they're called Heelies here. I kids whizzing around on them in my local supermarket, getting in everyone's way and being a general nuicance.
I must say, although they look quite fun, they can't be any good for a child's developing feet. I'd much rather have a pair of retro roller skates!

Climate Morio said...

Heh, sarariman-san, next time you go back to the motherland keep your eyes peeled. They've been around in Helsinki for a while, too. Would this be one of the first times when Finland has moved quicker than you guys?

Btw, all in good humour, go checky:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNpT2u4cHkk&feature=player_embedded

Mr. Salaryman said...

Well, the only simple explanation must be that I've spent too much time in Japan now and am loosing touch with the outside world! But hey, I still think they seem pretty dangerous and get annoyed when those kids whiz by me on those wheelie... I'm probably getting old too...

Climate - Wow, that was extremely mild? I thought you finns were more into stories about Hakan and the general Swedish gayness in comparison with the finns :) All true as well

Climate Morio said...

Heh, who said i was Finnish? :) I just got very Finnishified in the course of the many years i lived there, perkele! :D

Håkan? I only know Hägar the horrible, and he's awesome...

Anonymous said...

Squeaky shoes are cute. Maybe if I had to spend all day listening to them I would think otherwise, but I only see them once in a blue moon.

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