While out with my husband last weekend, he jabbed me and said, "Look! That kid's wearing gym shoes, but she's gliding."
I looked and was equally puzzled. A woman in her 30s who was sitting next to us was nice enough to bring us up to date about sneaker skates (my husband's use of the term "gym shoes" is a Midwestern term; in the East we call them "sneakers" . . . but I digress.) She concluded with, "My son begged me to get him a pair, but I said no. I think they're dangerous."
I agree with her. And in the week since that first sighting, I see kids wearing these shoes all over the place. Kids are gliding everywhere . . . and I wondered how many of them glide right into the ER with bruises and orthopedic sprains or even broken bones.
According to a report on the morning news, quite a few. It's no wonder. The wheels are positioned near the heel so that the kids can't really walk normally in them. The truth is, you can't glide everywhere. What about walking up stairs?
These shoes have been banned by many schools and malls, whose wide, open walkways make ideal gliding grounds (and therefore targets for litigious parents).
I know how hard it is to say no to a child (and I'm just a stepparent). But this is clearly an "It's for your own good" issue. I hope parents use their heads when it comes to buying these sneaker shoes. Sure, they can be fun. But consider getting your child a pair of in-line skates instead, so skating can remain a separate activity. Mixing sneakers and skates together is as bad as idea as mixing a fish sandwich and a chocolate shake.