Heelies, Healys or Healies? The Most Misspelled Roller Shoes

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For those of you currently not in the know, Heelys shoes have swept the globe and coasted right into all of our lives, especially if you have or deal with kids. These shoes are everywhere! From malls to schools and anywhere between, Heelys shoes are certain to be found. But ask any of the children or parents that are buying these roller shoes how to spell the product, and you’re sure to receive several different variations on the spelling.

The correct spelling is “Heelys,” aptly named after the company that designs them and for the nature in which they are used. Heelys Incorporated offers fashionable shoes with a wheel in the heel for coasting or “heeling”, the latest catch phrase for the product that heelers are embracing. Heelys shoes have been on the market since 1997, but have recently become the latest craze in the youth market, certain to adorn upcoming Christmas lists this season.

Because of the multifaceted use of the root word and the correct use of plural words ending in “y”, buyers are uncertain of what they are asking for. The most common misspelling of the brand is “heelies.” These consumers have the right idea, but the unique name’s plural ending is throwing them for a loop. As for the “healys” and “healies” variations, a mix-up between cures and the bottom of your feet are causing confusion. I’m not so sure that these skate shoes are healing anyone, but there’s a lot to be said for any product that moves the youth of today away from video consoles and out into the open air where actual exercise is more likely!

When Heelys shoes first graced my presence and interested me enough to purchase a pair, my first question was how to spell the product’s name. Like any other product that strikes my fancy, I fully intended on researching it online before handing out any cash. The first spelling I received was from the twelve-year-old in my local mall who offered up “healies” as his choice spelling. Oblivious to the Heelys fad in general, I was off to make my search. Google obliged with an amazingly high amount of search results, leading me to believe I was well on my way to making that first buy. More often than not, Google will offer the correct search term if you have misspelled the word, but not this time. As I inspected the first page a bit closer, it became clear that this was not the correct spelling. All of the pages listed ranged from YouTube videos to ways on creating your own Heelys using regular sneakers. However, all of the sponsored listings used the brand name’s correct spelling to advertise their product. Before long, my search had led me to the proper channels for buying my first pair of Heelys.

After spending some time watching this fad grow and operating my own Heelys site, I find it amazing how kids react to this variation in spellings. Most could care less, happy to coast along and learn tricks to impress their friends with. The die-hard heelers, however, seem offended by the misspelling of their favorite pastime and actually snub “posers” who misuse the word. Log on to any of the numerous Heelys chat rooms and forums, and it’s safe to say that someone will start this conversation.

I don’t know if it was intensional or not, but Heelys has certainly utilized a great marketing plan for their roller shoes just by incorporating the name and the confusion it may cause. As Christmas approaches and frantic mothers comb the malls for last minute gifts, they need not worry about the proper spelling of the Heelys name brand. No matter how their children spell it, Santa will certainly be able to find Heelys!


write by Elmer

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