US: Heelys "rolls" out new footwear styles
Dallas-based Heelys has introduced a new line of wheel-in-the-heel footwear for 2008, including the company's first ever hiking-style boot.
The hiking boot, called Rumble, has a suede upper, and is available in black, brown or wheat with added features such as ankle support and a "Mega" wheel to provide more surface area for a faster, smoother ride, the company said.
It is also releasing a line called Ninja, as the first Heelys model to offer the Mega wheel in a low-profile skater-style shoe.
"Teens and tweens have long been known for their style-consciousness and we must continue to expand our offering to remain relevant additions to today's wardrobes," said Heelys vice president of design and development, Bob Byrne.
"Our 2008 line brings lots of excitement and versatility to Heelys through vibrant colours, new materials, diverse styles, and personalisation."
The company has enjoyed tremendous growth from its wheeled footwear offering. Indeed it posted a second quarter net income increase of 204.9% to US$12.8m in August, on the back of 140.3% higher net sales.
However, a few months prior to this, Heelys was forced to respond to claims that a spate of injuries had resulted from the sneakers, which let children quickly change from walking to skating.
Other new styles coming in spring 08 include the "UFO," an athletic shoe with a clear heel that displays the wheel, the "Flirt" - Heelys' first canvas footwear - and the "Five O", which features a hard nylon grind plate, the company said.
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