Education chiefs in Hong Kong have banned pupils from wearing roller sneakers to school amid safety fears and worries they will leave children walking with a "Frankenstein-like gait".

The South China Morning Post on Monday reported that the ban on the trainers with a detachable wheel in the heel was triggered by concerns over youngsters plunging down steps.

"These shoes are quite heavy, not very flexible, and create a Frankenstein-like gait for those wearing them," the paper quoted one upper primary principal, Bruce Kelsh, as saying.

The ban on the Heelys shoes, which is being imposed by individual schools, comes as hundreds of kids across the territory catch the roller trainer craze, although no injuries have been reported.

Cherry Wu, assistant manger of Amazing Marketing Ltd, which supplies the shoes, insisted they were safe. "It's easy to stop heeling by just putting your foot down and provided they wear helmets and protective pads there shouldn't be a problem," she told the paper.