Rollerskate Shoes and L.A. Story - Any Connection?

      • Rollerskate shoes are self-explanatory, them things we in the US at least are seeing TV commercials for. It’s a pair of fairly ordinary-looking shoes that (one way or another) smallish wheels pop out of, and they then function as rollerskates. There’s also some way to retract the wheels again. There’s at least two different brands on US television right now, maybe three, shown in kids’ sizes. I dunno if they have them in adults’ sizes or not.
  • L.A. Story is a movie that Steve Martin wrote, co-produced and starred in; the copyright dates on mine say 1991. If you have seen this movie, you may remember the scene where he and a friend sneak into the local art museum, and he pops the wheels out on his rollerskate shoes and the lady videotapes him skating around in the art museum.
  • Now here’s where it gets tricky: the ones used in the movie look legit, and the photo on the back of the videocassette jacket is from the movie (and so looks legit) but the photo on the front of the videocassette jacket shows him standing, wearing what appear to be regular softsided rollerskates: regular rollerskates with tennis shoes on them instead of leather boots. So if you search, you might find a publicity photo of him with regular-style skates with large red wheels and toe-brakes, but they aren’t the ones actually used in the movie.
    Is there any connection between the skates shown in this movie and the shoe-rollerskates now being sold? - MC

Connection? As in the movie ‘resurrecting’ the shoe-skates? Probably not, since it’s been 10 years.

I expect what’s happened is that the patent on the originals has run out, and so other people are now selling their own versions without fear of infringing on anything. I remember the fad being late-1970’s, so it’s been a little over 20 years.

I also suspect this is the reason we suddenly got at least two different versions of “edge rollers” for painting on the market (do those things even work as advertised?).

Well, that’s it for my speculation. Anyone know how close I am to reality?

My own wild guess:

I first read about “roller-skate shoes” in the early 80s, so even by the time L.A. Story (probably my favorite comedy movie, by the way) came out, they weren’t exactly new, but they were uncommon.

The present incarnation of roller-skate shoes required the collision of two fads at the same time:

• in-line skates. Notice that current “skate shoes” have two wheels that pop into place in line on the bottom of the shoe, rather than four wheels that pop into place on the sides, as in the movie. And…

• shoes with ridiculously-thick soles to hide the wheels. The shy teenage daughter of a friend of mine has a pair of these thick-soled shoes. I call her “Fraidy Spice”.

How fortunate we are to live during such a historical crossroads, eh?

Roller Skate shoes were featured on an edisode of CHiPs in the late seventies.

Damn you custard dragon - I thought I would be the first to remember that one. Although something makes me think I saw them in an episode of “Enos” used by a female snatch ‘n’ grab jewlry thief.

Let’s see how good this Internet thingy is…

sorry for the slight hijack

The only thing I remember about that movie is sarah jessica parker? as the clothing store girl that gets him to buy stuff by flirting with him and touching him and stuff. I used to work for Merry Go Round and that just had to be based on us. We could have used it as a training tape.

Are you talking about the current scourge of middle schools, “heelies” with wheels in the heel?

FWIW I thikn the shoe skates in L.A. Story were real but not the flip our retractable wheels. Watch carefully and you’ll see he has two different pairs of shoes, one for walking in and deploying the wheels, another for actual skating that have bigger wheels.