Product: Skates
Track-Laying Shoes   (+3, -1)  [vote for, against]
Redesigned "Rolerblades" or Rollerskates that appear not to have wheels but really thick soles.

The major problems I have with rollerblades are, after extended use the wheels grind down and they must be replaced. They are only good for downhill use and uphill are totally inefficient. The mechanics of the rollerblades also promote imbalances in muscular strength and cause damage to the ankle and knee joints. I would suggest fixing these problems by combing modern rollerblades with rollerskates, reducing the wheel size, and placing a track around the entire wheel system of each skate. Having no independantly moving wheels, due to the track, would make keeping the whole skate surface on the ground the most sensible way of operating them. This one adaptation would minimize damage to the joints by changing the operation to a foot forward technique and prevent wear and tear on the skate itself. These skates would function well on downhill terrain and would be better to walk on flat or uphill surfaces than rollerblades or rollerskates because of the increased surface area and collective rotation of the wheels through the track.
-- ImBack, Aug 20 2002

Grass Skis
Google for "grass ski", third hit. [8th of 7, Aug 20 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Tank treads? You'll increase friction, but it sounds like fun.
-- phoenix, Aug 20 2002

My croissant because I hate rollerblades and I want personal tank treads.
-- barrengod, Aug 20 2002

This is Baked in the form of "Grass Skis". Exactly as described. Used for "skiing" on short grass. Available in the UK a few years ago - don't know if they're still on the market.
-- 8th of 7, Aug 20 2002

While this idea does sound interesting, and barely different enough from grass skis to be half-baked, I have a few questions to be answered..

//the wheels grind down and they must be replaced//
What makes a track wear-proof? More contact with the ground would cause more wear, wouldn't it?

//uphill [they] are totally inefficient//
What makes them any less efficient than when going downhill? A wheel is a wheel is a wheel.. you should be doing something about that pesky gravity problem..
-- Mr Burns, Aug 20 2002

If you have ever rollerbladed (no malice) you would know that the wearing only occurs on the sides of the wheels that are turned upon. Having a tread would prevent wearing on the sides of the wheels; turning on this device would be similar to rollerskates. The ineffiency I am refering to is in reference not just to the skate but the operator.
-- ImBack, Aug 20 2002

No, actually I can't rollerblade anymore- I have some joint problems (from skateboarding, ironically) that prevent me from comfortably riding rollerblades or ice skating.

How do you turn and ride on the edge of a track? Wouldn't it fold upon itself under the weight? Again, I must ask- what makes anything less efficient uphill versus downhill? Isn't that the pesky gravity problem again?
-- Mr Burns, Aug 20 2002

These are supposed to be more shoelike than skatelike; the wheels smaller. Turning should be done like on roller skates by lifting the foot up turning it in desired direction and placing it back on the ground. May I also suggest as a design change. The track rotate about, oh.. say... fifteen degrees to the left and the right when the boot is turned in that direction by the foot.

Now Efficiency: Roller blades when travelling, especially uphill, they must be propelled to the sides and forward instead of just forward. The inefficiency lies in the fact that you are only traveling forward and the energies out the side are cancelling themselves out. And although I did not say treaded skates would be any better at this I sugggest the following design change: Make the wheels only revolve in a single direction.
-- ImBack, Aug 20 2002

So you can't skate backwards anymore?
-- Mr Burns, Aug 20 2002

Johnny Knoxville strapped a couple of belt sanders to his feet in one episode of Jackass. He fell down a lot.

I think that the idea, as written, would led itself well to 1970's glam rock styling. <Imagines Dave Hill from Slade rolling about the stage, arms wheeling>.
-- calum, Aug 20 2002

No, so you can only skate backwards!

And calum, I'm unfamiliar with the 1970's.
-- ImBack, Aug 20 2002

<austin powers>You didn't miss much, just a gas crisis and a flock of seagulls..</austin powers>
-- Mr Burns, Aug 21 2002

This is pretty much baked. I've seen ordinary looking sneakers with small flip out wheels in a department store near me. They have the added advantage of being able to flip the wheels back in and just walk up hills. I was sorely temped by them but put off by the price tag.
-- madradish, Aug 21 2002

random, halfbakery