The Daily Grind
Kids all over are slipping on Soaps, sneakers that can double as skates thanks to hard plastic plates in the soles that make it possible to slide—or grind, in in-line talk—on all manner of edges. At $70 to $110 a pair, Soaps are sliding off shelves so fast that Artemis Innovations, the Torrance, Calif., start-up company that makes them, expects to double its 1998 sales of $7 million this year.
Each Soaps box carries the warning "Grinding is dangerous. There is no way to grind without running the risk of serious bodily harm, including head injury, spinal injury or death." The shoes haven't caused much mayhem so far, but that hasn't kept authority figures from getting into a lather over them. "A kid in Florida wore them to school," says Soaps inventor Chris Morris, "and when they took him to the principal's office he started sliding on the edges of the principal's desk. We're thinking of putting him on posters with the slogan, 'Please grind only where appropriate.' "