Youngsters who whizz around on their 'Heelys' - shoes with wheels fitted to the soles - have been banned from Tesco's 90-plus stores in Ireland.

Company bosses took action after receiving customer complaints. Notices alerting people of the move have now been posted in all Tesco supermarkets in the Republic.

The move was prompted by concerns shoppers could be knocked down and hurt by children skating along aisles, leaving stores facing hefty compensation claims.

There had been no such personal injury claims yet, and complaints had followed "isolated incidents", said a Tesco Ireland spokesman. But he stressed the ban did not prevent anyone from wearing Heelys in Tesco stores.

"If people are walking around, not skating, there is no problem. But if they are using the Heely mechanism on their shoes, they will be banned."

Steps to impose a ban are unique to Ireland, with no such edict yet applied in the UK. A spokesman at Tesco's HQ said it would be up to individual store managers to take action if there were ­

a problem.

Heelys have built a cult following among children - and some adults.

On web chat forums, users discuss the best places to skate. On one, 'Heely Dudette' writes: "It's the best in shops like Tesco or Sainsbury's cuz the floor is so smooth!"