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Would You Wear… Kitten Heels?

74 Comments

Love it or hate it, the kitten heel shoe trend is back this fall. As Ashley reported for CF a few weeks back, these ’50s-style low-heeled pumps are going to be a popular look.

The trend started with Audrey Hepburn and has been in and out of style since then. But this season, after Prada, Versace, and Giambattista Valli, among others, displayed them on the runways, fashion blogs and magazines are going utterly crazy for the demure shoe trend. Our modern day Audrey, Michelle Obama, has been partially credited the revival of this trend as well.

Audrey Hepburn in Kitten HeelsMichelle Obama in Kitten Heels
Photo Credit: 1, 2

While it’s undeniable that kitten heels are more comfortable to walk in than your favorite sky-high heels, they often get a bad reputation for being grandma-esque. And they’re certainly tricky to wear, it’s possible to pull them off if you keep your outfit classic and chic. But don’t ditch your favorite high heels in favor of these quite yet; kitten heels are just another new style to experiment with in your wardrobe.

Kitten Heels Runway Examples
Photo Credit

Would you wear kitten heels?

What do you think about kitten heels? Would you wear them for their practicality? Do you think they are totally adorable or completely awful? How would you wear this trend? Let us know by leaving a comment, and we’ll all discuss!

Posted on on September 14, 2010 / Filed Under: Would You Wear? / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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74 Responses to “Would You Wear… Kitten Heels?”

  1. 1
    September 14th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I think that kitten heels are great! What’s wrong with wanting to wear a heel under three inches? It’s easier on the feet especially when you’re like me and go to school in Boston. The cobblestones dont do heels justice. I dont think they’re anything unfashionable about them. It’s the perfect tall girl’s shoe so they dont look like a giant and they still add some length to your legs

  2. 2
    September 14th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Not a fan…

  3. 3
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I don’t know if I would go so far as to credit the First Lady with this trend… I think that’s reaching. To me it would be more accurate to credit the average working woman; as a college grad in the workforce I can tell you that most of the women I work with prefer a kitten heel and easily pull it off with their outfit. So to me, the average, every day woman makes this trend work. Maybe not in the heart of NYC but elsewhere? Definitely.

  4. 4
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I think kitten heels are great– but I wouldn’t compare Michelle Obama to Audrey Hepburn. I’ve always felt that First Lady Obama’s style is very forced, and she lacks the same poise that Hepburn does.

  5. 5
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Kitten heels are great. However, I wouldn’t consider the top right and bottom left photos to be a kitten heel. Just sayin’.

  6. 6
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I have a pair of black, pointy toed kittens that I wear like it’s my job. They’re comfortable, yet classy, and they can add that certain extra to an outfit that’s just too plain.

  7. 7
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I already own a pair that I got from good will I wear them to wrk all the time. They’re cute and comfy thumb up in my book :D

  8. 8
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    HELL NAW.

    Kitten heels are a disaster. As a 5’8″ girl with a 5’10” boyfriend, I can appreciate the idea of a smaller heel not only for the luxury of not looking Amazonian but for comfort, as well. However, as far I am concerned re: heels? Go big or go home.

    Kitten heels do not look nice, and the clickety-clack sound that they make, higher-pitched than higher, sturdier heels, makes me shiver.

    A strong opinion, yes, but not a crass one and it is my opinion just the same. No attacks, please :p

    P.S. I agree that the top right and bottom left are not so kitten-ish.

  9. 9
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I am really not a fan of kitten heels. They seem so little-girlish. I mean, if you’re not Michelle Obama or Audrey Hepburn I think they look awkward. Michelle’s heels aren’t that small though, I don’t think.

  10. 10
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I’ve been a fan for the kitten heel for a few years now, but it definitely depends on the heel. The thin heels pictures above I’m not particularly enamored with but I always find these adorable vintage (thicker) kitten heels at the local thrift stores that add a little flirtation to outfits (especially dresses!) without being too fancy.

  11. 11
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t walk four blocks comfortably in a pair of shoes, why do you own them? In this respect, kitten heels are the ideal balance of form and function. I was a fan of kitten heels when sky-high was all the rage. Some of the most comfortable shoes I own are kitten heels (see: seychelles trip the light fantastic heels). They dress up any outfit, are super-cute, and add a nice vintage flair.

  12. 12
    September 14th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I say kitten heels should go with heeled sneakers & ponchos back to the grave and never return.

  13. 13
    September 14th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    ah, kitten heels. i personally love their practicality, and to echo the first poster’s comment, they are great for tall girls. for women who work in more conservative environments where a sky-high heel is taboo, or who stay very active all day, the kitten heel may be where it’s at…
    that said, they can be downright hideous, as evidenced by the center photos in the top and bottom rows.
    i had a great pair of pointed toe kitten heels in black leather, and they worked with just about anything – skirts, jeans, etc…and also made climbing Uidaho’s hills to class a lot easier than a traditional pump!

  14. 14
    September 14th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    oh, i’m very interested in your opinion.
    Also, i want to the kitten heel be a trend. Bcause it’s comfortable to wear and it’s useful to wear for someone tall like me. I always avoided a high-heels.

  15. 15
    September 14th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but I cannot walk in kitten heels! They feel so unstable to me, and though I pretty much never fall in sky-high stilettos, I almost always trip when trying to wear kitten heels.

  16. 16
    September 14th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I feel like I would not wear kitten heels unless I could absolutely NOT walk in high heels. Save the kitten heels for later in life.

  17. 17
    September 14th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I’m not too sure about this one. I think I recall reading somewhere that kitten heels are bad for you, since they push your muscles into the wrong position….but they say that about high heels too! I think kitten heels are just too middle of the road, like skirt-shorts combos that were popular in the nineties (or for those under age nine) or cargo pants that zip off into shorts. I think a pair of black leather flats would be classier than a pair of kitten heels any day. No thank you!

  18. 18
    September 14th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    hmm…not a fan. I just think they look like an indecisive shoe… like it couldn’t make up its mind if it wanted to be a flat or a heel! Plus I think they make legs and look a little awkward. I can understand the nod to vintage fashion with it, but I myself would not wear them.

  19. 19
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    As someone who is tall and cannot wear heels because of multiple foot surgeries, I love kitten heels because I can wear them without feeling like a giant and hurting my foot. LOVE THEM!

  20. 20
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I love kitten heels. They’re classic and soooo much easier to walk in if you’re on your feet all day- and most of us are, walking around campus.

  21. 21
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    i think it depends on the person’s look. maybe they don’t look good on everyone.

  22. 22
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    i definitely agree with tracy. michelle obama’s “style” does seem pretty cut and paste and i hate when people hail her as a fashion icon.
    but otherwise i liked this article! although im not a huge fan of thin heeled kitten heels, i prefer the vintage-y ones with a thicker a heel.

  23. 23
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Man, I really do not like kitten heels. The idea of a heel, in my opinion, is to elongate the leg and make it more flattering. All I’ve ever seen a kitten heel do is make thick calves look thicker, and the height is so awkward that people wearing them look like they’re about to topple on a one-inch heel – I’ll stick with flats or sky-highs, thank you!

  24. 24
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I personally prefer higher heels as a short girl, but I don’t see a problem with adding kitten heels to my wardrobe occasionally. But, I don’t think Michelle Obama can even begin to compare to Audrey Hepburn! Hepburn is a classic idol- something she earned over time. Michelle only sprung onto the scene a few years ago, so why don’t we wait and see where she goes before declaring her on par with the iconic Hepburn.

  25. 25
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    they don’t bother me at all! I think its kind of funny when people get overly worked up about fashion trends/ways that people wear clothes haha…half inch heels are sort of pointless/look kind fo funny, but heels between 1.5 and 3 inches look nice and don’t kill you by the end of the day!

  26. 26
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Being 5’1, I think anything with a heel is great because I need the extra height wherever I can find it! Joking aside, I personally like the look of a kitten heel but would prefer stilettos since they are much more sexier.

  27. 27
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I agree with Amanda, with heels: Go Big or Go Home

  28. 28
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I personally think this look would work with those who have dainty feet. I have size 10 flat-ish feet that i’d rather not emphasis with a tiny heel. LOL. I’m no expert with stilettos either, so i’ll stick to wedges and ballet flats. :/

  29. 29
    September 14th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    love kitten heels…….just bought a pair of pointy toed leopard print ones. i think they are non heel wearer friendly i look like a horse trying to wear anything thats higher that 3 inches they add a little fun to everyday wear.

  30. 30
    September 14th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    The top left and middle pictures are butt ugly. Like really…

  31. 31
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    So glad these are back in since so many awesome shoes are sky-high heels, which aren’t so great for me since a) it makes super tall/tower over the boys and b) my feet DIE in them. I think kitten heels though can be tricky to get right. I like them pretty edgy and detailed so they DON’T look like the typical kitten heel (such as the one pictured on the Fab Sugar blog).

  32. 32
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    As a singer, I live in kitten heels. You can’t breathe properly in a sky high heel. Personally I also feel like they’re much more practical and comfortable, while both adding height and giving the same illusion that heels give in elongating the leg. That’s just my opinion though! :)

  33. 33
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I like them. They’re perfect for when wearing a heel seems too much, and wearing flats seems to casual. I have a pair of pointed toe kitten heels and they were perfect for being on my feet for 6 constant hours working.

  34. 34
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    They just don’t flatter feet at all! (look at the first and middle pictures for proof)

  35. 35
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I think there’s a fine line between it looking alright and looking silly. Why even bother with a heel if it won’t elongate your legs? In my opinion, they just look flimsy if they’re the REALLY short kind. But a 2.5 inch heel would be okay to me. :)

  36. 36
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I love this trend and I’m so happy to see it come back. I’m only 5’4″ and I cannot wear heels at all. I was born with flat feet and its impossible for me to stand or walk correctly in heels. Kitten heels are my alternative to flats and they add some glamor to any outfit – skirts or skinny jeans!

  37. 37
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Wow, I never knew there was so much kitten heel hate! I personally love them, but would probably stick with a basic pump in a solid color.

  38. 38
    September 14th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I am five foot four. At age nineteen, I have been mistaken for twelve. TWELVE.
    I hate kitten heels. They do nothing for me. They are a sad farce on my miniscule frame. When I wear heels, I am not just trying to look pretty- I am trying to be able to look the other people my age in the eye, instead of the chest. My philosphy with shoes is go big, or don’t bother. If it doesn’t actually have a platform, the heel muct be at least three inches for me to even consider wearing it.

    Kitten heels are death. The end.

  39. 39
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I think kitten heels are adorable, but the posted examples are pretty awful. I like slingbacks, peep toes and thin heels only.

  40. 40
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I love low heeled shoes! (being tall makes you really hate wearing heels)
    However, I don’t at all like the tiny tapered heel instead of a sturdier flared heel.

  41. 41
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Love kitten heels. I used to work in a gift shop where we all dressed pretty nice. Kitten heels were my (and my other co-workers) best friends since they made 7 hour shifts on your feet bearable at least.

  42. 42
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    To me, kitten heels kind of defeat the purpose of a heel, but they can still be cute. I like Audrey’s stiletto ones in the picture on the left – a little sultry, but not too sultry the way taller stilettos might be. But the other ones are just a little old-ladyish to me. Especially the top center runway photo, where the heel just looks like a column from the Parthenon.

  43. 43
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I never really thought of kitten heels as a trend. I regarded them more of a classic staple. I own a few kitten heels, especially of the strappy sandal variety. I really love the way they make my legs look and I feel like they are more practical for my life. Kitten heels are a definite YES.

  44. 44
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I love kitten heels! I just bought a pair a few weeks a go. They are definitely more practical for me because I do a lot of walking everyday. I wear flats all the time so it’s nice to switch it up sometimes without having to wear 4 inch heels. :)

  45. 45
    September 15th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I’d love to see an article around kitten heels, outfit suggestions and advice on what to wear them with without coming across as grandmother-y.

  46. 46
    September 15th, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I love kitten heels. I’ve had 2 pairs for a long time and I still love them. They are almost as comfortable as flats, with a little extra something. The ones I have are very easy to wear. One of them I wear as if it was ballet flats, with jeans, skirts, anything.

  47. 47
    September 15th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    To me, it really just depends on the particular shoe and the height of the heel… For those who want a happy medium, there’s a reason why wedges are the greatest thing ever.

  48. 48
    September 15th, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I have and have previously had several adorable pairs of kitten heels. I prefer mine a little more classic, a la Audrey, than innovative, for instance the sandals shown in this post. I have a great pair of black patent, pointed toe slingbacks that are very flattering; the slight point is elongating, and the low heel is an unexpected visual change from my common wardrobe of mid-to-high heels. Part sweet, part subtly sassy. What’s not to love?

  49. 49
    September 15th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    there’s northing wrong with, say, a two inch heel in a professional environment. but, i will say, i would not be caught dead in half inch heels. so awkward.

  50. 50
    September 15th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Can someone clear it for me: kitten heels are those slender, angled heels, and they can vary in height, right? What about “normal”, but not very high heels of 2-3 inches, are they grannish too?

  51. 51
    September 15th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    The thing is, people will always judge no matter what you wear, so wear whatever you want as long as you feel good in it.

  52. 52
    September 15th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I just think they are plain ulgy mostly the ones with the tights worn with them!

  53. 53
    September 16th, 2010 at 4:20 am

    I definately like the kitten heel I’m only thirteen so I only wear anything from a kitten heel to 2 inches and I just wanted to say how much My friends and I love this site! Even tho we are a little young for college clothes we try to wear more modest versions of what they show!

  54. 54
    September 16th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Like maria, I am a younger reader (12) and i love this website. Thanks for the great post, keep it up!

  55. 55
    September 18th, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    To Poster #5 (Toi):

    Would you consider the MAN’S SHOE on the bottom right to be a kitten heel? Those pictures make up a collage of heel comparisons!

  56. 56
    September 19th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    When I find a kitten heel that is cute I plan on buying a pair. Sorry not all of us can walk in 4 inchers! I’m glad they came back in style so I can work my way up to those 4.5″ platforms that are sitting in the back of my closet lol

  57. 57
    September 19th, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I own a pair and wear them sometimes. As long as they’re comfortable and you want to wear them, who cares?

  58. 58
    September 20th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Tried them but they break easily. Normal 3″ high heels are much sturdier. :)

  59. 59
    September 27th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    NOO WAY! Kitten heals are a definate NO! Audrey Hepburn was a great style icon and I love her for that but in today’s day and age they are just a no-no..

  60. 60
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I LOVE kitten heels, but I’m very picky about them!
    I have a pair that are solid black and it is vintage! I wear them with soo many things because not only are they italian and comfortable, but they also look chic and sophisticated with many outfits.

  61. 61
    October 1st, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Absolutely! God enough for Audrey Hepburn is good enough for me! Well…almost anything….

  62. 62
    October 9th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I like kitten heels, but it totally depends on the style and what you wear it with. All the photos in this article depict really hideous, weird kitten heels, but there are definitely some cute ones out there. Also, I hear people say they look like “little girl shoes,” but I look like a little girl kind of, so it works for me. I’m pretty small: 5’2, 105 lbs, size 6 shoe, skinny ankles and calves. Since I’m short, I do like higher heels for evenings, but for campus or any other place where I’m on my feet a lot, I like the look of kitten heels because they’re cute and polished without being uncomfortable. Flats look a bit frumpy (especially on shorter girls) and definitely more casual.

  63. 63
    October 22nd, 2010 at 7:18 am

    look ok. wouldnt wear them

  64. 64
    November 2nd, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    i dont think id ever wear kitten heels. i think they look unprofessional and lazy. wear either flats or heels.

    if youre “training” for actually heels, start at inch one.

  65. 65
    February 19th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Hmmm… I am sorry, but I am not a big fan of kitten heels at all. It really seems like a pair of heels you would find in a four year olds closet…
    As far as I’m concerned, if you’re gonna wear heels, wear at least 2″ heels :)

  66. 66
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I love them! :D I don’t know why everyone pushes for the 6inch heel. If you can’t walk in them, they defeat the purpose of a shoe and shouldn’t be worn. There is nothing I hate more than the sight of women walking around barefoot or being carried around like babies because their feet “hurt a lot.” I will agree though that the pictures of the kitten heels that were shown in the post are really ugly. There are lots of really pretty thicker kitten heels out there :)

  67. 67
    February 19th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I’m in 7th grade and I ware mine all the time their small and appropriate

  68. 68
    May 30th, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Horrible. Horrible. Terrible. Horrible. Would rather punch someone cute than wear those.

  69. 69
    July 10th, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Haters. Michele Obama has impecable taste, and she looks great in her kitten heels. I love them. Although I love, love, love high heels, sometimes I gvie them a rest but still want something cute and sexy.

  70. 70
    July 14th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I am a twelve year old, and almost every twelve year old is stuck between looking preteen to looking teenager. My sister suggested kitten heels, as they’d go best with my favorite type of skirt- midi, because I am not old enough to wear higher heels. It also makes sense to get used to them before I’m fully a teenager.

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