Searching for an alternative, more easy-to-wear version of a regular heel? Look no further than the kitten heel! Designed for anyone who doesn’t fancy walking in super high heels, prefers their feet to be a little more comfortable or simply wants to make a fashion statement, kitten heels are taking the fashion scene by storm this year.
These shoes are ideal for rocking the office look for work, but can just as easily make a fabulous footwear choice for a cute date night. In the debate of kitten heels vs stilettos, kitten heels have a lot of plus points! Read on to find out more about how to wear kitten heels, including our handy outfit tips to get you inspired.
What are kitten heels?
Kitten heels are typically only between 1.5 and 2 inches tall, with a short and tapered heel, making them a perfect heel for beginners. You can’t beat a practical shoe, and the low heel height of the kitten heel makes them a fabulously comfortable option for all-day wear-- while their versatility means you can wear them from day to night, summer to winter and to casual or formal events. What an all-rounder!
Kitten heels were introduced into mainstream culture in the late 1950s, and unsurprisingly they quickly gained popularity. By the early 1960s, women of all ages were sporting the glamorous kitten heel, and they’re still super popular to this day. Nowadays, you can find kitten heels in a wide range of styles, from stylish slingbacks and mules to cute courts and even winter boots, so you’ll have no problem finding a kitten heel to suit your very own personal style!
Why are they called kitten heels?
Back when they were first introduced to the fashion scene, kitten heels were considered a training heel for “kittens” - young teenage girls who weren’t yet used to walking in high shoes. Yep, these days we have training bras for pre-teens, while back then, they were more fussed about teaching girls to walk in heels!
Fast forward some time and the name stuck - and even when glamorous women of all ages joined in on the kitten heel hype, the name ‘kitten heels’ still remained. So no, unfortunately the name has absolutely nothing to do with cute little baby cats.
How to wear kitten heels in summer
The sun is shining, the birds are singing and it’s time for holidays, barbecues in the garden and trips to the park. Make kitten heels a fabulous summer staple in your wardrobe and choose from endless outfit opportunities!
Open-toed kitten heels
Soak up the summer sun (or rain, depending on our good old British weather’s mood) with an open-toed or slingback kitten heel. They’re a stylish and elegant option to wear with a summer dress, and while they go with pretty much any length hem, they look especially cute with midi-length dresses and skirts.
Kitten heels with jeans
Kitten heels look fabulous with jeans in summer, especially if you’re looking for a simple way to transition your outfit from casual to dressy. The trick to wearing jeans with kitten heels is to leave a bit of ankle on show - so opt for cropped jeans or roll your jeans up slightly, then add a slingback or a mule in classic monotone colours like black or white for instant sophistication!
How to wear kitten heels in winter
As the days get shorter and the weather becomes cold and crisp, some people might run a mile at the thought of wearing heels. But if you still fancy lengthening your pins no matter the weather, kitten heels are perhaps a safer -yet still stylish- option - and it’s generally a lot easier to walk in them!
Kitten heel ankle boots
We’ve been eagle-eyeing the winter catwalks these past few years and it’s pretty clear that kitten heel ankle boots are a winter essential! Since they’re super versatile, you can wear them with jeans, wide-legged trousers or even with tights and a dress or skirt.
A classic black suede ankle boot with a kitten heel simply oozes sophistication and will complement a whole range of outfits. Try combining them with an all-black outfit for extra style points, or wear them with blue jeans and a jumper for cute daytime attire.
Mix different prints and colours
If you want your shoes to be the focal point of your outfit, then have fun with different styles, colours, textures and prints. Why not opt for snakeskin kitten heel evening shoes for drinks with the girls, or choose a fun pink pair for your next date night? Match the colour of your outfit with your shoe colour, or tone things down with a monochrome look and that lets the shoes do all the talking.
How to wear kitten heels at work
If you typically opt for a flat shoe at work but fancy a change from your usual loafers or pumps, then a kitten heel could be the next step towards your new stylish office attire. Their low heel means that you’ll be comfortable wearing them for an entire day and even into the evening, and since they’re such an iconic wardrobe staple, it won’t be long until you’re voted best dressed in the office!
A classic court-style kitten heel is super appropriate for a work setting, since it’s comfier and more covered than a mule or slingback. Opt for a black leather or suede pair if your workplace dress code is on the formal side, or go bold in a fuchsia or leopard print pair for a fun look that stands out.
Whether you’re a kitten heel superfan or fancy exploring what other styles are available, take a look at our full range of low heels. Alternatively, read about how to prevent and relieve sore feet from heels, or discover the best ways to wear ankle boots.