The Cat Came Back – The Return of the Kitten Heel


We don’t know about you, but we’re getting a wee bit tired of the sky high, over-the-top Rachel Zoe inspired platform (with all due respect to the ever glamorous stylista, of course). Don’t get us wrong – we l-o-v-e our heels and would give them up for nothing and no one, but the market (and the streets) have been so over-saturated with the uber-high platform pump, that we were positively tickled to see a lower, more ladylike heel making its way down the spring/summer 2012 runways.

Known as the “kitten” heel, these beauties are less punishing than a six-inch boost, yet still offer an elegant, chic aesthetic to your day-to-day ensembles. Though we’re never afraid to give our all for fashion, we know our feet (and our doctors) will thank us for taking this – ahem – step down.

The Return of Kitten Heels

History – In the early 1950’s the kitten heel was introduced for teenage girls as a median between the flat Mary-Janes of childhood and the higher heels worn by adult women. With a thin stiletto-esque heel but measuring in at an age appropriate 1.5 – 2 inch, the kitten heel (also sometimes referred to as the “Sabrina Heel” – a nod to Audrey Hepburn in one of her iconic title roles), the kitten heel was the perfect way for young women to practice walking in heeled shoes.

With the turn of the decade came the flower child, and along with her, the thicker stacked or corked wedge heel; the feline-named footwear fell out of fashion. But, it’s back with a bang, thanks in part to Michelle Obama. These day-to-night, chic shoes are a great way to streamline your look without breaking your back (and in some cases, the bank!).

Our Picks –

Kitten Heel Picks

Just like the hems of our skirts, heel heights will always be going up and down. Our advice to you? Wear kitten heels with a well-cut trouser or chic, pleated skirt. Keep your look ladylike and classy!

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  1. mk4507 says

    I’m so glad the kitten heels are back! Much like Anna im Wunderland, it’s because I am 5’11. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of wearing 4-5″ heels (my 6’3 husband LOVES it!!), but I’m 30…I need elegance and comfort!!!

  2. Dr. Shoe says

    I love kitten heels. As a professor, I have never been able to teach sitting down, so they’re perfect for me. As you say, the kitten heel was a starter heel for young ladies. If that’s the case, I don’t think a two-inch heel can be called a kitten heel! The whole point of the kitten heel is that it is thin and low. In my opinion the only pair of the shoes shown above that is a true kitten heel is the DKNYC shoe.

  3. Petra says

    OMG…kitten heels are ugly, they do nothing but make you look short. i will stick to my heels. his is one trend I will NOT be following.

  4. says

    I’m sure that the short guys out there will be happy to hear about this, but I still prefer my high heels. :) Some of them are really cute so I might have to try them out.

  5. Rebecca says

    I read on a fashion forum that kitten heels are basically a fashion don’t, because they are unflattering for legs and “generally not attractive”. I’m not sure if this is because they are difficult to pull off. Is there any truth to that? Personally, I really like the look of kitten heels.

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