Kitten heels came prancing back onto the runways this season and we’re excited to see them on women’s feet this fall. Naysayers claim they aren’t real heels, but I say they’re a très adorable style that’s manages to be stylish, sexy, AND practical – how many other shoe styles can claim all three of these disparate attributes?!
The kitten heel is the brilliant solution that teeters between a flat and a high heel. It offers a variety of advantages – it makes the leg look longer and thinner than a ballet flat, but puts less pressure on the ball of the foot than a stiletto. Wearing kitten heels decreases the risk of pain, numbness, or neuroma in the foot. There is less risk of Achilles tendonitis, and less risk of injury as well – you’re not nearly as likely to take a spill in a pair of kitten heels. Your feet will be happier in kittens!
The great thing about the compromise of the kitten heel is that it lets you hike from Prince Street to Park Ave on a nice day, no cab required – but still lets your hips twitch in that Burberry pencil skirt and elevates not only your height, but your attitude too. Or, for tall women who want a heel that doesn’t make them tower over their peers, the kitten heel is a perfect choice. It’s also a secret weapon for those of us with wide, immigrant feet that spill out of flat shoes – in a kitten heel I can stay close to the ground, but keep the downward angle that helps my foot achieve a slimmer, tailored look.
The kitten heel, which is characterized by a one- to two-inch heel that’s slightly inset from the back of the shoe, was once the domain of Audrey Hepburn. You can never go wrong referring to the regal beauty’s classic style, and the kitten heel pairs well with the newly reworked ‘50s and ‘60s silhouettes that are making a comeback this year.
Kitten heels are also being worn with thin, patterned ankle socks and feminine touches, such as bows and ribbons, to accentuate their girlish nature. Of course kitten heels also feature on ankle boots and can be successfully matched with extra buttons and slim trousers for those favoring the Victorian look.
You can even wear kitten heels with jeans – tapered of course – and a ruffled top that keeps the outline sweet. Or make it modern by working them into a look that features pinstripes, plaids, or other textured patterns.
Keep it comfy, keep it cute, keep it kitten!
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