These 11 Pairs Of Kitten Heels Are Taking You Places

 
PHOTO: COURTESY THE RETAILERS/I AM & CO

PHOTO: COURTESY THE RETAILERS/I AM & CO

 

Kitten heels have been in and out of fashion over the past couple of decades, riding the roller coaster of trends only to fall back into favor over the past year. Along with the resurrection of other nineties and early-aughts styles (boot cuts, bike shorts and neon - oh my!) they’re the perfect footwear to finish off any look. A classic shape that marries demure femininity with functionality, we’re here for the low heel and hope it’s here to stay.

To get technical, kitten heels are short stiletto heels that range anywhere from 1.5-2 inches tall. Originally referred to as “trainer heels” in the 1950s, they were favored by budding fashionistas who were just learning to walk properly in pumps. One of the first designers to popularize this style of heel was Roger Vivier, a French footwear designer who earned his chops designed at the house of Dior before launching his eponymous label. By the time the swinging sixties rolled around, thanks to the blessing and past and present style icon Audrey Hepburn, they became a wardrobe staple for women of all ages.

The kitten heel fell out of vogue temporarily, making several resurgences in the eighties to complement the working woman’s power suit, and then again in the 2000s during Carrie Bradshaw’s heyday. They returned with a vengeance for the Fall 2017 runway season, and due to their immense popularity have now trickled down into the likes of mall brands and high street stores, meaning you don’t have to pay a designer price tag to be in on the hottest shoe game. The kitten heel is has been popularized in a few iterations, so read on for some of our favorite selects currently on the market.


The Kitten Heel Sandal

Strappy and simple, this sandal is the ideal choice for the style minimalist. The kitten heel sandal is poised to become the shoe style of the summer, and is the perfect canvas for this season’s color and accessory trends.


PHOTO: COURTESY URBAN OUTFITTERS

PHOTO: COURTESY URBAN OUTFITTERS

Urban Outfitters Bella Strappy Kitten Heel

$49 at time of publication

Snakeskin has the fashion world in its stronghold. This print, reminiscent of exotic excursions through the tropical jungle, should be considered if you’re looking to spice up your summer shoe game. The square toe, strappy details and stacked kitten heel on this pair feel decidedly nineties in the best way possible. Wear them with your slinky slip dresses and silk midi skirts.

These kitten heels are available at urbanoutfitters.com.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY NORDSTROM

PHOTO: COURTESY NORDSTROM

 

Schutz Evenise Slide Sandal

$120 at time of publication

This kitten heel from Schutz is a great way to dip your toes into the neon trend (see what we did there?). Because this style is so minimal, the neon comes across more like an accent than a statement. Also a bonus: these colors look amazing and pop against literally every skin tone. This pair would look best with a black midi dress for an outfit that transitions seamlessly from work during the day to drinks at night.

These kitten heels are available at nordstrom.com.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY MY THERESA

PHOTO: COURTESY MY THERESA

 

The Row Bare Sandals

$785 at time of publication

These, my friends, are the kitten heel sandals to top all kitten heel sandals. The pinnacle of the kitten heel, if you wish. An investment piece for sure, this pair is even out of this writer’s budget, so for now we’ll just admire them from afar.

If you’re not familiar with The Row, the line was founded by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, has a penchant for minimalism, is a critical darling and has gone on to the receive several CFDA awards for accessory design. All this is to say they make a bomb shoe. This pair is everything I want in a sandal - perfectly placed straps, timeless in style, high-quality Italian leather and the Olsen twins’ stamp of approval.

These kitten heels are available at mytheresa.com.


The Kitten Heel Slingback

The slingback, much like the kitten heel, exudes class and sophistication. Not only are they incredibly easy to walk in - they keep the back of your soles from flopping about - but they exude classic American style.


PHOTO: COURTESY ASOS

PHOTO: COURTESY ASOS

NA-KD Plunge Kitten Heel Pump

$32 at time of publication

Go for the grid with the navy and blue patterned kitten heel slingbacks. The fresh details of this pair, like the slightly geometric heel shape and modern take on plaid, keep them from feeling dowdy. Because of their classic print, they’re the perfect way to bring interest to classic suit, if you’re sequestered to a workwear uniform. If your dress code is a little more wild and free, we would love to see these worn with a cropped pant in a bold color.

These kitten heels are available at asos.com.


PHOTO: COURTESY URBAN OUTFITTERS

PHOTO: COURTESY URBAN OUTFITTERS

Urban Outfitters Lucy Slingback Kitten Heel

$49 at time of publication

This pair of kitten heel slingbacks from Urban Outfitters has a little something for everyone. Looking to keep it classic? The navy gingham iteration is the choice for you. Demure and ladylike, they pair perfectly with midi dresses, skirts and slim trousers for a sweet retro-inspired look. Like to dress more on the cutting edge? Try them in the lime green colorway. They still have a sassy retro feel, thanks to their micro-plaid print, but this color is begging for a full-blown nineties look with light wash mom jeans and cropped logo tee.

These kitten heels are available at urbanoutfitters.com.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY SHOPBOP

PHOTO: COURTESY SHOPBOP

 

Kate Spade Daxon Kitten Heel Slingbacks

$198 at time of publication

This pair of kitten heel slingbacks are for those that favor feminine details and who have a penchant for maximalism. We love the red and pink color combination, which may be off-putting to the uninitiated but is a color mix that the fashion world has been loving as of late. Sweet and girly details, like the heart print and double layered bow, exude fun and femininity. These shoes were made to stand out, so try wearing them with a slim black pant, and complementing their color with a red or pink handbag.

These kitten heels are available at shopbop.com.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY SHOPBOP

PHOTO: COURTESY SHOPBOP

 

Dianne von Furstenburg Mortelle 4 Slingback Pumps

$248 at time of publication

This pair of pumps play with the sheer trend that we’ve been seeing everywhere lately, but translates it in a much more classic and accessible way. Treat these kitten heels like you would your pair of workhorse black pumps. Even though they have a subtle pattern, because they’re in all black they can pair back to just about anything. We love the idea of styling them with a cropped trouser in a bright color, like red or cobalt blue.

These kitten heels are available at shopbop.com.


The Kitten Heel Mule

Ah, the ease of the mule. No buckles, straps or laces to mess with, just slide them on and go. Something about a backless shoe feels feminine and easy, making the mule the perfect shoe silhouette to pair with a kitten heel.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY TARGET

PHOTO: COURTESY TARGET

 

A New Day Aleksa Low Vamp Kitten Heel Mules

$24 at time of publication

These are your new favorite shoes. Ringing in at under $30, we’d recommend getting them in both black and white, and maybe keeping a backup pair under your desk at the office. The v-design is ultra flattering and helps to elongate the legs, as does the open back design. In perfect kitten heel form, their height is perfectly walkable, and depending on how they’re styling, work just as well with a formal dress as they do with a weekend look. Slip them on to pull literally any and all outfits together in a snap.

These kitten heels are available at target.com.


PHOTO: COURTESY URBAN OUTFITTERS

PHOTO: COURTESY URBAN OUTFITTERS

Urban Outfitters Leopard Kitten Heel Mule

$59 at time of publication

Meow! Leopard print makes for the ultimate sassy footwear choice, also a great pick for feline enthusiasts. If bold prints are intimidating, working them into your accessory collection is a great place to start. Jazz up your favorite outfit with an unexpected pop of leopard, because in case you weren’t aware, leopard is in fact a neutral! This print also looks amazing and classic with a simple pair of light wash jeans and white tee.

These kitten heels are available at urbanoutfitters.com.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY NEED SUPPLY CO.

PHOTO: COURTESY NEED SUPPLY CO.

 

Acne Studios Bea Ruched Slide

$750 at time of publication

Yes, okay, this is another major splurge, but here we’re going to plead the case for this pair of kitten heel mules from Scandinavian brand Acne Studios. First and foremost, they’re classic with a twist. In rich black leather with a pointed toe, they’re a silhouette you’ve seen time and time again, but ruching texture gives them more interest without feeling overly trendy. Also, please admire the adorable micro-heel. This minimal style is bound to go with anything.

These kitten heels are available at needsupply.com.


 
PHOTO: COURTESY JEFFREY CAMPBELL

PHOTO: COURTESY JEFFREY CAMPBELL

 

Jeffrey Campbell Cruel Kitten Heel Mules

$125 at time of publication

This pair of kitten heel mules is not for the trend averse. Everything about them is modern and edgy, from the curvy heel shape, to the perforated details and neon bright color palette. What we love about this pair is the way they marry sporty styling with a classic silhouette in a way that feels high fashion but at a price tag that makes it easy to experiment. Because this pair of mules is so bold, we would let them be the hero by wearing them with a cool pair of straight leg jeans and a bright sweater. To play up their sportswear-inspired styling, try wearing them with a neon colored crewneck sweatshirt or hoodie.

These kitten heels are available at shopbop.com.

 

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