Introduced in the Fifties and put on the fashion map by Audrey Hepburn (and more recently by our current Prime Minister), the kitten heel, that dinky, slender – whisper it – mumsy shoe has made an unlikely comeback and is a must-have style in 2017.
It makes sense really: a heel that gives you a little bit of a lift but is comfortable enough to actually wear from the office to the bar to the dance floor.
Designers from Prada to Dior have revamped them, and so has the high-street. We’ve found a whole range of modern twists on the classic look – from shoeboots to thigh-highs – as well as some more classic-looking options.
Here’s our round-up for all kitten-heel budgets.
1. Zara High Heel Shoes With Mesh: £45,99, Zara
This is a winning style from Zara’s younger (and cheaper) line, Trafaluc. It’s a low-cut, zip-up ankle boot and a stiletto shoe neatly combined with a delicate black mesh. We love the geometric shape of the heel that lends a modern twist.
2. H&M Patent Slingbacks: £24.99, H&M
If you’re on a budget, this faux leather pair will instantly update your wardrobe. The grey shade will go with just about everything and the patent texture will add an on-trend bit of shine to your outfit. You can’t adjust the strap, but the elastic does its job.
3. J.Crew Mirror Metallic Kitten Heel Sandals: £188, J.Crew
Had a pedicure? Show it off in this pair of silver sandals from one of Michelle Obama’s favourite brands. When the weather perks up, they’ll take you from day to night seamlessly and the metallic shade will dress up any outfit. Leather lined with a very wearable two inch heel, these also come in gold.
4. Uterque Suede Mules: £85, Uterque
Uterque is Zara’s big sister, known for making designer-esque styles for purse-friendly prices. It hasn’t got a physical shop in the UK yet, but you can get all the new collection online, from which we picked these super-feminine black leather mules. They’re lined with leather and the backless style is a simple but very effective way to update your wardrobe for spring.
5. Asos Sloany Heeled Mules: £25, Asos
Hermes and Chanel signalled that white is back for spring 2017. We like the slightly-chunkier-than-average heel on these leather look ones. They’re super-comfy and will keep you on-trend from now until summer. Available in sizes 2-9.
6. Kurt Geiger Autobann: £120, Carvela by Kurt Geiger
Zebra print is more versatile than you think, while making a bit of a statement. These also stand out for being higher cut than your average court, so you get an almost shoe-boot feel. The heel’s 70mm and if animal print isn’t your thing, they come in black leather and fuchsia suede.
7. Boden Joan Slingback Heels: £110, Boden
Boden continues its quest to make the fashion world sit up and take notice. These new red suede slingbacks are a classic style, yet the bold colour and the gold hammered disk on the toe make them stand out from the pack. They are the quality you would expect from Boden: leather lined and with a leather sole – and comfy enough for the dance floor. They also come in navy and a spotted ivory version.
8. Shoe The Bear Leni Ankle Boots: £134,99, Zalando
We discovered this Danish brand on Zalando and were sold on its distinctive Scandi-cool vibe that’s big on quality and comfort. While lots in the collection are quite minimalist in style, these more stand-out cream and blue suede ankle boots with a bow detail caught our eye.With a 2.5-inch heel, they also come in grey.
9. Other Stories Kitten Heel Over the Knee boot: 245, & Other Stories
Obsessed with the over-the-knee boots? We are, and the Swedish brand has combined the look with this season’s on-trend heel. Made from soft suede, these are thigh-high and tight-fitting (and admittedly probably a pair for those blessed with longer legs). Wear them now with jeans and in spring with mini-skirts.
10. Marks and Spencer Wide Fit Kitten Heel Strap Court Shoes: £25, M&S
M&S is good to us and makes a range of wide-fit shoes, featuring its podiatrist-approved Insolia soles that keep things comfortable all day. This patent monochrome pair with a buckle fastening comes in half sizes and a red and black leather combo.
11. Russell & Bromley Twiggy Kitten Heel Court: £225, Russell & Bromley
Russell & Bromley has always done a good line in kitten heels – Theresa May’s a fan – and the “Twiggy” line is part of its collaboration with American shoe label Stuart Weitzman. The elegant take on the kitten heeled court comes in six colours and finishes. Our pick of the lot is this navy snake print in patent leather. There’s also a clutch and shoulder bag, if you want accessories to match. Comes in half sizes.
12. Manolo Blahnik Hangisi 50 Satin Pump: £745, Harrods
Want to go designer? Well, if you ever watched HBO’s Sex and The City, you’ll recognise these shoes, made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw, who wore the blue satin pumps in the series. If you want to invest in the originals, these silk satin beauties with a bejewelled brooch feel special every time you put them on. Handmade in Italy, they are leather lined with a leather sole. We picked the lower heel (two inches), but they also come in a three-inch version.
13. Dior ribbon-detail kitten heels: Prices start from £645, Dior
From Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut collection for the luxe French fashion house, these slingbacks are some of this season’s most-wanted footwear – they’ve been spotted on Jennifer Lawrence and countless editorial shoots. They were initially showcased in a black ribbed fabric, but we’ve picked this nude patent leather for spring. Available at New Bond Street shop from 18th February and online end of February.
The Verdict: Kitten heelsReuse content