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Kitten Heels 101: What They Are + How to Style Them

Last Updated: May 17, 2022

Sexy, timeless & classy- the kitten heel has been around for centuries. This is a style that truly never dies! Today, we wanted to give it the love it deserves. We’re going to discuss the history of kitten heels, various types, how to style them, and a few looks we’re living for. 

What Are Kitten Heels? 

Kittens heels are a type of shoe with a low heel (around 1.5 inches). While these heels don’t offer height or flair to your legs, they do create a classy & sophisticated look. They’re also easier to walk in. These low-rise heels became popular in the 1950’s, but have been around for decades. 

We can definitely thank Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe for driving them into popularity. Believe it or not, these shoes used to be worn by kings back in the day!

Why are they called kitten heels?

The kitten heel meaning originates from the fact that they were often worn by young women or ‘kittens’ who were not yet ready for full-sized heels. 

High-end designers such as Christian Louboutin have followed this trend and kept it’s popularity alive for women of all different classes & styles. We’re loving that this style is coming back into popularity more and more, because it’s severely underrated (come on, nobody likes limping around in 5-inch heels). 

How to Style Kitten Heels

There are so many different ways you can style these little beauties, but some of the most popular ways are with cocktail or summer dresses.

Honestly, when it comes to the question of how to wear kitten heels, you don’t need to get fancy. Even just pairing them with jeans or a business-casual look would work just as well. The

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Types of Kitten Heels

Now that we’ve gone over what kitten heel shoes are and a brief overview of their history, let’s get into the various types (because there are a lot). Plus, we share a few style ideas that you can use as inspiration for your outfit design.

Leopard Print

One of the hottest trends amongst kitten heels (or just heels in general) is leopard print. Leopard print is sexy, fierce, and truly makes a statement. Not to mention, leopard kitten heels create a whole new level of confidence. 

These sassy shoes would pair beautifully with a patterned cocktail dress. They could also make a fiery addition to a simple jeans & crop top. Overall, you can never truly go long with animal print.

Classic Kitten Heels

These heels are the way to go for vintage-lovers & those with a 50’s style. These shoes are almost identical to Audrey Hepburn’s famous look in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so you can be sure you’re rocking a timeless look when you wear these. You can find them in suede or leather in a variety of colors, although black is easiest to pair with various outfits. 

Statement Kitten Heels

If you’re a party girl, heels that make a statement are for you. You can find a variety of styles – they might have studs, glitter, metallic, or anything else that makes them perfect for a night out.


Perfect for warmer months, kitten heel sandals are comfortable and easy to walk in while also looking dressed up. You can find strappy sandals with a small heel, or even slides. They’re perfect for a business brunch where a regular flat pair of sandals might not be sophisticated enough. 

Boots + Booties

Kitten heel boots and booties are adorable and perfect for transitioning to colder months. We’re more keen on booties, but taller boots might be your thing.  

Bottom Line

Overall, when it comes to kitten heels, there are so many different styles to choose from. Whether your style is glitter pumps, simplistic black leather, sandals, booties, or sport-themed shoes, you can guarantee that kitten heels have got you covered.

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