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We’re finally allowed to start getting out and about again and so, after so many months in our own homes, you deserve to step out in ultimate style in a new pair of heels.
If the idea of putting on high heels fills you with dread, however, as you feel like you may have forgotten how to walk in them after all this time, don’t worry - the small heel will be your saviour.
What are kitten heels? Why are they called kitten heels?
Kitten heels are perennially popular (beloved of Audrey Hepburn, Princess Di, and, latterly, Alexa Chung, to name a few fashion glitterati), and it’s easy to see why. Designed to have a heel no bigger than one-inch, they look as refined as a stiletto without being anywhere near as vertiginous.
Popularised by legendary shoe designer Roger Vivier (he designed shoes for Dior in the 1950s, among his many achievements, he invented the stiletto), kitten heels are so named because they were considered a training heel for “kittens”: young girls not ready for grown women’s high heel stilettos.
Don’t let that fool you, though - with Marilyn Monroe, Michelle Obama, and Claudia Schiffer frequently wearing a kitten heel, they’ve long since been embraced as an undated, sexy option for full-grown women.
Why a small heel?
Small heels are a great way of giving yourself some height, if you want it, while also helping to make you feel more dressed up and elegant without having to worry about becoming uncomfortable - or, even worse, completely losing your balance.
These are our top picks of nine of the best shoes with small heels on the market right now, ready to help you stride out with confidence when you go ‘out out’ again.
Karine Suede Block Sandals
This may just scurf the edge of what can be considered a ‘small heel’ but qualifies on account of being a block heel, which provides a wider surface area of support and hence doesn’t make for wobbly walking.
The heel height is 6cm, and this type of heel gives you the security you need when you are stepping out again for the first time in months.
These shoes are available in pink, green and orange. They are made of soft, supple suede material too so they mould comfortably to your foot, while the buckle fastening gives extra support.
JIMMY CHOO Gala glitter pointed-toe flats
Jimmy Choo’s are the favoured brand of Michelle Obama (Sarah Jessica Parker loves a pair, too), and it’s simple to see why - of all the luxury shoe brands, his are the comfiest and easiest to wear.
Now, we know this is a king’s ransom for pair of shoes, but if you’re after a splurge, these lovely glitter flats will dress up almost any outfit, from casual weekend jeans to a going-out dress. They’d be ideal if you’re looking for a pair of special shoes to wear on your wedding day that won’t leave you clutching your feet.
Leather Kitten Heel Toe Loop Sandals
Bring some glamour to your summer with these beautiful sandals. Available in black or tan, these shoes will easily become a wardrobe staple.
They slip on, so you can be ready to go in a moment. They’re made with sustainably sourced leather.
They’re lovely and comfortable too, thanks to inbuilt technology that reduces pressure on the balls of your feet. They’re available in half sizes as well as full sizes too.
Mango Straps heel leather sandals
Florals in the summer is a fashion trend that we see year after year, and for good reason - because it works.
An easy way to be on trend with a variety of outfits is to add flowers to your footwear. These strappy sandals are super cute, and they’re also a wonderful choice for eco-friendly shoppers.
The light blue floral details of these shoes have been printed with 3D printing technology, using materials of plant origin dyed with natural dyes such as onion, turmeric, sandalwood, indigo and spinach.
The material that is printed is recyclable and sustainable too.
English Meadows Cut Out Shoes
If your style tends towards the whimsical, you’ll love these fresh, cute summertime brogues.
With a titchy 3cm heel, they’re as comfy as trainers, but offer a lovely, feminine finish to any summertime outfit. With a floral print, pretty cut out details and soft ribbon laces.
Ted Baker kitten heel ankle boot in Pink
These boots are just so beautiful and, as we live in the UK, there’s a high chance that when we want to go out in the coming weeks and months it will be raining and so it’s sensible to have a small heel option in your wardrobe that isn’t a sandal.
In eye-catching fuchsia, with a pointed toe and a satin upper, these fierce boots will stand out in all the right ways when you’re heading to meet friends.
These shoes are newly available and an online exclusive.
They’re a good choice for those who aren’t ready for a heel of any height, but also don’t want to wear a completely flat shoe as the heel is 1cm.
Available in two colours; light beige and light yellow. The closed toe style also makes them a safe option if you are worried that it might rain while you are out and about again.
Selene Lace Up Kitten Heel Sandal
Well, hellooooooo sexy.
A low-heel doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice being slinky and looking stylish, as the Selene kitten lace up heel ably demonstrates. From eco-fashion brand Reformation, these leather shoes have a thong upper with a wrap around ankle strap, to make you feel extra supported.
Available in three colour-ways, they’re cushiony-soft - but your outfit will look sharp.
Hutton Studded Sandals
Want to look a little rock, a little edgy, but still be able to walk? The Hutton Studded Sandals have you covered.
The stud embellishments are perennially cool, while the sandals themselves are made from smooth leather available in three shades. Buckled straps sit across the arches of your feet and a moulded footbed making them comfortable to wear all day.