I Hate Kitten Heels—but These Pairs Converted Me

Meghan Blalock

Blergh, the kitten heel. Traditionally defined as a stiletto ranging from 1.5 inches to 1.75 inches in height, the footwear has never been on my list of favorite things; in fact, it's consistently landed on quite the opposite list (if you catch my drift). Simply put: I have always hated kitten heels.

You can imagine my horror, then, when I noticed the style "coming back," as we say in the fashion world. From a plethora of F/W 15 runways to just about every major street style star, my low-heeled nightmare started popping up in places I honestly never expected to see it. In trying to come up with words to describe my inherent aversion to the style, I found it difficult to capture the precise reason I despise it so—short of saying I find it aesthetically abhorrent, there wasn't much else that came to mind. Then it struck me.

I suddenly intuited that it wasn't pure aesthetics that revolted me about the shoe style, but rather the meaning I associated with it. There was always something I perceived to be so wretchedly timid about them, like the woman wearing them wasn't brave enough to strap on her razor-thin four-inch heels like any other red-blooded lady. I realized that these lower heels, to me, embodied the mediocrity I try so hard to avoid in my everyday existence, and for that reason they repulsed me. This epiphany inspired me to conduct an experiment.

Since kitten heels are coming back, I thought I'd put forth an earnest effort to see if I can find some pairs I actually am not repulsed by. And perhaps not surprisingly, in my search I stumbled upon quite a few pairs of low heels that communicate timidity's exact opposite: confidence, boldness, and strength. These shoes are anything but shy, despite their humbler stature; in interesting fabrications, colorways, and silhouettes, they strike my fancy as much as any high-heeled pair ever has.

Keep scrolling to see which kitten heels won me over and officially turned me into a convert!

What are your thoughts on the classic style? It's growing on us. Share your opinion in the comments below!

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