Style & Beauty

Kitten Heels Are The Trendy Shoes Walking Right Into Fall 2018

They took over this summer, and they're not going anywhere.
08/08/2018 05:45am ET
Clockwise from left: Miu Miu, Molly Goddard, Acne Studios

Kitten heels were one of the summer’s top footwear trends ― and lucky for your feet, they’re not going anywhere.

There’s been plenty of debate over the years about whether kitten heels are actually stylish, but they’ve proven they have staying power.

The thing about kitten heels ― which are generally lower than 2 inches ― is that they’re way more manageable to walk in, especially for extended periods of time, than 4-inch stilettos. Just ask a doctor.

“From a biomechanical perspective, when you’re walking [in kitten heels] it’s not as stressful on the body,” said New York-based podiatric physician and surgeon Dr. Rebecca Pruthi. “It’s definitely a great alternative to high heels.”

In terms of stability, the typically skinny kitten heel could lead to a little wobbling, especially if you’re not used to wearing any heel at all.

“Obviously a chunky heel is better than a thin heel,” Pruthi said. “The more surface area you have on the ground, the more stability your foot has with the ground. The thinner heels are more unstable, you can slip, especially on the streets of Manhattan ― or anywhere, for that matter.”

Still, in comparison to very high heels, Pruthi said a kitten heel is the better option for optimal comfort.

“If the heel is too high, you may be putting more stress on the ball of your feet,” she said. “It can also throw off the center of your gravity a little bit and put stress on the knees and lower back, but typically, if the heel height is under 2 inches, the problems will be minimized.”

To keep your feet extra happy, Pruthi said it’s always a good idea to pack a pair of comfortable shoes in your bag so you can give your feet a break. (Perhaps a pair of ugly sneakers would be good?)

If you’re ready to embrace kitten heels, keep scrolling to see the trend on the runways and in real life ― and find out where to get them for yourself:

On The Runway
Victor VIRGILE via Getty Images
Kitten heels during the Christian Dior Haute Couture spring/summer 2018 show on Jan. 22.
Peter White via Getty Images
Glossy kitten heels on the runway during the Givenchy Haute Couture fall/winter 2018/2019 show on July 1.
Peter White via Getty Images
Acne Studios sent models down the runway in kitten heels during the brand's spring/summer 2019 show on July 1.
Peter White via Getty Images
These studded kitten heel boots were seen at the Sonia Rykiel fall/winter 2018/2019 show on March 3 during Paris Fashion Week.
Victor VIRGILE via Getty Images
Christopher Kane also sent models down the runway in kitten heels for his fall/winter 2018/2019 fashion show on Feb. 19 during London Fashion Week.
Victor VIRGILE via Getty Images
These strappy kitten heel sandals are from Molly Goddard's fall/winter 2018/2019 show on Feb. 17.
Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images
Kitten heels on the runway during the Miu Miu spring/summer 2018 show on Oct. 3 as part of Paris Fashion Week.
In Real Life

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Get Them For Yourself
Sam Edelman
The Ugly Sneaker Trend 2018