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Like It or Not, Kitten Heels Are Cool Now

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Just hear us out.

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A model in a pink suit and kitten heels Photo: Loeil

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Before you say anything, we know that the kitten heel hasn’t had the best rep in a really long (long) time. Until recently, the style originally introduced in the ‘50s as a “trainer heel” for teens has been unanimously considered anti-fashion — the ultimate frumpy symbol of being unwilling (or worse, unable) to commit to a more significant height.

But those days are over, and thanks to brands like J.W. Anderson, Dior, and Céline sending refreshed versions of the style down the runway, you don’t have to just take our word for it. Following in the practical-turned-trendy footsteps of the Birkenstock and all of its comfort-first affiliates, the kitten heel is a comeback not to be slept on.

Rest assured, these aren’t the same shoes your grandma wore, mostly because we’re lightening up just a little on that strict, under-two-inch height qualification of the classic shoe. Even more than a change of heel, you’ll find updates of the style in the form of mules, slingbacks, ankle boots, and more in bright colors, patent shine, croc detailing — the list goes on.

Flip through the gallery below to see 13 of our favorite options available right now, and welcome the kitten heel back with open arms.