Kitten Heels Are Ugly

Why wear a kitten heel when you can wear a regular heel, no heels, sandals, those free foam flip flops they give you at the nail salon, or nothing at all?


Various rumblings across the internet have declared that the kitten heel is back, dredged up from its peaceful grave and here to wreck havoc once again. Racked announced the return of the kitten heel in February, saying that because of their modern styling, they’re definitely no longer the staid, boring, and uniquely hideous confections you’d see paired with a sensible skirt suit on a Southern senator’s wife in 1986 or—even worse—adorning the feet of Carrie Bradshaw in an oft-watched episode of Sex and the City. I’m willing to accept its return as a part of fashion’s cyclical nature, but I’m certainly not willing to accept this explanation, courtesy the Business of Fashion:

The current revival of the mid heel in all its forms, however, is about more than a shift in cyclical tends. In Trump’s America, with women’s rights under attack, consumers are less and less interested in impossibly high footwear that restricts their movement. They also refuse to sacrifice practicality for style.

Nothing about the return of kitten heels has anything to do with Trump’s America. The argument here, of course, is that kitten heels are more comfortable than regular, taller heels, and therefore are more accessible to those who value comfort. Also distressing is the tenuous connection between high heels and a woman’s need to run. Kitten heels aren’t somehow more comfortable because they’re shorter and stubbier than a regular-ass high heel. The twist? They’re still heels! If you don’t believe me, please try the following experiment.

Walk yourself to the nearest fast fashion retailer of your choice and shove your foot in a kitten heel. Hold onto your bag and try to run as if the Babadook dressed as Pennywise is chasing you. Are you running faster? Have you turned into freaking Usain Bolt? Do you feel the wind in your hair? Are your rights as a woman now less under attack because you’re slightly more comfortable but your bunions are still smarting because the shoes you’re wearing on your feet are just truncated heels? This is how we #resist, ladies!! Kitten heels for empowerment! Block heeled sandals and a low-heeled mule will keep Donald Trump’s laws off your fucking body!

Balancing all of your body weight on what is essentially a Vienna sausage attached to a fucking foot coffin that has the same contours as a regular heel isn’t “easier” or “more comfortable.” At least with a regular pair of heels, you know what you’re in for. Blood will pour forth from the shoe at the end of the night when you finally release your feet from their prison, but you’ll be tooted up like a car at the mechanic at the formal event of your choice. Kitten heels are deceptive, but they hurt just as much as real heels and are hideous, to boot. Ignore this “trend.” Let it die in peace.

Senior Writer, Jezebel



Clearly, public presentations are not part of your regular repertoire, because in a pantsuit, you NEVER wear flats unless you’re pretty tall. The proportions get janky, at least for people like me that are above average height but still manage to have short, stocky legs. The 3.5 inchers I normally wear don’t work when you’re standing for two hours, unmoving, in front of people that can see you fidget and will judge you for it.

Kitten heels help pants look like they’re hitting the proper length without excessive tailoring. And certain brands are SUPER comfy. They’re not cheap, but Cole Haan kitten heels have Nike Air insoles and feel like you’re wearing tennis shoes. I’ve ran around in them for 15 hours straight and felt fine.