High Heels vs. Kitten Heels

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High Heels vs. Kitten Heels

Heels have been a major part of women's fashion for decades. There are many different types of heels and use often determined by the circumstances and wearer. Different types of heels are categorised by their height and width. Both high heels and kitten heels are popular styles today, and are worn in many situations. They can be purchased at brick and mortar stores, specialty stores, and online vendors, such as eBay. While high heels tend to have more health hazards, kitten heels can be too indicative of vintage fashion trends for many. However, many women find high heels to be too uncomfortable or do not like the way they accentuate women's breasts and buttocks in their forced stance. For each person, reasons behind choosing a certain heel may differ. By looking at types of heels, specifically high heels and kitten heels, then looking at the differences between the two, buyers can more easily determine what type of heel is right for them. Whether shopping at a local boutique or scouring eBay for deals on heels, you are sure to find the best shoe for your needs.

Types of Heels

Designers and merchants differentiate types of heels by looking at the height and width of the heel itself. For example, a puppy heel is a square block typically five centimetres in height and width. A wedge can be any height but extends along the entire length of the shoe in an upward direction to lift the heel. A stiletto is at least five centimetres in height and very slim. The point of contact on the ground should be no more than one centimetre in diameter.

High Heels

Though high heels can take the form of a stiletto or a wedge, for example, they are classified by the height of the heel exclusively. High heels can be classified as low, mid, and high. Low high heels are 6.4 centimetres or less in height. Mid-high heels are between 6.4 and 8.9 centimetres in height. "High" high heels are at least 8.9 centimetres in height.

Generally speaking, high heels can be considered any shoe with a heel between 5 and 12.7 centimetres. Shoes that go beyond 15 centimetres are usually for show purposes, as they are incredibly difficult to walk in. While some women have a greater ability to withstand the task of walking in heels, others prefer lower heels or flats.

Many women choose to wear high heels because they are seen as attractive in society. They make a woman appear taller. Her legs also resemble a more slender shape when worn. Not only that, but heels also force many women's buttocks and chests to protrude, making them more attractive and desirable. Some women feel that high heels offer them an element of power because they are more of a presence when they gain height. The clack of heels on a floor can, for some, be a commanding marker of their presence.

Kitten Heels

Kitten heels are short and slender heels, typically no lower than 3.5 centimetres and no higher than 4.75 centimetres. The heel is positioned away from the edge of the shoe, creating a slight curve. Unlike high heels, kitten heels must adhere to a shorter standard. Much of what makes a kitten heel such is the low height.

Adolescents in the 1950s began wearing kitten heels as a way of training for high heels. Since high heels were seen as too sexual for young girls, kitten heels gave these girls a way of expressing their femininity and working their way up to their future high heels. However, due in large part to Audrey Hepburn's fascination with them, by the 1960s kitten heels started being worn by women of all ages. By the end of the 1960s, they fell out of fashion, only to reemerge in the 1980s and again beginning in 2003. Since fashion trends pull from the past, it is no wonder that the kitten heel is popular once again.

Comparing High Heels and Kitten Heels

While there are certain similarities between the two types of shoes in that they are both formal shoes for women, there are many distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from one another. Since kitten heels emerged in the 1950s, they have much more of a retro feeling. People looking for more classic styles of footwear may find kitten heels to be too indicative of a bygone era. Certainly many kitten heel shoes play on that theme, but offering patterns and detailing that looks like it stepped out of the mid-twentieth century.

High heels can have a more classic look to them. Since the heel can be centred in a variety of spots at the base of the shoe, it has more versatility and can look more modern. Certainly, high heels can be styled to look like they were designed in the 1950s, so those looking for a higher heel with a vintage vibe can still look to high heels. The amount of styles found in high heels is greater than with kitten heels, because the industry projects more women wearing heels would want a higher heel than what kitten heels offer.

Since kitten heels are not forcing a terribly irregular body position for a long period of time, they are generally less harmful than high heels. High heels have been scrutinised for their health risks. Not only do they often cause pain when worn for long periods of time, but wearing them can also result in bunions, blisters, corns, hammer toes, Morton's neuroma, and many other permanent physical conditions requiring surgery. Though any time of heel, or shoe for that matter, can cause these ailments, they are much more likely to occur with high heels.

The following table outlines some of the key attributes of high heels vs. kitten heels.

High Heel

Kitten Heel

Between 5 and 12.7 centimetres high

Between 3.5 and 4.75 centimetres in height

Heel can be situated anywhere at the base

Heel is situated in the centre of the heel, creating a curve

Indicative of any time period

Aesthetic is representative of the mid-twentieth Century

Can be more physically damaging

Can be less physically damaging

How to Buy High Heels and Kitten Heels on eBay

Shopping on eBay can be especially beneficial to those people living in areas without a great deal of choice in their area. eBay places vendors from all over in one convenient spot on the internet. This way, they can be easily compared, and you can find the item that they desire more readily.

When searching for an item on eBay, you can browse the categories or search for specific items using keywords. For example, searching for "black kitten heels" can yield many results. You should be sure to note the size of the shoe before making any purchase. Return policies many be available for items that do not fit. Be sure to ask the seller any questions before purchasing the item. They are likely to have more insight into the goods than a typical buyer.

Keeping a budget in mind when shopping for anything is always a good idea, that way you can be happy with your purchase and not feel as though you overpaid for an item. Take into account shipping costs when determining a budget. Most of all, you should have fun and enjoy finding what you have been looking for.


Many women use footwear to express themselves. There are occasions that call for more formal shoes, and heels can be a great option for many women. While high heels are often more readily available and have more styles, they can also be more detrimental to women's health. Hammertoes and bunions are just a few ailments caused by wearing uncomfortable footwear for too long.

This is not to say that people cannot earn blisters through kitten heels, but due to the higher distribution of body weight throughout the foot, it is less likely. Women should listen to their bodies. If something is uncomfortable, it is best left aside. Kitten heels can be a fun way of expressing a vintage aesthetic, and also beneficial dressing up shoes for someone who is a little wobbly on high heels. People should weigh the pros and cons of each style before choosing what they really want in a heel.

High heel|kitten heel|puppy heel|wedge|stiletto

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