They're back - heels you can actually walk in

  • Of all the Nineties trends making a comeback, I’m cheering loudest for the revival of the kitten heel. What is there not to love?

    It hits that brilliant sweet spot where pretty meets practical. It’s a shoe that’s chic enough to take on a night out, while still letting you dance. It’s smart enough to wear to work, without being hell if you have to stand on the commute. And crucially, it’s a heel that’s casual enough to wear with your jeans.

    While some people remain sceptical, the fashion world has spoken and heavyweight brands such as Dior, Gucci and Prada have led the charge for a rediscovery of the tiny, barely-there heel.

    Why now? Perhaps it is fashion’s general love of getting nostalgic and, alarmingly, the Nineties is far enough back in time for us to review it fondly.

    Or it could just be that designers have realised that, if we’re going to pay the eye-watering sums they’d like us to on a pair of shoes, the least they can do is make some we can actually walk in.

    There are some for whom the kitten heel will always signify slightly straight-laced safety; you can’t be the long-term favourite style of our blue-stocking Prime Minister, Theresa May, and totally dodge that bullet.

    Neither a chunky, fashion-forward flat nor a sky-high sexed-up stiletto, kitten heels can look a bit buttoned up.

    But I’d argue that this time round, they’ve been given a punk-over. Designers have reimagined the prim heel with all manner of embellishments.

    British designer J.W. Anderson has brought the look full circle, replacing heels with shiny metallic discs and thus creating the most Instagrammed shoe of the season.

    At Milan Fashion Week, the front row’s ubiquitous, deliberately ugly flats of last season have been deftly replaced by the style.

    I watched in amazement at Gucci’s flagship store as fashionistas queued up to try on the studded leather pumps, with a kitten heel carved out of bamboo.

    And if you didn’t buy quick enough, there was a pack of rabid women ready to snatch them out of your hands.

    I was quick off the mark, I confess, but a woman needs more than one pair of kitten heels. I’m very taken with an orange pair, £25, from ASOS (asos). They remind me of the style made popular by Celine — part way between a court shoe and an ankle boot. From experience, a pointy toe is made more bearable by going up a half-size and adding an insole if necessary. Your toes will thank you.

    For the less daring, the silver metallic pair by Michael Kors, (£110, farfetch) are dreamy. You can walk in them and they will go with everything you own.

    On the High Street, you can follow that Gucci lead of jazzing up your petite heel by looking for fun detail.

    Of course, you can’t beat a hard-working pair of office kitten heels in black and the sleek, black Twiggy style, £225, from Russell & Bromley in a snakeskin finish more than do the job.

    Yes, I love this trend and I hope it endures. The only thing I’d change is the name — too cutesy by far for such a cool, hard-working shoe.Read more at: | plus size formal dresses australia