The kitten heel’s purr is heard once again

Over the last couple of years, heel heights have been on the rise. The heel slowly rose to a height of 10-12cm, before gigantic platforms started being added by designers to beat the rest, in a competition to see who could make the highest heel. The late Alexander McQueen seems to have won that competition in late 2009, with the introduction of what was dubbed the ‘armadillo’ heel. A staggering 18cm (12 inches) in height, it’s any wonder how the poor models who walked for him made it down the runway without breaking anything.

My grandmother continually remarks how ridiculously high the heels had become. And when I’m around her I’m usually only walking around in 8.5-10.5cm (3-4 inches) heels. I’ve been in love with some of the gorgeous 12cm platforms available for a while, but until the last few months I’ve never really been keen on them. My aversion of the 12cm heel was due to a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I had issues with walking in a platform. All the shoes I owned that contained a platform, I couldn’t walk properly in. I seemed to need to have some part of my foot touching the ground. Or so I managed to convince myself.

The other reason I avoided a 12cm shoe with a platform was due to everyone else who wore them. These girls would totter through the nightclub strip, holding onto their male counterparts, often falling in the many cracks and grooves of the street, and it was clear as day to anyone watching that while the heel height gave them a very sexy leg line – they could by no means, gracefully walk in them. Because I can’t be bothered with modesty, I will admit I have worked out how to walk with a fair amount of coordination and grace in heels. Although, this could be attributed to the fact I have 15 years of ballet under my belt; therefore, was taught to be stable on the balls of my feet from a young age. Still, I choose to avoid 12cm heels until very recently, for fear that 1 too many drinks would make me look like an idiot stumbling around in heels that are clearly too high.

However, I recently stumbled (not literally) across a cute pair of wooden platforms by Australian brand, Natasha, that were on sale at work and the heel height wasn’t actually very high at all – if you don’t include the platform it’s only a 9cm heel. So I started wear them to work and after a few ankle-rolling-incidents, I had managed to find a way to walk in a platform. This then lead to the purchase of a pair of very cute Tony Bianco black suede heels with an in-built platform for the races, which I also worked out how to walk in over the past weekend. But while I have mastered the art of the 12cm heel with a platform, I was more than pleased when I saw the number of smaller heels in designers latest collections at fashion week this year.

The kitten heel and the mid-height heel have both managed to make a comeback. Beautifully designed and ridiculously comfy, the kitten heel came about in the 1950’s as an alternative for young girls who would otherwise be frowned upon for wearing high heels. No more than 7cm in height, the heel commonly has a stiletto heel and a pointed toe. Mid-height heels are around the 7-8cm mark. The mid-height heel was the more common of the two at fashion week. They’re elegant and a hot little number look for spring!

If you want to try one of these runway looks, Christian Louboutin has some gorgeous leopard -print wedges at the moment, with a heel height of 7cm. And trust me ladies, even a change from a 8.5cm heel to a 7cm makes a huge difference. 7cm heels are amazing! Not only can you stand in them all day (I tried it at work, running around in my little retail store, it was like wearing flats), but they give you just the right amount of added height. In fact, if you check out you’ll notice he has quite the collection of the 7cm heel. Other designers bringing sexy back with the mid-height heel are Lanvin, Marni, Valentino and more.

But at the moment, small heels at the moment are lacking in supply. Especially in Australia. And if you do happen to stumble across an abundance somewhere, chances are they will be for the older market and unattractive, boring designs. But since they have only just hit the catwalk at fashion week’s around the globe, it could be a while before they hit the market. Especially Australia, who are a season behind the rest of the world in fashion. Therefore, I’m expecting not to see any kitten and mid-height heels in my city for a solid year or two. In the mean time, keep searching for some cute heels that won’t break your neck or back and don’t forget it’s not the high of the heel but how you wear them that counts!