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Kitten Heel Wedding Shoes

Updated on October 8, 2014

Holly Golightly Goes Bridal: Kitten heel bridal shoes are perfectly pretty for the big day

As a passionate shoe lover with a strong romantic streak, I'm thrilled to see kitten heel bridal shoes coming into vogue. Demure but never dowdy, kitten heels are a class act. I paired them with my late-1930s wedding dress, but they work with many gown designs. These short, slender, gently curving heels are a little bit retro, but in today's styles also fresh and modern. And who better to take a style cue from on your wedding day than the divine Audrey Hepburn, who popularized the kitten heel in the early '60s? Here, a roundup of kitten heel wedding shoes with miles of style.

peep toe

Touch Ups Women's Abby Pump,White,7.5 M
Touch Ups Women's Abby Pump,White,7.5 M

The cut-out instep of this shoe gives you a bit of d'Orsay style but retains some structure through a closed, more pump-like approach on the other side. The white satin version is also dyeable. (While you can DIY, I'd recommending visiting a cobbler for this, at least for advice.)

NINA Women's Culver, Ivory Satin, 8 M US
NINA Women's Culver, Ivory Satin, 8 M US

A happy owner of some royal-purple satin Ninas that always draw compliments, I'm a huge fan of the way this label delivers beautiful special-occasion shoes at modest prices. Frankly, they always look pricier than they are.

Besides this classic ivory, the Culver comes in six other colors, including vibrant brights (sunny yellow for a playful bride? fire-engine red if you considered that statement for your gown but chickened out? kelly green to honor an Irish heritage?) plus a rich navy that would make a gorgeous "something blue."

Nina Women's Crista Peep-Toe Sandal,Ivory Luster Satin,7 M US
Nina Women's Crista Peep-Toe Sandal,Ivory Luster Satin,7 M US

This second Nina pick is available in six darker neutral and jewel tones as well as this gleaming ivory. The something-blue options here include navy and an "azul" shade that falls somewhere between navy and cobalt. And the dark red would be beautiful for a Christmas wedding.


Introduced in the 1950s as a dressy but modest option for young teens headed for formal dances -- for a while, they even carried the unflattering moniker "trainer heels" -- kitten-heel shoes caught on with all ages in the following decade. The classic kitten height is 1.5 to 1.75" -- but in the context of today's towering stilletos, the term "kitten heel" has come to include anything up to about 2.5 inches.

closed toe

Bella Vita Women's Geyser Ii Pump,Silver Metallic,6 W US
Bella Vita Women's Geyser Ii Pump,Silver Metallic,6 W US

Not that this matters much underneath a sweeping floor-length gown, but pointed-toe shoes elongate the leg like crazy, so that's a plus if you ever intend to trot your wedding shoes out ;) after the big day. These beauties are also offered in black patent and a pretty bronze.


Modern-day inspiration...

"Simultaneously Puritanical and vaguely sexy," said the Huffington Post about kitten heels as worn (consistently, and often in playful colors) by Michelle Obama. To me, that sounds just about right for a day that -- for most of us -- combines sacred ritual with romantic reverie.

sandals & slides

David Tate Women's Rosette Evening Sandal,Silver Satin,12 M US
David Tate Women's Rosette Evening Sandal,Silver Satin,12 M US

I love the elegant restraint here, with just one one little jewel adorning this strappy bridal sandal.

Touch Ups Women's Tiffany Slide
Touch Ups Women's Tiffany Slide

If you want a barely-there look, this could be a winning choice. One reviewer warns you'll look "like a Disney princess" (ouch), but who knows? That may not be a bad thing on your wedding day. (If there's ever a time to channel Disney princesses...)

J.Renee Women's Accent Slingback Pump,White,7 N US
J.Renee Women's Accent Slingback Pump,White,7 N US

White, beige and "light gray" are all viable options here, depending on the shade of your gown. Two things that make this shoe special: the gorgeous, statement-making satin double rosette and a wonderfully stable, chunky (by kitten standards) heel. The customer images -- including one with a wedding gown -- give you a better idea of this shoe's beauty

Touch Ups Women's Erin Slide,Silver,9 M
Touch Ups Women's Erin Slide,Silver,9 M

I am a sucker for small, chic bows, and the Erin slide delivers big time. You'll want a pedicure for this one! In silver or gold.


considering color?

ElegantPark EP2022 Women's Peep Toe Low Heels Rhinestones Bowknot Satin Wedding Bridal Pumps Shoes Pink US 8
ElegantPark EP2022 Women's Peep Toe Low Heels Rhinestones Bowknot Satin Wedding Bridal Pumps Shoes Pink US 8

My top pick for nontraditional-colored bridal shoes would be the Nina Culver (shown second on this page), if only for its range of color options. But I also love the rosy pink and true-blue cobalt versions of this sweet little shoe.


~~ poll! ~~

Do you envision wearing your wedding shoes again, after the big day?

See results


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    • verymary profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Chicago area

      @kristalulabelle: my brother-in-law & his wife are essentially the same height & make a lovely couple! but yes, I think she wore kitten heels or maybe even flats :) congrats on your upcoming nuptials!

    • kristalulabelle profile image


      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great lens! I am definitely looking for a kitten heel for my wedding because, groom to be is only a couple inches taller than me and I don't want to tower over him... :) I'm going to have to Pin a few of these pairs of shoes on my Pinterest page. Thanks for a job well done.


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