The Types of Heels That Rise to Any Occasion

The styles you'll never grow tired of.

Photo of different types of heels from Fendi
(Image credit: Allie Holloway)

Just a year ago, many of us were ready to banish high heels from our lives completely. But as we warm up to fashion again, we're ready ready to trade our slippers for something sky-high. Whether you prefer a demure kitten heel or want to add height with a stacked platform style, follow our guide to the types of heels to get re-acquainted with. With so many options on the market there's really something for everyone. Whether you're headed to a wedding or out for dinner with the gals, details like feminine bows and florals will boost your look and your attitude. For those of us back to the office, smaller heel heights adorned with hardware and smart fabrics, like linen and leather, and totally boardroom-approved. Make room in your shoe wardrobe.

Kitten Heels

Defined by its shorter stiletto-style heel—usually around one inch high—kitten heels are not just for heel trainees. The slightly retro, undeniably chic heel height is optimal for high-heel pros, and they're suited for both work and play.

Katerina Evangelinou wears Elizabetta Franchi shoes

(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair)

Alexandra Lapp is seen wearing white Bottega Veneta shoes

(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair)

Shop Our Favorite Kitten Heels

Platform Heels

While platforms were once used to add height to Greek thespians performing onstage in 220 B.C.—a higher heel height equaled higher seniority—today's stacked heel options can be worn with far less drama.

Guest arrives in red platforms during Milan Fashion Week

(Image credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Geraldine Boublil is seen wearing platform sandals outside Miu Miu

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Shop Our Favorite Platform Heels

Pumps

Known for their closed-toe makeup and a one-inch-or-higher heel, pumps are a classic choice with modern-day iterations that come in punchy colors and lively prints.

Photo of zebra heel pump boot on the street

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Photographer and Model Candice Lake wears Balenciaga pumps

(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

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Photo of diffrent types of shoes

(Image credit: Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)
Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to.