The Types of Heels That Rise to Any Occasion

The styles that will rise to any occasion.

Photo of different types of heels
(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, our guide to the types of heels to get re-acquainted with.

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.

Photo of kitten heels

(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair)

Photo of kitten heels

(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair)

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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.

Photo of red platform heels

(Image credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Photo of platform heels

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

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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 Pump heel

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Photo of Pump heel

(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

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Photo of diffrent types of shoes

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

Sara Holzman is the Fashion Editor 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.