Stilettos vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels: Differences and Comfort

Stilettos vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels

You would like to look stunning on your way out today, won’t you?

But you’ve been confused about what kind of heel to put on. Or, what even are the differences that exist between pumps, stiletto and kitten heels.

It is normal for a modern-day lady to feel that way. Stilettos, pumps, and kitten heels are fashionable. But you wouldn’t want to risk being attractive and beautiful to your comfort.

Therefore, whatever heel you may like to wear, your comfort should be the first criteria to determine your choice.

Stilettos may be stylish; you definitely would want to put them on. But then, the question is, will you be comfortable in them?

So also kitten heels and pumps. Although preferences and choices are different, you would also want to know which is better. So, let us see.

Read Also: 13 Types of Shoes to Wear with Dress

What is a stiletto shoe?

Stilettos vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels

Stiletto heels got its name from the stiletto dagger, a long, slender, and needle-like weapon (knife) which could be used to stab during a fight.

This kind of heel has a pointed end which could be 4 inches long or more. Stiletto heels could be in many forms, but the most distinct feature is its long pointed and thin heel.

It could be platform stiletto — having an added block to the anterior portion of the shoe sole(forefoot) to enhance its balance. Also, it could be an ankle strap.

Many ladies find it difficult to wear shoes with no ankle strap. Stiletto or not, an ankle strap helps grip the shoe firmly to the leg to enhance your movement and prevent pulling, especially when the shoe is undersized.

Read Also: High Heels VS Wedges; Which is More Comfortable?

Stiletto could also be in a slingback form just to make sure that you walk to your destination with a lot more ease.

There are also lots of other forms in which a stiletto can come. One can easily discover that all these forms of stilettos are fashionable but you still need to make your choice and go for which one suits you more.

What is a Kitten Heel?

Stilettos vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels


These kinds of shoes are hard to categorize. Kitten heels are more of flat heels. They could be called heels but they aren’t really heels.

This is because kitten heels are made of very short heels which could be within the inch range of 1.5 — 1.75 (that’s a very short length).

However, most people who find it difficult to walk on high heels and stiletto go for kitten heels.

Read Also: 8 Astonishing Benefits of Wearing High Heels

What shoes are Pumps?

Stiletto vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels

Can I say that a pump is an intermediate between a stiletto and a kitten heel?

Yes, I can.

The most depicted difference between a stiletto and pump is in the shape and size of its heel.

Pumps are not as high as stilettos but not as flat as kitten heels. Its heel is not usually more than an inch, though maybe block or slender heeled.

Moreover, a shoe is called a pump when its toe box is fully present and covered either in a pointed or round shape and its heel is not so long and slender.

This category of shoes is a lot more comfortable because they have a lot of balance. It is fashionable as well.

Nonetheless, the most common disadvantage that comes with pumps is that its closed nature causes bunions in between the toes, especially when worn for a long time.

Read Also: 8 Perfect Types of Shoes to Wear with Rompers

Stiletto vs Pumps vs Kitten Heel: Differences

The differences between these three types of heels lie in their heels. While pump shoes have flat heels of size ranging about 2.5 — 3 inches (6.5 — 7.6cm), a stiletto has a thin and pointed heel, with size ranging from 4 — 10 inches (10 — 25cm).

A kitten heel, however, is a small stiletto. The heel size is about 1.75 — 2 inches (4.5 — 5cm).


You may start to wonder what similarities could hold these heels together. The truth is that there are a lot of similarities as well as differences between them.

1. They all belong to the heels category

Yes, pumps, stiletto, and kitten heels belong to the same category of high-heels. In this sense, their heels are significantly high off the ground, and they make you taller when you wear them.

2. They are fashionable

When the right pair of shoes go with the right outfit, it will leave you in a state of confusion in what choice to make because they all will be admirable.

3. They can come in similar designs

A kitten heel could be a back sling or ankle strap and so could stiletto and pumps. Each could either come as a closed-toe or a peep toe. There is no distinct form they must go through aside from the nature of their heel.

4. None is devoid of discomfort

Get it right, having a small heel as in kitten heels does not guarantee a pain-free experience. So, stiletto shoes and pumps could also cause a lot of discomforts.

Your comfort in these heels depends solely on the way you wear them, and the nature of your legs and feet.

Read Also: 8 Type of Shoes to Wear with a Jumpsuit

Pumps vs Stilettos vs Kitten Heels: Which is more comfortable?

Coming to comfort, pumps have more advantages because its base is a lot more firm than a stiletto, and more fashionable than kitten heels. The nature of pumps makes it more preferable to modern-day working-class women than any other shoe type.

Because of the comfort that accompanies pumps is welcoming, it was majorly worn by court clerks and judicial workers, hence the alternative name given to pumps — Court Heels.

Stilettos vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels

Now, comparing kitten heel and stiletto, it is easier to walk in a kitten heel than in stilettos because of the heel height difference.

So if this ease which kitten heels offer equals comfort, then we can say kitten heels are more comfortable than stilettos.

What does modern-day fashion say about high heeled shoes?

Nowadays, everyone goes for the best. Permit me to say that every lady wants to be “on”.

Stiletto heels are wonderful. They are more aligned with modern-day dressing. Every lady who wants to be admired at a party would go for it.

Its classy nature and design make it easier to find a perfect dress that will match it. When you enter that party hall in a short black gown with a pair of red stiletto heels, you’ll gain that pleasant look and complement from everyone around you.

But careful not to slip off the tiled floor, walking on such a floor in a stiletto could be noisy and dangerous as well.

Read Also: Best 15 Comfortable Shoes for Pregnant Women

Kitten heels are wonderful though the heel size makes it a little confusing. For people who can barely walk on high heels or stiletto, kitten heels are advised

Again, kitten heels are a little old fashioned and are mostly worn by old women; although some young ladies use it too. Looking at it, you’ll say it is a little more comfortable than stiletto heels but it’s not USUALLY so.

Most times, thinking of a dress to go with it could be enough reason to discourage you already. You may begin to consider putting on flat shoes or going for other heeled shoes depending on the occasion.

5 Tips on how to avoid accidents on stiletto heels.

You are ready to be on stiletto no matter the cost. Here are some tips on how to comfortably walk on heels without an accident.

1. Ensure that the footwear is in good condition

A heel with a fault could get into serious trouble. Before going out on heels make sure the heel is all good and not shaky in any way. Ensure preventive maintenance. This is because a faulty heel could easily slip causing a fall

2. Make every step with a lot of consciousness

The first way to avert a stiletto heel accident is to be aware of the danger ahead. Being aware that heels could create some problems, you should be able to make every step with consciousness. Therefore, you will be able to co-ordinate and comport yourself and avoid missing your steps.

Read Also: Does Flat Feet Affect Shoe Size?

3. Avoid strenuous activities while on a heel

You are not supposed to trek or stand for so long on a heel. This could cause pain as time goes on and could finally lead to an accident.

4. Wear the heel of your size

Oversized heels could cause an accident, so avoid them. Undersized heel (tight heel) can also result in an accident

In the same vein, too long a heel could also bring trouble, stay clear from it. To walk comfortably on a heel, it must be fitted and moderate.

5. Maintain a good walking pace

Don’t be too quick with your steps. Be in majestic mode. Walking too fast or slow could expose you to accidents. Don’t run on heels. Avoid being amongst the crowd when on the heel because you either hurt yourself or hurt others.

Health implications of high-heels

Stilettos vs Pumps vs Kitten Heels

Knowing that foot injuries could be so painful and irritating, heels aren’t too good for the feet health-wise. Hence pregnant women should wear these shoes.

Stilettos are always high and pointed and as such could cause a lot of discomfort and injury especially when put on for a long time. Few foot deformities can arise as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes such as:

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1. Hallux valgus

This is a situation in which the big toe deviates laterally at the metaphalangeal joint. When you put on a tight or pointed shoe, the head of the metatarsal may become prominent and begin to rub on the shoe leading to a bunion on the medial side of the big toe.

Stiletto, pumps, and kitten heels could cause this deformity. For this reason, the solution is not to stick to a particular type of shoe but alternate it with other types such as oxfords, flat shoes, and so on.

2. Foot drop

When you are on heels and perhaps you’ve engaged in some strenuous activities like trekking, standing, and so on, you might start to feel pain in your foot or probably discover that you can’t dorsiflex your foot.

This is one of the problems these shoe types could cause. It is therefore advised to go for an open-toed shoe or sandals with a flat sole if you’re going to walk or stand for a long time.

 3. Plantar fasciitis

This is an inflammation of the plantar aponeurosis. This occurs amongst people who do a lot of standing such as female ushers, ladies working in the airport, etc.

They tend to stand on heels for a long time. This may cause their plantar aponeurosis (underneath the heel) to get inflamed (tear).

These amongst others are so e of the health dangers of being on both stiletto heels and as well as kitten heels.

Read Also: 10 Best ASICS for Plantar Fasciitis


Can I wear a stiletto to an interview?

Stiletto shoes are the best fit for night-party shoes. However, pumps and kitten heels are more formal than them.

So, if you are going for an interview, you might want to wear something that will give you that smart look, as well as keep you comfortable and stable. Unfortunately, stilettos can barely offer you those.

Can I wear a stiletto on a plane?

Since air hostesses wear them, why not

So long as you’re comfortable in them, you can go ahead and rock the footwear of your choice (except the authorities state otherwise).

Starting work soon, what kind of shoes should I wear?

There are many occupations in the world today and what you wear depends on what you do. You can’t be a police officer and wear heels to work. If you do that, you might look charming to death but might end up losing your job.

As a medical doctor you need to be comfortable at work, go for shoes such as ballerina flat shoes, oxfords, etc. But on more stress-free days, you can go for kitten heels or block heeled shoes which are not more than 2 inches high.

This also goes for teachers and lecturers, including businessmen. Most importantly, seek your comfort first, beauty can come second.

Being a female banker, receptionist, or manager who works while on-site, you could go for a moderate heel to make sure you’re comfortable and welcoming to customers.

Flat shoes can also be advisable. But for a model or a fashionista who wants to go far, no other shoe type can boost your outfit other than heels, stiletto precisely.

No matter the kind of work you do, go for shoes that make you relaxed and allow you to deliver your services to the fullest.

Imagine being on a tight heel on a stressful workday, everyone around you will be angry because you are sure to transfer the aggression arising from your foot to colleagues and even customers.

The Bottom Line

Life is beautiful with variety and much easier when you know and go for what you want. That which pleases you makes you happy and boosts your potentials is worth fighting for.

The difference may be little but the impact, huge. It is not bad to try a pump heel with that great outfit of yours. The most important factor is your choice, comfort, and happiness which either a kitten heel, pump, or stiletto can give you.

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