How to walk quietly in kitten heels
September 6, 2012 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Meow! How do you walk quietly in kitten heels? Something like this or this? Is it a trick of sizing? Of walking a little differently? This would be my go-to style of heel for many occasions... if I can hide the slap-clack slap-clack sound which is a bit too much like $2 Walmart flip-flops.
posted by whatzit to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What are you walking on? Some people find the sound of heels part of "the package." I've found that wearing kitten heels that have sling backs give me more control, and thus less noise when I think about it. You can also try not putting weight on your heels, so walk on the balls of your feet and only use the heels for balance, but that takes strange muscles and walking style and may tire your out quickly.
posted by ethidda at 1:29 PM on September 6, 2012

Switching to slingbacks (not mules) would help with the noise. You could try putting one of those no-slip, adhesive pads on the foot bed, but I can't imagine that would work for very long.

For what it's worth, I find mules really, really hard to walk in, and kitten heels are also quite difficult. I can rock 5" heels pretty easily, but your go-to style is a toughie.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 1:36 PM on September 6, 2012

It's not you, it's the hard soles of the shoes. Cobblers or shoe repair places can apparantly line the hard heel and the point with rubber. I've been too lazy to try this with my loud heels.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on September 6, 2012

Response by poster: Good question (then I'll butt out after clarifying): the noise of heel on floor (hard tile or concrete usually) is fine. It is the foot-shoe slap that bothers me. In a step, the toes are the last to leave the ground. The foot is bent forward already, and the shoe separates from the foot. As the leg swings forward, the shoe catches up, and slap! Then the shoe hits the floor, but that noise isn't the annoying one.
posted by whatzit at 1:38 PM on September 6, 2012

You can get the tip of the heel replaced with a rubber (I prefer Vibram) by a cobbler, which will soften the sound when it strikes the floor.
posted by violetk at 1:39 PM on September 6, 2012

If your shoes are sliding off your heel and separating from your foot, they're not fitted properly—it sounds like your shoes are too big. I used to wear kitten heels all the time and this should not be a problem.
posted by violetk at 1:41 PM on September 6, 2012

whatzit: Yeah, get a slingback. It's not actually more work to put on compared to mules. I have this pair of Cole Haans and absolutely love them.
posted by ethidda at 1:45 PM on September 6, 2012

oh, nevermind what i said. i didn't see that you are actually talking about sandals/slides with kitten heels.
posted by violetk at 1:46 PM on September 6, 2012

Oh yeah, I have that problem even with slingbacks, if they're poorly fitted. It takes a little experimentation, and I'm not wearing mules right now so it's hard to remember what I do, but I think I pick my foot more up than forward at first, so the heel comes with the rest of my foot. I also take smaller steps. I've also read that suede insoles stick to your foot a little better than artificial or leather.

But I think there's always going to be a little bit of a slapping sound with backless shoes.
posted by muddgirl at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2012

Best answer: I have a pair that I wear occasionally, and they're totally not my normal style of shoe - but they're surprisingly comfortable so I figured I'd give them a go once when I was hanging out with some of my friends who are, on average, much better-dressed than me. My shoes would not shut up - the absolute worst was trying to go down stairs, accompanied by a horrendous bangling noise like an elephant with a hammer. I felt like such a moron! Then I was out with one of the more fashionable of these ladies on a night she was wearing similar shoes, and she went banging down a staircase like nobody's business. I was shocked and delighted, and she seemd kind of confused when I tried to explain that the noise had kept me from wearing mine. Apparently, that's just the way these shoes are.
posted by aimedwander at 2:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [7 favorites]

Best answer: You can minimize the slap sound a little by flexing your toes as you pick your foot up (curling your toes pushes the front of the shoe down and levers the back of the shoe up, if that makes sense). But it's tiring if you're walking much. It might also help if you're wearing hose (obviously that doesn't work with the shoes pictured here). If you're barefoot, possibly a little baby powder on your foot would help (I'm imagining that moist skin on your feet would make the sound louder, but this could also backfire if it makes your foot more slippery).
posted by pompelmo at 2:23 PM on September 6, 2012

Best answer: Anything backless, or too loose in the heel, will be clacky or slappy when you walk. Even flats - I know this from clattery embarrassing inconvenient experience. Pumps, slingbacks, or anything with a strap will be way better.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:24 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

these shoe inserts have a nice soft fabric surface, and adhere to the inside of your shoe - the fabric may help deaden the sound. You may need to trim them a bit to accommodate the between-the-toe strap, but at least you don't have to replace shoes that you already own.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:26 PM on September 6, 2012

Absolutely agree with violetk. Find a good cobbler, and good is defined by that they know exactly how to modify your shoes to your desired performance.

It's been a dying art in Canada; my dad was one for a number of years - non-union old-school apprenticeship and everything - before selling the business to pursue a previous vocation that he loved. The buyer blew off the offered apprenticeship and just wanted "training."

Maybe the art its still surviving on the continent?

Vime's Theory of Economic Injustice is an awesome witticism only if there are people who can still make a living repairing shoes/boots.

The business that dad sold - folded in about a year after being sold despite having been profitable for years.
posted by porpoise at 10:34 PM on September 6, 2012

"Shoemaker" is also another term for cobbler and shoe repair. Maybe there are also local terms.
posted by porpoise at 10:35 PM on September 6, 2012

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