Little girls no longer have to wait for their teen years to act grown up now that designers are making heels for children. And amazingly parents are buying them.
Michael Kors has unveiled the Keely Wedge in US sizes 1-5 youth which correlates on the size chart for girls aged between six and ten years old.
The brown boho-style espadrille has three-inch heels and is encrusted with rhinestones. It’s one of a collection of heels for girls from the designer that are available to buy from online shoe and apparel shop Zappos.com priced between £34 ($50) and £47 ($74).
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After Suri Cruise was seen wearing a pair of gold child-sized kitten heels three years ago, there has been a running debate both online and in parenting magazines as to whether wearing heels is suitable for a child.
At the time, experts explained why high heeled shoes for kids were a health risk. “The fact children can wear these is worrying,” said podiatrist Gregor McCoshim. “Any heel above 2cm increases the risk of twisting an ankle. Wearing them can cause strains in the back which is a potential problem for their growth and development.”
But despite the argument, and warnings from podiatrists, it seems heels for little girls outside the dress-up box are becoming increasingly popular.
One review for a pair of Micheal Kors wedges read: “So cute my child saw theme and as soon as possible she threw off her shoes and started strutting it. She was so cute. I bought them she would not take them off... But cost a lot of money!” [sic]
Another young reviewer added: “These shoes are so cute. Unfortunately my mom said that i cannot get them as I am not allowed to wear heels.” [sic]
Michael Kors isn’t the first designer to market heels to a younger generation. The Jessica Simpson Kids and Steve Madden Kids range also make heels for girls.
In 2010, high street store New Look was slammed by parents for selling a range of high heels starting at size one – about the shoe size of an average eight-year-old – including a pair of £16 dark blue platforms with a 3.5 inch heel.
Justine Roberts, of the parenting website Mumsnet, called for the shoes to be withdrawn from sale, describing them as “totally inappropriate for an eight-year-old.”
The high heels have been compared to other products that are said to be sexualising girls too young, including a first make-up kit for girls of five, padded bras and a toddler t-shirt from Primark emblazoned with the slogan 'Future WAG'.
Would you let your six year old wear heels?