When I first came across Charlotte Olympia kitty flats some years ago, I instantly fell in love with them. And let’s face it, as a person completely obsessed with both shoes and cats I stood no chance of being impartial to these feline-faced beauties. They looked stylish, fun and effortlessly glamorous so I knew there and then that, eventually, they would find their way into my shoe collection.

While my love affair with the kitty flats had been going on for quite a while, admittedly, each year I kept wondering whether the trend would eventually dwindle away. After all, only a few styles are capable of standing the test of time and Charlotte Olympia kitty flats always had the air of novelty rather than a timeless classic like, for instance, Chanel ballerinas or Ferragamo’s Varinas. On top of that, as a reasonably prudent shopper I did not want to end up with piles of expensive footwear which no longer had the cool factor. Still, teased by new colours and enchanted by the latest styles I kept succumbing to the temptation of buying yet another pair…

So far, my concerns that kitty flats might become outdated has been proven completely wrong. On the contrary, since the design was first introduced in 2011, the kitty trend had been so in demand that it led to many different iterations of the feline-faced shoes reimagined to embrace not only a vast range of colours, leathers and inspirations for cat faces but also new styles including mules, trainers, house slippers and even baby booties, to name just a few. I guess the love of shoes and cats is timeless and never goes out of fashion!

As it is clear that Charlotte Olympia kitty flats are far more than a seasonal craze, I wanted to share my experiences of these striking shoes with those of you still thinking of buying the first pair and wondering whether they would make a wise fashion investment. As I have been lucky to have in my possession both the classic and the pointy toe version, I will provide feedback with regards to both designs which, hopefully, will be of some use to anyone hesitating between these two styles.

Charlotte Olympia kitty flats in green velvet

Aesthetics

Just by looking at Charlotte Olympia kitty flats there is no doubt that we are dealing with luxury footwear. The quality of these shoes is phenomenal, whether it is the cute cat-face embellishment on the velvet uppers or the coated golden heel, every detail has been lined, finished and polished to absolute perfection. The silky and supple calfskin leather underlining the plush velvet gives the flats an incredibly soft feel justifying, somewhat, the rather extravagant price tag. The toe cap of each shoe is cleverly shaped so its contour resembles kitty ears adding to the charming character of the flats. The edges of the uppers are finished with beautiful gold metallic piping matching the decorative golden heel block. In terms of aesthetics, the shoes are sheer perfection.

Some of my favourite features of kitty flats are hidden underneath. The leather sole of each shoe is adorned with the iconic golden web emblem characteristic of the Charlotte Olympia brand. The emblem is very striking and beautifully crafted, and matched with the colour of the shoes’ heels. The heel itself is 1cm high and coated in golden material (presumably leather) protected by an added outer layer of rubber (0.5cm), altogether 1.5cm in height. To me, the rubber heel is particularly heaven-sent as it makes the shoes very wearable and they do not slip on wet surfaces or smooth pavement slabs.

While the classic version of Charlotte Olympia kitty flats has a rounded toe, the shoes are also available in a pointy toe variety. In the more recent collections, the silhouette of the latter features an asymmetrical half opening which reveals a part of the foot arch. In the earlier versions (like the one shown in this review), there was no cut-out and the flats had the same appearance and foot coverage as the round toe equivalent.  [Back to Menu]

Kitty flats matched with a Chanel bag

Fit and sizing

One of my favourite things about the classic velvet Charlotte Olympia kitty flats is that there is absolutely nothing controversial about their fit and sizing. The shoes run true to size and there is no need to worry about the break-in period, stretching or the shoes being narrow. In that respect, the kitty flats are truly worth the money. Once you have put your paws on them, you can literally just slip them on and off you go, no worries, no fuss.

If you opt for a pair of kitty flats with pointed toe, from my experience these require slightly more work. In terms of fit, they also run true to size and there is no need to make any adjustments up or down. However, as the spiky front is narrow and feels quite tight at first, the flats need stretching before they can be worn for hours without putting pressure on toes. The good news is that the shoes are quite malleable and by virtue of being lined with very soft leather it does not take too long for the toe box to relax.

For anyone interested in dimensions, round toe kitty flats in size 37.5 have the inner sole measuring 24.5cm in length (from the tip of the shoe) and approximately 7.8cm-8cm across in the widest part of the toe box. In the pointy version, the inner sole is also 24.5cm long measured from the tip of the toe with the same width as the round toe kitty flats.

Thinking of buying a pair for warmer days and wondering if Charlotte Olympia kitty mules fit true to size?

Cat with Charlotte Olympia kitty mules
One of my cats, Steven, happily posing next to a pair of kitty mules
Charlotte Olympia kitty mules
In Charlotte Olympia kitty mules I have gone 1/2 size up and they do not look too large

The decision whether to go for the standard fit or half a size up will be a matter of personal taste. Kitty mules run true to size but in most mules there is a tendency for the foot to slip away and the heel “overflowing” a little bit while walking. If you do not mind that, go for your regular size. However, if you prefer for the entire heel of your foot to be enclosed it is best to go half a size up. For my own pair of kitty mules I chose the latter option and gone bigger. Luckily, the shoes do not look too large when worn on the foot when in a resting position. [Back to Menu]

Charlotte Olympia kitty flats

Are kitty flats comfortable?

Charlotte Olympia kitty flats are fabulously comfortable and, so far, all my experiences with the classic round toe version in velvet finish have been overwhelmingly positive. The flats come out of the box and can be worn for hours without causing any rubbing, blisters, or putting pressure on the ball of the foot. Whoever designed the profile and the toe box of the kitty shoes deserves a medal for it is pure perfection! They are, by far, my top choice for days when I need to be on my feet a lot or for long-haul flights because they still feel comfortable even when worn on a slightly swollen foot. I am not sure if the same applies to the kitty flats in patent leather as I have not tried them yet but the round-toe velvet version is simply fantastic.

The pointy Charlotte Olympia kitty flats, once stretched, are also comfortable but the toe box will never be as accommodating as the classic toe version. This is understandable as all pointy shoes tend to feel tighter in the narrow, spikey area. Therefore, to anyone looking for their very first pair of kitty flats I would recommend starting with the round toe style as they are, in my view, a superior option in terms of comfort and usability, and then following up with other designs because, the truth is, the shoes are quite addictive and once pair is never enough😉. [Back to Menu]

Kitty flats

Durability

For the purpose of this section, and in order to shed some light on the aging as well as the wear and tear occurring in Charlotte Olympia kitty flats, I am going to share experiences with a well-worn pair which has been in my collection for about 3.5 years.

Image of the the oldest pair of Charlotte Olympia kitty flats in my collection, also featuring one of my cats, Princess Leah

To be honest, by looking at them it is difficult to believe that the shoes have such a considerable mileage. The velvet is still clean and shiny without any significant stains, scratches or indents. The embroidered cat face remains intact and there are no loose threads affecting the pattern. There are only very minor scratches and scuffs on the golden block heel which has otherwise retained its high shine. The golden piping adorning the upper edges of the flats also remains as good as new with no cracks or discolouration. Overall, the durability of kitty flats vastly exceeded my expectations which only attests to the amazing quality and craftsmanship of these fabulous shoes.

The only area which gives away that the shoes are not brand new is the tip of the toe where the flats came in contact with the ground. In there, along the outer edge, you can detect some residue of dust and discolouration which would have been picked up from the dirt of the pavement.

Close up on the front of well used kitty flats
Fronts of a well-worn pair of Charlotte Olympia kitty flats showing signs of discolouration as well as thinning sole
Heels of a well used pair of kitty flats
Some scratches are visible on heels of a used pair of kitty flats

Naturally, if you opt for a pair of Charlotte Olympia kitty flats in a dark colour, the discolouration should not be much of an issue as it will be less visible.

Another area affected by the wear and tear is the tip of the outer sole which gently wears down with use. To extend their lifespan, after some time the ballerinas will benefit from being re-soled which should protect the velvet fronts and give the shoes a new lease of life.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the longevity of velvet shoes will never be comparable to that of leather equivalents and in order to help them shine for as long as possible they will require some regular TLC. While kitty flats do not come with any specific care instructions, common sense approach should prevail. As such, they should be kept away from rain and mud because they can damage the delicate velvet exterior. If you opt for a lighter colour, they will be more susceptible to dust on the floor or pavements so the shoes may benefit from being gently wiped/brushed to remove any residue but without the use 0f water or chemicals. It is also best to stay away from gravel because it can scratch the delicate golden heel. Other than that, they are there for you to enjoy! [Back to Menu]

Various colours of kitty flats

Are kitty flats a good investment?

As a self-confessed kitty flat addict I can honestly say that these shoes not only constitute a good investment but are, without exaggeration, one of the best shoe investments I have ever made. I know this is quite a statement but 100 per cent true! Aside from being super cute and fabulously comfortable, they have established their position as one of the new classic styles which do not appear to lose their appeal while seasonal trends come and go. They are also stylish and perfect for many occasions, easily paired up with smart as well as casual attire. Not mentioning that they always garner attention and will earn you many compliments because the design is simply adorable.

There is another reason to love Charlotte Olympia kitty flats and that’s the price. While a classic, plain pair without any jewel embellishments will currently set you back £365 (as of 2019), Charlotte Olympia treats us with regular sales which means that it is possible to acquire a pair of these gorgeous shoes at a discount, sometimes 40-50% off the asking price!! As if that was not enough, there have been no significant seasonal price increases, as it is the case with many other brands, so no need to worry about constantly chasing the dream of owning a pair of these luxurious flats. Overall verdict: Pure purrfection!! [Back to Menu]

Photos by Badiu Photography and Unwrapped.Fashion

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