Tall Boots for Wide Calves

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Boots are hot this season. Pulled over skinny jeans, matched with wool and denim skirts, paired with gauchos, it seems that a pair of tall boots is a necessity for any woman’s wardrobe.

What do you do when your calves aren’t slim? A childhood of playing soccer, a more zaftig figure than most models, a tall woman with proportional appendages, whatever the reason, purchasing boots when you have larger legs can be very frustrating.

Most knee-high boots in stores have a 14” or 15” circumference of the widest part of the boot shaft. Before you go shopping, take a tape measure to the widest part of your calf. You can buy boots that are a half-inch smaller than your measurement because leather stretches and many styles have elastic gussets.

Many chain brands like Naturalizer, Eddie Bauer, Ann Taylor Loft and J. Crew offer extended-calf variations of their popular styles. Do check the size, for many brands consider larger calves to only be a half to full inch larger. This may be all you need for comfort, or you may require more space.

Wide Widths may not be the most elegant name of a website, but the collection on this site is amazing. They explain the sizes of the boots and give you hints when you should go up or down a size. The customer service is excellent – if you have to call for assistance or for exchange/return approval, you will speak to a very knowledgeable and passionate salesperson who will offer alternatives based on your style, lifestyle and size.

Wide Calf Boots has a lot of the same styles as Wide Widths, but a few new styles, such as cowboy boots. They separate their boots by style and like Wide Widths, they have a link to wide width shoes too.

Torrid is a brand that sells trendy clothing in larger sizes. They have a great selection of reasonably priced boots as well. Though the boots may be faux leather, they are well made, stylish and look more expensive than their ticket price. This is a great site to visit if you are looking for a more funky/trendy style of boot. They do not have extra-large calf sizes, but their standard size is larger than many of the “extended-calf” sizes found at the stores above.

Silhouettes is also a company that sells plus-size clothing, and larger-calf boots. They carry a variety of brand names and styles. Be warned – if you order from them you will be inundated with catalogs from them and every other plus size clothing brand in your mailbox for the rest of eternity (or until you call and beg them to be taken off their mailing list)

LAMESURMENTFORMLooking for biker boots, harness boots or riding boots to fit your calf size? Check out Friedson Bros. Their prices aren’t cheap, but the quality is impeccable and they will custom make your boots to fit you perfectly. The price may make you balk, but a well-made boot should last you for decades if you care for them properly. Friedson Bros. offers a measuring chart to fill out to ensure the boot has the correct fit.

Once you have a pair of boots that you love and love your calves, how do you know they are a good fit?

  • They should not gape at the top. Legs should not be swimming in the shaft.
  • They should not dig into the leg. There is nothing more unflattering than your knee pouring out of the top of the boot like a split sausage casing.
  • They should not dig into the back of the knee. Sit down in your boots. Do they hit so high that they cut into the back of the knee? If so, return them and find a shorter style.
  • Where on the calf do they hit? Like skirts, if your boot hits at the widest part of the calf, it will make your legs look even bigger. There is no point in investing in tall boots when they do not look good on your figure.

And how should you store your boots?

  • Either store them back in their box or standing straight up. Use packing paper to stuff the shafts and maintain good shape
  • Use proper leather cleaners and protectors for your boots. Caring for these boots properly will have them last for years.
  • Invest in non-skid pads for the soles. Tall boots are popular because they can keep your legs warm in the colder months. You won’t be warm if you slip and fall on the ice and snow.
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  1. I’ve ordered some boots from Wide Widths.com and the shaft was as wide as they said it would be, but the problem that I have encountered is that they are too wide around my ankles and lower calf. Stretching may be a possible option, but Does anyone know a way around this problem?

  2. Sometimes it works, but often it does not and all you end up is slipping at the heels. This would be best tried on at the store and walking around quite a lot. Shop later int he day when your feet and ankles are at their widest.

  3. Does going up one size help at all? I am desperately looking for 9″ (shorter) PINK cowboy boots but they ONLY come in regular width. I wonder if going up one size and using a shoe tree will help? MY calves are not wide at all but my ankle swell to 11″ on bad days.

  4. Honestly, most women looking for wider calf boots aren’t looking for a tiny bit of room that can be done by stretching or adding an elastic gusset. I know myself I have an 18″ calf and most boots are lucky to be a 16″ shaft (even if they claim more). So that would be a whole different cut and look of boot if I took them to a cobbler. And I have taken a pair to a cobbler and found I have to pay double to get them modified – not very fair or worth it.

    I have recently ordered a pair from Duo Boots (http://duoboots.com/) and will let you all know what I think!

  5. Ladies,

    You can also have the boot shaft stretched by a local cobbler. They can also add additional leather or tonal color elastic on the inside calf. So, you don’t ALWAYS have to settle for a style you don’t like.

  6. I got a pair of wide calf boots from http://www.WideWidths.com last week and I am waiting for my second one in brown to arrive. Who would have ever thought I’d be able to find a pair of boots to fit my wide calves! When you go to other sites, you get sick of wasting time to find out they have nothing at all to fit you and this place only sells wide calf boots! This a Great site! Check it out!

  7. I was in Milan in October, and I saw many stylish women wearing tall boots with finely tailored capri pants and fitted jackets. I haven’t seen anyone back in the U.S. wearing this look and making it work, though.

  8. Interesting about the capris over tall boots thing. I never noticed that in the US (but I’ve been in TX for the past two years.) Here in Eastern France, it is the norm. Almost all women, young and old at some point wear some version of it here. At first I wondered why, b/c like I said, I’d never seen it in the states, however I think the biggest reason is to keep their pants from getting wet. But people also do other weird things here.

    Anyway, keep it up. I enjoy your blog.

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