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As someone with solid legs, I know it’s hard to find stylish wide calf boots. Shoe brands seem to be of the same school as many plus size designers – make it big and make it blingy. Why are so many wide calf boots ugly? Too many buckles, studs, weird finishes, fringe, ruching, and some of the wonkiest looking heels. Well my fellow wide-calfed friends, I won’t let you go around town looking like a mess. Below are my picks of the most stylish wide calf boots available (and when I say wide calf, we’re talking a minimum of a 17” circumference).
Wide Calf Over the Knee Boots
What started as a trend has become a classic. The over the knee boot, whether heeled leather or flat suede is a great way to add style as well as warmth to your wardrobe this fall and winter.
- Journee Collection ‘Magic Wide Calf Over the Knee Boot’ – Made with a hidden platform, this suede heeled over the knee boot is perfect for those looking to make a statement. Available in two colors, the boot has a drawstring at the top of the shaft to customize the fit and ensure they stay up. They would be so chic with ponte leggings and a slouchy oversized cashmere sweater.
- Duo Boots ‘Fernworth’ – I love the sleekness of this suede over the knee boot. This is a luxury boot made of soft kid leather with a burgundy leather lining. With a low block heel and pointed toe, this is the kind of boot that elevates leggings and a sweater into fashion territory. Available in two colors, up to a size 10 and 50cm calf width.
- Marc Fisher ‘Elaine’ – A lot of over the knee boots are trendy and focus on sex appeal. These are the most classic and relaxed OTKs I’ve seen that are also quite stylish. Not only that, but they also get rave reviews for comfort and fit. Three colors of suede available, I’m partial to the taupe which would add elegance to wintry neutrals and look so chic against denim.
- Duo Boots ‘Harridge’ – I love how this boot is elegant and classic but has a touch of a biker edge. These would look so chic this season with a plaid boyfriend blazer and your favorite jeans. The almond toe keeps these boots from looking too tough and could also make them a great choice under dresses this winter.
- Sole Society ‘Tiff' – In a chic pale mushroom suede, this flat over the knee boot will have you dreaming of ski chalets and mugs of cocoa. I can totally see them with a Fair Isle sweater or paired with a puffy parka.
Flat Wide Calf Boots
For weekends and just for comfort and walkability, these are stylish wide calf boots that have a very low to no heel.
- MeToo ‘Kody’ – In black or taupe suede, this tall boot will look at home with skirts as well as your favorite skinny jeans. There’s a hidden toggle inside to adjust the shaft from a classic knee-high boot to a slouchy style. With memory foam insoles and rubber traction outsoles, these are boots that will be a welcome addition to your next vacation or just for your office commute.
- Easy Street ‘Quinn’ – For those who find most wide calf boots to still be too narrow in the shaft, these classic riding boots are for you. Available in three colors and with a nice low walkable heel height, this boot gets positive reviews for comfort and fit (the shaft is over 19” wide).
- Poppy Barley ‘City Boot' – This is a classic boot that comes in three timeless colors, and the black is water resistant! Poppy Barley lets you choose your calf size, shaft height, and shoe width for a custom fit.
- Simply Be ‘Sienna’ – A stretchy faux suede flat boot that pulls up over your knees, this boot is free of funky adornments that make similar boots look cheap or dated. These are available in four different calf widths and are a perfect way to add a layer of warmth under skirts or over leggings and skinny jeans.
- The Bootmakers ‘Zara' – This is the kind of boot that is perfect for travel. Sleek, sophisticated, a sturdy flexible sole for comfort, it will go with everything while keeping you warm and dry. They offer 27 leather and suede colors for you to choose from, plus you can choose your shaft size, ankle size, and shaft height for a perfect fit.
Wide Calf Heeled Boots
It’s hard to find stylish wide calf boots with a heel. I have a pair that are over a decade old and are starting to look it, but I haven’t been able to give them up because I couldn’t find anything nearly as sleek and chic. Especially to be appropriate in an office setting and with this season’s fashions, you want a heeled boot that has an almond or slightly pointed toe, a slim heel, and a tailored shaft to work over slim jeans and pants or under skirts and dresses. My picks for wide calf heeled boots:
- Duo Boots ‘Luxor’ – With a slim 3” heel and sleek shaft that is slightly taller in front, this is an elegant boot that will look stylish with leggings and a sweater coat on weekends, or under a fluid midi skirt to the office during the week. Available in three colors, this boot is available up to a size 12 and 50cm shaft.
- Heavenly Soles ‘High Leg Boots’ – A great choice based on the reviews for those with wide feet as well as wide calves. This leather boot has a 2” heel that is a bit more sturdy but not at all clunky and it comes in three chic colors and five calf widths.
- ELOQUII ‘Kass’ – Whether or not you wear plus sizes, if you have wide feet or wide calves, do NOT sleep on ELOQUII’s footwear collection. It encompasses all the hottest shoe trends and the quality keeps getting better and better. These boots have a slightly slouchy shaft that would look great with skinny pants or leggings. The cone heel is on-trend and the boots come in two different colors.
- Jeffrey Campbell ‘Final Slouch' – Wear pulled up or let it slouch down, both looks are chic. Available in three colors of suede (I'm partial to the red), this is a boot that will make a statement, whether pulled up over jeans with a sweatshirt or glamming up a simple black shift.
- Ros Hommerson ‘Maryland' – It seems this boot is discontinued which is a shame. I own this boot and find it terribly comfortable and quite chic. I did find a few at wideshaftboot.com in select sizes and a great sale price.
- The Bootmakers ‘Alba' – The Bootmakers is a UK company that makes custom boots (and yes they ship internationally). Choose your style, and then choose your shoe size, calf size, ankle size, and shaft height. The site provides a ton of information to help you place an accurate order, and this shoe is available in nine different colors.
- The Bootmakers ‘Kitten' – Another heeled boot from this company, but this style has a low and slim kitten heel so you're comfortable all day on your feet. Eight leathers to choose from.
Wide Calf Boots for Petites
At 5’3” I know how it is shopping for wide calf boots when you’re short. What is knee-high on some is mid-knee, and boots that may fit in the calves end up looking like pirate boots because they’re a hair too tall going out where the leg goes in. While I have taken my boots to a cobbler to have the shaft tapered to custom fit my calves, there are also styles that are shorter, better flattering a petite leg.
- Duo ‘Breedon’ – An elegant kitten heel and slim almond-shaped toe box makes this a perfect boot for the office, evenings, or most any stylish ensemble. Wear with skirts and dresses, though it would also be elegant over skinny jeans or leggings with a sweater coat.
- Duo ‘Brampton’ – Over a decade ago I purchased a similar Western-inspired boot from Duo and I still own them and wear them often. Similar in style to the iconic Frye boots, this is the kind of boot you can wear slipped over jeans with a cable-knit sweater, or styled with a t-shirt dress and denim jacket. I found mine to be so comfortable (especially with the addition of shearling insoles) that I wore them with sundresses and denim shorts to music festivals. No worries if you’re not petite, this calf-height boot is lovely on all lengths of legs.
- Poppy Barley ‘The Kensington' – This is an elegant and classic boot, but what makes it great for petites is you can choose the shaft height from 13.5″ tall to 18″ tall. Their boots are handmade to order to ensure a quality shoe and custom fit.
- Duo “Haltham’ – A classic sleek riding boot with a comfortable 1” heel, this is a chic boot that will be stylish for years to come. With a shorter shaft, this is a great choice for petite women. Available in black and brown leather, it has an elegant almond toe to elongate the frame.
- The Bootmakers ‘Burleigh' – I truly wasn't sure where to put this boot because it's such a classic style and versatile boot it could fit in many categories. But because The Bootmakers offers the ability to choose your shaft height, I figured I had to mention this brand in this category at least once! And this boot comes in 28 different colors of leather and suede so you can truly create your custom boot.
Wide Calf Riding Boots
The most classic boot, the riding boot. Whether it veers towards more equestrian or this season's return to the western boot, you can't go wrong with this style of footwear.
- Dr. Scholl’s ‘Brilliance’ – A classic boot available in two colors, this is the kind that you’ll be pulling on every weekend over jeans, leggings, and slim pants. While I usually shy from synthetic materials for boots (so sweaty and prone to cracking), these have a memory foam footbed designed with cooling fabric, a fabric lining, and receive rave reviews.
- Sam Edelman ‘Penny 2’ – A very classic style of boot with minimal decoration so they will remain stylish for years to come. Available in black, whiskey, and olive, they have a comfortable 1.25” stacked heel.
- Journee Collection ‘Taven’ – This is a budget-friendly boot that is high on style. Classic styling with a half-zipper and a wood stacked heel, the Taven comes in five different colors.
- Lifestride ‘Rosaria’ – The gold hardware on these boots isn’t too flashy and just provides a classic riding boot effect. Catch these boots while you can, they are on clearance with all three colors on sale for under $50!
- Poppy Barley ‘The Riversdale' – What an utterly elegant boot! Available in two colors, this classic riding boot has waxed leather which gives a subtle shine. This boot has options from 13″ to 18″ shaft and you can also choose your shaft height for a custom fit.
How to Measure Your Calf Size
When measuring your calf for wide calf boots, sit in a chair and place your foot flat on the ground. This will make your calf its largest. Measure both legs, no human is perfectly symmetrical and go with the larger size. Measure in multiple places on your legs too. Your best bet for an accurate measurement is using a flexible or fabric tape measure; if you do not have one use a piece of string or ribbon and then measure it against a ruler.
How to Measure Your Calf Height
I recommend having someone assist you with this to get the most accurate measurement. Again, sit in a chair and place your foot flat on the ground. Measure from the bottom of your foot, and go up along your ankle bone to the place you wish to have your boot. Measure both legs; often one leg is a different length from the other. Knee-high boots should be below the kneecap to ensure comfort when bending and walking.
Great post! I wonder if you could do another post for ankle boots? With wide feet, thick ankles (and calves) and a high instep, I have yet to find nice booties that fit and zip up.
I have the same problem! Most aggravating!
Regular old Duo is back?! I gave up on them (and wide-calf boots) during their Ted & Muffy phase. 🙂 Glad to see they are an option again. Thanks, as always, for bringing great brands to my attention!
To Dee and other readers with very wide feet. The only brand that I know of to provide boots with both a wide calf and a wide foot bed is English brand Wider Fit Shoes, https://www.widerfitshoes.co.uk
Personally I need a UK size 6 in EEEEEE width in the foot bed! Now that is a width not available in general. I know since I’ve searched online and offline for a couple of decades, and what turns up is nearly always downright ugly. But this brand offers a few bearable options. The pricing is fair and the quality is good. Hope this can help!
Where did you find the Boot Makers????? You got me into DUO a few years ago and I still love and wear my boots from there. This place though! I might have to indulge and get some handmade, custom fit moss green suede boots. Thanks for the all the great links in the post.
Alison Gary says
I did my research! Seriously, this post took me over a week to pull together. I was sick of finding posts online for wide calf boots and they were all 16″ shafts at the max or else the fugliest boots I had ever seen. It was awesome to find them, they are not a brand that shows up in the first couple of pages of a Google Search!
I am a boots-and-skirts girl all the way, and with larger calves, I have tried a million different types. There are two boots that I love so very much and I wear one or the other of them from Oct- April here in MT. They’re casual, waterproof, and wear really well with jeans and dresses/skirts (if you’re not trying to look too dressy). The Merrell Captiva Launch (I have it in brown) and the Patagonia Tin Shed Riding Boot. (I have it in a grey-black.)
I second the recommendation for Naturalizer if you need wide foot/wide calf. If you’re looking for a lower price point, I’ve also had some success at Torrid.com.
This is a very helpful post; every thing we need to know to make the best choices. I’m fully booted with two pair calf length and three pair booties (but it was a long process finding the calf length boots). In my winter rain climate, the first thing I do is waterproof my shoes.
My struggle is figuring out ways to wear my calf length boots. I just don’t wear skirts in the winter (donated most of them years ago) and don’t own skinny jeans. So far I’ve never worn leggings … don’t know how to pull that off.
Perhaps you can do a post someday about styling with boots? How to wear leggings and how to get your boots over your pants? I noticed you suggested what to wear with each type of boots but I need more help than that. Myself, I’m 5’6″ and wear size 10 pants, but I think others of all sizes and shapes also have questions.
I can’t seem to find a wide boot for the footbed. That has been my experience even with wide calf boots. I have been searching for years for a flat tall boot that is wide enough in the foot. Any recommendations?
Naturalizer makes wide calf boots that are also available in W (C) and WW (E) foot widths. I have an older model (“Joan – wide calf”) and they are great.
Alison Gary says
I wish Naturalizer went wider than a 16″ shaft. Sometimes they go up to 16.25, but that’s as high as they go. I saw so many stylish options but I know many women who are looking for wide calf boots need larger than what you can find at most department stores so I focused on over 17″. But gosh I am such a Naturalizer fan!
Alison Gary says
Several of these offer a wide footbed, check out the ones from Poppy Barley, Simply Be, ELOQUII, and The Bootmakers. I’ve noted a few that offer widths but all these brands offer wider feet as well as calves.