Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Franco Sarto Whitney Boot

I was excited to try on the Whitney boot ($130) because several reviewers on its DSW product page alluded to a narrow calf. It looks like a pretty nice, standard boot-- the kind that doesn't make an outfit, but complements it. I ordered the dark grey and found the color pretty versatile. The boot is made of a thick, good quality soft suede, with a full zip up the side. The material is stiff enough so it doesn't sag, and I didn't spot any obvious gaping at the ankles. There doesn't seem to be much cushioning in the heel and ball of the foot, but it still seems comfortable, despite the high heel. My true size 6 fit well. 

As you can see in the picture below, the shaft is quite tall-- way too tall for me. Unfortunately, it's also way too wide for my calves. The description lists a circumference of 15" but I measured approximately 13.5" and assume that it could potentially stretch to slightly larger than that. I think it's a good option for 13.5"-14" calves, but not a viable option for skinnier calves. 

Franco Sarto Whitney wedge boot ($130)

So far, I've only seen these boots at DSW, which has regular shipping / promo codes. Remember to look up if any are available if you plan on ordering. Their website also allows you to check the boots' availability at your closest DSW store. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Boot Roundup

In addition to product reviews, I plan on posting when I spot potential narrow calf boots online or in stores. I won’t be able to get to all of these boots personally and write reviews, so think of this as a heads-up to all of you about promising options for us small calf gals. If any of you have feedback about the boots mentioned here, your comments are very much appreciated. Of course, general questions and suggestions are also always welcome!

Recently, the following 3 boots caught my eye:

Corso Como Radar Boot ($199)
Although it doesn’t look like much on the product page, I first spotted this boot at Garnet Hill, where you can see a lovely model shot (see below). I fell for its slouchy style and attached cozy-looking sock. In Garnet Hill’s Q&A page, I asked about shaft size and was told it would be great for calves less than 14” (although I think it may still be loose for me). The reviews say the shaft is quite long (20") so it may work for those of you who are taller. One reviewer complained about a narrow calf—always a good sign for us! The boots are also at Zappos, where you can see a product video. It seems that they’re also available at department store websites, such as Nordstrom
Diba Hear Me Now Boot (currently $99)
This seems like a nice option under $100. The product description lists the circumference as 13.5” but there are no reviews yet to verify. (Update- Thanks so much to Danielle for commenting about her experience with these boots! She said that the shaft circumference fit her 12.75” calves well, with a little bit of room for leggings or jeans.)

Joseph Griffin Taigo20115 Boot ($206-$217)
A bit more expensive, this rugged-looking option is available in a variety of colors and has a calf circumference of 13.75”. It has laces up the back so it may be adjustable. The review on  Endless indicates that the shaft is for narrow calves. Another review on  Amazon said the boot might run small because of European sizing. 

I feel like this last boot is right out of "Journey to the Center of the Earth"!



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Naturalizer Naya Quail Boot

Although I generally avoid Naturalizer boots because they favor wider calves, I took notice of their Naya Quail boot a few weeks ago. Naya is Naturalizer’s eco-friendly line and is quite a bit more expensive than regular Naturalizer shoes. The Naya Quail boot stood out to me because the expandable partial zipper in the back looked like it would accommodate smaller calves as well as bigger ones. They probably expect that most women will wear the boot unzipped to expose the sweater lining, but I wondered whether zipping it up completely could mean a more snug fit on the calf. One aspect of Naturalizer’s website that I really appreciate is the Q&A option, where you can ask about topics that aren’t mentioned in the product description. They state that the circumference for a size 6 is 14.5”, with an additional 3/16” for each additional half-size up. I hoped that this referred to the unzipped circumference and tried my luck.

The result - I’m very happy! Although the fit isn’t perfect, it’s pretty good, and certainly the best fit I’ve experienced in a long time given that I have a 12” calf. I think this boot would be wonderful for those of you with 13-14” calves. My one major annoyance is that there is quite a bit of gaping for me in the ankle. Of course, I have very slim ankles (6”circumference) so I hope this isn’t an issue for most of you. But honestly, I do wish that companies would realize that women with slim calves probably also have slim ankles, and craft their boots to accommodate that. I might consider taking the boots to a cobbler if I can find a trustworthy one, to explore whether the ankles can be taken in.

Fit and function - I ordered the Bordo color, which is a lovely dark red-brown much like the picture on the Naturalizer website. My true size 6 fit best. A 6.5 was too roomy even with socks. Plus, I doubt I’ll have to wear thick socks with these since their entirely leather shaft means they’ll be pretty warm. I’m 5’2” (hence the blog’s title!) and the shoes hit about 2” below my knee. The leather is very soft but the boots do stay up pretty well, aside from the unfortunate wrinkling around my ankle. They’re also very comfortable, which is pretty great given the 3” heel. The shoe is a little noisy because of the buckle, but I suspect that will be less of a problem for those with slightly bigger calves, since the buckle doesn’t rest snugly on mine.

In addition to Naturalizer, the boots are also available at 
EndlessAmazon, Zappos, Planet Shoes, Shoebuy, and Piperlime

I hope this helps! Feel free to add your comments if you have this boot or if you have any questions for me!

Little Contessa

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review: Cozy winter boots by Timberland

Given that it's only October, perhaps a post about cozy winter boots is a bit premature. But it's never too early to plan! Last year, I tried on the Timberland Earthkeepers Granby boot, and was pretty excited about it. It's a knee-high lace-up boot that I think would be great for walking around. I sometimes walk to work and envision these being good for the 30-minute walk each way when I wear skirts or skinny jeans/pants. Because of the laces, I was able to tighten them snugly around my 12-inch calf. I liked that added just enough bulk to the lower half of my leg to make my calves look nicely filled out. I also liked that they were a bit rugged, yet still feminine. They do run small, so order at least a half size up. I wear a 6 (sometimes a 6.5) and a size 7 fit best. The 6.5 was still way too snug because the inside is entirely lined with fleece. 

They're currently at Endless. I tried out Endless for the first time this year and liked it. The free 2-day shipping and returns were great. Plus, I had to call customer service for some help with my order and found the rep very helpful. The boots are also at Zappos (limited sizes) and Piperlime, and probably a bunch of other sites including Shoebuy and Planet Shoes, which offer free shipping and regular promotions. The comments sections on all of these sites might help with questions you have regarding fit and quality. For example, one person felt the boot was best suited for very slim calves because its natural thickness could make even average size calves seem overly bulky. 

Update - I was able to try on a pair in black (pictured above) and they're not exactly how I remember them. I still think they're cute but the beige-colored fleece is much more drab/dull looking than it initially seemed. I also read some reviews that say the traction on these is bad on ice.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Welcome to Little Contessa's blog on boots!

Hello! Welcome to Little Contessa's blog, a site devoted to searching for boots suitable for girls with narrow calves. I've always loved the Fall season, with its crisp and clear days, beautiful colors, and great fashion! Fall catalogs are generally filled with pictures of women in an assortment of great outfits, all with perfectly fitting boots. And I feel like every year, I fruitlessly search for boots to wear with sweater dresses, skinny jeans, and cute skirts. But my 12-inch calves obviously make this very difficult! I’m hoping to use this blog to share information about boots that I come across during my search, and help others find boots that fit and avoid ones that don’t.

I will be spending some time tweaking the setup and will begin posting soon.


Little Contessa