Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: Blondo Louna & Blondo Pasadena

I apologize for not publishing posts recently. It's been a bit tough to do a lot of searching over the holidays. However, since many of you have written to me about your luck with Blondo's Pasadena boots, I thought I'd order them as well and see if they worked for me. I also was emailed by a helpful reader who recommended Blondo's Louna boots and I decided to try my luck with them as well. 

Blondo Louna ($200-$240)

These boots are great! A size 6 fit fine on my narrow feet but I can see how sizing up a half-size might be recommended. Although I measured the calf circumference at 13" or slightly less, I tried them on with tights and liked how they fit on my size 12" calves. The description on Zappos says "The Louna boot is designed to accommodate the needs of women with thinner calves" and I totally agree. The boots are lined with a soft fabric and the upper is a waterproof leather. The foot bed is on a platform so the 3" heel feels much smaller. I was surprised at how easy these were to walk in! The sole is rubber/non-skid-- good for winter wear. I found them at Zappos, Amazon,, and Shoebuy.
Blondo Louna

Blondo Louna
Blondo Pasadena ($170-$240)
Since many reviews said these run small, I ordered these in a 6 and 6.5. The 6 was a little snug so a half-size up is probably the best bet unless you have very narrow feet. Although I measured these at the same 13" as the Louna, I thought these looked slightly larger in the calf perhaps because these were a half-size larger. The quality of these were similar and the 6.5 was very comfortable to walk in. These also have a platform heel with a rubber sole. I tried on both, the black suede option and the black leather and both fit similarly. However, I couldn't pinpoint exactly why, but I think I favor the Louna slightly more. Blondo Pasadena is available at Amazon, Zappos6pm, Shoebuy, and I recently returned the ones I got from Nordstrom so hopefully those will show up online soon because it looks like they're sold out otherwise. 
Blondo Pasadena (black suede)
Blondo Pasadena (black suede)
Blondo Pasadena (black leather)
Blondo Pasadena (black leather)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: More Coclico Boots

UPDATE: Coclico is having a friends and family sale of 20% off from Nov. 23-25 with the promo code "FRIENDS". 

I was in NYC a few weeks ago and had a chance to visit the Coclico store in Soho. In an earlier boot roundup, a blog reader submitted a few pictures and reviews of Coclico boots, which she noted were expensive but suitable for slim calves, so I wanted to check them out in person. I enjoyed trying on their boots and the owner and sales associates were very helpful. The brand is super expensive but I wanted to write a post about the brand anyway because I know many of us keep our eyes and ears open about sales and because some of you have written to me about wanting to invest in a pair of well-fitting boots.

1) Coclico 'Carson' ($530-$555)

These are probably the best fitting boots I've come across so far. The pictures below don't fully capture how well they fit. A size 36 fit well. The major feature that sets these boots apart is that the ankle fit snugly around my very slim ankles. Absolutely no ankle gaping here! The chunky heel was easy to walk in and it hit about 1" below my knee, which I'm fine with. I'd feel comfortable wearing them with bare legs, although I think they'd look better with tights or skinny jeans. They are available at Coclico, Amazon (in mostly tan and a few brown), and City Soles (in brown and black). I haven't heard of City Soles so I was surprised to see that they have a video review of these boots and a few others from Coclico.

I left the store empty-handed because I don't think my wallet can take that kind of hit but perhaps some of you out there will be luckier :) The store offers free shipping. They only carry one of each size of each pair of boots in their store but may be able to help locate a pair of boots elsewhere. Since the boots are handmade, they said that they may even be able to have a new pair made (although not with custom measurements). Here are some additional pictures.
Coclico Carson

2) Coclico 'Windy' ($550)
I was excited to try on these boots after seeing positive reviews at AnthropologieI think I tried these on in a 36.5, which fit fine. These were incredibly comfortable and I didn't even notice the heel when I first put them on. However, the shaft hit my knees so I think they're best for ladies 5"4' or taller.  The shaft on these was wider than the Carson and could be manageable with jeans, but not optimal for those of us with <12.5" calves. These are certainly more casual than the Carson boots but could work with skirts. I probably wouldn't feel comfortable wearing such expensive boots as my casual/weekend boots. These boots are sold out at Shopbop but there seem to be frequent pop-backs. They are also at other online vendors that I found while googling. (In the picture below, my right leg is wearing my trusty Naya Quail boots, which I reviewed last year in this post.)
Coclico Windy
3) Coclico 'Ramona' ($535)
These were a bit more snug on my bare calves compared to the Windy boots, but still less snug than the Carson boots. I really liked them and think they'd be a great casual wear pair. I think they'd look great with skinny jeans or leggings. As with the others, these were very comfortable. Also available at Amazon, Neiman Marcus.
Coclico Ramona

closeup of Ramona's calf circumference
Little Contessa

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Frye Melissa Scrunch

I'll try to keep this review short since I already mentioned these boots in a previous boot roundup. Although Zappos and Amazon list these as having a 12" circumference, I measured 13" on the size 6 pair I received. I think there are a few of you in the 12.5" - 13" range who these boots will work for, but for me, these are a pass. 

I ordered these in the Dark Brown, which is a brownish-reddish and seems like a pretty versatile color. The boots hit a couple of inches below the knee. Since the front of the boot is a "flat" leather while the back of the boot is a "scrunched" leather, I felt like the front splayed out a bit on the side.  As one reviewer noted, the foot bed is pretty narrow. I have narrow feet and my foot still took up the entire foot bed, so sizing up may be worth considering. They were comfortable but the soles on these boots were very slippery on my wood and carpet floors. 

Frye Melissa Scrunch Boots ($400)
Frye Melissa Scrunch Boots

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Romantic Soles Lynnea

I mentioned Romantic Soles' Lynnea Narrow Calf boots in a recent boot roundup because the description says it's "designed to accommodate a narrow calf." This makes me optimistic that our community is starting to be recognized by mainstream vendors rather than just niche, high-end ones! I found these boots only on Zappos, got them today (Zappos' super-quick shipping never ceases to amaze me), and quickly took pictures to post this review. 

Romantic Soles Lynnea Narrow Calf Boots ($120)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Boot Roundup

It's election day! And although I don't think boots are on people's minds this morning, I wanted to do another quick roundup post. It was exciting to see quite a few comments on the last roundup post and I'm sure other readers found them helpful as well. I hope those of you who have experience with the boots below can chime in to the discussion. (Apologies in advance for the Frye overload. They just pop up the most in my Zappos searches and I don't know yet if this is because their calf circumferences are incorrectly listed or because they actually have narrow calves.) 

1) Frye Melissa Scrunch ($400, review) - 12"
I ordered these today and hope to put up a review next week. Both Amazon and Zappos say the circumference is 12", so we'll see. [UPDATE: Thanks to Zappos' great service, I got these boots shortly after posting this entry. Unfortunately, the size 6 has a 13" calf circumference so it won't work for most of us. I'll post a review soon].

2) Frye Mimi Back Scrunch Boot ($450) - 13"
These seem like a heel version of the Melissa scrunch. Only one review so far on Zappos, but the reviewer said they fit her self-described narrow calves. Available at AmazonZappos, Frye, and Dillards. Frye says a size 6 has a 13.25" circumference, which makes me think it's the same for the Melissa Scrunch. 

3) Frye Mimi Scrunch Boot ($260-$390) - 14" (size 7.5)
Ladies with both narrow- and regular-calves submitted reviews that said these boots fit them well, so I'm a bit confused on how well these could work. Found them at Amazon (some on sale), Zappos (black is on sale for $215),, and 6pm (in a size 11 for $215). Frye says a size 7 has a 13" calf, which made me wish I ordered these to review instead because perhaps a size 6 has a 12.5" calf.

4) Frye Riding Chelsea ($500) - 13" (size 7)
A couple of reviewers said these were tight on their calves but one reviewer said a size 9 was too large for her 13 1/4" calves. Many reviewers said they sized down at least 1 size and a couple of reviewers said these are more suitable for taller women. At Zappos and Amazon. Frye says a size 6 has a 15" circumference, but that doesn't seem in line with the Zappos reviews. 

5) Romantic Soles - Lynnea Narrow Calf Boot ($120, review
A size 7.5 is listed as having a 14" circumference but one reviewer said these boots fit her 12" calves. I'm thinking of ordering these. These are marketed specifically as a narrow-calf boot, which I haven't seen before. So far, I've only seen them at Zappos

6) DV by Dolce Vita Lujan-2 ($200-$220)
A few reviewers said these were good for skinny calves and one reviewer said they fit her 13" calf well. The shaft is listed as 17" tall so this might be for taller ladies. One reviewer on Piperlime said these were too big for her calf. Available at, Macy's, and Piperlime.

7) Me Too Latrice ($155) 
Zappos lists a size 8.5 as having a 12" circumference, which is hard to believe, although the fabric panel at the back makes me hopeful. Available also at AmazonShoebuy, and Shoeline. Reviews on the HSN seem positive, although none commented on a narrow calf, which makes me question whether these are truly for slim calves. 

8) Rockport Tristina ($225)
Says a size 7 has a 12" calf. I like the look of these. Available at ZapposPlanet ShoesShoebuyRockport, and Amazon. One Amazon reviewer said the calf on a size 9 was too big for her 13" calf and a Zappos reviewer said the calf on a size 9.5 was too small for her 14.5" calf. 

9) Rockport Lola ($190) 
Zappos says a size 8 has a 14" calf. One reviewer said these fit her 13" calf well but didn't provide her shoe size. 

10) Sesto Meucci Darsy ($362)
Zappos doesn't have many sizes left but lists a 12" circumference for a size 7.5. I couldn't find these boots elsewhere, but did find a similar pair called 1201/M from the same brand, on Amazon. 


p.s. - I don't know why my Amazon links have those annoying white boxes around them... perhaps b/c they're affiliate links?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: Blondo Vergara

The price of Blondo's Vergara boots recently dropped by $70 (from $250 to $180) at Nordstrom and since most sizes are still available, it seemed like a good time to post a review. I included these boots in a recent boot roundup because there are lots of shout-outs to skinny-calf ladies on the product page.  

My true size (6) fit well. The foot of the boot is leather, but the description says that the shaft is a "stretchy, diamond quilted" fabric and it reminded me of a fabric version of chain-link. I think the picture on their product page is very accurate. Although the boots fit well, they weren't my style. They are a bit too shiny for me and the foot portion seemed to stand out so I felt they made my foot look really long (another reviewer had this same complaint). However, after wearing them for a bit around my apartment, I warmed up to them more and I think they look nice in the pictures below. 

Blondo Vergara ($250, now $180)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boot Roundup: Heels

While looking for boots to write about in a roundup of boots with heels, I found the following resource -- a post on boots with heels, for skinny calves. It looks like the author has quite a few posts on narrow calf boots and although she doesn't review them herself, the posts are a helpful reference. I'll have to see if roundup posts by me will add anything of value beyond what she has called out in her posts. Any suggestions to make these more helpful? Have any of you used her posts to find boots? If you do find boots that work, it would be great if you could mention them in the comments or in a personal email to me so I can get out the word. In the meantime, I browsed on my own and also looked through her list and weeded out boots that were definitely not narrow calf boots (I read reviews on other sites) or ones that seemed less promising. I think I got through most of her list, but am not sure if she's updated it since then. 

Sidenote -- ever since changed to, it feels like the stock of most boots is super low! When I click on a pair, I feel like I'm constantly notified that there's only 1 left in stock. I'm not sure if they restock regularly, but I find this very frustrating. 

Also, as a reminder, my "Roundup" posts are based on boots I found while browsing but have not had an opportunity to try on. I base the roundups on the listed calf circumference and what any existing reviews say about the boots. 

1) Blondo 'Vergara' (now $180, review) - 13" - A reviewer said that a size 9.5 fit her 13" calves. Quite a few other reviewers said this boot fit their skinny calves well. Unfortunately, it looks like it's a Nordstrom exclusive so I couldn't find it at other sites, but I might order it for a future review. 

2) Santana 'Belinda' ($90-$200) - 13" for size 8 - The listing says the calf circumference is 14" but one reviewer said these fit her 13" calves perfectly. She didn't provide her shoe size so I searched through her many other reviews to find that she's likely a size 8. A little nuts of me but hopefully it helps someone :)

3) Franco Sarto 'Yoni' ($90) - 13" - A helpful blog reader - K - said that a size 8.5 fit her 13" calf well.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Reviews: Kickers "Heroick" and Miz Mooz "Webster"

I recently ordered 2 pairs of boots that I was excited about but unfortunately, both fell short of expectations. The first, which I wrote about in a previous post, was Kickers "Heroick" Boots (I found listings at Nordstrom, Planet Shoes, Shoebuy, and The calf circumference is listed as 12.5" but when I received them, the true circumference of the smallest size (Euro size 36) was about 14.5". If there are any of you out there with this size/calf combination (I guess you're probably not a regular reader of this blog), you're in luck because these seem to be nicely made boots. The inside is lined with a soft plaid fabric, the rubber wedge seems comfortable and sturdy, and the leather is soft and flexible, but still stands upright. In the picture below, you can see that they were way too big for my 12" calves. 

Kickers "Heroick'"Boots ($212)
The next pair I ordered was Miz Mooz's Webster boot. I think Miz Mooz's boots are adorable and hoped that the calf circumference was smaller than the listed 14.75" (Infinity Shoes lists them as 13"), but when I received them, they were also way too big, at approximately 14.5" for a size 6. The heel on these was approx. 2.5"--lower than the Kickers boot and more comfortable. I could see these as everyday boots for someone with 14-14.5" calves, but these are a no go for me. 
Miz Mooz Webster Boot ($240)


Monday, October 15, 2012

Boot Roundup: Coclico & Blondo Boots

A thoughtful reader -- I'll call her M -- wrote to me recently about her experiences searching for narrow-calf boots. I found her advice and reviews so informative that I asked if I could modify her email into its own post (I added additional product links when I could find them). It's quite a long post, but chock-full of useful information. Thanks M for being so incredibly helpful!

Hi Little Contessa,
I'm one of your blog followers and I wanted to let you know that I've had some success with Coclico boots for my narrow calves (they measure just a touch over 12 inches). I recently tried on a few pairs of these boots. Unfortunately, this brand is expensive and not as widely available  but they sometimes appear on sale on eBay or flash sale sites. 

1. Coclico Frost - These are not a perfectly snug fit but they are contoured enough to the leg that they don't look sloppy. I'm 5'3" and have short legs in general, so I expect the gap at the top would be smaller if I were a little taller. These run a little small. I sized up from my normal size of 6.5. 
Coclico Frost ($260)
2. Coclico Danann - I tried on these boots but couldn't find a link to them on sale any longer. These fit very, very snugly on my calf. They were great in that regard. Even though the Danann appears unavailable, the Coclico Ramona ($535) looks like the most recent season's version of the same boot, so I think they may fit similarly. 
Coclico Danann
3. Coclico Miller ($300) - These weren't as snug. They looked pretty fine with jeans, but I wanted to be able to wear them with tights as well, and the gap was too obvious with tights or leggings. 

Also, you might look into boots by Blondo. I tried on two pairs from that brand and was pleased with the quality. I think they might be comparable to La Canadienne in a lot of ways. Unlike Coclico, Blondo seems to offer waterproof leather and rugged rubber soles that provide better traction. Although they're still expensive, they are definitely cheaper than Coclico and seem to go on sale at far greater discounts. 

4. Blondo Pasadena - I found this boot on sale in a dark brown and although I was looking for boots in a different color, I kept these because they fit so well and the quality was so great. They'll come out in the worst of the winter weather because they're pretty sturdy. In fact, if I ever find them on sale in black, I'd be sorely tempted to purchase another pair. I sized up by a half size and find them quite comfortable. [Also available at Amazon, Nordstrom]. 
Blondo Pasadena ($216)
5. Blondo Paulina ($180-$240)- I tried on these boots and they were gorgeous. The color was exactly what I wanted, but the goring at the top of the shaft made the boot "kick out" at the top, if that makes any sense, and leave a really awkward looking gap. That being said, I think these could be perfect for someone either a little taller or with slightly larger calves (or both).  Also available at Amazon, Nordstrom,]

6. Coclico Windy Boots ($558) - After receiving M's email, I (Little Contessa) spent some time myself looking for Coclico boots online and came across their black Windy boots, which are listed as having a 13" circumference. I found one pair in a size 36 Euro at Anthropologie, where one of the reviewers said a 39 Euro fit her 12" calves perfectly and attached a pic (scroll down the Anthro product page to see the review). They are also available at Shopbop, Coclico, and other online vendors that I'm less familiar with. I'm planning to visit NYC in a couple of weeks and will try to visit the Coclico B&M store and let you all know what I find. 

Thanks for staying with me through this long post and thanks again to M!

Until next time,
Little Contessa

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


(Spoiler: Since I don't want you to get your hopes up as I did, this is an FYI that this post does not end on a happy note.)

I'm excited about a pair of boots I just ordered and wanted to write a quick note about them. They are the Kickers "Heroick" Boots from Nordstrom. Nordstrom's website has a section specifically for narrow calf boots, but I've noticed that boots seem to regularly  be removed from this section once customers report that the calf width is wider than advertised. 

The calf circumference for the Heroick boot is listed as 12.5", which seemed a bit too good to be true, so I submitted a question to their customer service team. Their CS reps seem pretty timely about responding to questions and I received the following response today: 

"LittleContessa - Yes, the approximate calf circumference for this style is 12 1/2". This style is designed for a narrow calf. The measurement is taken from a size 8, so as the sizes get smaller the calf size will also be slightly smaller."

That's so exciting! I'm still trying not to get my hopes too high and I'm sure you ladies understand why. Hopefully I'll get these in the mail in time for me to post a review this weekend. 

Update: I received these boots in the mail today a couple of hours after my initial post (kudos to Nordstrom for their timely free shipping) and they are definitely not narrow calf boots (no kudos for the poor attention to detail). The calf circumference is around 14" for the smallest size :( I'll post a review and pics this weekend.

And so... the quest continues!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Frye Jenna Inside Zip

A helpful reader alerted me to a pair of Frye boots she recently ordered that fit her slim calves perfectly, so of course I ordered them right away to review for this blog. I got the pair of Frye Jenna Inside Zip boots in "smoke" color this week and was pretty impressed with how they fit. The reviews said the boots ran big so I sized down from my usual 6 (or small 6.5) to a 5.5, which seems to be the smallest size for these boots, and it was the correct fit. 

Although there was a little bit of gaping around the top, it is definitely less than any other riding boot I've encountered. I'm wearing leggings in the pictures below, so you can imagine that the fit was even better with jeans. The zipper is only a partial zipper (I'm not crazy about these), but I was able to tug at my jeans through the zipper opening to smooth out most of the inevitable "bunching" of my jeans around the knee. One characteristic about these boots that I like is that the stiff leather seems to prevent gaping around the ankles, although I'm not sure whether that will change with wear. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Narrowing a Boot Calf

It's been quite awhile since my last post! This was mostly because it didn't seem fitting to write about boots during the summer months and because I assumed there would be few boots to write about during that time. But now that Fall is approaching, I'm hoping there will be lots of new options for us to consider. I've been looking around and have been underwhelmed with the selection thus far. But I was re-energized by all the nice comments and emails I received from you ladies! Thanks to all of you who sent me nice notes about the blog. I really appreciate them and will try hard to continue to make this blog worthwhile for my readers. I really hope our message will be heard, and one day narrow-calved women will have a much nicer selection of boots! I just ordered my first pair of boots to review for the season and hope to have that post up next week.

For my first post of the season, I thought I'd discuss my recent experience with getting boot calves tailored or taken in. It's something I'd thought about getting done for quite awhile but although I came across quite a few posts on getting boot calves stretched, I couldn't find any decent reviews from people who had their boot calves narrowed. Searching on Yelp led me to Philip's Shoe Repair in Petworth (a neighborhood in DC). I had a beautiful pair of Dani Black leather cowboy-inspired boots that I picked up on sale over three years ago for a ridiculous markdown (I think they were originally $200+ and I got them for under $40), but hadn't been able to wear because of their wide shaft. After having looked at them longingly for years, I was  excited to potentially be able to wear them soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: La Canadienne Dorina

After reading so many positive reviews about La Canadienne's Dorina boots ($305), I was curious to see if all the hype is truly deserved. I ordered a pair from Zappos and settled for a size 6 since they were sold out of size 6.5's (the listing says the boots run a half-size small). The verdict? I definitely see what all the hype is about! They seem really well made. The suede is thick, supple, and a nice deep black. The boots also have a soft microfiber lining and are waterproof! When I initially saw them online, I thought the button on the side of the boots looked silly, but I didn't even notice it when I tried them on (actually, I only noticed it when I sat down to write this review). 

I was surprised that the size 6 fit nicely, although I can see how some might find their true size a bit snug (I have narrow feet). I prefer to stick with this size and wear very thin socks because they are still comfortable and because of the possibility that calf circumference increases with size. I measured the circumference at 12.5". 
The best part is that the ankle fits snugly. As you can see in the pictures below, the boots don't quite hug my calves but I'd feel comfortable wearing them with skirts, leggings, or skinny jeans. They are a good height and hit a few inches below my knee.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Boot Roundup - Heeled boots

It seems to already be the season of sales, when retailers move out their winter apparel (including boots) to make way for fashion more suited to warm weather. So I hope to do a couple of "boot roundup" posts before the online boot selection thins out significantly. This post focuses on high-heeled boots.

This post is not a guarantee that these boots will actually accommodate small calves. I have not tried on any of the following boots. Instead, I chose them based on their product descriptions and reviews. I'd love to hear comments from those of you that have firsthand experience with any of the boots listed below. And of course, suggestions are always welcome!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review: Biviel bv2166 Wedge

Last week, a boot that I’d spotted awhile ago –  Biviel Women's Bv2166 Wedge Boot – went on sale. Its description on Endless listed a calf circumference of 12¾, which was too good to pass up. It's also available on sale in limited sizes at Shoe Metro.

Since I read that Biviel tends to run small, I ordered a 6.5, a half-size larger than my usual. In the picture below, you can see that the boot initially fit my calves quite well. The wedge does not feel too high and it is surprisingly comfortable, although definitely not a walking shoe. The sole is not wooden and has some grip--always a good feature in the winter. The boots are a rich shade of brown and I liked the detailing on the sides. I was able to slide the boots on/off easily.
Biviel bv2166 Wedge Boot
Unfortunately, although the circumference is indeed narrow, I was disappointed to see that the boot shaft does not hold itself up. The suede is very soft so the shaft quickly slid down as I started walking. I could not figure out a way to keep the boot shaft up (Suggestions? Multiple pairs of socks would feel clunky, so perhaps leg warmers underneath?) The boots tended to settle around the middle of my shins, where my leg is much less than 12” around, so they looked pretty silly. I was so excited about this pair of boots and disappointed that they were executed poorly. 

These were not a keeper for me but maybe some of you will have better luck. I’m not exactly sure who this pair of boots would work for. Perhaps those of you with 13” calves and not very skinny shins/ankles. Or those of you who have 12-12.5” calves and can figure out a way to make them stand up straight. Here are some additional pics. 

Inside Leg
Outside Leg (boot doesn't stand up on its own)
A couple of years ago, Biviel made a pair of boots with a calf circumference that was apparently truly 12". Here's to hoping that they'll do something similar in the near future!

Little Contessa