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.