Saturday, September 21, 2013

Boot season is back!

Thanks to all of you who sent emails asking me to continue the blog this year-- your messages were sweet and much appreciated :) I wish I hadn't stopped blogging during the summer, because it seems like boots were being released throughout the year. I'm trying to catch up quickly and recently ordered 3 boots that I hope to receive and review in the next week (more on them below). 

One of the first stops in my boot research was, which until recently, allowed for searching by calf circumference (like Zappos and Nordstrom). However, it seems like they got rid of this option :( I wrote to customer service asking them to reinstate it and I hope some of you readers will too. I also suggested that they define a narrow calf as less than 14" (their previous option was <15"). I haven't seen the narrow calf search option reappear but maybe (hopefully) they'll take it more seriously if some of you write as well.

Another stop was this narrow calf boot page on Squidoo, which I think I mentioned last year. It seems to be a pretty active site, with lots of readers leaving suggestions and reviews in the comments. What frustrates me is that it seems like there are tons of great options on this page, so I get excited. But when I click on the boots, read the reviews, and spend a little more time on Google, I realize that most actually aren't suitable for narrow calves. So I'm thinking of keeping a running list of boots that are advertised incorrectly as having narrow calves. I'm hoping that will prevent all of us from ordering and returning the same pairs of boots, which can waste both time and money. I'm not sure what the best way is to do this, but maybe I'll do it in a series of posts for now.

After my own searching, I ordered the following 3 boots that seemed promising based on their descriptions and reviews. I hope to review the first within the next week.

Unisa "Terena" Riding Boot ($60, review)
One reviewer said these fit her 13" calf perfectly but didn't provide her shoe size. Many, many other reviewers also recommended these for skinny calves. The downside is that they aren't leather and may look a bit cheap. Only sizes 5.5-6.5 remain at DSW. I didn't see them anywhere else. 

Aldo "Floria" ($100, review)
The listed circumference of 12" seems unlikely but I'm hoping the built in sock will make calves look smaller. These remind me of a Corso Como style I coveted a couple of years ago.

Mercanti Fiorentini "Lazio" Riding Boot ($200, review
I don't usually like boots with lots of straps, but reviews were positive and the buckles appear to be adjustable. I only saw these at DSW.

Here's to hoping that this boot season will be a successful one for skinny calves! (Especially the highly coveted but elusive narrow calf riding boots :)

~ Little Contessa


  1. Hi there -- I write the Squidoo pages you reference above; thanks so much for the mention! I too get frustrated with false advertising in the measurements. I also get confused in reading reviews where, say, two women who both claim to have 12-inch calves have completely different takes on the same boot. I'm starting to think the different experiences may be partly due to calf shape, calf length/height or even ankle size. A stiff vs. slouchy boot shaft seems to make a difference, too. My calves are 11.9 inches around, and I I recently had my heart broken ;) by the beautiful Frye Lindsay Plate, which turned out to be significantly wider at the top than advertised. However, because it's made from a stiff, substantial leather, there was no ankle slouch, and my legs looked great -- miles long -- in it despite the gap at top. I have, though, come to the conclusion (for now at least) that Aquatalia is the most consistently reliable bootmaker for legs like ours. Tricky to catch them on sale, though.

  2. I just noticed that Naturalizer (on its own website) now lists shaft height and calf circumference for each of its boot styles AND sizes individually. For instance, click on the "Boot Measurements" link on this page:

  3. Sierra Trading Post has an Aquatalia riding boot on sale in sizes 6.5 & 7 (and there are additional coupons that can be used). Reviews sound like it would work for skinny calves:

    1. It looks like they're sold out on Sierra Trading Post, but I found them (Aquatalia Star 3) at DSW in more sizes --

  4. Can't wait to hear if any of these three boots worked out. Waiting for your post to order!

    1. I received these this weekend. Unfortunately, none of the 3 worked well :( The closest was Aldo Floria. I'll post the reviews in the next couple of days. Sorry :(

  5. I added a comment but I think I accidentally deleted it. :)

    So to repeat: I agree with Mary that shape of calves may make a difference.

    I have the Miss Mooz Webster in size 6 (I'm actually a size 5.5) and they don't gap on me like that at all. It's not a super snug fit, but it's not that gappy either. Although maybe they don't make them consistently since my measurement shows a 13.25 circumference (measured from the inside of the boot, not outside).

    I recently bought some Tory Burch Calista riding boots that fit perfectly in the calf over my skinny jeans (haven't tried them with just tights yet). They measure 13" inside the calf. The ankle isn't as tight as I'd like, but they are riding boots, so....

    For reference, my calves are 11.5 inches, I'm 5'2" tall, have longer legs for my height (my Tory Burch boots shaft are 16.5 and are perfect for me), very narrow feet, very narrow ankles.

  6. Hey there, I found this blog on Amazon while doing a search for Narrow Calf Boots. I am 5'7" and have a 12 inch circumference calf. I'm looking for a knee high boot in a size 7.5 with a 3"+ heel and buckles. If any of you know where I might find something like this, reasonably priced, I'd greatly appreciate it!

    1. Hi Anon - It's pretty tough for me to give personalized suggestions because I tend not to be able to recall boots that way. The first pair of boots that came to mind were my Naya Quail boots, which I reviewed here ( Unfortunately, they're no longer sold through Naturalizer but sometimes pop up on ebay and Amazon. Hopefully I'll find a pair of boots that fits your specs this season.