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Cute Boots for Skinny Calves

Updated on November 2, 2016
Last year's Solemani Gabi -- from the label's "Slim Calf Collection" -- was one of the snuggest-fitting boots I've tried. Will this year's collection measure up?
Last year's Solemani Gabi -- from the label's "Slim Calf Collection" -- was one of the snuggest-fitting boots I've tried. Will this year's collection measure up? | Source

Handpicked Styles For Thin Legs

Like many women, I love shoes — and boots in particular. I'm always on the hunt for the perfect pair. What makes the quest challenging is that although I run a few times a week and try to build some muscle, my calves remain chicken-leg scrawny. Their circumference at the widest point is a bit shy of 12 inches. Most knee-high boots, by contrast, are sized at 14+ inches around. So they flop around on me in a way that's appropriate for, say, a fun pair of wellies, but not for styles meant to be snug.

Several years of online research tell me I'm not the only woman with this problem. There is a small but determined Sisterhood of the Scrawny Leg on the web. Unfortunately, many recommendations run toward the fiscally impractical (four-figure Chanel, Prada, or Jimmy Choo boots). I can't spend a month's mortgage on boots, and if you can't either, you've come to the right place. I've done the legwork and found an array of styles to fit slim calves on a non-millionaire's budget — though, unfortunately, truly modest pricing in a slim shaft boot is extremely hard to find, as mid-priced to upscale labels (for whatever reason) cater much more to thin-legged shoppers.

Stretchy

Stretchy leather/faux leather, suede, and fabric boots generally have a smaller circumference, relying on their give to accommodate a range of sizes, which is helpful for legs on both ends of the spectrum. I've owned four pair of stretch boots and found them cute, comfy, and versatile.

The Pliner Nellie

This pretty boot measured 14 around at the very top, but only 12 3/4 where my leg is fullest. Hard to do much better than that :) Source: verymary
This pretty boot measured 14 around at the very top, but only 12 3/4 where my leg is fullest. Hard to do much better than that :) Source: verymary
Donald J Pliner Women's Nellie Riding Boot,Black,8.5 M US
Donald J Pliner Women's Nellie Riding Boot,Black,8.5 M US

This one is over 50 percent off retail as of mid November 2014. And it's great for taller boot lovers, as it's got a higher than average shaft for a knee high boot. If you're petite in stature, you might find it too tall.

 

The Solemani Gabi (last year's)

This one was quite fitted over knit tights... Source: verymary
This one was quite fitted over knit tights... Source: verymary

Solemani is one of only two brands I know of that have produced a specifically labeled "slim calf collection" of boots, aside from custom bootmakers. May they inspire others to do the same! Last year's Gabi riding style (pictured at the top of this page) was a winner for me in terms of calf circumference. And now there's the Gabi 2!

SoleMani Women's Gabi 2 Black Leather Boot SLIM CALF 7M
SoleMani Women's Gabi 2 Black Leather Boot SLIM CALF 7M

Not sure how I feel about the metal accent around the heel, but I definitely trust this brand to deliver a skinny calf.

 

The Oralie

The Oralie on my 11.9" legs -- pretty, no?
The Oralie on my 11.9" legs -- pretty, no? | Source

While not specifically "slim calf," Aquatalia boots tend to run quite narrow, and every year this brand offers a few styles with a small base circumference and some stretch to accommodate average-sized legs as well.

Aquatalia Women's Oralie Equestrian Boot,Black Calf Elastic,8 M US
Aquatalia Women's Oralie Equestrian Boot,Black Calf Elastic,8 M US

I loved the Chanel-like quilting on this pretty boot -- and of course its slimness. A very elegant choice, and weatherproof, too -- perfect for our nasty Chicago winters.

 

Laceup

Tighten to your heart's content with these styles. The extra minute it takes to tie them up is worth it for a custom fit. If you pick a style like the Fryes (shown below) that also features a narrow calf circumference, you shouldn't even have to tighten all that much. Lacing can only go so far if the circumference is large, so if your gams are quite thin, avoid styles over 15 around or you might get some gapping.

Fun fact: The Melissa, below, is reportedly what Jennifer Lawrence wore in the "Hunger Games" movie.

This budget-friendly Breckelles style will set you back a mere 27 bucks. It's synthetic, of course, but if you're on a shoestring budget, this could be a winner.

Buckle: The Mullen Spice

The Mullen Spice on me. So comfy, so cute.
The Mullen Spice on me. So comfy, so cute. | Source

Like lace-ups, these are adjustable for a custom fit. The buckles also add a bit of edge that can be very appealing. Some of these also have quite narrow calf circumferences to begin with.

Buckles enhance so many styles, from classic riding boots to trendier moto styles that are everywhere this year. I'm happy to see brands known for comfort and durability (e.g., Clarks) offering thin calf styles.

Clarks Women's Mullin Spice Harness Boot, Tan Leather, 9.5 M US
Clarks Women's Mullin Spice Harness Boot, Tan Leather, 9.5 M US

Can 100+ rabid fans be wrong? Probably not. And to me, the brown was prettier in person than it looks online. I would need another hole punched in the strap to fit my 11.9-inch calves, but the cobbler could do easily do that. This is a very adjustable boot...

 

ECCO Sullivan Buckle

Walk all day in the ECCO Sullivan Buckle
Walk all day in the ECCO Sullivan Buckle | Source
ECCO Women's Sullivan Buckle Riding Boot,Black,37 EU/6-6.5 M US
ECCO Women's Sullivan Buckle Riding Boot,Black,37 EU/6-6.5 M US

Out of the buckle styles I have tried, this one is probably the best-designed for adding an extra punch per buckle, rendering it perfect for skinny calves. Why? The extra leather folds easily into the inside of the boot, so nobody's the wiser. This gleaming ECCO style features a generous (but not clunky looking) toebox and a snug heel, for maximum comfort.

 

also worth a look...

Sesto Meucci 81207F

Mia Ursela

Not Rated Shasta

Naughty Monkey Risk It

ECCO Saunter GTX

Miz Mooz Kelsey

Arturo Chiang Celeen

& (the supercute) Eric Michael Shannon

Non-Stretch, But Slim

Not everyone wants a wide swath of their boot shaft dedicated to stretch fabric, no matter how stylish the overall shape. The problem is, it's very hard to find non-stretch designs that hug our skinny gams. But I have found two labels that do well with this.

The first, Skinnycalf Boots, is a brand-new line that is based in New York City but has its products manufactured in Italy for a high-end, high-quality result. Their 2015 line includes a wedge style with warm shearling lining, a classic equestrian style, and this heeled style that I find super sexy but not "trying too hard"—a great office-to-on-the-town option that is saved from over-formality by the soft pebbled leather and slouch-preventing stretch band. (Yes, I know I said "non-stretch" in the heading, but this band is such a small part of the boot that I think it qualifies).

Here's the Skinnycalf Grady on me. Source: verymary
Here's the Skinnycalf Grady on me. Source: verymary

The second brand I want to mention that pretty reliably offers nonstretch but slim styles is La Canadienne. Stylish and waterproof, these boots have earned quite a following among thin-calved ladies. "A great fit for chicken legs!" cheers one reviewer, with others seconding her impression. As with Skinnycalf, most styles will break the $300 mark, but for a good fit it might be well worth a try.

In addition to the sleek Sandra, look for the Paige, Galaxy, May, Stefanie and Passion styles.

La Canadienne Women's Sandra Boot,Black,8 M US
La Canadienne Women's Sandra Boot,Black,8 M US

Having road-tested these, I can vouch for their versatile, comfy beauty. The calf in my size was a bit bigger than listed (so am assuming the listing is for a smaller shoe size than my 8). See pix below of the Sandra on my 12-inch legs...

 

The La Canadienne Sandra on me...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sorry these photos aren't quite as crisp -- but you get the idea.  Here's the Sandra over some skinny cordsAnd here with some knit tightsAnd with some thin stockings. (Love those metallics for holidays!)
Sorry these photos aren't quite as crisp -- but you get the idea.  Here's the Sandra over some skinny cords
Sorry these photos aren't quite as crisp -- but you get the idea. Here's the Sandra over some skinny cords | Source
And here with some knit tights
And here with some knit tights
And with some thin stockings. (Love those metallics for holidays!)
And with some thin stockings. (Love those metallics for holidays!)

How snug must they be?

~ Not so snug that you can't fit tights, jeans, whatever you plan to wear under them. Add at least 1/2" to your calf measurement for this purpose.

~ Snugger with very sleek boots, especially high heeled. Less so with slouchy styles. "Tougher" styles like motorcycle or combat can go either way.

Source

Above are my 11.9 inch calves in 13-inch-circumference Frye Taylor boots. So this is what an inch (almost on the dot) of space looks like over skinny cords. Wtih skinny jeans, they'd be a bit tighter. Wearing a dress or skirt, it will be a bit looser, but the one inch of space does look good with any of these options. I personally wouldn't go with less than a half-inch of space, which for me would be a 12.5 inch boot circumference.

Budget-friendly Stretch Boots

On a shoestring budget for footwear? The BCBG Jericho is going for under $100 in some sizes!

BCBGeneration Women's Jericho Combat Boot,Black,8 M US
BCBGeneration Women's Jericho Combat Boot,Black,8 M US

This simple, budget-friendly style is 13.75 inches at the midcalf measurement, which makes for a nice fit, but in my size (8) it was over 15 at the opening, so keep in mind what you'll wear with these. See pix below for how it looks on my 12" calf.

 

The BCBGeneration Jericho on me...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
On the right side you can see the extra space at the opening - but with pants these don't look too huge overall.Here they are with thin tights. Again, the top could be snugger.But for the price, if your legs are slim but not ultra skinny, these are worth a look.
On the right side you can see the extra space at the opening - but with pants these don't look too huge overall.
On the right side you can see the extra space at the opening - but with pants these don't look too huge overall.
Here they are with thin tights. Again, the top could be snugger.But for the price, if your legs are slim but not ultra skinny, these are worth a look.
Here they are with thin tights. Again, the top could be snugger.But for the price, if your legs are slim but not ultra skinny, these are worth a look.

More slim boots! (Some only on ebay at this point...)

Stuart Weitzman Halftime, Madden Reggo, ZiGiny Knowing, DV Tison, Miz Mooz Oakley, Minnetonka 3-Layer Fringe, ara Frances, Modern Vintage Diana & Olympia, Frye Carson, Frye Sabrina Inside Zip, Coclico Seaghan (high end, very limited sizes), Mia Bold, Nine West Elspet, Steve Madden Candence (with a 13-in. circumference, per the co.), Paul Green October, Coclico Otto, KORS Porter, Isola Claris, Aquatalia Deliver

3-in-one?

Yes, this page is for knee-high styles. But read this account of how the ultra slim, sleek celeb-cult-classic Stuart Weitzman 5050 can be folded from its over-the-knee style to create a knee-high or even midcalf look.

Even as is, the 5050 -- a streamlined riding boot celebrating it's 20th birthday this year -- is classy enough to convert even an over-the-knee-allergic boot lover like me. (Think prosecco with Clooney, not jello shots with Kid Rock.)

I've seen the circumference listed anywhere from 12 to 14 inches, but if they fit Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, and this style vlogger, it's a safe bet they'll work for most of us. The price is rough for all uf us without Jolie-level income, but (silver lining) you can save 20% by signing up for Amazon's shoe-related email like I did.

p.s. I asked Stuart Weitzman about folding down the 5050, and a very courteous customer service rep said it can be done but might not be as aesthetically pleasing as going with the shorter but otherwise identical Mezzamezza boot, which he said "measures in at about 12 inches" around the calf.

Stuart Weitzman Women's 5050 Over-the-Knee Boot,Black Nappa,6.5 M US
Stuart Weitzman Women's 5050 Over-the-Knee Boot,Black Nappa,6.5 M US

Cult classics usually last just a couple of seasons, but not this one, which shows no signs of slowing down for 2015!

 

Skinny Calf Rain Boots

So here's the deal with wellies: These boots aren't supposed to be fitted. They're supposed to flap around on your legs -- that's the style, and it's cute. But with many rain boots measuring 15 inches or more around, if your calves are very thin -- say, 11 to 12 inches around -- the flap factor can be extreme. Basically you want about 1 to 2 inches of space around your calves for a cute rain boot fit. I've been pleasantly surprised with the thin calf wellies available. An excellent choice...

Kamik Women's Heidi Rain Boot,Black/Noir,8 M US
Kamik Women's Heidi Rain Boot,Black/Noir,8 M US

Six great colors, 13.5 inch circumference

 

The Kamik Heidi on me...

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Just in time for September rains, I grabbed the Kamik Heidi in glossy black. (Have to admit the teal appealed, but I figured the black is a bit more versatile. The gray would be perfect too, if it weren't sold out in my size -- funny how a matte gray rain boot seems kinda sad, but when glossy it's chic.) My tape measure says these are more like 14 inches around than the advertised 13.5, but a wellie looks cuter with a little breathing room. And the extra couple inches around my just-under-12" calves distributes fine; it's only really noticeable when I'm sitting down (photo 3). There are pull tabs at the back, but they're quite tiny--there for style only?--so I probably wouldn't recommend this boot for calves much over 13. I'm gonna miss my decade-old green Hunters, but they were always ginormous on the legs, giving me a noisy gait that was just a little too noticeable at soccer games! Plus, I personally find the slightly shorter shaft on the Heidi more flattering than the tall Hunters, which never really worked with skirts.

also check out...

Bogs Alex II

Ralph Lauren Rossalyn II (14.5 around, but some reviewers complain of too-skinny calf!)

the very luxe Aquatalia Wasabee

& from Kamik the Kelly (fleece lined), Annabel (houndstooth), Cynthia (floral), and Naomi (cool solids)

Made-to-Measure

UK-based DUO is well known in the scrawny-calf community for offering boots you can customize by calf size. Choose from more than a dozen boot styles in 21 calf sizes, most offered from 30 centimeters (about 11.8 inches) up to 50. DUO's stores are in Britain, but you can too, and the company now offers free shipping worldwide. The only drawback is the price: not a month's mortgage, but a bit splurge-ish at $250 to $400 a pair.

About $400 USD will also get you a nice-looking custom pair from Canadian company Poppy Barley. I've seen very few reviews/stories about this brand, but you may find it worth exploring.


also see...

Kors Arley, Aquatalia Orso , Enzo Angiolini Zareh; Vaneli Rian & Vimy styles,To Boot Avery; BCBG Erinn (with back laces for extra tightening); Aquatalia Unity, Star, Umpa, Under & Diane styles, Ara Tilly; Stuart Weitzman Grounded; Frye Chelsea Riding; Joan & David Zadarah

Note: Some of these may be ebay-only at this point. Happy hunting!

Vintage

I was intrigued by a tip from one skinny-calf sister who says she always buys vintage boots, and they fit great. I'm kind of assuming you'd need to seek out styles from the 1970s or earlier for a significantly narrower fit than we find in today's marketplace. Worth a look on ebay and etsy, maybe? Happy hunting :)

If all else fails...

Found your perfect pair of boots, but they're too floppy? Contact a cobbler about narrowing the calves. I haven't done this personally, but I know it's possible -- if a bit pricey.

~~poll~~

Your ideal non-adjustable boot would have what calf circumference?

See results

What type of boot are you looking for?

See results

In love with Aquatalia--arguably the most consistent slim-cutting bootmaker out there--but can't stomach the cost? Most of this brand's styles are weatherproof (check the description to be sure!), so much like a stylish down coat, a classic leather riding boot could function as your fall/winter one-and-only (no need to buy wellies or snowboots) with the addition of a $10-$20 fleece boot liner.

I'd love to hear about your dream boot -- whether you own it or are still in coveting mode. Special thanks if you find a cute one around 14 inches around and share the info here.

Share your quest...

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    • Fahsionboots profile image

      Fahsionboots 23 months ago from Australia

      wow, great hub and so many comments here too. I have found that in general tall boots without a zipper are better for the skinny leg and tall boots with a zipper are better for a wider fitting leg calf.

    • profile image

      Michelle Keahey 2 years ago

      This is great information...but what size shoe do you wear? I wear a 10, so often even narrow-shaft boots start getting too wide at that size.

    • profile image

      Laura 2 years ago

      Hi, Your columns for skinny calves is great. I am looking for a simple, flat black boot that is midcalf. Most of the boots you review are taller. What do you recommend for a 3/4 boot. Thanks so much

    • williamslaw profile image

      williamslaw 3 years ago

      Awesome boots!

    • teelover profile image

      teelover 3 years ago

      Great lens! Its always hard to find boots for thin legs :)

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Love boots. Great lens.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 3 years ago from Chicago area

      @KellyMR: Hi Kelly - sorry I didn't see this sooner! (for some reason...)

      The last F Sarto boot I tried on was the Cipher, and was 14.5 around for me, vs. the 13-14 it's generally listed at with the online shops. I did check out the Cymbols at Macys and could tell without even trying it on that it was going to be too big for me, but my calves are just under 12", so for 13" maybe it would work. Did you ever try those out? Let us know...

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I always hated the extra room left whenever i bought a pair of boots. Your lens was really helpful.

    • profile image

      KellyMR 3 years ago

      Has anyone tried the Franco Sarto Cymbols? It claims to have a 14" cirucmference but I never know if that's for a really small shoe size (I'm typically an 8.5). Reviews are mixed. My calf is around 13"...I'm so happy I've foudnt his blog, so helpful!

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 3 years ago from Czech Republic

      Great lens! Lovely selection of boots... My wife is going to love it too!

    • profile image

      jmills1976 3 years ago

      I am an avid shopper and have spent a lot of time and energy attempting to find knee high boots that fit my tiny calves (around 11.5, definitely under 12 inches). In the past I have spent the money to have a cobbler taper the top of a boot, but alas the proportion to the ankle looks pretty bad. Still use that boot (a cognac Guess 3 inch heel) at times with skirts. The search, however, continued for the perfect everyday boot. I stumbled across a knee boot from Target, that's right Target. Of course I bought both colors available. This year the quest began again for the perfect cognac low heeled riding boot. I found the perfect one in Clark Mullen Spice. Fits true to size and has buckles that are adjustable. Between adjusting the buckles and wearing with skinny jeans I am more than satisfied with my purchase. But wait, I found myself in Target again and could not resist trying on this year's version of my prior knee boot purchase and boy am I glad I did. I ended up buying those too... in 2 colors of course. They are the Kayce tall boot with back studs. Bought black and brown during a buy one get one half off sale and paid $60 for both. They are motorcycle chic for this suburban mom. Just enough edge to them without being too young or costumey. They are comfortable and fit true to size. Do not hesitate if you have a skinny calf. I have never met an adult woman with skinnier calves then me and these all work!!! Happy shopping :)

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      modstyl 3 years ago

      Thank you soo much!!! I'm a tall gall with big feet and skinny calves (12.5â) - last years version of these are the only pair of boot that fit without requiring alterations. (It looks a lot like the Aquatilia Upswing Riding Boot at a 1/3 of the price). It's on final markdown so don't know how long it will last but they are comfortable waterfproof and instead of a cloth it has a vinyl weave all around the calf that's pretty too me. It started at 13" and stretches from there (This year's version has leather on top so I don't know - the description states 14"): shop.nordstrom.com/s/blondo-boot/3485379?origin=category (Also FYI Corso Como Women's Sutton Riding Boot per Amazon review are actually 15")Thanks again for your dedication for all slim calves!! Please keep your insights coming!!!

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 3 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Hi Carole -- I just tried the Franco Sarto Cipher, and it's too wide for me, but not by as much as most boots. I measured it at 14 1/2 in. circ. for my size (8), so if I had to guess, I'd say the circ. would be maybe 14 for sz 7, 13.5 for sz 6. Can see how this would be a great pick for those with 13-in. calves like yours, if they're ok w/ faux leather. One inch extra is good for wearing over jeans & other skinny pants and will still look good over just tights/stockings. Thanks again for the tip.

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 3 years ago

      Great job! I enjoyed this walk. . .us skinny calved girls need to know these things. Thanks

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @Lilysmomma: you get the wittiest comment prize :) -- I think I'd dine w/ my cats too for those boots, except they eat Newman's Own! I'd have to downgrade them first, or maybe go with oatmeal or generic Cheerios...

      in some style-related article I read years ago, this woman said she had a Clergerie jar where she dumped all her change; each time it filled she could get a new pair of Clergerie shoes. how big a jar would we need for those 5050s??

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @thin_legs: ok good - thank you! at least the 13.5 is from a size 8 .... more manufacturers need to be listing circ. at size 7 or 8 -- middle-of-the-road -- rather than sz 6.

    • profile image

      Lilysmomma 4 years ago

      I found my Mr. Right & Left at Macy's about 3 years ago - just like the Stuart Weizmann 5050 but about 1/3 the price. They are comfy, snazzy and durable - walked me all over (sigh) Paris and still bring in heaps of compliments. I would give a significant body part to find another pair in brown. I may have to share dinner with the cat for few weeks and go for the SWs - the reviews are SOOOO persuasive - but will spend more time delving through your wonderful site before I belly up to the kibble dish. Thank you!

    • profile image

      thin_legs 4 years ago

      @verymary: Yes, directly from aquatalia.

      Dulcy Kozlowski

    • profile image

      thin_legs 4 years ago

      The Aquatalia Upswing and the Upstart have a 13.5" shaft circumference as measured on a size 8. The calf measurements will change approximately 1/4" per half size.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      Not sure why this comment wouldn't post -- but thanks thin_legs for the tip on Aquatalia Orso & Deliver, both of which fit her 12-inch calves but unfortunately are in the $500 range. Some more slim cut Aquatalias I'm looking into are the Upswing (like the old "Under" style), Darla & Diane. Keep the tips coming, please!

    • profile image

      thin_legs 4 years ago

      The Aquatalia deliver & orso are VERY narrow. Fit my 12" calves nicely. Unfortunately, they are in the $500 range. :-(

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      IreneL11 4 years ago

      This lens it was very helpful. I love Nine West boots and bags.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Carole - thanks for this great info; very helpful! I didn't even know Tahari made boots. I've had good luck with my Franco Sartos in the past but love the Tennley style too. Good luck choosing!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Also, except for the Cole Haans, all of these boots were under $200.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      OK ladies, I ordered 6 pairs of boots after reading this article and doing a lot of digging online. Here are the results:

      Narrowest calf was a tie between the Franco Sparto Cipher

      and the Cole Haan Tennley. Both boots were so similar I had on 1 of each and couldn't even tell. Biggest difference is the Franco Sparto has a full length zipper, which may be helpful when wearing with skinny jeans, although I was able to pull the Cole Haans over my jeans. The Cole Haans have more style, with the double buckle and embossed leather on top.

      The other 4 I tried, which were all about 2 inches too big for my 13" calves were:

      --Ecco Hobart Harness (this one has a short shaft as well)

      --Nine West Partay

      --Bandolino Countless

      --Tahari Karen

      All of the boots promised 14" or less calf circumference, but that was definitely not the case. I wanted boots that will look good with tights, so was looking for the narrowest possible. I haven't yet decided which of the 2 that fit to keep, but either one would be a great choice for a classic black leather riding boot if you have small calves.

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 4 years ago

      I loooove boots!

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      vanthang012 4 years ago

      thangk

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      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      My wife loves this lens! Thanks a lot for sharing!!!

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: try https://hubpages.com/style/midcalf-boots - some of these have more fitted ankles, or at least not huge. the ecco hobart harness has lots of good reviews & doesn't appear baggy. maybe others too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been searching (exhausted!) for a low-mid calf boot that actually fits, but doesn't have the sky-scraper heels, and does not have a lot of bling on it. Just a nice looking plain-ish black boot that isn't clunky. My lower calf is around 11", but there is always too much room around my ankles too.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: wow, yes, I'm afraid you need alterations. with a 10-inch calf you'll probably want an 11-inch circumference (remember there needs to be some space with a slip-on boot; your ankle needs to be able to move around; and a truly skintight riding boot looks weird) -- which is almost an inch smaller than even DUO offers. the good news is that if you have no choice but to take it to a cobbler, you can pick out the boot you really love, regardless of its circumference. best of luck!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm tall and skinny (5'9"). I've been looking for the perfect flat riding boot for years. My calf is about 10 inches. I refuse to purchase a boot for the leather cobbler to cut down, but it seems I may have to.

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      SianaL 4 years ago

      Love these!

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      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      First I would have to get the skinny calves. Once that little item is out of the way, the rest will be a cakewalk LOL

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: ok, check out the new section above, just for shorter legs :)

      tall ladies, let me know if you want me to split out some extra-tall boots, like 17+ inches -- there are some good ones

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: actually there are about 20 shorter-shaft boots (under 15 inches) on this page. I'll add a section soon that highlights them. in the meantime, check out the La Canadienne Galaxy, Jenny & Viola styles in addition to my other recommendations :)

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: thanks for the input! right off the bat, 2 great boots come to mind -- under More Thin Calf Boots, check out the ECCO Hobart Harness and the Frye Taylor Pull On (I have and LOVE the latter, and the Hobart is very well-reviewed). will have to think about how to make these & other shorter-leg options more obvious on the page.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hey there, I would love to see a selection of boots that are shorter in shaft height - i.e 14" or less as while these are a great selection of boots for my narrow calves, they are all impossible due to the shaft height.

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      Cyrus Solomons 4 years ago

      pretty cool lens.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like these boots for my wife. Looking for a good valentines day gift.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @Ksal99: thanks; very courteous -- have a great weekend!

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      Ksal99 4 years ago

      @verymary: Kat, my sincere apologies. I absolutely love your blog!!

      It won't happen again.

    • profile image

      Ksal99 4 years ago

      @verymary: Kat, my sincere apologies. I absolutely love your blog!!

      It won't happen again.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      dear Karen -- pls stop spamming the guestbook here! thanks hon!

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      Ksal99 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Lace, I totally understand your frustration. I'm 5'9" , wear a size 11 and have a 13.5" calf. Size 11 boots are brutal! The only boot I've found over the past few years has been the Stuart weitzman 50/50 boot. All other boots are egregiously wide.

      I'm doing research for a line of narrow calf boots. Please post your size (shoe and calf) on my fb page. Search for skinny calf boots on Facebook and like my page/group. I Tried posting the link, but it won't let me. Try cutting and pasting this: www.facebook.com/pages/Skinny-Calf-Boots/114920425351637. I look forward to hearing from you. Thx!!, Karen

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      Ksal99 4 years ago

      @WillowSkye: Hi everyone, I totally understand your frustration. I'm 5'9" , wear a size 11 and have a 13.5" calf. Size 11 boots are brutal! I'm doing research for a line of narrow calf boots. Please post your size (shoe and calf) on my fb page. Search for skinny calf boots on Facebook and like my page/group. Tried posting the link, but it won't let me. Try cutting and pasting this: www.facebook.com/pages/Skinny-Calf-Boots/114920425351637. I look forward to hearing from you. Thx!!, Karen

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: WHOA, you got an Aquatalia boot for 82 bucks? all hail the Boot Ninja!

      the Mona Beam is great for skinny calves, though can be hard to find. you did great!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just got 2 pair of boots that touch my calves and they are under 11.5"! I got the Gentle Souls Mona Beam as a black boot with a 2.75" heel and super comfy. I also got the Aquatalia by Marvin K Crystal on clearance (I wear a 5.5) on Amazon for $82!!! Best boot every purchased.

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      New-Shoes 4 years ago

      Very nice boots, however amazon is a bit tricky if you order from Greece like i do :(

      For ordering boots from Greece we prefer our very own new-shoes

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Leather is still the best for our feet

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Our daughter in law has skinny calves and would love these boots

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      andrew69 4 years ago

      Very cool looking boots for the ladies! Nice Lens

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is great information, I like them very much. :)

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @Frischy: There actually are more choices for wide calves. But iI hear you - when we find something that fits, it can look very nice. Wide calf boots can also look great, though - don't give up! :)

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I have very thick calves. I have always loved boots, but never been able to wear them. Women with slender calves look great in all kinds of boots! Very fortunate ladies!

    • WillowSkye profile image

      WillowSkye 4 years ago

      You have put together a great list of boots! It is very difficult for me to find boots that fit right because my calves are so small...I will have to check more of these out.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: good one!! similar style to the Aquatalia Under & the Vaneli Vimy. nice find; glad it fits ya!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Size 9

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Should be waterproof "boot" and tall sock "touching" all the way around. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Okay - got another one. Blondo "vergara" waterproof book. After I went to Nordstroms and tried on the really expensive Aquatalia I came home and searched more online - and found this one. It came in the mail today and it fits on my 12 1/2 in calf with a tall sock toughing all the way around. I'd say it is about a 13 maybe a tiny bit shy on circumference. Cute boot - I'm wearing it around the house.

    • HairBowHanna profile image

      HairBowHanna 4 years ago

      My boots are always falling down my legs - this is a great lens!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @verymary: It's on sale now for $199.99 on Timberland's website!! In my boot quest, I saw (only online) the Robert Clergerie Passacd as having 11-12" circumference. Nordstrom lists it as 11" and it's on sale now for around $417 from $695. But still too high for my budget.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: I'd heard good things about the Stratham Heights but saw it on amazon listed with a 14.5 circumference, so that doesn't meet the criterion for this page. You measured it at 13? Maybe it's 13 in 6.5 but 14.5 at a more average shoe size like 8 ... ? I think I'll contact the manufacturer and find out for sure, as that's a nice boot. Thanks for the info! You've had quite a boot adventure!!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is gonna be long, sorry...I started searching for skinny boots this past Oct. and have spent hours reading forums like this. (We even had a little exchange below.) My original search was for dressy mid-heeled boots. For the first time, I ordered footwear online and now I am a happy owner and wearer of Timberland Stratham Heights boots with 3" heels. It's regularly $240 but the website gave me $20 off and free shipping. A few days after I received them, the website had a 20% off sale. When I called to request a price adjustment, the person said she couldn't do it. I called the next day and another lady gave me the difference, excluding the $20 discount I got. Not bad. My right calf is 12" but my left is slightly smaller. I have teeny-tiny 6" ankles. I wear a 6.5 shoe size. The Stratham heights has 13" circumference so it's huge when worn bare-legged. I just wear it with jeggings and skinny jeans and it looks great. The ankles are wide but because the leather is thick and not shiny, it doesn't wrinkle on me. IMO, the style in black or brown is more on the casual side, despite the heels.

      Returned the FS Yoni bec it was actually too high (heels) and the calf circ was 13". It was shiny so the ankle wrinkling really showed. I really liked how dressy it looked in taupe! Ordered LC Dorina from Zappos (great customer service) but the heel was too low for me, the calf circ was really 14" not 12.5" as listed on website, and the shaft was 14" which reached the biggest part of my calves. I didn't like the look. Now the ankle wrinkling wasn't bad perhaps because suede (again not shiny) doesn't make it obvious. I must say the workmanship was tops. Well, the price was also high, $305.

      Then I decided to try Duos but had to waste $20 to ship it back because the ankle wrinkling is really bad. I ordered the smallest calf size (30 cm) and it was tight at first then I got used to it. i forgot my right calf was 12", which would translate to 31 cm. Also, the shoe part ran big. Maybe it's the UK sizing. Their customer service is awesome, though. And $20 is not bad considering it's international.

      Stumbled upon a past season Tahari Karlene riding boot at Marshalls ($63) which had 13" calf, leather front and stretch back and if it had been a 6.5, I'd own it now to wear with jeans and leggings.

      I've concluded that matte leather would reduce the presence or perception of ankle wrinkling. As for dressy boots, I'd have to go with suede like the Rhumba--on my wishlist for now.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: I haven't come across any boots with a circumference under 12 inches, sorry! Will certanily post if I do. DUO goes down to 11.8, which I think would work for you if you factor in skinny jeans, leggings or thick-ish tights -- but I've heard they don't tailor down the ankles accordingly. Aquatalia boots may be better for you, with legwarmers hidden underneath if need be. Not only are Aquatalia styles like the Rhumba, Mona & Rap quite thin in circumference, but they're also cut slim through the ankle.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      i have been in love with boots for all my life and i dream of perfect boots.... But lets be honest here not many people have an 11 inch calf and even less have a 7 inch ankle.. So my quest for a perfect boot with a not so imaginary price continues...

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: congrats on your big purchase; wear them in good health! sometimes ramen for style is a good trade.

      personally I can't imagine needing more luxury than Stuart Weitzman - and a couple of those are on sale now for $356!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      OK, I've been a thrifty, off-price shopper all my life. But I fell in love with the Gucci high heel riding boot. Going to the store to try it on. Thinking, checking my balance and finally, taking the plunge - four figures!!! But I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve them. (The most for one item since my wedding gown) And to have a smooth leather boot with a calf that fits (12.5 - 13 in a 71/2) is sheer heaven. I don't mind eating ramen as pennance. :-)

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: you're absolutely right; the calves do get wider as foot size goes up -- which is kind of nuts, as there are plenty of thin to average calved women in the larger shoe sizes ... as well as small-footed women with wider calves.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My calves aren't that small for the average girl but I am 5'8", wear a shoe size 10 or 11 and my calve size is about 14 inches. I think if I was shorter and wore a size 7 I would be set but for some reason it seems calves sizes greatly go up with shoe sizes. :) I did find some chinese laundry heeled tall boots that fit my leg well. They are a black leather strechy material and I can wear them with a dress and they look great! I pretty much buy boots by whether or not they fit my calf not which ones look the best. :)

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Hi Jan -- What you need is a short shaft boot as well as narrow shaft. Click on these boots and in most cases in the info section there will be a line that says "Shaft measures approximately __ from arch." I would think best bet for you would be to click the styles you like and see if any of the shafts are under 15 inches tall from the arch. Some that are: the ECCO Hobart Harness, La Canadienne Galaxy, Frye Taylor, Miz Mooz Oakley, and Santana Angela. There are probably others, too, so check whichever ones you like. GL!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @verymary: I'm so happy I stumbled into your column. I, too have the skinny calves. However, I have another problem, 5' 1" which means short calves also. On top of that, I can't wear too high of a heel, wedge is great, but some are 3". Any additional suggestions? I live in Atlanta, GA if that matters. Thanks y'all - stay warm.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @verymary: ooh! check out the La Canadienne Jenny boot -- narrow calf & does come in AA sizes, though limited available on amazon. if you like it, maybe google around & see if others have the AA in your size. also look for the Munro Sophia boot and the Blondo Vallera.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: I haven't seen that, but I'll look.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: My boot collection was already too big (ask my husband!) when I first wrote this page, so I haven't acquired the exact styles here -- but I have 3 Aquatalia boots that fit VERY well, one similar to the Charm featured here, one like the Cara, and one that actually looks more like the MK Brandy w/out the faux fur at top. My other snuggest boots are Franco Sarto stretch (but I still have to put thick socks underneath), a Modern

      Vintage pair that I think have a smaller circumference than the MV Olympia shown here, and a pair I got at a small shop in Canada -- unfortunately there's no brand label in those :( My advice is if you find a pair that really fit and are relatively classic in style, try to get an extra pair for the future, or the same boot in another color....because they do run out & are rarely reproduced. If I could justify adding to that large collection today with any boot here, I think I'd get one of the slimmer calf Fryes like the Melissa laceup, the Taylor, or the Jenna -- or one of the gorgeous smaller-label designs made in Italy, Spain or Portugal.Thanks for stopping by!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I dream of finding skinny-calf boots that come in a narrow (2A) width. Do such boots exist?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi! We have the same calf circumference and I was wondering which of these boots do you own. Thanks!

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: hi Jane -- those boots @ top are the Frye Chelsea Riding Boots -- 2nd pair under "Stretchy Boots"

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      At the top of this article, under the heading, "100 handpicked styles for thin calves" are a pair of boots, but there isn't any indication as to the brand name. Does anyone know? I don't see them listed under any of the headings below. Thanks.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @verymary: Leather slouches, too. My daughter rides, and they deliberately get taller boots knowing they will "drop" an inch or more after breaking in. And these are super stiff, hunter/jumper riding boots.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I found two brands of flat boots (like riding boots) at DSW that are 13" and 14" in circumference and fit my 12.5" calves very well when I tried them on with skinny jeans. They're very cute, too. Calvin Klein (I think the Tamryn, but Zappos says that's 15-inch and it was definitely 14-inch) and Vaneli Replay . I wound up buying the Vaneli because they fit a little more snugly, and the Calvins were kind of tight for a 7.5 (I usually wear a 7, so this surprised me). If I wear them with leggings or tights, I'll put boot socks/leg warmers on to close any slight gap. I was just thrilled to find these. I have dress boots from Bootmakers with custom calves, so I just needed inexpensive boots for jeans. (btw, Don't buy from Bootmakers. My boots are gorgeous, but there is absolutely no padding in the foot, and they hurt in 10 mins. of walking. I had to get super, high-arch, padded insoles. Go to Duoboots for custom calves.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Amazing selection of stylish boots:)

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: thanks again Josie -- most of the boots here a free shipping & free returns, yea! returns are always a bit of hassle no matter what, but free makes a big difference.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @verymary: My F. S. Yoni boots are synthetic. Even if I don't mind the ankle slouch on a lot of ladies' boots I see, I seem to dislike the slouch on me. So, gonna go shopping and see what I can find. If not, I'll try out the ones you suggested, which would have to be online. I've ordered shoes online only once...these F.S. because there was free shipping and online coupon from DSW. And I can return to their store without incurring extra costs. You see, most of these lovely boots are just so expensive and having to pay for shipping, round trip if the boots don't fit, aahh! But I do hear what most people have said here that it's worth the cost. So we'll see. Thanks for your help. Love this site.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: thx Josie! are your Franco Sartos faux leather? I've had 2 cute F.S. faux leather pair that were very soft & comfy but did slouch at the ankle somewhat, so I know exactly what you're talking about. Leather boots should be better at the ankle, as many (albeit not all) of them are going to be stiffer than the faux leather.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @verymary: Hi! Thanks for this website. You've put in a lot of work researching and updating. I just got these comfortable Franco Sarto Yoni dress boots online with 3-inch heels. My calf is 11.5"and my shoe size is 6.5. The boots' calf-size is actually 13", still too spacious but isn't bad if tucking jeans in. However, there is the wrinkling at the ankles that bothers me more. I think this will always be an issue with any boot unless there is a hard piece of lining right at the ankles.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: one option is a thin-cut boot that also has an adjustable ankle strap -- like the Sesto Meucci 1146 (Under "More Boots...") or the Aquatalia Umpa or Under (under "Stretchy Boots") appear to have. but I do think plenty of these boots are slim cut enough that they shouldn't slouch at the ankle.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Hi Josie -- I've seen that criticism on Duo boots as well -- the idea that they seem to adjust the top circumference but not the ankle. The trick is to find non-stretch boots that are cut fairly slim all the way up. What kind of boot are you looking for -- wedge, riding, flat, heels?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Where can I find narrow calf boots that don't slouch at the ankles? Or is this impossible unless the boots are made of fabric that hug your skin from ankle up to your calf? There's this article a lady with Duo boots posted with pictures that shows what I mean.

      alterationsneeded.com/2010/12/revisited-duo-narrow-width-calf-fit.html

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: hi Amy -- you will have lots of choices with those 13 inch calves :) Look at the 13.25-13.75 inch circumference boots on this page, plus the Stretchy Boots, Buckle Boots & Laceup Boots sections have a bunch in that circumference range (those with still skinnier calves can tighten w/ the buckles & laces). also see http://www.squidoo.com/boots-for-narrow-calves for some great-looking wedges in your circ. range. have fun :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was cursed with chicken legs myself, your research is a god send! I just measured my calf and it looks like a little over 13 inches. I would love a boot with a low heel or a wedge with leather or suede. I'll be shopping soon enough thanks to what you've found! Cheers!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for this info I've struggled for years to get boots I can wear with skirts and dresses and now you've given me hope that this winter I will find my perfect boots

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: under "More Boots for Skinny Calves" above, check out the Lindsay Plate and the Carson, both 13 circ & come in cognac. also, the Frye Taylor or Melissa Trapunto (lots of Frye Melissas, but look at the Trapunto). GL!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Frye boots in cognac for 13" calves. Help! lol.

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: yes, actually I have several cowboy boots to add when I get space on this page! click any of the boots above to get to amazon, then search for "Dan Post Mignon" or "Dan Post El Paso" & see what you think. So pretty, and 13-13.5 inch circumferences. Also gorgeous & pretty slim is the Ariat Corazon. And from Frye, check out the Carson, Billy or Taylor. good luck! :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I LOVE you for this. I'm looking for mid-calf cowboy boots. I want to wear them with dresses but haven't found any for my bird legs. Any ideas?

    • verymary profile image
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      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: wow, great deal! Casadei is a cool brand, featured at Anthro sometimes, right? so glad you snagged the GeeWaWas too .... wish they would come back & make more skinny boots for us!!