Every time knee-high boots come up – ESPECIALLY when they’re mentioned as a potential wardrobe staple – the hackles rise. So, so, so many of you have trouble finding tall boots that fit your calves correctly. And even if you love the look, you eventually give up the quest out of sheer frustration.
And honestly? I don’t have a solution. Because some of you have narrow calves and some of you have wide calves. Some of you aren’t proportioned for mass-produced tall boots and some of you are concerned about disguising your slender ankles. And even though there are a few minor workarounds for some of these issues, the bald fact is that some women may never find a pairs gorgeous, perfectly-fitting tall boots that flatter their frames. At least, not without getting them custom-made.
But, like I said, there are a handful of minor workarounds. So I’ll share those with ya and hope they’re helpful.
- Tall boots WILL scrunch up a little around the ankles: Don’t panic about this and think your boots are misshapen! It would be fantastic if they fit perfectly to your every contour, from heelbone to kneebone. But it is NOT going to happen. Expect some scrunch. Totally normal.
- Before you buy, measure: Most online shoe sites list calf circumference and shaft height for tall boots. Measure your own calves at the widest point and from ankle to knee. Ideally you want the shaft to fit closely to your calf, and hit about three fingers below the bottom edge of your kneecap. Then do some online digging to find boots that will fit and flatter YOUR calves based on these measurements. Even if you plan to buy in person, you’ll get a feel for which brands might fit you.
- Don’t shirk the specialty retailers: Yes, some of the boots on widewidths.com and Ted & Muffy aren’t as fun as the ones on Zappos. But with a tall boot, you might want to go classic anyway, so try not to focus on the fact that you can’t buy those kitschy button-up boots from Miz Mooz. Buy a pair that fits, feels good, and looks great. You’ll wear ‘em into the ground.
- Pony up: While this applies across the board, it’s especially true of specialty sizes. Now, I’m not saying that it’s FAIR, but it’s just the way of the world. The smaller the manufacturing batch, the higher the individual price. Prepare to spend up to $300 for these pups.
- For wide calves, consider a non-zip boot: Pull-on boots are considerably more forgiving. Yes, they create a less polished look than zip-up boots, but they’re SO much less constricting.
- For narrow calves, consider a stretch boot: There’s nothing like leather, it’s true … but if boots crafted from stiff materials fit you like galoshes, try something with stretch.
- If you like the look, consider a lace-up tall boot: You’ll have tons more control if you can adjust the tightness throughout the boot shaft. Lace-ups aren’t nearly as sleek and versatile, in my opinion, but they are far superior in matters of fit.
- Locate a decent cobbler: I know, here’s a task that’s nearly as fun as finding a great tailor! But a skilled cobbler can do amazing things for shoes that are ALMOST perfect. This will be especially helpful for narrow-calved women, as some pairs of tall boots can be skinnied up a bit without destroying their overall shape.
In addition to the two listed above, here are a few more specialty boot retailers I found with a quick search. I am one of the lucky gals who can buy regular sizes, so I can’t swear by any of them … but they’ll make a good springboard, I think:
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