I just love boots! They’re the best thing to wear whilst tromping in fields or concrete jungles and excellent at keeping your legs warm in the winter. Of course boots with shorter shafts are quite easy to fit gals with curvy calves, but when you want boots that venture towards your knees it can become a predicament. For years I didn’t think that I’d ever be able to wear knee-high boots. I’d order pairs that would state that they were “wide calf” and I’d try them on and not be able to zip them up very far past my ankles. That sure is an upsetting experience, especially when you love the boot and they’re beautiful and comfy and would look so fabulous on you. Well, if you can’t zip ’em up, there’s no point in keeping them around, is there?
KNOW YOUR CALF CIRCUMFERENCE. The first thing you need to know when you’re searching for wide calf boots is your calf size. Measure your calves at the widest part whilst sitting down. Boot descriptions will tell you what the width is, but that measurement is generally given for a size 8, so if your foot is larger, the boot will be wider than the average size of the shaft circumference as the width goes up with each size. The standard calf width for boots is a size 15″ calf.
MEASURE FOR HEIGHT. I always look at the shaft height when searching online for boots. This is especially important when shopping for boots that don’t have zippers. Whilst recently shopping for western boots and a pair of wellingtons, I made certain that I checked the shaft height and to measure my own legs in comparison to that measurement. That way I could check to see if the shaft was going to stop before it hit my calves and the widest part of my legs. I compared that measurement with the circumference and was able to choose the right boots without having to send them back disappointed.
TRY ‘EM ON. I know this is just common sense, but the width can vary with size and different brands. Online retailers are usually pretty good about describing the size, but they often only tell you the circumference based on a base size [like a size 8]. You never know what’s going to fit you unless you’re able to try it on. If you’re buying online, make sure that the store you’re purchasing from has a good return policy if your boots don’t fit. You could also try a wider size. The wider the width = wider calf. Elastic panels are also a great thing to look for.
I’ve searched online for quite a while in the search for flattering wide calf boots. It seemed as if I was limited to what Lane Bryant and Torrid were down to offer me, with one retailer selling boots that looked cheap and the other with boots that aren’t my style. It wasn’t until last year that I found my first pair of wide calf boots that are WIDE CALF and actually FIT ME.These are the A2 by Aerosoles Ride Out, which is Aerosoles’ lower price brand. I bought my first pair last year in a size 11 W. What’s ingenious about these boots is that they have two zippers, one of which has an insert that will give you 2″ of extra room in your calf. They also have elastic on the sides which help to ensure that the boot will fit over your calves. I was SO DARN HAPPY when I got these and tried them on as I initially figured that this was just another lark and they weren’t going to fit me. I was pleasantly surprised when they did and was ready to buy another pair as these are so sleek and comfortable. I purchased my black pair from JCPenney and they sold out quickly and I couldn’t find a brown pair anywhere online last year as others must have found out how great these boots are. This year I purchased a tan pair from Shoebuy in a 10 1/2 W. That pair sat in my closet for a couple of months until it was cold enough to wear them and unfortunately they are soooo tight in both the foot and the shaft that I could barely get them zipped up. I actually wear a 10 1/2 (which is a difficult size to find, so I often buy an 11) and do not have a wide foot, but these apparently fit a half size smaller and may run a little narrow. For reference: my calf size is 19.5″. These are sold at many retailers and came in five colors this year, but I’ve noticed how they keep selling out, so there aren’t as many left. I just recently purchased the Aerosoles With Pride boots during the Aerosoles Black Friday sale on their website. These also have two zips like the A2 Ride Out and I’m looking forward to these arriving. Unfortunately, these are so slow to ship, so I can’t share with you my experience yet as they aren’t scheduled to be here until next week. These might be 1/4″ too small in the calf, but I’m hoping that they fit as I really like these. Aerosoles have several boots on their site in the extended calf section.
WIDE CALF BOOTS
I’m obviously a fan of riding boots, so here are some more gorgeous boots with wide calves.Wedge Boots
I’ve actually never owned a pair of wedge boots, but as I like wedge sandals, it seems like I should get some!Dress Boots
I really love the Duo Brita boot which is quite similar to the popular Aquatalia Rhumba, but less expensive and in a wide calf.Over the Knee Boots
A little bit more difficult to find than boots that hit under the knee, but here are some in wide calf.Lace-up Boots
With lace up boots you can adjust your boots to fit your calves.Wellington Boots
I’ve found that wellies are a bit hard to find in wider widths and as they’re rubber and most don’t have zips, you can’t do any tricks to get them to fit. There are some that come in wide sizes and you could always try a men’s wellie which might be wider. I’ve pretty much relegated myself to shorter versions of my faves, but there are these wider width rubber boots.Western Boots
If you want some knee high western boots and you have wide calves, it’s going to be difficult to find a pair that fits. The great thing about western boots, though, is that most have a “v” or scalloped wider opening at the top that may accommodate your calves. Otherwise, you can just get a version with a shorter shaft. I have the Justin Bent Rail 11″ square toe boots in cognac and they fit me just great as well as being extremely comfortable.OTHER TRICKS
Stretch them yourself
If you find a pair of boots that just barely don’t zip up and they’re leather, try some shoe stretching liquid. My favorite is Ralyn Shoe Stretch. This is my secret to stretching shoes that are just a bit too tight and it helps immensely with “breaking in” your shoes so that you don’t have to go through any blistery stages. I just put my shoes on, douse them with Shoe Stretch, and walk around until it dries. This will permanently stretch them. If your shoes are still tight, you can go through the process again — possibly with thicker socks — and do this until they fit you right.You could also try shoe and boot stretchers. Have them professionally stretched
If you have some leather boots that are just bit too small, take them to a shoe repair shop and have them stretched.
Buy a Boot Band!
Want to wear designer boots that don’t come in wide widths? Put a Boot Band on your Louboutins! I found out about the Boot Band a few years ago and it was a lifesaver for me. Their website has all of the information that you need to purchase the right one to fit your boots and shows you how to insert it once you get it. The Boot Band is an insert for your boots to accommodate your calves and wear what you want. I got one for a pair of boots I had that did not zip up, but which I couldn’t bear to get rid of. It works wonderfully although is a bit tricky to zip up.WEBSITES TO CHECK OUT:
In addition to the brands/stores listed above, these are some good sites to check out more styles
Wide Widths — Various brands of boots with the shaft circumferences listed with the sizes (a good place to check the sizing of different brands/styles)
Duo Boots — With widths up to 19.50″, it’s like buying custom made boots
Simply Be — Lots of different styles in lots of sizes
Lane Bryant/Torrid/Avenue — You’re guaranteed to find boots that will fit you here and the quality seems better than in past years
Department Stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney, etc) — there is usually a category of wide calf boots, but be aware of the sizing and descriptions
Shoes sites (Zappos, 6 pm, Shoebuy, Shoemetro, etc) — I often find the same brands for less on these sites
Amazon — A search for wide calf boots is never complete until you look on Amazon
Another thing … If you’re a bargain shopper like me and find a boot you want that looks like it will fit you — do a search online for the brand/model and hunt for a better price. I have paid half price for most of my shoes by shopping this way.
I hope this helped on your search for boots that fit.
Do you have any recommendations?