Knee High Boots for Wide Calves: Is This Possible?

If I had a normal shoe size, I wouldn't have what I like to call "calf problems."

Since I wear a size 6 1/2, most boot shafts are around 12-13 inches in diameter -- sometimes much smaller. I guess those who manufacture shoes in America assume that those with smaller feet are also blessed with smalled ankles and calves and bodies. Unfortunately, that's not how human bodies really work and in my case, it's definitely not how my body works. If I wore a size 8 or 9, I would have no problem finding knee-high boots, because the standard circumference of a size 8 is around 14-14.5 inches. And my calf measures between 13.5 and 14 inches. (For all you people with proportional foot-to-calf ratios, how I envy you.)

Can I tell you guys the other problem? Wide calf boots often measure about 17-20 inches in circumference, depending on the shoe size... which would be way, way too wide for my leg.

Basically, shoe shopping often dissolves into trying on every boot in the store -- ugly, cute, it doesn't matter, I try them all -- and realizing that I'm never going to find a 6 1/2 size boot with a 14 or 15 inch shaft circumference. And if I do, sometimes the boot is too long for my leg, which means it is supposed to be knee high but ends up somewhere awkwardly around the middle of my knee. Super cool.

I've been wanting a pair of flat leather knee high boots forever -- to wear with jeans, or to work, or with dresses, or with whatever I want because I'm an adult now and I can make those decisions -- because everyone seems to have a pair I envy. But the only ones I can find that fit are often children's sizes and aren't knee length: they are usually mid calf (because kids who wear size 2 or 3 aren't usually my height) and often don't have a very durable sole, because children's shoes are manufactured cheaply and not necessarily to last long (because in general, an 8-year-old isn't buying shoes to wear for life like adults are).

Basically: I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever find knee high boots that fit.

From Zappos, $169

That is, until I stumbled onto the Zappos wide calf boot section and found these bad boys.

Boot checklist:

  • Cognac brown color: check -- they can go with black, navy or brown!
  • Buckle accent to keep it tough: check 
  • Small heel: check
  • Sturdy material (leather): check 
  • Calf measurement: approximately 15.5 in the shaft measuring from a size 6
Do my eyes deceive me? Are these the boots I've been looking for? 

Can I also mention that the back panel is stretchy? So even if the shaft is a bit tight (and it's possible it might be -- I work out pretty regularly and my muscles tend to swell when I work out for a long period of time), it stretches. So I can wear it. Even if I decide to become the world champion of muscular calves, I can slip these boots on thanks to stretchy fabric. Is there anything stretchy fabric doesn't fix? 

The downside: They are $169. 

But let's be real: wide calf boots can often fall into that "well, isn't that hideous" category. Much in the way a lot of plus size clothing does (which is incredibly unfair and stupid). These don't. And while they aren't Frye boots (if I could afford Frye boots, I would just shut up and spend all my money on Frye boots and roll around in them, ala Scrooge McDuck), they are leather and will undoubtedly last my much longer than my $30 children's boots (that make me look like a child). 

I can't afford the $169 price tag right at this moment, but I'm keeping my eyes on Zappos for coupons or deals. And the minute I have a sweet little stock pile of cash, you can bet I'll be rolling over and making my very first expensive boot purchase. Sometimes, you just need to prove to yourself that that thing you thought would never happen actually can. And ladies, I need to know I can fit a pair of knee high boots over these sturdy little calves of mine. 


  1. I've always had the wide-calf issue (though I wear a size 11, it's still tough to find something comfortable in the leg area). I have a pair of fitzwell's and honestly, it's worth the investment. They fit wonderfully!

  2. Although high heel boots can look fashionable and elegant, many women feel more comfortable wearing boots that have a much lower heel. Wide calf boots are one of the more popular boots that not only look great, but are extremely comfortable.


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xo Michelle

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