This isn’t the first time I have written a post about stylish boots for large calves. You can read the first post here. If you are familiar with this original post then you know that it is with personal experience that I write about this topic. I have a bit of a double whammy against me when it comes to finding boots that fit. First, I have naturally large calves and thick ankles. I’m not beating myself up for this, it’s just a fact. I don’t have those sinewy little ankles and I don’t really have sexy legs. In addition to this, I also have exceptionally small feet for my 5’7″ height. I wear a 6-61/2 shoe. You may not know this, but the smaller the shoe size the slimmer the shaft of boots usually are. The assumption seems to be that smaller feet means smaller calves. However, I am living proof that this is not true.
So, yea, I have a lot of experience with finding boots for large calves.
While I gave my tips for finding boots for this predicament in the original post I linked to above, I thought I’d use this post to show some stylish ways to wear these types of boots you may be shopping for this fall.
Stylish Boots for Large Calves and How to Style Them
With olive being such a trend for fall, I am in love with these boots from INC International Concepts, and at $88 the price is surely right. The wide calf shaft of these boots will certainly make it easy to tuck your jeans into them, like this skinny pair from Lucky Brand, and I love the way this casual weekend looks so stylish, yet cozy, with this olive tunic from Modcloth and oversized cardigan from Zara. With olive I love burgundy, so I added this Poverty Flats tote. For jewelry, I finished the outfit with this long necklace from Bauble Bar and Charter Club stud earrings.
In this look, I dressed down this Hugo Boss sheath dress by adding this classic pair of extended calf Frye riding boots in black that I paired with opaque tights. With the dress, I added this separate blazer in black from J. Crew and accessorized the outfit with a printed scarf from Sole Society, a yellow handbag from Topshop and light violet earrings from Kendra Scott. I bet you never thought to pair yellow and purple together. That’s the power of prints, they really can encourage fun color combinations.
I happen to love this dress from Theory. I have seen in on a few clients. It’s not for everyone because it is a shift style, but if you are looking for a dressy, casual dress to wear with tights and boots this is definitely one to consider. I just love the colors in the print.
With this dress I added these brown, wide calf heeled boots from Macy’s that will create a longer leg line when paired with chocolate brown opaque tights, like these from Bare Necessities. I accessorized this outfit with a bright orange bag from Cole Haan and striking statement necklace from Stella & Dot.
Once fall hits it is time to break out those tried and true leggings (just remember, tights are not pants), like this pair from Boden which I have styled with a belted tunic top from Madwell and used my favorite wide calf boots, this pair from Sam Edelman, which I own. They look similar to the classic Frye boots but at a fraction of the cost. Plus, I am on my third fall with them and they still look great. I highly recommend. With the olive top, I love the way this blue bag from Halogen looks and I finished the outfit with these stacked bracelets from Free People and earrings from Max & Chloe.
Having large calves does not mean you are overweight. Even at my thinnest I need to buy boots with a wider shaft. That said, you can wear cute a-line mini skirts if you feel comfortable doing it. Here, I styled this cute camel skirt from Tory Burch with a crisp bodysuit shirt from Tuxe. I added these wide calf boots in dark wine from Naturalizer that have a small heel. If you want to make your legs look longer and slimmer you can add a pair of opaque tights in burgundy or a rich chocolate brown. Finishing the outfit, I added this plaid infinity scarf from from LOFT, a burgundy tote from Lord & Taylor and hexagon stud earrings from Ann Taylor.
Stylish boots for wide calves are becoming easier to find
It took a long time for many designers to understand that few women have slim calves. Years ago, when tall boots made a comeback it was practically impossible to find a pair that I could zip over my legs, and when you did they were beyond ugly, like a punishment for having big legs. However, today, most companies do offer their styles for women who need wider shaft widths. In fact, there is even an website called WideWidths.com that specializes solely in boots like this. I highly recommend you check them out.
Shop for Wide Calf Boots
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Love this Bridgette! Thank you for the excellent sources and inspiration. With size 11 AND wide calves, it’s my own personal double whammy. Large calves unite! 😉
I am so glad this helped! Gotta learn to love the gene pool from which you come from, right?
Thanks for the post, Bridgette. Nice to know that there are options out there for women (like me) with cankles. I know from reading your blog that cognac boots, booties, and shoes are good choices when you can only afford one pair of each. My question is, which color tights and trouser socks look best with cognac (or tan) leather? Do they even make cognac colored tights? My plan is to wear cognac boots/shoes with black, dark brown, charcoal gray, navy, and olive colored bottoms. And then there is the dilemma of the riding boots that are are a combination of both black and cognac. What is the best way to handle those? Thank you for any help you can provide.
Hi Laura! I don’t think I have really seen cognac tights, nor would I recommend them. When I wear my cognac boots I usually wear them with burgundy, chocolate brown and grey. It all depends on what I am wearing. However, the beauty of cognac is the colors you can wear with it is limitless. I think navy would look beautiful and you can even do black, dark green, deep teal, dark purple, and rusty shades. I hope that helps!
Thank you, Bridgette. I appreciate your help. 🙂
Great post! I don’t have wide calves, but I love the fall outfits you put together. I noticed you put the long cream cardigan over the long olive blouse, and I was wondering about how to style a very long silky cream Theory cardigan I have- whether the shirt underneath should also be long, or not as long? Also, because it is very lightweight, unlike the one you pictured, I’m not sure it could work over anything even slightly bulky. Maybe just over tank tops? I’m trying to figure out how to wear it in work/office outfits but the length is confusing as it hits me mid-thigh. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Hi Keri! I appreciate the kinds words! Yes, there is something for everyone, even if you don’t have large calves. From what you are describing, it sounds like you would want something thinner underneath that cardigan. The shirt doesn’t have to be long. You can try a slim knit of average length and be just fine. You can try a tank or even a short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve length. I hope that helps!!
Also, who does/ doesn’t look good in a sheath dress?
Whoops, I just corrected it. That Theory dress is a shift, not a sheath, so it is straighter and lacking shape. It is super cute but tends to not work on very curvy women because women with curves look better with waist definition.
Irish dancers everywhere thank you for this post!
Ha! And soccer players
And women who climb mountains 😉
Also a good cobbler can add a stretchy insert to boots if you invest in a good pair and then your shape changes – say you take up step dancing or soccer – or have babies like I did.
Very good point, Adriane! In fact, this is a true story (I may have mentioned it on the other blog post I wrote on this topic), a few years ago I bought a pair of gorgeous booties that barely closed over my calves. There was at least a good 2-3″ spread to get them closed. The shoe salesmen told me that I could get a stretchy panel added to the boots. I bought them with this assumption. When I stopped at my local cobbler, who is awesome, he told me this wasn’t true, however, he wanted to try to stretch them. He asked me if he could keep them a week to really take the time with them. After week I stopped by and they went up perfectly. Even the cobbler was shocked how well it worked, especially considering the boots were cognac and he was worried all the stretching would cause the color of the boots to change. If you have a patient and diligent cobbler who is willing to work with you it is definitely an option.
Another thing to consider is that boots will stretch over time. Often when I first buy a pair they are a bit tight. It only takes a few wears for them to stretch out. Of course, this only works if you need less than an inch of room. Anything above that will likely require a cobbler’s assistance.
Thanks for the great suggestion and reminding me of this story of my own personal experience!!
Would love it if you would do a post on boots for narrow calves. I’m happy there are so many choices now for wider calves. They are everywhere now. But those of us with smaller than average legs are just stuck. I can’t find anything I can wear unless I want floppy top boots or to wear the boots over jeans, which isn’t my thing.
I’ve looked into having a cobbler take them in, but it’s apparently impossible except for a very few places in larger cities, and even then the results are iffy.
I’ve been told that the only options for someone whose legs are smaller than average (I don’t think my legs are skinny!–they seem shapely and proportional to the rest of me which is 5’3 and 117 pounds, which seems perfectly normal if not exactly population average) is to get custom made boots made by one of two companies found on the internet. I’m actually considering saving up to do that next year. But why should I have to do that? Why are there no boots for smaller women, when there are plenty of smaller (XS or Petite) versions of clothing? It baffles me.
If you know of resources for those of us with calves around 13″, please do share them. I have to believe there are a lot of women who would really appreciate it.