One of these days these boots are gonna ... be on my feet.
September 14, 2012 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Brown leather, wide-calf boots with minimal bells and whistles and a comfortable foot for under $200. Is this the impossible dream?

I feel like I've looked at every wide-calf boot on and zappos in the last few days and nothing is leaping out at me. My calves are 16.5" around and I would like to be able to wear these boots over jeans. So far, everything I've found either seems flimsy, is reviewed as having poor support, or has too much stuff like buckles, etc.

I would just like a simple, comfortable, low-heeled riding boot without too many buckles or other "accessories." I would love to pay less than $200 but I'll go a bit higher for real quality. To show what I'm looking for, I love these boots, but they're all just a tad too narrow in the calf and/or too expensive: 1 2 3

Sites I've exhausted:

I've also checked out the previous questions about wide-calf boots, but they're either out of date or didn't yield what I was looking for.
posted by lunasol to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Did you look at duo boots? I bought the Malmo which is the sport boot. I have larger calves than you and they fit perfectly at calf and ankle. The other styles will go above $200 and return shipping to the UK is not free.
posted by cabingirl at 3:28 PM on September 14, 2012

Is faux leather ok?
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:28 PM on September 14, 2012

These seem like the most likely candidates on Duo - a bit above your pricepoint but fit should not be an issue.
posted by corvine at 3:32 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

These at Nordstrom are at the upper end of your range, but get good reviews and have a 15" circumference that "stretches".

You don't specify colour, but this ModCloth one also looks like it might work.
posted by dotgirl at 3:33 PM on September 14, 2012

Naturalizer Arness Wide $155
posted by desjardins at 3:36 PM on September 14, 2012

Not quite as sleek as the ones in your pictures, but...perhaps these? (available in brown, calf adjusts to 18.5", US$139)
posted by skye.dancer at 3:47 PM on September 14, 2012

How big are your feet? The calf circumference is for a smallish size, at 15.5" calves and size 11 feet, I'm usually in a "narrow" boot.
posted by fshgrl at 4:05 PM on September 14, 2012

Response by poster: fshgrl: I didn't realize that! I'm a size 9 or 10, depending on the brand.

Actually, something that I'm wondering: I assumed that the calf width listed is the, you know, actual width in real inches. And so I've been thinking I needed boots that were more like 17.5-18" to accommodate jeans. But maybe I'm incorrect about this?

Anyway, these are some great suggestions so far - please keep them coming! I'd heard about Duo but didn't realize they shipped for free to the US, which makes them a lot more appealing.

To answer other questions: faux leather is fine as long as it's not really poor quality and I'm looking for brown boots.
posted by lunasol at 4:35 PM on September 14, 2012

i had no suggestions, but then these just popped up on my facebook feed.
posted by quiteliterally at 4:35 PM on September 14, 2012

Sounds like you are just looking online, but yesterday I was at Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Marshall's. All they had were minimalist boots like you are looking for. Tons and tons of them. It was quite extraordinary, actually. They were all over the place. Might be worth a shopping afternoon.
posted by Vaike at 4:44 PM on September 14, 2012

Hello calf twin! Here is what I've learned: The calf measurements are not always accurate. My last two pairs of boots (brands were Born and Rockport, but I really think it varies by model) were theoretically not big enough for my calves but fit totally fine. Over jeans. I ordered a bunch from zappos (free return shipping!) and tried them on.

On preview: I was just at Marshalls and the boots overfloweth there.
posted by purpleclover at 4:46 PM on September 14, 2012

If you're a 10 just order what you want, I bet it'll fit. I've never even had a pair that were tight enough. Wide calves in larger sizes are enormous. Like, your head could fit in them big.
posted by fshgrl at 4:49 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am going through the same thing and a good friend suggested getting a quality leather pair and having them stretched by a cobbler. He did this for his girlfriend and were both very happy with the result. A good quality boot will last for a long time so perhaps consider it an investment? I haven't tried this yet myself as we just spoke about it this morning. I wear size 5 and have a 16.5 inch calf. It's awful trying to buy shoes. I'm just built funny.
posted by getmetoSF at 5:08 PM on September 14, 2012

Yeah, if you are a 10 the calves will be wider than they will for the smaller sizes. (I wear a 7 so it kind of sucks for me -- I'll find the perfect fitting boot over my calves, but the feet are way too big. And the ones that fit my feet won't go over my calves.)
posted by litlnemo at 6:59 PM on September 14, 2012

Oh boy, I feel your pain. I love Merrell Tetra Launch boots.

*Real leather (I've got both brown and black!)
*Small areas with extra stretch at the top of the calf.
*Perfect for long walks through the city.
posted by arnicae at 7:28 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

J Crew has "extended calf" boots that may work. They are expensive, but there are tons of them on ebay for $100-$200, if you can find a pair that fits you in the store and then go hunting online.

My calves are 16.5" as well (I wear a size 9) and it's a pain to find boots. Last season I found a pair that fits, Keen's Bern Baby Bern. They are comfy but might be more casual than you're looking for.

One thing I've heard is that usually the listed calf measurements are for a size 7 and you can assume they increase .5" for every size you go up. Caveat emptor and all that, though.
posted by zoetrope at 9:30 PM on September 14, 2012

Response by poster: Wow, this has been super-helpful. Seems like my ideas about what to look for in measurements were a bit off-base.

Those Merrell Tetras look great, and I think I may spend tomorrow afternoon at Nordstrom's and Marshall's/TJ Maxx, trying on a bunch of boots. I'll report back if I find anything!
posted by lunasol at 11:14 AM on September 15, 2012

I got Steve Madden, brown (kind of greyish brown) tall leather boots for my ginormous calves, and they have changed my life! The tops have even stretched a bit over time so now they fit both over and under jeans. They were on sale and definitely under $200. They have a purple zipper up the back, for reference....I tried to find a pic online but no luck yet.
posted by Pomo at 12:00 PM on September 15, 2012

Oh wait...this is it:
posted by Pomo at 12:01 PM on September 15, 2012

Definitely definitely look at Duo boots. They're a bit more expensive, but they make custom boots based on your calf size, and they have a ton of choices. (I own these in black, (though they also come in brown) and with Superfeet insoles in them - mainly in there because i accidentally ordered a boots that were a bit too big - and they are literally the most comfortable footwear i own.) As someone who really struggles to find boots to fit, i think they are really worth the extra cost.
posted by Kololo at 2:07 PM on September 15, 2012

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