VIEW THE 2014 WIDE CALF BOOT ROUNDUP! This post is from 2013, so some may no longer be available.
(2013) I love boots. They are the epitome of fall style. For years, I cursed my calves and how I was “too fat for boots.” Thankfully, there are more and more options for those of us with wide (or extended or athletic) calves. I have 3 pair of boots that seem to work great for the majority of my fall/winter wardrobe: riding boots, dress boots, cowgirl boots. I've scoured the web and have picked some great wide calf boot options that should both fit your style and your calves.
I try on lots and lots of boots.
Before ordering any boots, make sure to sit in a chair with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle and measure around the widest part of the calf with a tape measure. When you look at boot descriptions, check for the calf circumference: most all descriptions include this. Keep in mind that the calf circumference is often measured in a medium size shoe – say a 7 or 8. When you have a larger foot, the circumference will be bigger. For instance, I've bought boots with an 18″ label that when ordered in my size 11 came in at 19.” Try lots of options and don't get discouraged!
Last tip: If you're going to wear the boots a lot, consider investing in some. I've had inexpensive boots that felt like cardboard and I wore them out in a couple months. I'd rather have invested in a boot twice the cost than buy 2 pairs of the same boot. Also, natural materials like leather seem to mold/conform to your calf shape better over time than a vinyl which can get stretched out.
Sources for wide calf boots:
- Avenue: They just relaunched their site and they have about 14 pair of wide calf, tall boots! I'm particularly fond of this wedge boot, this two-tone boot, and this easy slouch boot. The average listed calf circumferences are between 17-18″, however remember that if you have a larger foot, the calf is likely to be a little larger than average.
- Duo Boots: This is the mecca for boots of all sizes. They sell boots by the foot size and then calf measurement in centimeters. The result is as close to a custom fit boot as possible. Their styles are gorgeous and the quality is impeccable. Downside? They cost a pretty penny, but last forever. Up to 50cm, which is just over 19.5″. Check out the full measuring guide here (warning: autoplay video)
- DSW: I know I'm probably the only girl that doesn't really care for DSW, but if you're one for perusing and trying on lots of things, this is a great option. The brands they carry will likely top out at a 16″ circumference.
- Evans: Evans has stepped up their boot game this year (pun unintended). They have a nice selection of extended calf boots which top out between 17-18.” Check out their size guide and measure in millimeters to get the proper fit.
- J. Crew: They have a few pair of extended calf boots. I chatted with their customer service and for a size 11 (my size), the circumference measures 17.13.” I love the tan color of these Parker boots
- Lane Bryant: I've found the quality of Lane Bryant boots to be a little iffy, but they usually always fit my calves. Take advantage of their sales to get big discounts on them.
- Macy's: They have a few boots that go to about a 16″ circumference.
- Nordstrom: They have a few “extended calf” boots, including some of the most popular Frye boots this year. They all seem to cap out at 16″, but if you're under that, go for it!
- Old Navy: They have 1 pair of wide calf boots that go up to 17″. I bought these last year and they didn't work for me, but if you have a calf around 17″ they should work fine and have room for your pants. Quality is a little low, but you get what you pay for.
- Piperlime: Forgot about this one, but reader Amy reminded me! Piperlime is one of my favorite places to shoe browse, and they have about 5-6 pair of boots marked wide calf, including these from Etienne Aigner which should fit a 16-17″.
- SimplyBe: SimplyBe has one of the largest selections of wide calf boots. Their brand Legroom in particular has lots of options. They come in 5 different calf sizes and 3 different foot widths. Their largest size calf, Extra Curvy Plus, goes past a 22.5″ circumference. View all the sizes here. If you order from them, make sure to pay attention to both the calf size and foot width. Not everyone has an extra wide foot, so double check so you're not loving the calf width but swimming in the feet.
- Target: I know people who have had luck with Target boots fitting wide calves. I haven't had the same experience for knee-high boots, but my cowboy boots are from there and fit great and are super inexpensive. I'd suggest going to the nearest store and trying some on.
- Torrid: They have a few pair of knee-high boots and a good selection of booties for wide widths.
- WideWidths.com: This site has a great selection of both wide calf boots but also items for people with wide feet in general (like myself). They have some super wide calf boots from David Tate and Rose Petals that go up to a 22″ circumference.
- Zappos: 2 of my favorite pair of boots came from Zappos. 1 is RSVP brand and 1 is Fitzwell brand. The Fitzwells don't seem to be up for this season yet, however they have some limited sizes on sister site 6pm.com. These popped up just as I went to publish the post, and I'm thinking about them for myself: LifeStride x-ibit boots, 18″ circumference (on a size 8.5). With free shipping and free returns, it's not hard to try lots of things to see if they work. See designers list below.
- Specific comfort brands (that are surprisingly stylish): Sofft, David Tate, Aerosoles, Naturalizer, Easy Spirit, Clarks, Ros Hammerson, Fitzwell, rsvp, Softspots, Lifestride
Want more boots that didn't make it here? Follow this Pinterest board.
* Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this post.