I love everything about fall. Layering fashion, rich colors, pumpkins, mums, cooler weather, and more! The fashion aspect of fall became much more enjoyable when I found my first pair of wide calf boots that actually fit! I wore them all the time over jeans, under dresses, with and without tights… you get the idea.
When I started writing about wide calf boots back in 2011, there weren't many on the market. As the years go by and I compile this annual wide calf boot guide, options have become more plentiful. This year, the wide calf boot options seemed to arrive later than usual at some of my favorite sources, but the selection is good right now!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. These links help me pay costs associated with maintaining this blog, and the 4+ hours of research it took for me to compile these options! Thank you.
WIDE CALF BOOT SIZING AND SHOPPING TIPS
Since the majority of wide calf boots are found online, these are important considerations to finding the perfect pair.
- SIZE | Know your calf circumference: While sitting chair with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, measure around the widest part of the calf with a measuring tape. Don't have one? Grab a piece of string and then measure itagainst a yard stick, ruler, or tape measure in the garage. Make sure to measure both calves and use the larger one when considering size (we’re all a little lopsided!) 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 or 20”
- Exception: Cowboy Boots – When looking at western style boots, always note how tall the shaft is and measure at that point. They are usually much lower than knee-high boots, and the circumference will therefore be smaller. Example: even though I'm a 19-20″ calf for knee high boots, I have been able to do a 16″ in cowboy boots.
- RETURNS | Note the policies: Ordering online may be convenient and offer way more options than shopping in-store, but return shipping charges can add up quickly. Before ordering, check what the return policy is for the website, and how much the return shipping is. Some retailers offer free return shipping while others can charge a flat fee per return or a weight-based fee. If you're unsure about return policies, reach out to the customer service departments of each place you're ordering from.
- PERSISTENCE | Keep trying: Don’t get discouraged if the first pair you try doesn’t fit. There is a pair out there for you (and likely LOTS of pairs out there for you), you just may need to try a lot out (kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!)
- INVEST IN QUALITY | Consider quality/price: Listen – I know we don't all have buckets of money to throw at a pair of shoes. Even still, as someone who has tried on and bought a lot of boots, I think considering the quality and a possible higher price for that quality is important. Genuine leather boots stretch over time for a perfect fit, and don't have that “sweaty” feeling inside them when you wear them with bare legs. There are MANY great quality synthetic options as well, but when shopping, consider the quality of the heel, sole, and zipper. If you spend $50 on a pair of boots that are THE.CUTEST.EVER but whose heel stop breaks off after 2 weeks, was it really worth it? Or if you step in snow and the sole is so thin you instantly feel the coldness, do they really help? Or if you're walking down the halls at work and the zipper busts – how awesome would you look hobbling around? And as always, consider the comfort. It's nice to have a hot pair of over-the-knee boots with a 4″ stiletto heel, but if you can't walk in them more than 5 minutes (I can't), they aren't serving much purpose. My favorite quality boots have taken me through 5+ fall/winter seasons so far, so I don't have to spend more money on replacing them.
FAVORITE WIDE CALF BOOTS FOR 2018 BY STYLE
Wide Calf Dress Boots
Simply Be Heavenly Soles High Leg Boots, multiple widths and colors up to 23.5″
Nine West at Zappos high heel boots, 17″
WideWidths.com Cognac Boot, up to 21.5″
Catherines Good Soles Tall Boot, 18″ before stretch
Wide Calf Riding Boots
Simply Be Buckle Detail High Leg Boots, multiple widths and colors, up to 23.5″
WideWidths.com Cardiff Super Wide Calf Black Nappa Boot, multiple widths to 21.25″
Avenue 2 Tone Riding Boot, not much of a description for sizing purposes, but in the past they were around 18″
David Tate Best Boot from Zappos, 20″
Simply Be Juniper Boots, multiple colors and widths up to 23.5″
Wide Calf Rain Boots/Wellies
Other Fun Wide Calf Styles
Torrid Faux Suede Strappy Boot, 2 calf sizes up to 22″
Torrid Wine Faux Suede Boot, 2 calf sizes up to 22″
Ashley Stewart Faux Leather Over the Knee Boot, up to 20″
Simply Be Soft Knee High Boots, multiple colors and widths up to 21″
Lane Bryant Over the Knee Boot with Embroidered Block Heel, 20″
ELOQUII Dominique Tall Boot, 18″
WHERE TO BUY WIDE CALF BOOTS: STORES
This list is in alphabetical order. I've bolded those that I think have some of the better wide calf boot options for 2018.
- 6pm.com: The sister sale site to Zappos, they have a good selection of wide calf boots up to 20″, though sizes tend to be limited. If you're willing to dig through the site you can usually find some killer deals! As the season goes on, selection does become extremely limited.
- Ashley Stewart: If you like statement boots or high heels, this is the place to look. The selections seem to range from 18-20″ calf.
- Avenue: Avenue has a large selection this year, especially on the more casual/everyday side, but their listings don't seem to say the calf width! In the past, they averaged around 17-18″ but you might want to reach out to them before ordering. Or, see what they have in a store near you.
- Catherines: I've not included Catherines in the past, but this year they have 4 really classic options that start at a minimum of 18″ – some with generous elastic sides
- ELOQUII: They don't have a ton of tall boot options this year, but what they do have are gorgeous. Also, their booties are so good this year. They currently hold the spot for my favorite pair of booties. Calf widths are around 18″
- Jileon Rain Boots at Amazon: If you need a rain boot that is over 18″ – Jileon's are for you. Their extra wides are listed at 21″ but as the owner of these, I know they can go even above that – I'd estimate 24″. I love these boots so much.
- Lane Bryant: Lane Bryant has a solid selection of wide calf boots this year, up to 20″. One of my favorite old pairs of boots is from Lane Bryant – they've held up well.
- Nordstrom: Nordstrom has over 100 options (as of publishing) that they call “wide calf” but they seem to cap out at 16.5.” The good news is that if you're in the 16″ range, they have some stunning designer boots options.
- Simply Be: Simply Be has one of the largest selections of wide calf boots anywhere, even though this year there seem to be fewer than the past few years. Their boots come in 5 different calf sizes and 3 different foot widths. Their largest size calf, Extra Curvy Plus, goes past a 23″ circumference. View the size guide here. When ordering 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. They have nearly all the widths in all the boots, you just have to look at each item carefully by name.
- Torrid: Torrid added more selection this year with most coming in 2 calf widths, up to 22.5″. Their styles are also more budget-friendly than some other stores.
- Duo Boots/Ted & Muffy: This is the mecca for super high-quality 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 – think of them as the Bentley of boots. Up to 50cm, which is just over 19.5″. Shipping to the US is $20, but returns are free.
- WideWidths.com: Feel like none of the other boots are wide enough? Want to make sure you get the right fit? This site has a great selection of super wide calf boots, up to 24.75″. Don’t let the prices scare you – these are usually 100% genuine leather and will last YEARS versus the synthetics some of the less expensive boots are made of. Before you order, review their sizing tips here. Just make sure to check the return terms as some items are final sale. Another bonus? They list the calf size of each size of each boot they offer. Less guesswork.
- Zappos: 2 of my favorite pairs of boots ever came from Zappos, but since then the brand I bought there was shuttered and pickings have been a little slimmer. Favorite brands on this site are David Tate, Blondo, Naturalizer. Prices too steep? Try their sister site 6pm.
Want more information on wide calf boots? See my previous boot guides here:
Looking for something in particular? Give me as many details as possible in the comments and I'll get to them as I can!