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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tall Boots for Big Gams

Call them "Athletic", "Wide" or just plain "Large" but my calves do not fit in to just any pair of mid-calf or knee-high boots. You might remember my trials and tribulations just trying to find rain boots last year and I finally just gave up on new boots all together last season.

This was so especially upsetting because once you realize you have big calves and subject yourself to a limited search for "Wide Shaft" or "Wide Calf" boots you get stuck with just a few options of unstylish, frumpy looking boots that are as wide at the ankle as they are at the top.

HELLO! I didn't say I had cankles, too! Just what I would like to consider well developed calves from years of playing soccer and volleyball. Thank you very much. And even if I do have "larger than average" gams, they deserve to look stylish and trendy too.

Well, after a little more education and actually measuring my calf circumference, I set out again this season on the search for tall boots that fit my legs AND maybe would even allow me to tuck in some jeans for the first time ever.

The good news is that I have had success now that, and a few other online retailers have caught on to my dilemma and began adding shaft circumference to their product details! Zappos' search function is much more robust in this area, so I had luck finding many great options simply by typing in "16.50" circumference", etc.

So now I search for boots that have at least a 15.50" circumference and above. Through trial and error I found that going 1"-1.5" larger than that allows some additional room for knee socks or a pant leg and 15.50" exactly will leave room only for my calf and a pair of tights to wear with skirts & dresses.

So my first stylish pair to reveal are the Jessica Simpson Grella boots in Mud Brown:

The shaft facts: 15.50" circumference. 15.50" shaft height.

Jessica must be getting sensitive to fellow ladies with curves ;-) Being that these are a pull on style, with no zipper or elastic venting at the top, this will be one of those "fits like a glove" pairs that I will wear with skirt & dresses, and probably tights. The leather is soft and the color is rich, giving much more variance and dimension than this photo shows. I am excited to wear these soon! Also, my co-worker told me that she has a cobbler that actually adds in an elastic vent to some of her boots, who knew you could do that?! So if I really wanted to try it, I could see what a shoe guy could make happen, but I think I'm happy with the way they are now. Why mess with close to perfection?

Next, is a surprising find, Naturalizer Brommsly Wide Shaft boots in Black Leather:

The shaft facts: 17.00" circumference. 15.50" shaft height.

WOW! This pair of boots is perfect. Comfort. Style. AND I wore them already and was able to fit my calf, my knee sock and my skinny jeans into them without looking like a stuffed sausage! SUCCESS! Plus, they are skinny at the ankle, so they look tailored as opposed to frumpy. The ankle detailing is also very cute. I wore these puppies from 7:30am on Friday until 11pm that night, and can say with certainty that the Naturalizer comfort factor is still upheld in these boots. They actually inspired me to write my first ever Zappos review!

Lastly, with my new found knowledge of circumference and recent boot luck, I'm debating giving Hunter Wellies one last try.

You see, before I was only ordering the women's wellies style which only have a 15.00" circumference:

But now I realize that the Men's version is actually unisex and has a 17.00" circumference, which could be perfect!:

Look just about the same, right? Of course, the unisex ones have much fewer color choices but I do think that classic green is still a nice option. I think I will order them and see what happens!


Jennelle October 18, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

Woo Hoo! I'm glad you found some that work for you. :) I say go for the wellies. I can't tell a difference!

Colleen MacDonald October 19, 2009 at 10:55 AM  

I love your product reviews; I also have "athletic" calves, as do most women in this country, so I especially appreciated this post!

andrea beckerle October 19, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

Great looking boots! I love them all!


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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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