The fashion dilemma pops up at the same time every year: Find over-the-knee boots that not only go with your many fall and winter outfits, but won’t also require a small loan just to secure a pair. However, shopping for these cold weather must-haves presents another annoying issue that many boot lovers face: over-the-knee boots that fail to fit wider calves.
Seriously: There’s nothing worse than browsing online or in-store and seeing a pair of cute boots, only to try them on and realize they don’t fit. And while we’re on the topic of cute boots, it’s worth mentioning that the majority of the options that do exist for wider calves only come in black, have a super low or nonexistent heel, or don’t offer different textures (suede is great, but other fabrics exist!).
The demand for more variety in over-the-knee, wide-calf boots is present; a simple Twitter search proves that. But Marie Leggette, founder and editor-in-chief of The Curvy Fashionista, says there have been major changes in the past five to 10 years.
“You have more plus-size retailers and brands adding boots to their collection or their offerings. You now also have mainstream retailers bringing in collections that are exclusive to their site,” Leggette said. “For example, Nordstrom and Macy’s have their in-house brands that also do wide-calf boot options. You’re starting to see change and inclusion, especially in colors outside of black.”
Leggette went on to say the best way to approach boot shopping for wider calves is to first measure your calves to see how many inches the boot’s circumference needs to be. While many shoe brands’ wide-calf boot selections typically start at 16 inches, it’s important to note that boot shopping is definitely not “one size fits all.”
“While we now have more wide calf options, we don’t have the range of calf width sizes. It’s like, is the circumference really 16 inches? Because that’s not technically a wide calf. My calf size is 17 [inches] and I’m what they would call a ‘small fat,’ so it’s really going to be important that there’s more clarifying info about the sizing and measurements,” she said.
To measure your calves for a smoother footwear buying experience, grab your nearest tape measurer and get the circumference of your calf at its widest part, and round it to the closest centimeter. For better accuracy, do this for both calves, as it’s common and totally normal for one to be slightly bigger than the other.
“Know your calf width size because when you know that, and as certain brands are starting to be more aware and list the circumferences, you will be prepared and you will know ahead of time if it’s going to work for you,” she said.
Whether you’re looking to stock up on your fall over-the-knee boots or already thinking about your winter wardrobe, check out these wide calf options. May of them offer extended width sizes and heel heights.
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