On the difficulties of wearing boots when endowed with ‘curvy’ calves…

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On the difficulties of wearing boots when endowed with ‘curvy’ calves…

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Good morning, you freakish fowls of non-nature, bred to have XL-sized legs, all the better for, um. Perhaps this is something you should discuss with your Gold’n Plump representative….

Let’s talk boots, shall we? The leaves are falling and the wind is blowing and I am pulling on the boots every day. From fall until spring I pretty much live in boots. I try to keep it to ‘fashion’ boots – you know, leather (or some synthetic pretending to be leather), with a zipper, heel… the whole shebang. I will admit, thought, that sometime in January I will likely give in and live in Uggs for a month. I hate it when my feet are cold. I also hate falling over because all of our sidewalks are covered with eight feet of snow and ice. Living in Minneapolis forces one to become a practical sort.

Of course, as any girl with larger-than-‘normal- calves knows, buying boots can be a difficult proposition. Until the last few years, the only place I knew for sure that carried extended calf boots was J Crew – and not only are their extended calf sizes not ALL that extended, they are ruinously expensive!

Here’s my current favorite boot. I have them in black and brown.

For reference, the widest part of my calf is around 17.75″ and the widest part of the boots I’m wearing is closer to 20″. For FURTHER reference, the ‘regular’ sized JCrew boots have 15″ listed as the width of their shank and 16″ for their extended calf boots.

These boots – my requisite one pair of borderline-lady of the night boots in black, has a shank width of 17.5″. We’ve a bit of negative ease going on here, ladies…

As you can see, they look fine, although I’ve certainly worn boots TOO tight before, and not only are they difficult to zip up, but there’s also the unflattering ‘muffin top’ look. On my legs. Egad.

A look that I’m completely in love with, but haven’t had any real luck finding the right boot is the over the knee boots. Here’s the one pair I have.

See? Not great. Not only is the fit above the knee unflattering, but I really don’t like the lack of a heel on these boots. It just feels odd and makes me feel like my feet are teeny looking while the boots draw attention to the heavier part of my legs above the knee. I yearn for very structured over-the-knee boots with lots of wiggle room towards the top for the proper wearing of  with jeans, rather than leggings…

Other boots in my tall boot collection… my favorite boots again, this time in black.

Tough leather boots from Target. These had a very wide shank, so I can get ‘em on, although there’s a bit of muffin top going on and they’re meant to have a LOT of extra leg room!

Wellie-wannabees… The yearning for a proper pair of super high Hunters with enough shank room is something that plagues me from time to time…

And just making it into the taller boot category is a pair of military boots. They’re over the ankle, but barely…


My top four tips to finding, selecting and wearing tall boots…

First… find ones that fit. Due to the popularity and demand, this is much easier than it used to be. For those with solidly ‘large’ calves like me, head to the same shops where there are ‘womens’ size clothing. Most of my boots are from Avenue, but I also check out Lane Bryant and Torrid. If you have a Nordstrom (or even better, Nordstrom rack) near you, they are excellent for larger sized shoes and occasionally boots. I don’t really like shopping online for boots because of sizing and comfort issues, but Woman Within and Jessica London are also sources to look in to. It’s also worth it to check out the shoe discount places like Zappos and DSW, although I’ve never really found anything at DSW.

Second… accept lower quality. For now. Honestly, I’ve not had luck with finding ‘nice’ leather boots – they’re all the el’cheapo synthetic kind. Icky, but at least they’re available!!

Third… roomy styles. The tougher motorcycle type boots are usually more roomy, as are rain boots and Uggs. I usually look for buckles are elastic insets as well. My taste veers more towards a classic, smooth leather riding boot, but that style is very difficult to find!

Fourth… put them on in the morning! My calves SWELL throughout the day! I’ve found for the more fitted boots that they are super easy to zip up in the a.m., but if I try to change into them later in the day (like to go out at night) I might have some trouble. I’ve totally used needle-nosed pliers to yank up difficult zips – just be careful to not zipper skin and to not leave the house with calf-muffin top!

What are YOUR tips??