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Top 20 Wide Calf Boots

Updated on September 9, 2014

Boots for wide calves can have serious style

After spending a couple years researching thin-calf boots, I got curious as to whether our equally hard-to-fit sisters needing wide calf boots fare any better in the marketplace. Doing some digging online, I have to answer with a cautious "yes"! I'm especially impressed with the gorgeous wide calf riding boots available, but there are many other cute knee high looks out there as well, from heels to western, motorcycle styles & more.

This can be confusing, as styles labeled wide are not always true to the label, if you look at the details, and many that are not labeled wide really are. If buying online, it's best to go with shops that provide at least one measurement (circumference) and preferably two (that plus a top opening measurement). The ankle dimension can also be key, but that's almost never listed online and is a matter of trial and error.

What happens if you truly fall head over heels for a style, only to find it's not quite roomy enough? Depending on how much extra space you need, stretching could be the solution.

Nordstrom is the one store I know of that actually will do the stretching for its customers, but other service-oriented shops may do the same, and it can't hurt to ask. A good cobbler can provide this service, too -- go to one you've used before or have heard good things about, especially if you're bringing in a high-priced item. Finally, there's even an at-home stretcher you can use -- more info toward the bottom of this page.

(I've read of "home remedies" where you soak your sock-and-booted legs in a warm bath and wear them around the house until they dry -- supposedly this custom-fits to the calf -- but you could not pay me to try to this with good leather!)

(pictured: the timeless Fitzwell Mentor ~ info below)

Here, twenty of the cutest styles I discovered. Many are available in more than one color, so if you see something you like, click for options. I specifically sought styles that a) list a circumference of more than 15 1/2 inches and b) are great looking. Scroll down for super cute extra wide calf boots too. Because no woman should sacrifice style for fit!

I'm partial to Franco Sarto for both price point and comfort (in both my mom's and my experience, zero break-in is required with this label), but my Cole Haan shoes rival my FS boots for comfort. Like my CH ballets, the Jodhpur boot has hidden "air" technology.

Naturalizer Women's Jersey Wide Shaft Knee-High Boot,Black,7.5 M US
Naturalizer Women's Jersey Wide Shaft Knee-High Boot,Black,7.5 M US

Here's a style generous both in color options and, at 17 1/4 inch around, in circumference. Subtle stretch goring at the top means this should accommodate slightly larger legs, too. The "N5 comfort system" includes cushioning, a breathable lining, and a flexible sole.

 
Franco Sarto Women's Trooper-Wide Calf Boot,Black,9 M US
Franco Sarto Women's Trooper-Wide Calf Boot,Black,9 M US

In my experience, the Franco Sarto brand is king of comfort, with no break-in required for the 2 FS pair I've owned. Dress this go-anywhere beauty up or down. 17-inch circ., but an 18.5-in. calved reviewer says they fit fine.

 
Etienne Aigner Women's Chip Wide Riding Boot,Black/Brown Combo,6 M US
Etienne Aigner Women's Chip Wide Riding Boot,Black/Brown Combo,6 M US

Love the idea of a black-and-brown boot. So versatile. Also comes in solid black or brown. The opening listed is 17 around, but from the reviews it sounds like this is tapered enough up the shaft that you could have trouble if you measure over 16.5 at widest point, especially since there are no obvious stretch panels on this one.

 
Cole Haan Women's Jodhpur Knee-High Boot
Cole Haan Women's Jodhpur Knee-High Boot

A coveted brand in a streamlined shape, with comfy stretch panels. Black or brown leather or suede options, plus an interesting oxblood color. Best for ladies of average to taller stature, based on the shaft height.

 
LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Women's Maren Wide Calf Black/Black Boot 8.5 B - Medium
LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Women's Maren Wide Calf Black/Black Boot 8.5 B - Medium

This Ralph Lauren style adds a trendy twist with the double buckles, without being too cluttered. Like the others, it should look fresh for years to come.

 

Measure Your Calves

1. Use a soft or printable tape measure.

2. Sit down, with feet flat on the floor.

3. Measure both calves at their widest point.

3. If one calf is wider, use that measurement in boot shopping.

fitzwell wide calf boot
fitzwell wide calf boot

Fitzwell has been dipping its toes (sorry - couldn't resist!) into narrow shaft boots, but mainly this brand is known for chic, classic styles for wider calves. If you're looking for a snug, fitted look that's still comfy, check out the video clip on this one. In subtly burnished black or brown. While they are listed at 15 1/2 around, many of the reviews suggest that these stretch several more inches comfortably if needed.

frye paige wide calf
frye paige wide calf

Only when researching a slimmer version -- the Melissa Tall Riding -- did I see the video clip for this one, the Frye Paige Tall Riding -- yes, this label loves to confuse us all with different names for almost identical styles, and identical names for very different styles :{ -- and realize it's fairly generous in the calf, and so beautiful. 16" around.

Bonus: Rather than putting only the obscure, tougher-to-pull-off hues on sale, Zappos has this versatile, gorgeous dark brown shade deeply discounted as of late March. Yes!

edelman penny wide calf boot
edelman penny wide calf boot

A slanted-top shaft adds interest to this smooth leather style from Sam Edelman -- a twist on the classic riding style. Offered in black and this rich brown color, 16" around. Very subtle goring inserts for stretch at the top.

~ What's the "average" calf size for women? ~

According to stackmeup.com, the average U.S. woman's calf is 13.7 inches around. But anecdotally I've heard significantly wider -- probably more like 15".

More wide calf riding boots

Why does everyone these? They don't go out of style. They flatter most legs, when carefully selected. And they are super versatile, with all but the fanciest or most rugged versions able to transition from jeans to evening out and even many offices.

Another Camuto riding boot to check out, if you see it, is the Brunah2.

As for Frye, I'm a relatively recent convert to the brand's legendary quality, having collected two tallish pair from this label in the past 2 years, along with an ankle style. They genuinely do feel more solid and "built to last" than most brands, and once I got over my fear of putting anything on them, I was able to use a spray-on waterproofing product for more peace of mind.

Vince Camuto Women's Volero2 Riding Boot,Western Brown/Black,7 M US
Vince Camuto Women's Volero2 Riding Boot,Western Brown/Black,7 M US

So happy to have discovered another gorgeous wide calf riding boot. These come in black, too, and have a circumference listed right at 15.5, but they'll stretch to considerably larger widths due to the stretch panel in the back.

 
Blondo Women's Viviane Boot
Blondo Women's Viviane Boot

Equestrian style in waterproof (yea!) leather adds function to fashion. This label is similar to the also fab La Canadienne, but with a fuller range of widths and at a slightly gentler price point. Circumference listed: 16 1/2 inches.

 
Bed Stu Women's Kitty Knee-High Boot
Bed Stu Women's Kitty Knee-High Boot

As Donnie & Marie used to say, this supercool boot's a little bit country, a little bit rock'n'roll. In a teak hue I find stunning, or black. On the softer side in texture, but not slouchy. Circumference listed: 17 inches.

 
FRYE Women's Melissa Harness Inside-Zip Boot
FRYE Women's Melissa Harness Inside-Zip Boot

What girl doesn't want a pair of Frye in her closet? The challenge is, Frye "extended calf" styles are almost all under 15.5 inches. This one and the Jane, below, are the only exceptions I've been able to find, and luckily, they're gorgeous. 15 2/3 around for this one.

 

~ Tips on choosing a riding boot that flatters ~

Look for an almond-ish toe. Round toes are cute, too, but if they're too wide in the way they curve out, they can "stumpify" the leg.

For a classic equestrian-inspired look, you'll want the shaft to come up pretty high -- up to about an inch or two under your knee.

Keep in mind that the more streamlined and classic the shape, the longer the boot will likely last in your wardrobe. Some embellishments may hold their "freshness" longer than others: Think subtle buckles, buttons or lacing rather than spikes, studs or rhinestones...unless bling's your thing!

Mid heel

I would argue that a two- to three-inch-heel style like these is as versatile as a riding boot. My Fryes have a 2.5 inch heel and look good with virtually everything.

FRYE Women's Jane 14L Boot: Extended, Redwood Pebbled Full Grain Extended, 11 M US
FRYE Women's Jane 14L Boot: Extended, Redwood Pebbled Full Grain Extended, 11 M US

Slightly more heel here than with the Melissa boot, to add some lift, but easily walkable. Two of my three from this brand have a 2-2.5 heel, and I really like what it does for my legs. Circumference listed: 17 inches.

 
Clarks Women's Ingalls Delaware Boot,Black,8 M US
Clarks Women's Ingalls Delaware Boot,Black,8 M US

Clarks wearers swear by this label's boots (check out the rave reviews) for beauty & comfort. I love the soft nubuck cuff atop these. Circumference listed: 16 inches

 
Lauren Ralph Lauren Women's Devona Boot,Black,9 M US
Lauren Ralph Lauren Women's Devona Boot,Black,9 M US

A classy stacked heel rises to all occasions with this boot measuring 18 inches around. I get a bit nervous with suede but have learned to ease my anxiety with weatherproofing spray.

 
Miz Mooz Women's Jennifer Wide Calf Boot,Black,6.5 M US
Miz Mooz Women's Jennifer Wide Calf Boot,Black,6.5 M US

Count on Miz Mooz for trendier styles, often with a vintage flair, like these slightly '70s boots just made for dancing.

 

High heel

The first one's taller than I can wear, except in a wedge, but for those less klutzy...

The second, maybe!

Enzo Angiolini Women's Asterisk Boot
Enzo Angiolini Women's Asterisk Boot

Chic, sexy, leg-lengthening boots in black, brown & a gorgeous looking natural shade. The lack of obvious goring (maybe a little, hidden triangle shaped section at the top?) gives these a dressier look, but they'd work great over fitted jeans as well. Circumference listed: 16 inches.

 
Bella Vita Women's Transit II Plus Knee-High Shafted Boot,Brown Super Suede,12 W US
Bella Vita Women's Transit II Plus Knee-High Shafted Boot,Brown Super Suede,12 W US

This is a synthetic style, with a wallet-friendly pricetag to match. Nice look for the office.

 

~ All about the boot opening? ~

The opening measurement is important for fit and comfort, but it's not the only thing to consider in terms of how things will look. A midcalf measurement -- usually ten to twelve inches up from the bottom of the foot -- can be essential, too, though not many manufacturers list that information. This is the spot where most of our lower legs are at their widest. You may find that a boot with an opening that's a bit bigger than optimal still looks great if the midcalf figure is spot-on. Finally, there's the ankle. Any more than about 2 inches of extra space there can look slouchy, baggy or bunchy -- especially with buttery soft leathers. But sometimes you *want* slouchy :) ......

Still more styles!

17 Inch Circumference Boots

18 Inch Calf Boots

need extra wide calf boots?

> 2. Try an online specialty shop:

WideWidths.com carries all wide-shaft boots, all the time. A veritable one-stop-shop for those needing 16 to 25 inch calf circumferences.

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> 3. Do as my lovely hair colorist did and get your boots stretched by a reputable cobbler. Or you can stretch them at home using the tool below. Note: Read the user reviews for tips on how to get the best possible results.

> 4. Try UK-based DUO for custom-fit boots up to calf circumference 50 cm, or about 19.7 inches. Tons of styles are available (a quick search for women's EU size 40, about a size 9 US, at the largest calf cifcumference yielded 17 different $200-$400 boot styles, including the classy looking Ziller, right, in black & brown). The company now ships free worldwide, too, so well worth considering.

another option:

turn any boots into wide-calf boots

I was skeptical when someone told me about this professional-grade boot stretcher. But the reviews are very convincing. If you're a boot fan who wants to significantly expand your shopping options, this might be worthwhile as a long-term investment.

FootFitter Cast Aluminum Combination Boot Instep and Shaft Stretcher
FootFitter Cast Aluminum Combination Boot Instep and Shaft Stretcher

Tip: Don't push the process too fast! It needs to be gradual so as not to cause damage. Patience is a virtue :)

 

Poll!

What calf circumference are you looking for?

See results

Personal comments can be an invaluable resource for the hard-to-fit shopper, and the wide calf boots arena is no exception. Share your fave styles & sources here!

Comments

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    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 3 years ago from USA

      Didn't know how much of a science buying boots could be. Smile!

    • williamslaw profile image

      williamslaw 3 years ago

      Oh my sweet Lord. These are some awesome calf boots. I own some but I see that I need more!!!

    • teelover profile image

      teelover 3 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for sharing!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      I cycle through the summer, but not winter. My calf shape changes through the year. I finally found some with a lace up back which allow my calves to do their thing.

    • EmmaGraceEllis LM profile image

      EmmaGraceEllis LM 4 years ago

      I love this lens!!! Soooo helpful, thank you for the detail you provided!!

    • profile image

      IreneL11 4 years ago

      Great information. Thanks

    • Mommy-Bear profile image

      Mommy-Bear 4 years ago

      Yes is it really hard to find wide calf boots. Thanks for sharing

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      very interesting lens great information thanks for sharing this with us

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 4 years ago

      I need some new boots.. <3

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I am going to have to look for some new boots, believe it or not, it is Spring Break and snowing! I love black boots and the pair of have isn't wide enough and you have showcased some amazing wide calf boots here!

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I hope lots of "wide-calfed" ladies find your lens, you've given them a great selection!

    • profile image

      A-Marie 4 years ago

      I've been putting off shopping for boots because I need a wide calf. Great lens. I will check some of these places out.

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      Love these boots!

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 4 years ago from Czech Republic

      So cute lens! I really love it. Simple and sticking to the topic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: try being short, I need a 16 inch high boot with 18inch calf, it is hard finding an adult boot with those measurements specially for riding 16inch high is considered childrens and none of the childrens boots go past 16in calf.....

    • profile image

      bamalife 4 years ago

      Great selection of wide calf boots.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have 15.5" calves, and yes... I need wide calf boots. I have a size 5.5 foot so proportionally 15.5" is quite wide. I can never wear normal boots.

    • malualhati profile image

      malualhati 4 years ago

      thanks for sharing :) i like the rain boots.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wide calf to me is 18"+ not 15" or 16"

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @verymary: unfortunately today designers are really pushing the abnormally skinny look and on average boot circumference is now 10-14...really sad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great choices of Boots! Thanks!

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: glad it helped! thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This post was so very helpful! I looked up all the links and have found several options for my 17" calves! Thank you!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      FYI I would call 16-18 in normal calf. i need wide calf at 20in or 22in if i want to fit my jeans inside.

    • junie12 profile image

      junie12 5 years ago

      Great lens! I have wide calves and love some of these boots!

    • Carashops profile image

      Cara 5 years ago

      I love Duo boots and their delivery service is fantastic.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Frye has some extended calf styles -- looks like 15 inches around, so not super wide. You may need to try a custom cowboy boot place?

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 5 years ago

      Nice selection of boots. I especially like the Frye boots.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been all over the net and what I want does not exhist. I want western/cowboy boots for large calves. If anyone knows where true ladies cowboy boots can be found for my large legs I would be indebted to you.

    • profile image

      CristianStan 5 years ago

      I know these boots would make my GF extremely happy, they look so good..too bad I can't order any of them here...

    • tlc1210 lm profile image

      tlc1210 lm 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. My calves are wide and it's always a pain trying to find the right boot.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. My calves are so wide that I think of them (fondly) as cows...I had given up on the idea of ever finding boots...

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      A great selection thank you. So difficult to decide but those Etienne Aigner boots are hard to walk past!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I had a wide calf once and also a wild calf. The both got in a fight and one ended up as a pair of boots and the other as a veal patty. Ha! Blessed!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      Thanks for the wide calve list, I'm short and in between so it's hard to find boost that fit. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think this is a great idea to list them all in one place, I know for me I can't fit good wellies that fit my calves, it's annoying as heck!

    • profile image

      vitralyoz 5 years ago

      i like these boots on girls :)

    • profile image

      AngelaDaun 5 years ago

      nice!! Love boots year round!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very Nice Lens!! Thanks for sharing. Squid-liked

    • lbuben profile image

      lbuben 5 years ago

      Yes, not everyone has skinny legs! Nice lense.

    • profile image

      AliciaMae 5 years ago

      This is a great lens!! I always have trouble finding boots that don't hurt me lol