- Fashion and Beauty»
Small Calf Boots
20 stylish options for legs that are both thin & short
From years of research & decades of personal experience, I know how tough it can be to find a proper fitting boot when your calves are thinner (or, for that matter, wider) than average. In the U.S. at least, manufacturers generally cut boots about 14-16 inches wide around the calf. If you're outside that range, finding a great pair that actually fits can be frustrating.
And if your legs are short as well as thin? The challenge is doubled. I didn't think much about that when I created a resource page on boots for skinny calves. But over the years, several women got in touch to say the options I'd listed were mostly too tall for them. At an average-ish 5'4", I'd been insensitive to this issue, but now I get it. And to try and help boot lovers who stand 5'2" and under or have proportionally short legs, I've tracked down 20 knee-high styles cut shorter as well as narrower than average.
Please note: The measurements I've listed here are for the height of the boot shaft, not its calf circumference. Because this page is especially for those whose legs are both short and thin, all the boots here are less than 14 inches around. Happy hunting!
(pictured: the Jenny by La Canadienne ~ info below)
Most retailers that list shaft height measure along the inside seam, from where the shaft begins at the sole of the boot to its end up top. While seated, use a flexible tapemeasure on the inside of your leg to ensure a good match, going from your instep/arch to desired boot height on your leg.
These first few styles are not for you super-shorties, but at 14 to 15 inches tall, they'll work well if your legs are just to the shorter side of average.
15 inch shaft height
A pull-on with a Western feel, in black or a rich looking variegated brown.
In six great colors, and the laces allow for maximum tightening on a tiny leg.
There's not much customer feedback on this one, but if you want a classic riding boot cut short, it's well worth a try.
Another hard-to-find shorter riding boot.
A work-to-play style in (hallelujah) waterproof leather
~ poll! ~
What shaft height are you looking for?
At 13 to 14 inches tall, these boots should work for many who are 5'0 to 5'2 -- but do measure your leg to make sure!
Why is this such a sought-after brand? Well, it's hard to go wrong with Frye. I own these beauties in cognac and wear them constantly. On me they're midcalf, but expect a more knee-high look if you're 5'2" or under.
Same height, same covetable brand, equally timeless.
13.5 inch shaft height
Yup, they do make cowboy boots for petites. This is a great pair.
14.25 inches tall
Ooh, I love the wingtip detail on this classy boot by Ara. Dress this streamlined shape up or down.
If you're small, try a "midcalf" boot for your knee-high needs. Just like capri pants that for the shorter woman hit at the ankle, midcalf boots for average height can come up close to the knee on petite people. Great way to expand your options.
If you're under 5 feet -- or are a bit taller but don't want the boot too close to your knee -- these 11- to 13-inch tall styles are good options.
11 inch shaft height
Made in Portugal, these beauties may run a bit small, so check the reviews.
Triple fringe could overwhelm a little leg, but I've seen tweens rock this look, so why not small, boho-inclined adults?
With nothing but 5-star reviews as of early May, this boot is batting a thousand. The 2-inch heel adds a lift without compromising comfort.
Dreaming of a Frye boot, but on a budget? Trick: If you're under 5 feet tall and have small feet, check out these kids' Fryes for well under $200. Amazon has 3 colors in youth/big kid size 4, which is about the same as an adult size 6.
12 inches tall
Who would have guessed that performance, all-terrain specialist Merrell could come up with these chic mid-heeled boots? And in just the right proportions for a small leg.
For an even shorter shaft (by about an inch), check out the label's equally loved Luxe Whip style.
Another beauty of a pick from Frye, this time from the adult line. I love the harness look as a contrast to girly dresses, as well as (of course) skinny pants & jeans.
Got big bucks?
Poppy Barley customizes boots (starting at $450) not just for shaft height and circumference but several other foot and leg measurements too, like instep & ankle, and (for a fee) will even make a pair for size-mismatched legs or feet, if you have that issue.
Are you small on stature but not on style? Share your tips & challenges...