Big Calves? How to Score the Perfect Wide Calf Boots


fall tall boots

At the beginning of each fall season, excitement builds as we evaluate our wardrobe, browse the racks stocked with the newest sweaters, and decide what our look will be for the coming season. Finding the perfect pair of boots to complement the look is only made more difficult if your lower legs happen to fall into the mysteriously undefined category of  “wide calves.”

To find the best boots for you, try these tips: 

Pre-shop online Knowing which brands and retailers carry wider calf boots can save a lot of time and self-confidence. Pull out a measuring tape and measure your calf at its widest point. Look for shaft widths of that measurement or higher in the style's description.

Want to know how to make your dream boots work for you, plus where to buy the best wide calf boots online? Keep reading ...

Find a good cobbler A good cobbler can manipulate an oh-so-perfect pair of boots that may not fit quite right. Not only can they stretch the calf leather up to an inch larger than the current measurement, but they can also take the leather in or add an extra gusset of leather or elastic. Think of cobblers as tailors for your shoes.

Fashionable wide calf boots are tough to find, but these retailers make looking chic easy:


A UK-based retailer, DUO allows you to not only shop by size, heel height, and style, but they also allow you to shop by calf width, so you don't have to lust after any styles that won't fit. For a classic riding boot, check out the ELM ($330) in black or tan leather.

Wide Widths

Specializing in wide calf boots, Wide Widths offers a wide variety of boots, from flat to over the knee and styles from urban to western. Put a pep in your step with the Maine ($199) from Ross Hommerson in brown leather


Amongst Zappos very wide assortment hides Fitzwell, a brand specializing in wide widths and wide calf styles. For an extra wide calf, take a look at Bit ($118), a harness style with a shaft circumference of 18".

Do you have a favorite wide calf resource? I'd love to hear about it!


Image via DUO

shoes, shopping, plus size, fall/winter 2010 shoes


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kelli... kelli0585

I'd like to hear about it, too.

While I can wear regular boots, my mother has a problem with them.  I felt so bad for her when almost every pair at a store wouldn't go over her leg.  And she doesn't have HUGE legs, either.  She's a plus size woman with very shapely legs, actually. 

And it would be nice to NOT have to spend over $100 on them!


Sarah Conley

Hi @kelli0585 - I know exactly what your mom is going through! Has she measured her calves at their widest point? Knowing this measurement will help her more easily identify styles and brands that will fit.

Boots can be a bit pricey, but you can find them on sale (hopefully under $100). I hope your mom finds the pair of her dreams!



kelli... kelli0585

Good, practical article by the way. . . .

I'm sure there are a lot more women in this predicament!

LoriA... LoriAnn87

I love boots but since I have wide calfs it's very hard finding them and I don't want to buy them online because I want to try them on in the store.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Not that I can afford any of them you mentioned, but I love you just for thist post. I stopped trying to find cute boots like the current style because not being able to pull them up was just depressing.

frysh... fryshannon34

Thanks for all the good information

nonmember avatar Monzie

I have tiny feet and muscular calves, so I have never been able to wear knee high boots. Many of the wide-width styles only go down to size 7, which sucks for me. To make matters worse, the shaft of a boot gets smaller as the shoe size gets smaller, so even many of the extended calf boots that *do* come in a 5 or 6 are still so skimpy in the shaft that I can't zip 'em up.

That said, I adore DUO boots. They are so gorgeous and their size range is huge. Every Christmas, I promise I'll buy myself a pair. And every Christmas, I look at the US to UK currency conversion and can't bring myself to splurge. One of these years, I'll do it. But now that I'm pregnant again, it probably won't be this Christmas either.

Oh, and just a quick thought for thrifty moms with wider calves. You can sometimes find boots with a shaft made of a stretchy material...PVC, microsuede, whatever. They aren't particularly high quality...more of a fun boot that you'd wear for an occasional date night rather than an investment piece that will stay in your wardrobe for 10 years. But if you've only got $30 to spend on a pair of boots, there are options for girls with bigger calves to be found a many discount retailers.

nonmember avatar Zeyno

I always have this problem once fall/winter rolls around. I got lucky this year, I online shopped early, and got to know my brands. DSW carries some lines that make wide-calf boots, and thats where I got mine from. They are By Diba, and the style name is Combat Wide Calf. They come in black, brown and gray. I love them because they are flat riding boots, and they come just past the knee. Now I just need to find some boots with heels! Happy shopping :)

tonya... tonyalynn

no, i dont

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