How to Find Wide Calf Boots + Top Picks

Woman wearing boots in fall
Woman wearing boots in fall

Dear Budget Fashionista,

I really need your help. Even though I wear a clothing size 12, I have VERY wide calves (plus size—about the size of someone who wears a size 16 to 18). I would love to be able to find a stylish pair of wide calf boots to wear this winter. Help!

Shopping for Wide Calf Boots

Tracking down the perfect pair of boots to fit wider calves is a common problem that affects women of all sizes — whether your legs are curvy or ultra muscular. The key is patience. Set aside shopping time so you can find the perfect fit. That way, you don’t end up in a pair that feels too tight after a single wear.

Try these tips for finding comfortable and stylish wide-calf boots.

Get Professionally Sized

The problem with many boots that are touted as “wide calf” is that they just plain aren’t! The shaft typically feels a little too snug for comfort, leading you to wonder wide calf means in the first place.

You can resolve this by having your feet and calves professionally sized. Once you’re armed with precise measurements, you can more confidently purchase boots both in person and online — just be sure to shop specifically for shafts that measure 15 inches or more.

Chummy Up with a Cobbler

Cobblers aren’t just characters in classic books from yesteryear. Many women count them as their secret weapon for flawless-fit footwear.

Once you find a reliable and experienced professional, you can trust her to stretch out the leather on those new wide-calf boots if need be. Use this strategy only on boots that are already cut wide, but still feel a smidge too tight.

Don’t expect your cobbler to work magic — even the most skilled pro can’t transform the actual size of a boot.

Look for Added Stretch

While it’s tempting to look for those sleek, stiff boots that have a runway-ready look, it’s in your best interests to seek out styles that incorporate stretchy fabric in the mix. This increases your comfort exponentially and makes them a little easier to pull on, too.

Many modern boot brands carry extensive options with stretchy accents. You shouldn’t have trouble finding a style that fits nicely into your wardrobe.

Wide Calf Boots: Top Picks

Ready to shop? Try these eye-catching options:

Lifestride Wide-Calf Boots

Get set for fall and start planning those cool-weather ensembles now. These boots by Lifestride ($89.99) feature an elastic gore at the opening, making them easy to pull right on. Constructed with faux leather, they’re ideal for complementing your go-to skinny jeans and a cozy tunic.

Camel-colored wide-calf boots

If you’re craving a hint of cowboy cool, you’ll love slipping into these effortlessly chic boots by SoftWalk ($54.99). They emulate the popular western silhouette and feature a combination of supple cognac leather and matching suede.

Although they look right at home with jeans and a plaid flannel top, you can easily rock them with a dress and leggings on a chilly day.

Black wide-calf boots

When in doubt, go with a basic black boot that goes with everything, like these wide calf boots from Bare Traps ($45). You’ll turn to these routinely throughout the season, whether you’re wearing a pretty dress or a more casual ensemble. A strap wraps around the ankle and adds a chic accent to an otherwise simple design.

Black leather wide-calf boots

With curvy and super-curvy calf widths, these boots from Simply Be ($89.99) give you the options you need to make the right selection. They’re available in a couple of classic hues, and feature a striking tassel zipper pull for a little party-in-the-back flair you’ll appreciate.

Get Budget Fashionista in your inbox!

Tags:

    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    I buy my stretch boots from Burlington Coat Factory.  I always buy them at the very beginning of the season (Aug/Sept) or the very end (Mar).  I’ve never paid more than $50 for them.

    Yep.. gussets work as well- but unfortunately cobblering (is that a word?) is a dying art form.

    I’ve just recently seen that Lands End is offering boots in a wide calf size.  There is a cute pair of red sherpa-like snow boots that were recently pictured in In-Style.  They also have more traditional styles.  As a bonus, I believe they are on sale!

    Excellent brands for wide calf boots are Bandolino and Moda Spana.  This season I bought the Bandolino Crochet boot in black suede and brown leather.

    You can also have the calves of leather boots stretched.  Sacco Shoes (in NY) stretched the calf of my boots 1.5” for free.

    I have the same problem so when I find boots I really love I often make them a project.  I buy them as long as they can zip 3/4 of the way up and then I wear then around the house until the top leather stretches out.  Either that or I take them to my shoe guy to stretch out on his machine-at least in LA there are a ton of shoe repairmen.

    you should check out nine west’s botamy boots on zappos as well. i ordered them and the calf was way too big for me, but the leather was good quality and they were very comfortable to walk in.

    You should try Torrid.com as all their shoes and boots are designed to fit a larger calf as well as a wider foot. HTH!

    the original letter-writer also should note that the size of your calves doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your dress size.  a person may have large calves from being an athlete or from genetics.

    widewidths.com is another good source for wide calf boots.

    (Sorry for multiple comments.)

    Also, http://www.duoboots.com (Europe only, apparently), who have boots with calf width at every centimeter from 30cm-50cm (12-19.5”).

    Please please please check out a website called Duo of Bath.  The site is from the UK and makes, yes makes, the boots to order in shoe size and calf width-from skinny to elephant like Like me!).  Not cheap but I have many pairs and the oldest being over 4 years old.  Never had a problem with them, great quality and oh my god they fit!!!

    I get all my boots from Evans it a British store.
    http://www.evans.co.uk
    They are eally wide and comfy

    I work for a great online company called Plus in Boots who specialise in high quality wide – calf boots, and offer the largest calf size in the UK.

    Check out the website: http://www.plusinboots.co.uk. They have a great new range for Autumn/Winter 2007, which will be on the site shortly.

    I wanted to share my happiness about a place I found for wide calf boots after searching for years. I found them at http://www.WideWidths.com since they sell the greatest wide calf boots! I just got my second pair of boots with a wide calf circumference from them and I have NEVER been able to find a pair of boots before in my life! They have fashionable styles – all the stuff that the skinny calf women are wearing! Their customer service department is great too! they answer you within a few hours and they are very nice and helpful. Every boot on their site comes only for wide calves so you don’t waste your time looking through sites to find out that nothing will fit you. I never thought I’d be able to find a pair for my big legs and I also wear a wide width too.. as if one thing wasn’t enough. What a great place to shop – you’ll love their stuff.

    Awesome blog topic! As I was gearing up for the winter season, I thought I had to confine myself to ankle boots (I’m a 14” calf, so mid-calf), but now I know better! Budget Fashionista, I can’t thank you enough.

    I have a 19 inch calf (athletic + genetic= big calves!!) and have a heck of a time. I must have ordered 20 pairs of boots, and been unhappy with most. Sorry, I just don’t think $250.00 boots should feel like cardboard, just because they’re in a larger calf size!
    I finally got a pair of Eddie Bauer tall dress boots that fit, and are of a nice quality leather for about $230. I’d buy a lot more boots if I could fit into them, and they didn’t look like crud!! (OK, price matters too…)
    Thanks for all the great references above!!

    You should also check out Ayla Boots (www.aylaboots.com) – they make tall leather boots made-to-order that are stylish, affordable (less than $200), and fit “athletic” calves!

    The company is based in the UK but ships from Texas.

    Have been looking for boots for my big calfs for years. Don’t want trendy platform 6” heeled boots.
    Want QUALITY, CLASSIC design in brown and black.I am at the point where price is not a major concern, other than i am not willing to fly to England to get them custom made. Any suggestions???

    In addition to all of the suggestions above (Zappos, Duo, etc.), J. Crew has several very nice boot styles that they offer in regular and “extended calf” sizes.

    I just ordered the Ayla Mayfair style in 17” calf size.  They fit great and zip up with no problem!  The only issue is that I’m hard on shoes, so the toe is already wearing out.  I think it is the way I walk though.  The leather is soft!!!

    Thanks for these tips!  I have been looking for another pair of wide leg boots for 3 years and couldn’t find a pair in the store.  I purchased the Shyloh Brown Pleather Wide Leg Boots from Zappos that you recommended.  I ordered them yesterday morning, didn’t have to pay shipping or tax, and they arrived this evening.  I definitely think this was a good deal.

    Here is another tip that includes a lot of different kind of wide calf boots styles: http://www.widecalfbootscity.com/

    Very helpful tips

    You cannot copy the content of this page.