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The Authoritative Guide to Women’s Tall Boots
A frustrating feeling emerges every fall for many women when boot season comes around.
Narrow-calf Nancy complains, “All my tall boots fit like my 4th grade galoshes–fish could swim in there.”
Cheerleader-calf Cheryl gripes, “I want a fashionable boot, not a blood pressure cuff.”
Vegan Valerie wishes for a stylish non-leather tall boot while Fallen-Arches Fiona needs a boot that can accommodate her orthotics.
Don’t give up yet, ladies! The Barking Dog has done her research and compiled a list of tall boots to fit all shapes and sizes of calves and feet.
The 2016 Barking Dog Tall Boot Guide
- Best Tall Boots for Narrow Calves: The Timberland Savin Hill features a 13″ calf circumference where most tall boots start at 14″. The Savin Hill runs narrow in the foot, so if you’re a medium width, you might do better with the wide (especially if you need extra room for an orthotic since the insole is removable). The boot shaft measures 13.75″ from the arch, so if you’re tall, these could hit mid-calf.
Zappos customer Lori says, “If you have narrow calves, these are the boots for you. I have never owned boots because the boot shafts were always too floppy. These boots have an adjustable shaft and it looks great even when at the tightest setting.” Available in sizes 5.5-10,11 for $220 at Zappos, $145-240 at OnlineShoes.com, $109.99 at 6pm.com.
2. Best Boots for Wide Calves: The Aetrex Essence Chelsea Wide Calf Boot. Not only does this tall boot have a 16″ calf circumference, a sweater-like back panel with additional stretch, it’s got built-in arch support with memory foam cushioning and a slightly wider toe area than most boots–and it’s waterproof! $199.95 at Zappos. This boot also comes in more colors and foot widths in its regular calf circumference styles.
Two more boots for wide and wider calves: The Born Poly is an attractive low-heeled riding boot with a 16 1/4″ calf circumference on sale now at Nordstrom. The Rose Petals Tristan Wide Calf (17″) and Tristan Extra Wide Calf (20″) also offer multiple foot widths and extended sizes 4-12).
Be sure to check out Naturalizer.com for a good selection of wide-calf boots (click on the small boot measurements link). And don’t forget about WideWidths.com, a wonderful resource for wide calf boots in extended sizes.
3. Best Non-Leather Tall Boots: The Bussola Lovejoy Stretch Boot is made of soft suede microfiber with a little Lycra for stretch. The insoles are removable and may accommodate an orthotic. 15 1/2-16 1/2″ calf circumference. $129.99 at Sahalie.com. This tall boot by Bussola packs well for travel too!
The Arcopedico Liana is another vegan boot with a wonderfully comfortable footbed. The upper is made of Lytech® – a proprietary blend of Lycra® and polyurethane that is water resistant, light and breathable. Customers with bunions like that the material has a little give to it and doesn’t compress sensitive areas on the toes.
4. Best budget-friendly comfort boot: Perhaps you wear tall boots on occasion and can’t justify spending over $100 on a pair. The Bare Traps Seville is a classic riding boot with a side-zip entry and elastic goring at the calf for a good fit (15″ calf circumference). Sure its synthetic leather, but if you don’t care about that, then a great deal is yours! Right now, you can pick up a pair in dark brown from Famous Footwear for $50. The black and dark gray go for $79.99.
The Lifestride X-Must collection sells for under $100 and comes in extended sizes, multiple widths and wide calf options.
5. Best warm and waterproof tall boot: The Clark’s Tavoy Cedar features a waterproof leather upper and synthetic fur lining for added warmth. A “Comfort Fit” lacing panel in the back allows for adjustability around the calves, Ortholite footbed provides support and cushioning; a steel shank enhances stability. $220 at ClarksUsa.com, $220 at Zappos, $214-220 at Amazon.
6. Best boot for bunions: Birkenstock Farmington. Maybe it’s not the fanciest boot in the bunch, but it’s a Birk! If you’ve lived in Birkenstocks all summer like I have, the thought of enclosing your feet in a tight toe box is enough to make you shudder. Thankfully, the Farmington boot offers a nice, wide toe box to accommodate even the peskiest of bunions. The contoured cork and latex footbed is removable to accommodate an orthotic. This is also a great boot if you can’t manage any kind of heel and prefer flat.
A happy Zappos customer writes, “These boots aren’t exactly slick and high style, but they are really comfortable, which is what I was going for. I need boots that I can move around in, go up and down stairs, and into which my orthotics can comfortably fit. I need room for my toes to move around. These boots can do all of those things, and look decent as well–just plain, black boots, without buckles or other embellishment, and nice leather. Bingo!” Calf circumference runs a little wide at 15 1/4″. $229 at Zappos, $228.95 at Nordstrom, $229.95 at The Walking Company.
Which tall boots are your favorite? Do you have a pair that meets and exceeds your specific foot issues? Please leave a comment and let other readers know.