With scrawny 11.9-inch calves, I've been on a mission for years (decades!) to find the very best, most beautiful slim calf boots. There have been successes, but for whatever reason, what remain most elusive are the perfect riding boots for thin calves. Heels and wedges are challenging to find with a narrow shaft, but equestrian inspired? The toughest of all. In this blog I'll review riding boots with calf circumferences published, or reported anecdotally, at under 14 inches around. If your legs are like mine, maybe you'll find your dream boot here :)

Please note: Except where otherwise stated in the captions, all photos & text are copyright this "Howdy Slim" blog and cannot be used elsewhere without permission.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Frye Lindsay Plate

Mind the gap!
I am the very, very happy owner of three Frye boots: one ankle and two midcalf (one a tough-looking 12R -- ebay find! -- bought specifically to weather outdoor music fests, and the other the lovely,  narrow shaft Taylor Pull-On). What I don't have yet is a knee-high Frye riding boot. Online reviews I found for the Frye Lindsay Plate were so exciting: "too tight in the calf"..."great fit for small calves"... unwearable "if you don't have very thin calves"... bingo, I thought! Plus, Amazon listed the boot opening as 13 inches, which would be excellent for my just under 12 inch calves. (I find anywhere from a 12.5 to 13.75 circumference is perfect, providing the flexibility to wear stockings, tights, skinny jeans or even skinny cords and a warm sock underneath.)

My antiqued black Lindsay Plates came, and they were pretty sharp. Their long, straight style made me pleasantly leggy, and the shaft height was perfect. However, that promised 13-inch opening was closer to 15 inches in my shoe size (8), creating too much of a gap.

After contacting the Frye company and getting a list (at left) of their boots with circumferences of 13 inches or smaller -- now that's service! -- I became convinced that their only truly slim shaft options could be my beloved Taylor Pull-On, and it's a midcalf style, not knee high.

Update: Later, I discovered terrific newer styles: Phillip Tall Harness, the Melissa Tall Riding & the new Molly Gore Tall-- all knee high, and all slim by Frye standards! There is hope after all :)

Rating for the Lindsay Plate...
Beauty: ****/5
Value: ***/5
Calf slimness: **/5

In numerous great color choices.
Find it at: Amazon
(over half off in some size/color combos as of early March 2015!)


  1. Could you post a copy of that spread sheet?? I can't find a true circumference refererence- all the sites list them for a very small boot size- 6.5 usually. Before ordering, I want to be sure I am getting something that will work for my calves.

  2. Ok, I posted it above. Click on the image & it should pull up larger for you. Bear in mind that a) that list was from Frye customer service almost 2 full years ago (Sept. 2013), so some styles may be obsolete; and b) they didn't say which shoe size the measurements were for, so those may be for size 6 or 6.5, like you said. (Unfortunately yes, that's the norm -- where circumferences are listed, they're given for smaller than average shoe sizes rather than what most women wear.) My last paragraph in this post lists boots I know are narrow by Frye standards, so be sure to check them out, with the accompanying pix.

  3. I also have teeny calves. Seems like 10-15 years ago they were considered "normal". Now it seems like boots are made to fit linebackers! I've probably tried every Frye boot out there. Came to the same conclusion. Thought I would add two more.... The Jenna inside zip riding boot. Fits my tiny calves perfectly! Also, have you heard of LD Tuttle? Their Lost Boot is perfection for skinny legs. But it comes with a hefty price tag. Anyway, hope these suggestions help! I Don't know how many endless hours I've wasted searching for boots that fit :(

    1. Yes, you're right, it's like vanity sizing now with the clothing -- "regular" calf boots seem to have become wider & wider over the last several decades. I like the Frye Jenna style & will have to add to my try-on list. OMG I'd never heard of LD Tuttle, but after looking up the pix of that "Lost" boot online I think I'm in love! $700+ is a no-go for me, sadly. If you own those, enjoy them double for me :)

    2. I'm in love with the Lost boots too! My dream boots. Sadly $700 is just too much for me as well. But I did try them on. The softest most buttery leather you've ever felt and excellent craftsmanship. Worth every penny. Maybe they will turn up on eBay some day ;)