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.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

BCBGeneration Jericho

The best thing about these simply styled riding boots for skinny calves? Their sale price, as of late December. Real leather, not faux, at about $100! If you're on a tight budget and have slim but not scrawny calves, the Jericho could be a winner.

The ankle on this one is 11.5, but because the leather and fabric are fairly stiff (while not uncomfortably so), I didn't see too much sagging or wrinkling there -- just some extra space. The midcalf measurement on a size 8 boot is 13.75, which is pretty good....12.25 being our "recordsetter" so far on this blog :)

The issue with the Jericho is that it flares out at the top, not in a dramatic or pirate-y way but enough to create some noticeable space around a thin leg. The opening for a size 8 measures 15.5", which obviously is not ideal for slim calves. I think the 13.25-13.75 measurements listed on various websites are either for the top opening in a size 5 or 6 or for a midcalf measurement in the size 7-9 range that most of us wear. I don't object a bit to "circumference" being measured at the midcalf -- in fact, I'm more and more convinced that that's what is most relevant to how sleek or sloppy a boot will look on the leg, and I've seen Nordstrom staff comments, for instance, suggesting this is where they take the circumference measurement -- but I wish the shops would make that clear.

For the sale price, though, the Jericho is a nice pick, and it's simple and classic enough to be styled a million ways. No bells and whistles, just a straightfoward leather riding look with stretchy fabric for its back half.

Two caveats: The shaft is taller in the front (about 17.5 inches) than in the back, a look I found flattering. But I'm 5'4" with somewhat long legs, so if you're shorter or have shorter legs, you might find the front of the boot hits you awkwardly mid-knee rather than just under the knee as it does me. The back shouldn't cause trouble for petites, as it's a couple inches shorter than the front. Second thing, the foot is on the snug side of TTS, so if you're between two half-sizes, I'd recommend going with the larger.

Happy holidays to all you skinnylegs! Hope you find your perfect boot under the tree, even if you had to research, purchase & wrap it up yourself! :)

Beauty: ***/5
Value: *****/5
Calf slimness: **/5

In black or brown.
Find it at: Amazon 
(They're practically giving this one away as of mid Feb. '15, with some sizes under $50)

Note: I can't quite believe this, but a moderately priced, promisingly proportioned style from my earlier days of obsessing over boots for skinny legs  -- the Enzo Zeric (under $100!) -- is still kicking around in a few sizes at Amazon. It's styled much like the Jericho, but (though I never tried it on) I suspect probably narrower at the opening, even in non-tiny shoe sizes. Better still, it's priced at only $65-$107 as of early October -- for leather! If your size is available & you're tall enough for the 17 1/2 inch shaft, I wouldn't hesitate on this one. (Update: annnddd it's gone...as of Oct. '15...but if you're open to boot shopping on ebay, as I sometimes do, spot-check for Zerics there, which have at times appeared for under 100 bucks :)

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