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.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nine West Pristeen

If you, like I, have wondered if Stuart Weitzman's beloved 5050 over-the-knee boot could be the ultimate in tall boots for thin calves, but don't quite have the budget for it, I've found a promising alternative. What drew me to the Nine West Pristeen was (well, besides the relatively gentle pricing) that its listed circumference, 13.5 inches, is actually smaller than the 5050 at 14". I had a very helpful email exchange with a Weitzman customer service person who suggested that, in a nutshell, on my just-under-12-inch calf the 5050 might be a bit roomy but might also still look fab and become my new go-to. And that's pretty much how I feel about the Pristeen.

These over-the-knee riding boots for small calves actually measured 15" at the very top in my shoe size (8). But at midcalf, where my calves are fullest, I measured the Pristeen at 13.25, which is not bad. The ankle unfortunately came in at 11.25" around, which is a good 3 inches bigger than my ankles. Still, I did need to use the convenient small ankle zipper to get the boots on -- and had a hard time imagining how that works with zipperless over-the-knee styles...

I loved the 21.5" shaft height. (For reference, I'm 5'4" tall but am shortwaisted, so most of my height is in my legs.) Would not want them shorter, or they'd hit at a weird place on my knee. A bit longer would be fine, but too much and they'd look like fly-fishing waders ;)

In front, the Pristeen is a nice quality leather, while the stretchy fabric in back is just the right stiffness -- not cardboard- or plastic-ish, but not too soft or floppy either.

If these boots were a half-inch narrower through the shaft and a couple inches smaller around the ankle, they'd be a dream come true for me. As it is, they're a fun find at a great an amazing price!

Beauty: ****/5
Value: *****/5
Calf slimness: ***/5
In black or brown.
Find it at: Amazon (under $100 in several sizes as of late summer 2015)

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