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, January 12, 2014

Joan & David Heathley

Boho-chic and equestrian don't necessarily mix on a routine basis, but there's a touch of "Almost Famous" in these plush suede skinny calf riding boots from Joan & David, the Heathley. They'd work just as well with my flowy Free People tops as my preppy J Crew sweaters -- especially in this soft medium brown hue. These also come in black, or a pretty taupe that I'd probably be too afraid of getting dirty.

At the midcalf, the Heathley comes in at a fairly slender 13.5" in size 8. The opening is 14.5, while the ankle is 11" when tightened to the smallest setting. This is a somewhat gappy boot on me, but it doesn't look bad over midweight stretch pants. (Speaking of J Crew, I'm wearing their Pixie pants in the first photo.)

Over tights, naturally, the extra space is a little more obvious. But what make this boot a winner in my mind, beyond the quality of that soft suede and overall solid construction, are the details that set it apart from the pack. It's the little things that give this under-$200 (at the sale price) style a pricier look.

Most noticeably, the leather harness adds texture and shape to the ankle and foot area. The little wood heel is really pretty, too.

Besides the full zip for easy on and off, there's a little partial zipper on the other side just for fun.

 And the sole has a nice pebbled texture to prevent slips.

So if you're looking to take a walk on the softer side with your riding boots, the Heathley is worth a try.

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

In brown, black or taupe.
Find it at:
Sorry folks; ebay is your only source for this beauty as of fall 2016, as far as I can tell.

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