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.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Aquatalia Lionna

I hesitated to review something that's disappeared almost everywhere, but it's so rare to find Aquatalia tall boots for narrow calves at a meaningful discount, I just had to feature the gorgeous Lionna before it's completely gone.

This Italian-made boot flatters the foot and leg just as much as its (also nearly extinct) sister, the Orso. Where the Orso has sturdy stretch fabric, the Lionna has soft suede. Plus there's a strip of the leather running down the back to tie it all together -- giving the boot a mostly leather look with a nice mix of textures.

If you like a metal-free look, this one's for you. But there's a little leather buckle at the top to add interest. The buckle is functional, though it doesn't tighten the calf a ton.

Luckily, it doesn't really need to. The Lionna comes in at a skinny 13 inches midcalf, 14 at the opening. The ankle to me looks and feels more fitted than its 10.5" measurement would suggest (the full zip in back is necessary) -- but you can judge for yourself from the photos. The shaft height is pretty much perfect. And the brand has again worked its magic on foot and heel shape, for a riding boot that is feminine but not fussy. The slightly squared toe skews more "modern" than "trendy."

Along with La Canadienne, Aquatalia has my favorite all-year boot linings (shearling is awesome, but too warm for summer). The Lionna is lined with a soft, cozy patterned microfiber. I slightly prefer the plaid print inside the Orso, but really, who's gonna see it? ;)

As I said, this one's almost gone, so if you're interested, I wouldn't wait too long to check it out.

Happy Valentine's, Anti-Valentine's or whatever you care to celebrate next week!

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

Update: Sadly, as of winter 2015, these pretty boots for skinny calves are sold out everywhere. Let me know if you see one on ebay or elsewhere!


  1. hi, I was looking for slim calves boots and found your blog! Thank you so much for your comparison on so many boots and I really like these ones and they're now selling at 266 on amazon. could you please tell me the size you wear? Amazon has only 5.5 in black, but I normally wear 6-6.5. and my feet are little wide on the normal side since i have slightly high arch. I was struggling on choosing 6.5 or 7 in espresso ones cuz i wanna wear them with thick socks in winter. thx!

    1. Hi there -- Aquatalias are not known for running wide in the foot, so I think you might be better with the size 7 if you'd like to wear thick socks underneath. I tried this in a 7.5, I think, but that's my normal size. I didn't try it with heavy socks, but if I had, I think I would have taken the size 8. The slightly square toe does help prevent pinching issues w/ toes. It's a tough call, but I think for winter wear you might do better with the 7. Good luck, and report back if you can!

    2. hi Mary, thank you for your helpful advice! I'll go with the 7. I'll report back once I receive them :D

    3. Hi Mary, I just received my boots! Thank you so much for your advice, the 7 fits me well with heavy socks, and it leaves a little room if i'm not wearing socks. they are the best fit boots for my calves ever! Thank you for your blog~

    4. I am so happy they fit! They're really pretty ones too. Enjoy!