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, February 22, 2014

Elizabeth & James Heidi

A sort of moto-riding hybrid, the Elizabeth and James Heidi seemed like a potentially perfect addition to my narrow calf boots collection -- especially at their current sale price. So I'm bummed not to be head over heels for these.
I do really love the asymmetrical zipper that modernizes this style. I love the leather quality (the pricier boots often do have a subtle glow to them, don't they? I don't think it's just psychological...). I love the very dark, espresso brown color I chose, too.(Note: As of mid-March, the brown version is half the price of the black, and frankly, the brown is just about dark enough to pass for black -- with both on sale -- so keep that in mind...)

such cool details up top - if only it were an inch smaller around!
The issue is calf fit. Designer boots tend to run skinnier, so I had high hopes, but the Heidi measures 15" up top, which leaves too much of a gap around my just-under-12" calf. The ankle, at 10.5" is also wider than I'd like, though it doesn't look slouchy, thanks to the structure and quality of materials. At 14", the midcalf measurement isn't quite small enough to compensate for these other rather roomy stats.

One important caveat: I'm in between a size 7.5 and 8 in most boots and went with a 7.5 in these. Result was that I couldn't even zip around the heel on one of them. Which is why I am modeling the Heidi one-legged for this post!

Bottom line, if your calf is more like 13" wide and you're looking for a hip, "downtown" designer take on a riding boot at a great sale price, do check out the Heidi. As for me, I'll keep looking...

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

In brown & black.
Find it at: Amazon (wow -- up to 83% off in some color-size combos as of late Feb. 2015)

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