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, March 8, 2014

Sesto Meucci Boyle

No signs of a crocus yet in our front yard, and no hint of a warm(er) breeze in the air. Yet this month brings the official start of spring, and with it the unofficial worst time of year to look for knee high women's boots for slim calves.

Or is it? Sure, the selection may not be what it was back in September, but the prices! I would argue that we're heading into the absolute best time of year to score a perfect pair of boots on a budget. And by way of proof, I've got a stunning offering all the way from equally stunning Florence, Italy.

Sesto Meucci is a rather under-the-radar label that is nonetheless known in thin calf circles. The cut on this brand's boots tends to be pretty sleek and streamlined. That reputation certainly holds with the Boyle boot, coming in at a skinny 13" midcalf (for shoe size 7 1/2), gently widening to 14" up top, and circling the ankle at a relatively slim 10". 

But wait! The very cute lacing detail at the back of the ankle is actually functional. That is to say, you really can tighten those leather laces for a narrower ankle circumference, bringing it down (if you so choose) to my ideal measurement of 9 inches. Such a simple trick, yet so so welcome for those of us used to flopping around at the ankle. Why can't more companies employ this technique?

And this is another wonderful choice for those who dislike large stretch panels, as its goring section is relatively small, and covered with leather.

What we have here is a high-$300s Italian boot (I would in fact put it up there with $400+ Aquatalias I've tried, in terms of fit and beauty) that you can grab now -- what'd I tell you? spring bonus! -- for low 200s. (Though with the Sestos, you'd need to do your own spray-on waterproofing, if that's important to you.)

At that price, some sizes are gone. If yours isn't, give this one serious consideration. One of my fave looks yet.

Rating:
Beauty: *****/5
Value: *****/5
Calf slimness: ****/5 with the ankle laces loose, *****/5 with them tightened

In black & brown
Find it at: 
Amazon 
(nearly 50% as of April 2015 -- under $200! - but just one pair left...)

ps -- if you're really into the lacing idea, I stumbled across a very cute Donald Pliner boot on clearance, the Baude, that laces all the way up the back. That's a super hard-to-find design trick (I see it on maybe one or two decent-looking styles per year) that may or may not be up your alley, but in general the Pliner people tend to cut their riding boots pretty narrow, and with the extra adjustability from full-length lacing, this could be a winner.

17 comments:

  1. I just discovered your blog and have spent the last 90 minutes reading through all your posts and looking into your recommendations. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such detailed reviews of each boot; it's so helpful!

    I'm going to order the Sesto Meucci Boyle, as I like that it has a tighter fit around the ankle and can be more easily dressed up. I found it at DSW for $170 which seems like a good deal!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good choice! This boot is awesome all around. Thanks for the heads up on DSW; will add them in the post, as this style is getting scarce. Hope you love the look!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for posting! I'm also getting the Sesto Meucci Boyle from DSW at $170. I have super skinny ankles too. What a great style! They have only a few left, but they still have the Boomer style.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That really is a great price. Enjoy! And thanks for the tip on Boomer, as that's getting tougher to find!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just wanted to update you that I got the boots today and sadly they are too tall for my 5'3" frame. Walking around, they feel fine, but when I sit down the boot cuts into the back of my knee. Looks like I'll need to find a pair of boots with a shorter shaft.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shoot! That's no fun; sorry. I am only 5'4" but have a proportionally short torso and long limbs, so the taller boots don't bug me .... but of course you don't want that back-of-knee cutting. How did the shaft slimness of the Boyle work for you, though? I can keep an eye out for shorter-shaft boots with otherwise similar proportions to that one, if everything but the height worked.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Boyle style is just right for me! I'm so happy they worked out! The shaft height is fine for me because I am 5'7". I have 12.5 in calves and the size 8 looks on me without a big gap. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good news! Thanks for the update!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think the shaft slimness overall was fine. The boots are quite structured so I wasn't concerned about sagging. My legs still kind of looked toothpicky in them but I attribute that to the fact that they were too tall on me. The search continues!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok thanks -- one caveat with the slimmer shaft boots is that they do tend to highlight one's thin legs .... except for the occasional style that adds some fullness visually through design elements like curved/angled stretch panels, "layered" leather or a built-in curve to the shaft (which can look especially goofy if there's a big gap between leg and boot). With one pair of very slim boots, my hubby implied they maybe highlighted my calf thinness too much, with a not-so-attractive result. I didn't mind it but did mind how long they made my feet look! It can be tough to get all the elements right. Thanks again for sharing your experience, and sorry you didn't meet your match with the Boyle.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Boyle was impossible to find in an 8.5 in brown so I tried the Sesto Meucci Leather Riding Boot. It arrived today and fits well. I am 5'9" with a 12.8" calf and these do look nice on the calf. Thanks for the information for those of us with slim legs! (The boots are advertised to have the same circumference as the Boyles.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great tip! Is this the one you mean?
    http://www.dsw.com/shoe/sesto+meucci+leather+riding+boot?prodId=307150

    If so, what's the leather like? Is it suede, or nubuck? So glad it's working for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nubuck. Great versatile color, great fit. I usually prefer leather but am loving the taupe shades now!

      Delete
  14. Do you find this brand to run small or true to size? I've read they run small. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they run true to size. I have a crazy narrow foot and the medium is fine with a thick sock. If your foot is on the wide side, I would order a wide.

      Delete
  15. Pretty much true to size on me, but if you are between half sizes, I'd go with the larger of the two. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete