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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vaneli Radon

Vaneli is a brand I've been wanting to try for a while, as they seem to come out with at least one pair of riding boots for thin calves each year. For 2014 there are more than one, so it took me a while to settle on a style. I finally chose the Radon for its elegant, streamlined look and artful approach to stretch panels.

This turned out to be a leaner than average but not super skinny boot. The midcalf measurement is decent at 13.75" in size 7 1/2. The top is 14.75, and the ankle is 11 inches around.

Two things are noteworthy about the stretch panels in back of this boot, where a full zipper also hides. For one, they are a nice, soft stretch suede, rather than the stiff, bandage-like fabric you sometimes find serving this purpose. And in addition, they are shaped not straight up and down but in a gently widening (from bottom to top) manner than makes them a bit more interesting than most -- and, I guess, recognizes that most women with average to wider calves will need more stretch at the top than the ankle. To me, this has the effect of adding the illusion of some extra curve to the leg -- perhaps unwelcome for a larger calf, but quite nice on a lanky one.

The rest of the smooth, luxe feeling Radon is pretty straightforward -- nice foot shape, and definitely a wear-anywhere, dress up or down kind of style. Worth mentioning is the soft, cushiony lining from top to bottom -- sure to be welcome in the chillier months.

The price as of early May is terrific, so if you've got 13+ inch calves or don't mind a bit of gap, this may be a good option.

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

Find it at:
?? (Sorry folks, as of mid October 2015 this one seems to have completely vanished. Any spottings, please share...)
January 2018 update:
photo: 6pm
6pm is showing a boot called Vaneli Radon (pictured at left), super skinny calf (check out the video!), but it has some stretch material similar to that featured on the Vaneli Vesper. Confusing, but hey, glad for each & every narrow calf option! 

And finally --
Like more bling with your riding boots? Hunt for the metallic-buckled Vaneli Realyna, which lists a 13" calf circumference.  

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