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, July 8, 2014

Cordani Osgood

Alas, this may be the last month of incredible summer deals on riding boots for thin calves. Our boot selection will likely improve starting next month as we tiptoe toward fall, but at a price: higher prices!

Before that happens, I want to introduce you to a lovely label called Cordani, which flew entirely under my radar until just recently, when I decided to give the deeply discounted Osgood boot a spin. Like other Cordani models, it is made in Italy of soft, sleek, very expensive looking leather.

Based on their company bio, it looks like this brand is the brainchild of an Italian-born guy and his partner/wife (?), who became frustrated with the havoc wreaked by charming Boston cobblestones on her stylish shoes. Together they set out to meld fashion & function, and judging by the gorgeous Osgood, they've succeeded.

This boot reminds me somewhat of one of my all-time faves that is now virtually extinct, the Sesto Meucci Boomer, in terms of its buckle detail, stunning chestnut color, and (yes) rich smell. (I know I keep saying this, but there's just something about Italian leather - sigh!)

The pretty foot shape is also a common marker for Italian-made boots. The Italians need to do a master class on this for the rest of the world, proving that equestrian does not need to equal clunky and boatlike!

My only complaint is that the shaft is a bit wider than advertised, at 14.5" top, 13.75" midcalf, and 12.5" at the ankle in a size 38 (which converts to a US 7.5 or 8, depending on which conversion chart you're looking at). I am between 7.5 and 8, so a 38 EU is just right for me.

The pretty gold buckle is functional, not just there for its looks -- so an extra hole could absolutely be punched for further tightening of the calf.  With that intervention, however, I think you'd see a little fold in the leather underneath the buckle.

For the sale price, at this level of quality and gorgeousness, it might be worth it.

Rating for the Osgood:
Beauty: *****/5
Value: *****/5
Calf slimness: **/5

Find it at:
Amazon (discounted 50-70% as of September 2015!)


  1. Thanks so much for this helpful blog! I'm probably going to get the black
    Sesto Meucci Women's Boyle thanks to your recommendation. I'm also on the lookout for a brown boot and like the style of this Cordani one. But from your photo, it seems it has quite a bit of extra ankle space? How would you compare the ankle width with your favorite sesto meucci boomer? As that one also looks like the ankle has a bit of sagging. If you have any other recommendations for brown boots that would be great! Thank you!

  2. Hi there -- thanks for asking ... I can't believe I forgot to put an ankle measurement in for the Boomer back in March! Will add that info in the original post .... but the Sesto Meucci Boomer is 11 inches around the ankle in my shoe size, compared to 12.5 for this Cordani boot. Since my knobby ankles are only 8.25" around, you are right -- both look somewhat roomy on me at the ankle.

    The Boomer is an overall leaner boot, especially if you punch an extra hole on the straps (if needed, per your calf measurement). As far as other brown boots, I love the Frye Chelsea (see below) in espresso or cognac, and the SM Boyle comes in brown, if you decide you like it enough in black to get in brown too.

    Many of the boots reviewed here do come in brown, even if they're pictured in black, so maybe just browse through and check the color options for any that you like. Thanks again for nudging me to get that measurement up on the Boomer!

  3. ps - just discovered that this one http://riding-boots-for-thin-calves.blogspot.com/2014/02/aquatalia-lionna.html is back on sale now & has a nice sleek look all the way down, if you're open to a mid-to-darker brown. Happy hunting!

  4. Do you remember where you found these cute tights? Bought these boots after reading your review and love them. Great blog!

  5. Thanks! I think these stockings were from Urban Outfitters. My fave tights sources are UO, ASOS, Anthro & sometimes Kate Spade :) The Cordani leather is so nice, isn't it?

  6. Oh - and Modcloth sometimes too for the legwear ...