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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Via Spiga Bufu

With August & September will come a new crop of riding boots, including -- I am sure -- at least a few promising boots for skinny calves. But almost none of these will come at the reasonable prices we've come to expect in the offseason. So this may be my last "bargain alert" post for a while.

Luckily I've got a pretty Via Spiga boot to offer up, perhaps especially appropriate for those looking for something polished enough for the office as well as more casual environments.

In a size 8, the Bufu boot measures 14.75 at the very top. Not so impressively slim, right? But at midcalf it's a nice slim 12.5", and the ankle is 10.5, adding up to a decent overall slimness.

There's a 2-inch-wide stretch goring panel on the inside and outside of each boot, plus a very pretty buckle detailat the ankle -- one of the subtlest I've seen, thanks to its soft silver finish.

I'm less nuts about the slightly curved-in-back shaft that adds the illusion of calf curve where I've got none. (The idea appeals; the reality, not so much.)

This is a pull-on boot -- no zipper. I had no trouble getting it off and on, but I did need to use the loops at top back to do so.

The sole isn't very textured at all, so if you need an industrial-strength grip, these aren't the boots for you.

Shaft height in size 8 is about 16 inches -- right around my ideal height, but if you're on the short side, measure your calf to see if that's going to be too tall.
Beauty: ****/5
Value: ****/5
Calf slimness: ****/5

In brown or black.
Find it at:
Sold out at all the usual suspects -- only ebay has this one as of early 2018

PS: Via Spiga's Prish is another promising pair of tall boots for skinny legs. Heavily discounted in some color/size combos.


  1. Can I just say I feel your pain about thin calves... Mine are 13 inches and I can NEVER find boots that fit nicely. I don't even want to think about booties to fit my ankles. I found some boots 2 years ago at either Ross or TJMaxx that fit perfect but not real leather so they're due for replacing. I am a size 9 and I think I'm going with the Frye Phillip Harness tall boot

  2. I think that boot will look fabulous on 13" calves - good choice :) For booties, my Jackie Gores are the smallest circumference I've found, though they're still not snug around my ankles. I wear 'em at least 2-3x a week though!

  3. Like you, I'm I between a 7.5 & 8. What size did you choose for the Molly Gore?

  4. I got the 7.5 in the Molly Gore but, once I tried it on, felt the 8 would have been better for me in that particular boot. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Oh Darn. I meant the Jackie Gore. Sorry. And of course, I love your blog.

    2. No prob! I got the 8 in that too, and it feels great. Full name of the style is Jackie Gore Stitching Horse. I also have an older pair in 7.5, the Jackie Button Short, that's a couple inches wider in ankle circumference, so a lot looser around than the J. Gore but otherwise fits well. Thanks again and best of luck.