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, August 29, 2015

Frye Tabitha Pull On Tall

This blog focuses mainly on English style riding boots, but I also love a beautifully made, subtle, bling-free Western style. Like this beauty from Frye.

When I ordered these small calf boots, I hadn't fully considered the ramifications of the "pull on" modifier, but they are both positive and negative.

On the downside, pull-on for a tall boot means there's only so skinny they can make the shaft, or nobody would be able to get the darn thing on. Accordingly, the Tabitha measures 14.5 inches at top, 13 at midcalf, and 12 at the ankle. It's definitely slimmer than average but has a straight look rather than nipping in at the ankle -- which is appropriate for a Western style.

On the upside, pull-on means there are no zippers or stretch panels to mar the long, lean look on your leg -- it's all just rich, soft leather -- which is sexy in that classy, not-trying-too-hard way that can be hard to come by in a heeled knee-high boot.

Speaking of heels, the Tabitha's is 2.5 inches tall, which I find incredibly flattering to the leg while still walkable due to its sturdy shape. As for height, the shaft is 16" in a size 7.5 -- perfect on me (5'4" tall with proportionally long legs), but maybe a hair too tall for those more petite in stature. The footbed is nicely padded, per usual for Frye, and the Western style stitching is a pretty touch.

A note on sizing: Though a couple reviews indicated the Tabitha Tall Pull On runs a bit small, I found it comfortably roomy in size 7.5, even though I'm generally between 7.5 and 8. So I wouldn't suggest sizing up...especially since Fryes are known for loosening up after repeated wear to conform to the foot.

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

In black, cognac or dark brown.
Find it at:
Amazon (heavily discounted in some color/size combinations)

ps ~ Another stunner with about the same heel height as the Tabitha is the ultrahip Freebird Wyatt (above), which may be the slimmest boot I've ever tried, as the calf is 100% adjustable. I was attracted to this brand after seeing it on a few stylish legs but was put off by the average-ish calf cuts normally featured. This style offers a very cool-looking skinnycalf solution via the fab lacing system & soft leather insert on the side. Nice!

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