Clarks Mullen Spice is an all-time reader favorite, combining adjustable circumference (via functional buckles) with comfort, versatility and a fair price. It's been ages since I reviewed that one, so I was eager to take what looked to be a new Clarks contender, the interestingly named Pita Dakota (update: priced at an insanely low 60 bucks as of April 2018) for a spin.
Unfortunately, there's some not-as-good news in terms of measurements. I can never figure out why boots with stretch panels can't have a smaller base circumference. There's a need, and market, for both average-circumference boots that stretch to fit wide calves and narrow-circumference boots that stretch to fit average calves. Probably both markets are underserved, but the latter especially so, it seems (though I could certainly be biased...).
In size 7.5, the Pita Dakota has a midcalf circumference of 13.75" (not bad), but it's 15" at the top and, even with the buckle on its smallest setting, 12" at the ankle. I like the boot but can't help but wonder how much better it would look with a good inch or so knocked off each of these measurements.
Sizing tips: the 7.5 felt true-to-size, though not overly roomy, with a shaft height of 17" -- a true knee-high boot for me and possibly too tall for those of shorter than average stature or proportionally short legs.
Calf slimness: ***/5
In black or brown.
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