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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Michael Kors Emma Lana

Inspired by having found some of my all-time favorite leggings in the girls' department, I decided to see about searching on kids' riding boots this time, to see if we might get lucky there as well. After all, lots of kids have skinny legs, right? And my adult shoe size, 7.5 to 8, is roughly equivalent to a girls' shoe size 5.5 to 6, so all I'd need to do is look for brands that carry kids' sizes up to 6. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought sooner of this source of boots for thin calves, especially given the potentially massive price breaks involved.

So I set out to find a pair of classic riding boots, real leather, size 5.5 or 6, with a shaft tall enough for a (smallish) adult leg. And....kind of struck out. Real leather was by far the biggest sticking point; virtually all companies appear to make their kids' tall boots, probably wisely given how hard the young'uns can be on footwear & how quickly they grow out of it, in faux leather or faux suede. Sizing was another hurdle, as far more styles went up to 5 than 6. After much searching, I settled on the adorable Michael Kors Emma Lana, crossing fingers that I'd be able to squeeze into a 5.

That turned out to be a bit optimistic, as I really could have used another 1/4 to 1/3 inch of length in the footbed. More importantly, the shaft was not as narrow as I'd hoped based on published stats. Up top at the opening, the size-5 Emma Lana measured 14" around, right underneath the (non-functional, alas) buckle. At midcalf, the circumference was 13.5" -- and at the ankle, a fairly roomy 12".

The shaft height was a pleasant surprise at 17" in the front, tall enough even for my proportionally long calves. FYI the back measured a much shorter 12.5 inches, from the sole to where the subtle, 3/4-inch-wide stretch panel stops and the top cuff (if that's the word...) of this boot begins.

Another happy surprise was how chic the pebbled faux leather looked. And though gold hardware isn't really my thing, if you're into that, it's employed nicely here at the ankle and top of shaft. With the possible exception of its very round toe, nothing about this boot screams "child." Not even close.
And not that anyone sees the sole of a boot when you're out & about, but I can't resist showing you what is probably the cutest-patterned rubber sole I've ever seen :)

All in all, not bad for under $80, and maybe even an inspired choice for wetter climes where expensive leather footwear can be almost a liability in the rainy seasons.

Rating for the Kors Emma Lana:
Beauty/style: ***/5
Value: ****/5
Calf slimness: ***/5

Find it at:
As of Nov. '16, this appears to be only available through ebay

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