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, March 13, 2016

Freebird Wyatt

I come with a heavy heart. The Freebird  Wyatt  is absolutely stunning, completely adjustable through the calf, but doesn't fit my foot. Sob! With a shoe size between 7.5 and 8, usually 7.5, I went for the 8 in this one based on reviews it runs small. Even the 8 was not quite long enough on my foot for comfort, plus the toebox is too narrow for my problematic right little toe. An 8.5 might work, but tragically, the Wyatt doesn't come in half sizes, and a 9 would most likely be too long.

What's to love: Besides the work of art that is the beautiful distressed brown shaft of this made-in-Mexico boot -- and I think the solid black would be incredible, too -- it is, as I said, completely adjustable through an ingenious side lacing system and very soft, snakeskin-pattern insert that easily folds to conform to your lace tightening. It's a rustic, slightly tough looking boot, but so alluring. You will get noticed.

I'm giving this one an automatic 5 out of 5 for calf slimness, as it truly can work for any average-to-very-thin calf (not sure about wide calves). The only footnote on that would be re the ankle: I tightened it down to about 10.5 inches around but felt like going much skinnier there might ruin the long, lean line of the boot. I think it looks great, but you be the judge.

Shaft height: I measured that at 15.75 to 16.75" -- depending on inside vs outside measurement and whether I included the soft inner panel, which rises a bit above the main shaft.

Heel: It's a cool looking 2.5 inch heel, which I love for a leggy look. Most of my fave boots & booties have heels in the 2- to 2.75 inch range, so that's not a dealbreaker for me. But if you strongly prefer a flatter situation, the Wyatt won't be a match. Bonus points for the supercool tattoo-like sole, though it could be a tad slippery.

Besides the tricky sizing, my only other issue, and it's a slight one, is that the 3-inch long goring panel in the back hangs open a little. It's part of the rustic appeal, and no big deal really, but I guess I'm a little surprised they felt the need for goring at all, given the top-to-bottom lacing and full zip features for easy access and calf-customizing.

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

In black and brown.
This stunner sold out quickly in many sizes.
Act quickly & you'll find a few at: (finally on sale as of early November 2016! :)
Amazon (finally on sale as of early November 2016! :)
Ebay (where I scored mine for $50 under retail, NIB -- update: still a few left there as of October 2017, priced well under retail)

photo c Amazon
Amazingly, there's another totally adjustable Freebird style too: the Coal which looks like a particularly good bet for taller boot lovers. More color and size options available than the Wyatt, as of early March 2016, and arguably just as beautiful. Yea!


  1. Bought the cognac coal boots on Amazon for only $160! Hoping the color isn't too red..

  2. Ugh I love these. So different from my normal style, but given the boot binge I went on last year, I don't think I can stomach the price tag on these. Any change you haven't sold yours yet? Lol

  3. Actually I was able to return them to the ebay seller, as they pinched my toes :( Not a style for those needing a little extra toebox room. Beautiful, sexy boot though for sure.

    PS: Gotta give a shoutout to that particular ebay seller, "wildwestbootstore," as they issued the return credit super quickly. Hard to recall exactly, but I think shipping speed was also pretty good.