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.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Nordies Anniversary Alert! (Better Late Than Never edition...)

photo c Nordstrom
So sorry, friends. It's been a busy summer, and reviewing boots for skinny calves has had to take a back seat. Just in the nick of time, though, I spotted this pair from Sofft -- super-promising laceup riding boots that could be ideal for skinny legs, with a (presumably) fully adjustable calf circumference. I probably won't have time to grab these for a firsthand try-on before prices go up in three days, on Aug. 8, but the full retail is still pretty reasonable at about $200, so do stop back again later to check for updated pix. If my size is still available after the sale wraps, I may pick 'em up down the road. (Note: The sale's over now, as of early Sept., but the good news is that Nordies now has 4 pretty shades available rather than the original two - and this style, the Sofft Sharnell, is indeed now priced just under $200. Certainly not unreasonable for stylish narrow calf riding boots in leather rather than synthetic materials.)

Besides its hard-to-find back-lacing tactic -- as often before, I wonder why more designers don't use this, as it's a great way to allow calf tightening without breaking up the nice long line of the boot from front & side angles -- the Sharnell offers, per its Nordstrom description, arch support via foam cushioning for the footbed. Another plus is the full side zip, allowing wearers to customize the laces just once and then zip on and off quickly thereafter. That may seem like a small thing, but when you're rushing, it's a huge bonus.

If you grab this boot before I do, please comment and let us know how it fits!


  1. I bought these in both codors. They are super comfortable and they fit skinny legs very well after you tighten the laces

  2. Thx for the tips! I have "chicken ankles" and this blog helped me settle on the Frye Jayden boot.