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, October 9, 2016

Sofft Sharnell

As promised over the summer, I'm giving the Sofft Sharnell a spin! And so glad, too, as these are some of the most comfortable boots for narrow calves I've tried on. They fit great, too :)

The Sharnell's full back lace design allows for a custom calf fit -- rejoice! I was able to tighten these boots down to 13.5" up at the top opening, 12.5" at midcalf, and 11" at the ankle. Not a record setter for us here at Howdy Slim, but pretty close.

As for shaft height, in size 7.5, these measured 15.75 inches tall.
The full inside zipper is handy, because it lets you tighten the back laces once, tie them tightly & forget about 'em from then on. The leather is soft, supple, and has a lightly pebbled texture on my pair of Sharnells; I'm not sure if that's consistent with all the color options.

An extra-nice touch is the thoughtful cushioning provided on the footbed. I haven't seen strategically placed padding quite like this before, but at least to my feet, it feels great.

The toe is maybe a bit rounder than my almond-shaped ideal, but the upside of that is comfort and space for warm socks/tights.

You'll notice in the pic at right that there's a cozy, leopard-print microfiber lining.

And there's a rubbber lugged outsole for sure footing in slippery weather.

I'm pleased with the retail price (just under $200) that will put these cute, comfy boots within reach of many readers' budgets. As you know, that's no easy find when we're hunting for a good calf fit.
Thanks Sofft!


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

In black and three different brown hues. (The one pictured in this post is "Cafe Brown" - probably the darkest of the three.) 
Find it at:
Amazon

photo c Nordstrom Rack

PS: I just stumbled across another pair of back-lacing tall boots for skinny legs that I need to share with you: Charles David's lovely Jayne style, nearly half off at Nordstrom Rack.







And finally -- if neither of the above lace-back options are available in your size and you are taller than average, consider the Vince Camuto Parle style (pictured below). I'm not nuts about the metallic accent on the heel, but at a sale price under $100, in some color/size combos, I might be able to overlook that!
photo c Amazon

18 comments:

  1. I placed an order last week for the reddish brown color through DSW and got 20% off. I can't wait to get them! I've purchased several pairs of boots on your recommendation and truly appreciate your helpful reviews. Thank you!

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  2. That's great! Let us know how they fit & feel, ok? Glad the reviews have been useful :)

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  3. My boots came today and are absolutely perfect! They came cinched fairly tight and fit my 13 1/2" calves right out of the box. The laces are flexible and the back is easily adjustable. The leather is soft, but not slouchy at the ankles like some boots, and they are very comfortable. I love the soles and rounded toe - a great casual boot. The reddish brown is pretty and unique. It is a bit burnished and pebbled. I highly recommend.

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  4. Hi! Love your blog, read your blog from the first entry, as someone whose calves used to be 11.5-12" back in my 20's, I agree, the struggle is real ;). It's gotten a bit easier now in my mid 30's, but 13" is still considered 'slimmer than average'. Anyway, enough rambling- I had 2 pairs of nicely fitting boots by Miz Mooz, I think some of their models are cut a bit slimmer. They worn down though, and I just hunted down a pair od Orsos on ebay - had to get a size bigger though - thanks for the recommendation- beautiful fit!

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    1. Bella - I didn't think anything could cheer me up after last night's World Series game 4 :( -- but you actually did! Thank you so much for being part of the blog since its inception - that means a lot to me. And I am so glad you found those Orsos. I'm a little concerned that even Aquatalia seems to be widening its circumferences a bit these days. Thanks for the tip on Miz Mooz; I remember looking into their styles early on but had kind of forgotten about them....will see if they have any narrow calf options out now. Again, thanks, and all the best!!

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  7. These boots are amazing! I now have them in the Cafe Brown and Whiskey colors. This blog is the best, although my husband and bank account don't agree. ;) For those who are interested, they are $150 (25% off) on Shoebuy. Check it out!

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    1. Glad you're enjoying the boots and blog! Hard to beat full back lacing for custom fit, huh? Thanks for the tip on Shoebuy!

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  9. Price update: currently $119.91 on Nordstrom in all 4 colors. Most sizes available, I couldn't resist and bought a third pair in black. Sale ends 11/28!

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  10. Terrific price; thanks for heads up!!!

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  11. Thank you so much for this blog. I haven't been able to track down some of your previous suggestions because I'm in Canada and sometimes we get screwed (companies won't ship here). I've been keeping an eye on it for a while and am so glad I checked in! I couldn't get an 8 at Nordstrom but ordered for $150 USD at Zappos (to a US address). I got the red and I hope it was the right choice for me!

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  12. $150 is still a good price for this boot -- I feel it's priced pretty well even at the $200 retail, for what it is. I've reviewed higher priced boots here that don't offer nearly the fit & comfort of this one. So I think you've done well.

    I like all the brownish shades, though the Cafe Brown I chose was a bit darker than I expected. The reddish one looks like nice, warm neutral. Be sure to let us know what you think!

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  13. hi, mary, i bought these after reading your review and am coming back to thank you. they are exceptionally comfortable and warm for riding boots, they are not too tall for my petite frame, and they don't gap around my 12-inch calves. they are everything i'd been looking for, after many fruitless searches on my own. i think you found a unicorn with these!

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    1. Wonderful news - and I agree, this may have been the best thin calf boot we found this year, all things considered. Happy holidays!

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  14. I recently found your blog and I'm so glad I did!! I was still hesitant to order the boots without being able to try them on. But, my husband (who is wonderful!!) knew how much I've been wanting some knee high boots that would fit my slim calves. He ordered them for me!! I got home tonight and they were here!! The boots fit my 13" calves great!! I couldn't be happier with them!! I can't wait to finally be able to wear boots with tights or skirts and feel comfortable!! Please keep the reviews coming!!

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