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.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sesto Meucci Safari

With the holidays in sight -- if you squint -- it's fun to find footwear with a bit of party-ready, festive detailing. That's just what the Safari style from one of my all-time favorite purveyors of slim calf riding boots, the Italian company Sesto Meucci, is offering with its curving, very subtly sparkling suede panels.

In size 8, this boot measures 14 inches up top, 13.25" at midcalf and a relatively skinny 10.25" around the ankle. (Thanks Sesto for recognizing that thin calves are frequently attached to thin ankles! :)  Those sparkly suede panels add a nice curve to the ankle, too -- a shapeliness often missing in riding boots. This is a classic, streamlined shape that is feminine without being fussy.

There's a panel of stretch goring for calf fit (see below), but it's narrow enough to be almost unnoticeable. Not something that breaks up the boot's long, lean line of leather.

Look closely at these pix for a better look at the contrast between rich, buttery leather and soft, sparkly suede. It's a nice touch.

I will say that the toe area in size 8 felt somewhat narrow, especially on my "touchy" right foot, but the terrific thing about this style is that it's offered in wide as well as medium widths, and I suspect the 8W would be perfect on me. More often than not, I'm a 7.5M, but these are Italian boots we're talking about, so sizing can be a bit different.

As for shaft height, the size 8 measured 16.5 inches tall, which should work well for most calves but could hit the kneecap uncomfortably if you're much shorter than average, or proportionally short-legged.

The sole is grippier than many luxe Euro boots -- a plus for those of us in unpredictable-climate areas.

All in all, a really pretty find, well proportioned for slim legs.
Rating for the Safari:
Beauty/style: ****/5
Value: ***/5
Calf slimness: ****/5

Find it at:
Amazon (35% off as of late November 2016)
6pm (check out the video here on slender-looking legs)

photo c 6pm
Another Sesto Meucci beauty to check out, not yet road-tested by yours truly but advertised at Nordies as a narrow calf option and now deeply discounted at my fave shoe clearance site, is the Fibby  (pictured at left). Personally, I love a 2-inch heel like this for leg lengthening.

photo c 6pm
Finally, another slim riding boot with the panache for holiday dressing is the sweet, stretchy, floral-embossed Vaneli Radius (at right). (April '18 update: Sold out at my former source; maybe check ebay?)

With some weatherproofing spray, these suede slim calf boots should be able to withstand the colder months, though I'd avoid wearing them out in super-slushy messes. {Ack, sorry to bring that stuff up...forget I said anything! Happy non-slushy Thanksgiving to all! :}


  1. Not sure if you'll see this post, but do you find Sesto Meucci is high quality? Just ordered these, and these seem very thin (LOVE LOVE them otherwise!)

    1. I feel like the 2 styles from SM I tried in the earlier days of this blog were less thin, yeah. They aren't the most rugged boots. Is there a made in Italy stamp? That usually guarantees at least some quality, if not hardiness! One thing I recommend for almost all leather footwear is Frye Conditioning Cream or Dr Martens Wonder Balsam. Helps keep the leather in good shape & repel water. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Ugh, so these are considered as “earlier days” boots? They are from Romania—not sure how that bodes.

    Any other suggestions for black boots (preferably not lace-up) for about $150?

    1. No, sorry, I meant some of the Sesto Meucci styles I reviewed when I first started the blog. Not these.

      Made in Romania sounds fine! I've had more trouble with stiff, plastic/cardboard feeling leather when boots are made in Asia.

      I think if you like these boots and they fit well, keep them! It's hard to find good slim calf boots in the $150 range -- esp ones not made in China.

      If you want thicker leather, try typing "Frye" into the search box for this blog and clicking on the links for any that strike your fancy. Most Fryes are way way over $150, but they sometimes go on sale in that price range. And they usually come in black as well as various pretty brown shades.

      Best of luck :)