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, September 16, 2017

Frye Jayden Button Tall

Hey! Sorry it's been a while. Quite a dearth of slim calf riding boots these past few months. If anything, the average circumferences seem to be getting larger! Sigh.

Based on reviews complaining of too-narrow calves, I had high hopes for these beautiful Frye Jayden boots. Unfortunately they're not as skinny as they are pretty. (The "bordeaux" color pictured here is a keeper though, no? Love it.)

In a size 8, this style came in at 15" for the top circumference, 14" around at the midcalf, and a not-too-huge 11" at the ankle. The shaft height is 16 inches for size 8.

There's a handy full zip...

A cute button detail....

A quirky textured sole...

And of course that luxurious leather lining, intoxicating fragrance & typical built-to-last Frye quality.

Given the measurements, I'm not sure why the Jayden doesn't look baggier on my legs. Maybe that's a combo of the substantive, non-floppy leather; relatively slim ankle; and lovely dark color?

Still, a great pick for average to moderately slim calves -- especially at sale pricing -- but not for the superskinny.

Happy fall, all!


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

In numerous lovely shades :)
Find it (50+% off in some color/size combos as of early August 2018!) at:


ps: here are a couple extra pix to show shaft height - per November 14 reader query:


  1. Hi. Loove your blog. Have you done a review on Aquatalias Dewy Boot?

  2. Love your blog. I have it bookmarked to refer it every fall so I can find new boots for my 12" calves! Thank you!

  3. Can I ask how tall you are? I have a hard time finding boots that are narrow and short enough for me and these look to be right below your knee, so I'm concerned they would probably come too high on me (I m 5'2).

    1. I am 5'4" tall but have a short torso & long legs, so maybe consider me more like a 5'5" person for comparison purposes. I'll add a couple more pix in the post above, less cropped so you can get a better look at how much space between the bottom of my kneecap and top of the boot. I think the 16"-tall shaft of these boots would be right at the limit of how tall you would want, but they'd probably not hit your kneecap problematically unless you've got short legs for your height. Just fyi, two other Fryes I've reviewed fairly recently that have 1/2-inch shorter shafts than this one are the Melissa button back zip http://riding-boots-for-thin-calves.blogspot.com/2016/06/frye-melissa-button-back-zip.html and the Jenna inside zip http://riding-boots-for-thin-calves.blogspot.com/2016/04/frye-jenna-inside-zip.html

    2. ps - My ideal boot shaft height is in the 15.75-16.75" range, and I'm guessing yours would be more like 15-16". Nerdy as it sounds, I have a little notecard with measurements for clothing I buy like minimum sleeve length, dress length etc. Comes in handy as more & more shops are, thankfully, listing measurements. Especially important for a potentially bigger investment like boots. Good luck!

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