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 11, 2017

Cole Haan Katrina

Welcome to my last skinny calf boots 2017 review! This boot was flagged at Nordstrom as narrow calf by some reviewers, and because the brand is among blog readers' favorites, I thought I would give the Cole Haan Katrina a spin.

It's very pretty, understated and classy, versatile enough for work & fun. About as timeless a riding boot as you can find.  And fairly slim through the shaft, measuring a (not super impressive) 15" at the top, in size 7.5, but (better news) just 12.5" inches at the midcalf and 10.5" around the ankle.

All totaled, these measurements earn a 4 out of 5 on my calf slimness scale, which is pretty good considering that the Katrina has a smooth shaft all the way down, free of stretch panels. So if you are averse to those, do check her out.

I am 5'4" tall and love the 16.5" shaft height of these narrow calf leather boots, but if you're significantly shorter than that or have short legs relative to your overall stature, you might find that they come up a little too close to the kneecap. It shouldn't be a problem for most.

As for the foot sizing, I would say if you are between half sizes, go with the larger on this one -- especially if you plan to wear mid- to heavyweight socks underneath. 

 <<<< Kudos to Cole Haan for the elegant almond-shaped toe...


 And for this lovely burnished effect at the toe and heel of the "Harvest Brown" shade boot I chose >>>>

<<<< On the negative side for those of us with icy winters, there's no tread to speak of with these soles. Sigh.

Overall, a really nice pick to end our 2017 skinny calf boot roundup! 

May we have more choices in the year ahead -- though I'm not holding my breath :-}

Happiest, healthiest of holiday seasons to everyone, and as always, thanks for keeping me company here at Howdy Slim. Double thanks for all the comments these past four years-- can you believe that? -- on your own personal skinny calf hits & misses. The more the merrier!

Rating for the Katrina:
Beauty: ****/5
Value: ***/5
Calf slimness: ****/5

In brown or black. Find it at:
Nordstrom (50% off as of mid January 2018! Be sure to choose regular calf, not wide!)

See also:

The Cole Haan Galina earned high praise from a fairly slim-calved reviewer and might be a good pick if you are open to (or even prefer) a stretch-panel approach to calf fit. Plus, under $100 in some color/size combos as of June 2018!


  1. I love your reviews. I'm not always in the price point, but enjoy reading them. Love that you're in Chicagoish and can appreciate the ice and snow. -Gigi

    1. Thanks Gigi! LMK if you find any super-affordable boots (outside of ebay & luxury secondhand sites - maybe you saw my post on TRR from May of this year?)that actually fit skinny calves. With some exceptions, I've found sort of an inverse relationship between pricetag & calf circumference :( But I definitely do keep cost in mind when choosing which boots to review. Thanks for stopping by, and happy Thanksgiving!

  2. So happy to stumble across your blog! I have tiny calves and have a size 8.5 shoe. I only have one pair of boots that are Blondo. I haven't been able to find any other boots that fit me.

    1. Glad you found us! And I hope you find some ideas here :)