Wide Calf Riding Boots - The Ultimate Buyers Guide
Boots have been the go-to cold weather fashion staple for women for a long time. First influenced centuries ago by both Native American footwear and the boots of the world’s military leaders, they gradually evolved and became an essential part of women’s fashion.
Boots for both professional and casual outfits reappeared in popular clothing several years ago, and their popularity so far has yet to wane. Riding boots, or riding-style boots, in particular are a must-have item for many women. But seeing as most boots are designed for very skinny, less muscular legs, what can a stylish woman with wider calves do?
Fortunately, the heightened popularity of boots in general has resulted in some designers creating versions for wider legs. After all, it is important to wear boots that fit, because tight ones can actually cause circulation problems for the wearer in addition to great discomfort. When trying on boots, they should be snug, but you should still be able to easily slide a finger down the side.
Extra wide calf riding boots therefore exist, but you have to know where to look. Lane Bryant, for example, is known for providing fashionable plus-size clothing, and this includes footwear. Not all Lane Bryant stores carry boots (or have a shoe section), so if you find that this is the case with your nearest Lane Bryant, know that you can always order wide calf riding boots online. Like many retailers, Lane Bryant has a wide selection of wide calf riding boots that you can order through its website. Whenever ordering online, however, just be sure to measure your feet (and calves) first to know what size to get. Not all retailers or boot brands will let you return what you have purchased.
Aside from brands and retailers that specifically cater to plus-size women, most general clothing and shoe stores now carry larger clothes and wider sized footwear. Other stores worth visiting (or checking out their websites) are Macy’s and Nordstrom. Yes, both are department stores, but each has a large shoe section stocked with dozens of shoe brands for women. It may be difficult to find boots in general during warmer seasons, but in fall and winter boots dominate the footwear sections. Furthermore, if you aren’t sure what size boot to get there are staff members on hand that can give you a professional measuring.
Another good retail store to check out is DSW. While not aimed specifically at plus-size women or those with thicker calf muscles, footwear is the entire focus of the company. Furthermore, DSW is known for selling designer footwear at a reduced price, and you are sure to find wide calf riding boots among their options. The retailer always has items listed on clearance, and towards the end of winter you will be sure to find some wide calf riding boots on sale. There are sometimes boot sales at the end of summer as well, in order to make room for the latest arrivals. DSW does have a much wider in-store boot selection than do other retail stores that sell primarily clothes, but it nevertheless sells them online as well. Therefore, if you don’t happen to live near a DSW retail store, you’re in luck— you can browse and order your wide calf riding boots online.
Nevertheless, there are some shoe sellers known for their options in wide calf riding boots. One such company is Naturalizer. Although its stores are less widespread than those mentioned above, Naturalizer provides more resources both in stores and online for finding wide calf riding boots. For example, the Naturalizer website frequently lists wide leg boots at the top of each page. It also allows users to search specifically for wide boots and provides a lot more options than many other retailers.
As for online-only retailers, Zappos is one that offers a variety of wide calf riding boots, perhaps more than many other brands because its website allows shoppers to sort through boots not only by style and what occasion you intend to wear them for, but also by shaft height (where the top hits on your leg) and heel height. While not a brand itself, Zappos features literally hundreds of shoe brands and styles, and there are over 500 different riding boots on the website alone. For example, Frye Shoes, a brand that includes wide calf riding boots in its designs, can be found on Zappos, and often for a better deal than at other retailers. Frye boots can also be found at the aforementioned Nordstrom.
Similarly to Naturalizer online, you can also search specifically for wide calf riding boots on Zappos’ website, unlike many of their competitors which mix wide calf boots in with its smaller-sized options. If you do shop on other shoe or clothing websites, be sure to read the small details on each boot listing. Although in modern times many do include a wide calf option in the size charts, there are those riding boots that do not. The last thing you want to do is order some nice, expensive riding boots only to find that you can’t get them past your ankle.
That being said, before heading out to a shoe store or brandishing your credit card online, it always helps to do some research first and find out what kind of riding boots you are look for. Wide calf riding boots come in different materials with various style variations like different colors, zippers, buckles, straps, heel thickness etc. Reading reviews from people who have previously purchased the boots you are interested in will also be very helpful, often revealing things that the retailer may not disclose in its description (mind you, these revelations can be both good and bad). While you will be able to find sales among the retailers mentioned in this article, riding boots can still be on the pricey side. So, it will be well worth your time to browse through your options first and compare different brands at different stores. Happy shopping!