Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 12:10 pm
In this guide:
- What are calf boots?
- Why is getting the right fit important?
- Best wide calf boots
- Best narrow calf boots
Calf boots are one of the most popular and stylish types of women’s boots. In fact, they made it onto our list of must-have footwear for women. But it can be a challenge to find a size that fits both your calves and your feet. Follow this guide and you’ll be able to embrace this versatile boot style, whether you have narrow or wide calves.
What are calf boots?
A calf boot is any boot that rises above your ankle but finishes below your knee. Calf boots come in a wide variety of styles, with some designed for narrow or wide fits. They also vary in height, with some quite tall and others short. The most common type of calf boot is the mid-calf boot, finishing (as the name suggests) around the middle of the calf.
Why is getting the right calf boot fit important?
Fit goes hand in hand with style. Calf boots look their best when fitted snugly around your calf – too much of a gap spoils the look of the boot. Making sure your calf boots fit well is also important for your foot health and comfort. If the boot fits too snugly, your calf will bulge against the side. If the boot is too slack, it will rub and chafe. What you want is the top of the boot to fit like a glove – not too tight, not too slack.
Women’s calves vary for different reasons, including:
- If you’re petite, a calf boot might meet a different part on your calf compared to someone taller.
- By our very nature, some of us naturally have wider or narrower calves than others.
- If you exercise regularly, you may have stronger, larger and more pronounced calf muscles.
✔ Top tip. If there’s more than two fingers’ width of space between the boot and your leg, they’re too big.
Best wide calf fitting boots
These are the most comfortable, stylish and well-fitting boots for women with wide calves. Shop for:
- Extended calf boots.Sometimes you’ll find styles called ‘extended’ calf boots. This means they’ve been made a little bit wider for a more comfortable fit.
- Boots with elastic panels.Some boots come with side panels made of elastic, which add a little bit of give. These can help you get the best fit.
- Boots with full-length zips. Zips that fully opens down the length of the boot will help make getting them on and off more comfortable.
✔ Top tip. To make your calf boots feel wider and more comfortable, you might find that wearing thick socks and heating your boots with a hairdryer can mould them to the contours of your leg.
Best narrow calf boots
Narrow calves can be just as much of an issue as wide calves. Avoid gaping boots and keep your look on-point with these narrow fitting calf boots.
- Slouching calf boots. These can work well for narrow calves. With a softer appearance, a gap between calf and boot is to be expected. Avoid smart, fitted styles that don’t fit snugly – these will look out of place.
- Boots with laces or buckles.Some styles, like lace-up or buckled calf boots, can be adjusted for a tighter fit. Try these if you have narrow calves.
- Stretching boots.Calf boots with some stretch will usually be on the narrower side, so they can expand to fit different sizes.
- Mid-calf boots. Choosing a calf boot that stops at the broadest part of your leg, such as mid-calf boots for skinny legs, can help make your calves appear wider.
- High heels.These can create a slimmer, longer look for the leg.
- Knee high boots. Many styles of narrow calf, knee-high boots will have an element of elasticity, which could provide the perfect fit.
✔ Top tip. Wearing the same colour tights, jeans or leggings as your boots can provide a slimming effect.
Now, go forth and find your perfect pair of calf boots. Whether you’re looking for women’s wide calf boots or narrow calf boots, we have plenty of options. You can also check our women’s shoe fitting guide for more advice.