Boots for Short Legs and Round Calves

frye campus 8.5

The first time I determined that I needed a pair of knee-high boots, I was 12 years old (around the same time, I was also convinced that Birkenstocks and clogs were also required for my total footwear happiness).

I asked my parents to get them for me for Christmas that year (were boots even stylish in 1991? I’m not certain that they were). They relented and bought me a pair made from black suede and lined with fake fur. I loved those boots and wore them to school over black leggings.

frye campus sole 8.5

I loved those boots. I felt hip and powerful when I wore them, a potent a combination for a mostly geeky, chubby, theater-obsessed kid. I had them through several re-soling procedures, until our new puppy determined that they were to be her new chew toy. It took me a while to forgive her for that infraction.

Ever since, I’ve been searching for the perfect boot. It has been a long slog, full of almosts and many disappointments. The footwear industry doesn’t account for much variation in calf girth when the build their boots, so the most beautiful ones have always been unavailable for my short legs and round calves. There are a couple companies out there that do make extended calf sizes, but the workmanship of those boots are always unfortunate and the leathers they use are often crappy.

frye harness 8.5

I’ve spent many hundreds of dollars on boots, thinking that just maybe I’ll be able to comfortably cram my legs into them, only to have them bunch unattractively just under my calf muscles. However, thanks to my sister, I’ve finally discovered the boot. It’s made by Frye (which is my most coveted bootmaker) and is called the Carmen Harness boot. In the short length, it is most flattering and comfortable. It hits just before my calf muscle flairs, making it possible for me to even tuck my jeans into it (we chunky calved girls have  had to let this particular trend pass us by).

frye harness sole 8.5

I’ve ordered my pair and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. However, in the meantime, I’m letting go of the two pairs of Frye’s I’ve had kicking around for years. I wear them once in a great while, remember just how uncomfortable and unflattering they are and then tuck them back into my closet. If anyone is interested in either pair (size 8.5), please let me know. I’d like $100 per pair, though should you be interested in buying both, I’d be happy to make a deal.

8 thoughts on “Boots for Short Legs and Round Calves

  1. jessica

    i just got my first pair of birks after yearning for a pair for 15 years or so and OHMYGOD. i haven’t taken them off once since they arrived.

  2. Fran

    I wear the Frye “Engineer boots.” They are low enough for my calves. I love Fryes but I wear a smaller size than you, so I won’t make an offer.

  3. Shannon

    Oooh…. I think it’s destiny Marisa. I’d love those lovely Fry’s to come across the river to my farm here in Jersey. 150 for both???? E-mail me! (And of course let me know what it’ll be and I’ll cover shipping) I will wear them while I can (well, lately, ferment) in honor of their origins!

  4. Brandice

    I totally have the same problem with my calves even after my recent weight loss in the past couple of years. The women in my family simply have big calves and thick ankles and no weight I seem to lose ever helps me to fit into boots, so I feel your struggle and now might actually try to find a pair of boots since you’ve been successful! 🙂

  5. Sherrie

    I have been looking for a pair of tall brown boots for my sturdy calves for several years, but no luck. I hope you’ll review your new ones when they arrive!


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