These Boots are Made for Walkin: Shopping for Wide Width Boots
by ATFDC Contributor Dionna Humphrey
I love and wear boots all year round. They are great with jeans, long or short skirts—they go with everything. I like to have a few different styles in my closet, including a few pairs of booties, mid calf and riding style boots. The challenge for some curvy fashiontonians however, is finding boots that fit wider calves. I would’ve loved to point to some great stores in the District for this post, but I only found a couple of styles so this post is looking at both in-store and online options. But if you’re at your desk or on your couch while reading this in the District, it’s almost the same thing.
Booties are fantastic for so many reasons, one of them being you don’t have to worry about width—which means you don’t have to go online to find them. I stopped by Nine West in Farragut North last week and found this fab western inspired bootie. Available in grey or black, this bootie can go with everything from skinny jeans to a fun and flirty dress.
If you have a thicker calf, mid-calf boots can be hit or miss. The last thing you want is for the boot to be cutting into your leg! I’ve always found this length to be even more challenging to me because I’m short, and I don’t think it looks that great on me. That said, if you’re in the market for one, try to find one with some elastic or adjustable width at the top to have a comfortable fit. Like this American Rag boot, available in black of cognac.
As for riding boots, this is a much bigger challenge, one that sent me looking at some of my favorite online retailers. UK retailer Simply Be is one of my favorite places to shop. They’ve got a great boot shop with wide width and wide calf. I normally wear medium width shoes but with my recent surgery I’ve found myself having to up a size up or looking for a wider shoe until I’m back to my normal self—and they’ve got booties, mid-calf and riding boots in lots of cute styles in a number of widths. One of my favorites is this leather wedge boot in cognac. They would go great over skinny jeans or with a skirt.
DSW also has a whole section of boots for wide calf and/or wide width (unfortunately they don’t sell them in the stores). Arturo Chaing has always been one of my favorite shoe designers, and this stacked heel wide calf boot is not only really stylish, but at a great price.
I also suggest you try Steve Madden. I bought a pair of leather riding boots from Steve Madden a couple of years ago that were not marketed as a wide calf boot but they turned out to be a perfect fit. This boot is very much like the one I nabbed a few years ago, and I love it. Check out Steve Madden in Georgetown to try it on, or find it online.
Boot shopping doesn’t have to be daunting. My rule of shopping in ‘straight’ size clothing stores extends to boots. If you see a style you like, try it and see if it fits. Just because it isn’t labeled as wide calf doesn’t mean it won’t fit.
Dionna Humphrey is the owner of Body Conscious Beauty, a style consulting company serving the Washington, D.C. area. Body Conscious Beauty styles women of all sizes, including plus size beauties. For more information visit us online at www.bodyconsciousbeauty.com