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Wide Calf Boots: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by Zara Thacker
wide calf ladies boots
wide calf ladies boots
Home DuoBoots Blog Wide Calf Boots: A Comprehensive Guide

Anyone who has ever shopped for knee-high boots will know that finding the perfect fit can be a challenge. As no two women are the same, it might seem obvious that we would need to seek out boots that are designed to cater to our different body shapes. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. 

Most well-known brands offer women's boots with just one calf width, instantly alienating a large portion of their customers. Measurements vary across brands but the market standard is around 38cm. However, just like bras, rings, and jeans, one size does not fit all. 

  • Definition and Necessity

  • Wide Calf boots are boots designed explicitly with a broader calf area to cater to individuals who find standard boots too tight or uncomfortable. While wide calf boots as a distinct category might seem like a modern innovation, the need for them has existed as long as boots have been in fashion. The acknowledgement and provision for them by the fashion industry is a testament to the industry's evolving understanding of and respect for body diversity.

    Why are they necessary? 

    Every individual's body is unique. Just as some might require wide-fit shoes, others need boots with a wider calf. These boots ensure comfort, and proper blood circulation, and avoid straining or damaging the material due to excess stretching.

    While the primary focus is on the calf area, it's also essential to consider the boot's overall fit, including the footbed, ankle, and shaft height. Why? Because most often than not, the footbed and overall fit and calf size do not align.

    When discussing wide calf boots, it's essential to recognise that there isn't a universal standard that dictates what is considered "wide." However, generally speaking, boots with a calf circumference of 40 centimetres or more might be labeled as "wide calf." Brands will typically have their own guidelines and definitions, so it's crucial to always consult with individual sizing charts and guidelines.

    Moreover, in addition to "wide," some brands may offer "extra wide" or other classifications that go beyond the standard width. This means there's a range:

    - Standard/Regular Calf: Typically, anything up to about 39 cm.

    - Wide Calf: Usually starting around 40 cm, going up to about 43-45 cm (or more, depending on the brand).

    - Extra Wide Calf: This might range from 46 cm and above.

  • Choosing the Right Pair

  • When buying, particularly online, it is super important that you know yourself and the boots that are perfect for you. 

    Knowing what you need to consider, will make the process way easier!

    - Centimetres for wide calf boots: make sure you have the right calf size at hand! Remember that anything above 39cm, will be considered wider than normal.

    - Construction: Most wide calf boots are made using flexible materials or feature elastic panels to ensure a comfortable fit.

    - Calf Sizes and Shoe Sizes: It's entirely possible to have a different shoe size and calf size. Brands offer various combinations to cater to diverse foot and calf sizes.

    - Material Behavior (Leather vs. Suede): Leather is more rigid but can stretch slightly over time. Suede, on the other hand, is softer and has a bit more give. However, both materials require proper care to maintain their shape.

  • Measuring Your Calf
  • woman showing how to measure her calf


    Factors Impacting Measurement: 

    - Height: Taller individuals might have a more extended calf, impacting where the boot hits on the leg.

    - Clothing: Wearing jeans or thick socks can affect the fit, so consider what you'll wear with the boots when measuring.

    - Activity: The calf might swell slightly after exercise, so it's best to measure when you're at rest.

    Step-by-Step Measurement Guide:

    1. Position: Sit on a chair with your foot flat on the ground.
    2. Tape Measure: Use a flexible tape measure.
    3. Circumference: Wrap the tape around the widest part of your calf.
    4. Ensure Accuracy: The tape should be snug but not tight.
    5. Note Down: Write down the measurement and compare it to the brand's sizing guide.

    TOP TIP: If you plan to wear your boots over jeans, then consider measuring your calves whilst wearing your go-to denim. If you still have questions, read our guide on how to find your perfect boot size!

    • Maintenance and Care
    • Preventing Overstretch: 

    - Proper Storage: Use boot shapers or inserts to maintain shape.

    - Regular Conditioning: Especially for leather, to ensure flexibility and prevent cracking.

    • Care Variance Between Leather and Suede:

    - Leather: Use a conditioner or cream. We have put together a leather boots cleaning guide.

    - Suede: Brush regularly and use a suede protector spray. We have a cleaning guide for suede boots if you need further guidance.

    • Expansion Over Time: All materials will give slightly over time, but with proper care, the boots should not lose their essential shape or become overly stretched.

  • Different Styles of Wide Calf Boots

  • Just like regular boots, wide calf boots come in various styles:

    - Riding Boots: Often knee-high with a classic and timeless design.

    - Ankle Boots: Shorter, ending at or just above the ankle.

    - Heeled Boots: Elevate your style with a bit of height


    Wide calf boots provide comfort and style for those who find standard boots restrictive. With the proper knowledge, measuring techniques, and care, you can ensure a comfortable fit that lasts for years. Always remember that the key to a great pair of boots is not just in the size, but in the way they make you feel. Happy boot hunting!

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