The straight and narrow

I admit it, I have small calves. And it’s not for lack of working out. I do heel lifts. I run up hills. I climb stairs at every opportunity, but still my calves refuse to grow. And most of the time this doesn’t really both me. Yes, I’d like to have that swell of heart-shaped muscle when I wear heels, but this is a fairly minimal concern. Nine days out of ten I’ll keep my skinny calves and the thin hips and thighs attached.

Then, on the tenth day, I try on tall boots and suddenly I feel like the wimpy guy in the Charles Atlas ad, getting sand kicked in his face. Tall boots — and this message is loud and clear, from the vinatge-y Fryes I covet to comfy Kenneth Coles and unobtainable (on my budget) D&G styles — are for the big girls. I only have to scan the offerings on Zappos.com (with their 15-inch circumferences and litany of distressed reviews from skinny-legged wearers) to know how they’d look on me. No matter how expensive or expertly crafted, most tall boots turn into Wellies when I slip into them. And little is as disheartening as flopping around in a pair of Frye Veronica slouch boots looking like a pre-teen playing dress up her big sister’s closet.

This is why it’s taken me three years to find a pair of tall black boots. Okay, I know three years is excessive. There are companies that make narrow-shaft boots. There are Web forums dedicated to the subject of boots for skinny-legged girls (and an equal number of forums for ladies with big calves who probably wish the rest of us would stop whining about our lack of girth). There are cobblers who, for about $30, can take in the back seam of a pair of cavernous boots and custom-fit them to the wearer. My problem wasn’t that the perfect boots were out of reach, it was just that all that trying on and flopping around was such a drag. I’d test a few pairs each Fall, then give up.

But this Fall is different. I’m a fan of Miz Mooz and check the company’s new offerings each season (it was a pair of slouchy Miz Mooz that broke my heart last Autumn). This year, the shiny Blitz style with its off-center laces and arch-to-knee zipper suggested an adjustable fit. I waited impatiently for the boots to reach my local store.

They did. And they fit. I don’t even have to tighten the laces to maximum capacity, and I can wear the boots over thin tights without looking like I’m expecting rain. I bought them so quickly I think my credit card left tread on the machine, and I’ve worn then nearly everyday. (I’m almost enamored to the point of sleeping with my boots on, but that would just be weird.)


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October 2008
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