Have you ever experienced the frustration of buying the most amazing pair of big boots, only to find out that the fit is a bit too snug for your calves later on? Oh the joy of having big calves and big feet! In one case, I have to blame my shoe-lust which went into overdrive when I found out that they were the last pair available for my size 12 feet, so I had to have them.
Or maybe you made the mistake of buying them in the morning and discover that the fit is too tight come afternoon (Believe me, I think many women like me have made the same simple mistake of forgetting legs and feet swell throughout the day!). Whatever the reason, the deed is done. You’re either now stuck with a great pair of boots that you can’t feel comfortable in or you just don’t want to give them up, not for all the tea in China. So what can you do?
Ladies with beautiful big calves, fret not. We’ve investigated a few solutions to this particular big boot problem, and these seem like the most sensible things to do. (Yes, I know, how sensible was it really to keep a pair of boots that were too tight to walk in in the first place!)
1. Have your boots stretched at the store.
It’s pretty basic but when buying large size boots that are a bit snug on your calves, try asking the shoe clerk if the store offers stretching services. Some stores offer this service for their customers.
2. Take the boots to a specialist cobbler/shoe repair shop.
Most cobblers should be able to stretch the leather to fit your big calves comfortably. One important thing to remember is that cobblers will only be able to stretch the leather for only an inch or so, any more than that and it may ruin the aesthetic of the boot. Some cobblers may also suggest adding vents with elastics done on the inner side to conceal the venting. Doing it this way avoids the zippers being possibly ruined and creates a clever hidden stretch panel inside the boot, but it depends on whether the style of the boot will make it appropriate to do so.
3. Try this DIY at-home solution.
If you’re only looking to widen the calf area of your boot by an inch or so, you can do this at home simply by using a liquid shoe stretch and a pair or heavy socks. Wear the socks (footless socks if you’re only looking to stretch the calf area), squeeze in the shoe stretch liquid on the inside of the boot, and walk around them for a few hours. That should loosen up the calf area nicely and comfortably.
Alternatively you can buy a boot stretcher and use it with the shoe stretch liquid to stretch your boots at home. There are different types of stretchers you can buy to widen the boots for bigger calves, and a specialty shoe shop can advise on the best boot stretcher to solve the fit problem. To use the stretcher, adjust it to fit snugly inside your boot and then adjust the tension opening the stretcher by turning the knob gradually allowing 8 – 12 hours before increasing the tension and stretching further. You’ll usually have to leave the boot on the stretcher at least overnight, but you can get up to 2 inches breathing room for big calves using this method.
A couple of words of caution, leather will stretch more easily than other materials but if you overstretch it, it can become just as uncomfortable to wear, and you can say goodbye to those gorgeous big boots you blew the rent money on. Before going the DIY route, check with your neighborhood cobbler whether the boots can be stretched, and finally do an overnight patch test with the stretching spray to make sure they don’t permanently stain or mark your boots.
4. Boot bands
We found this product online, they look interesting but we haven’t tried them. They don’t stretch the boot leather itself but provide an attachment that attaches to your boot zip and provides the extra width you need to close the zipper on your big boots.
Ladies, these solutions might be viable once in a while, as they say, “Prevention is better than cure”. So how about we shop for the right-sized boots and avoid the predicament in the first place. Just sayin’!
There are lots of stores and online retailers that offer a variety of designs in shoes that cater to women with big feet and big calves. When shopping online, choose a retailer that not only offers a huge selection of choices in wide sizes, but one that also comes with a Return Policy if you’re not satisfied with the fit. Find out where to buy stylish big boots for big calves and big feet.
Our particular online retailer fave for shopping bigger size boots with wider calf widths is Zappos.com, they have a great Return and Shipping policy (return shipping is free yay!) as well as a large selection of plus-sized boots! It means you can try out as many boots as it takes to find the perfect pair for your calves.Remember, calf size tends to increase with boot size a good tip is to make sure to check what size boot the retailer has used to get the calf measurement.
Here are some of our favorite wide calf boots in big shoe sizes:
Keep it funky with these extra wide width calf boots
Classic streamline styling is given a bold kick of colour in these gorgeous boots from Lumiani. The low wooden stacked heel adds a comfortable earthiness to these boots making them perfect for spending a blissful weekend exploring your local markets and antique stores.
Keep it sexy with these wider calf boots
We love the sleek design with 3 simple but effective stud accents and a sexy sculpted heel. These boots give your legs breathing room with a handy side zip entry and expanding side elastic panel for added comfort.
Keep it chic with these wide calf boots
Check out the clever design of these wide calf boots. The elastic panel at the back is beautifully integrated into the design of the boot and ensures a comfortably snug fit and the hidden zipper makes sliding in and out of the boot a cinch.
Featured Image Courtesy of Glyn Lowe (Creative Commons)
To check out our big size shoe store and brand database for dozens of beautiful big size boots click here.
For wide calf fit boots in big sizes, see your no-nonsense how to shop guide here.