Your Boot Problems Solved!

Having trouble finding a pair that fits your calves? Need a style to last past one season? Here, a comprehensive guide to address all your boot-shopping blues.

Celia L. Smith Oct, 17, 2012

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SOLUTION: First, break out the measuring tape. "You’ll need to know exactly how wide your calves are first," says Nancy LeWinter,  Style Specialist at OneStopPlus.com. "Use a measuring tape to determine the circumference of your calf at the widest point (similar to waist or hip measurements). Once you know your calf measurement, online retailers will allow you to search specifically for wide-calf boots."

Available in super plus calf: "Brooke" riding boot, Ross Hommerson, $290, widewidths.com.

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Available in super-wide calf: "Lia" wedge boot, Ros Hommerson, $290, widewidths.com.

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Available in wide and extra-wide calf: "Stevie" wide-calf boot, Comfortview, $70, onestopplus.com.

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SOLUTION: "If you plan on wearing your fall boots primarily with jeans, be sure to buy them 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches bigger than the size of your calves, which will provide extra room for thicker fabrics," explains LeWinter. "If you’re searching for fancy boots for special occasions, opt for a boot shaft that closely matches the size of your calves for a more snug fit. This will provide you with the perfect amount of space for tights or leggings."

Available in wide and extra wide calf:  "Lesley" over-the-knee tall boot, Comfortview, $70 - $75, onestopplus.com.

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"Lana" lace-up boots, Avenue, $68, avenue.com.

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Available in wide and extra-wide calf: "Stevie" wide-calf boot, Comfortview, $70, onestopplus.com.

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SOLUTION: Keep it classic. "Anything that is too trendy will be 'in' this season and 'out' the next — you can easily avoid the headache of shopping for boots each fall by opting for classic styles that stand the test of time," LeWinter tells ESSENCE.com. Riding boots, for example are versatile and complement women of all shapes, sizes and heights. Also, stick to neutral colors like black or solid browns." 

Available in extended width: "Melissa" riding boot, Frye, $328, zappos.com.

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"Evanthe" riding boot, Anne Klein, $179, zappos.com.

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SOLUTION: Visit your local cobbler to take in the leg of your boot to create a narower custom fit.

Narrow Calf: Tall leather boot, Fitzwell Kyoti, $149, zappos.com.

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Narrow Calf: "Cascade" faux suede boot, BP., $40, nordstrom.com.

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SOLUTION: Check out these websites that cater to larger shoe sizes — BarefootTess.com, Endless.com, JildorShoes.com, GwynethShoes.com.

Available in sizes 11-14: "Eli" studded faux suede boot, Gwyneth, $90, dsw.com.

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Available in sizes 4-12: Leather riding boot, Vaneli for Jildor, $142, jildorshoes.com.

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SOLUTION: Look for boots that mix style with practical details — like this Anti-Gravity boot, which is lightweight and has a rugged outsole to offer comfort and traction. Also available with an additional stretch panel at the top."Kaylon" Faux fur lined boots, Easy Spirit, $169, easyspirit.com.

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Latex foam for soft comfort and latex foam pods at forefoot and heel pressure points: "Hollis" demi wedge boot, Tsubo, $300, tsubo.com.

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Cushioned footbed and flexible rubber sole: "Iridescence" studded riding boot, Aerosoles, $100, aerosoles.com.

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Concealed Nike Air technology: "Martina" wedge ankle boot, Cole Haan, $358, colehaan.com.

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Flexible and cushioned construction: Tiger print ankle boot, Aerosoles, $70, aerosoles.com.

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SOLUTION: To elongate legs, opt for styles with shorter shafts (determined where the top of a boot will hit on your leg). Ankle boots, short biker or riding boots will do the trick.

Pony hair toe-cap ankle boots, Topshop, $136, topshop.com.

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Leopard print ankle boots, Mossimo Supply Co., $30, target.com.

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"Jacklyn" ankle boot, Naturalizer, $99, macys.com.

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