Earlier this month, Nick wanted to visit the Arnold Arboretum before it was too late. I piled on three layers and pulled on my tall walking boots for comfort and warmth. Sandy had taken down most of the leaves, paving a crispy, golden path through the trees to stroll on.
In my frustrating search for narrow-calved boots, I never considered an over-the-knee (OTK) style until my friend Wendy spoke so highly of her Stuart Weitzmans 50/50s. We are nearly the same size, so I really value her recommendations. OTK boots usually have a risque connotation, but the flat style makes these more classic. The calves are nice and slim, and the foot is narrow and sleek. The ones I am wearing are the "Mainline" low-wedges from last year. I don't see them available for women this year, but Stuart Weitzman's signature 50/50 boots are extremely similar with no wedge.
I absolutely love these boots, and thus was excited to see a little girls version for a fraction of the womens' price (albeit not real leather). The sizing went up to girls 5, which can probably fit a womens 6 to 6.5. I've worn my adult ones so much commuting to work and on the weekends that I entertained the thought of a "backup" pair. I tend to scuff up the front of my leather shoes quickly, thus wouldn't mind a non-leather duplicate for beating around. The final push to try was the positive reviews - not by little girls...but by grown women claiming these were great petite-friendly boots.
Top left: SW Women's Mainline boot in sz 5 vs Bottom Right: SW Girls Mainline boot in sz 4 (kids)
As soon as the kids boots arrived, I realized they just do not compare. You do get what you pay for, and my expectations were probably too high from owning the womens pair first.
I've felt plenty of decent "faux leather" in the past, but these boots were on the stiff side. This sharply contrasted with the signature buttery soft leather of SW's adult boots. Also, perhaps to make these more child-friendly, they made the shaft below-the-knee height and added a zipper (I like, for ease of getting on/off) with a little heart-shaped pull (dislike, but this can be switched). The kids version was also a tiny bit wider in the calf, and a tad roomier in the foot. Aside from these differences, the concealed wedge and half leather / half stretchy material design are very similar.
Despite my own disappointment, the online reviews by other women are positive, and I've heard from short-legged readers that they were pleased with these kids boots. I realize it's not fair to compare a $70 boot with a $550+ one, plus there aren't many options for those with feet smaller than adult sz 4 (yes, Nordies carries the 50/50 womens down to a 4!). For interested shoppers who can wear womens, though, I'd recommend catching the adult version on sale and spending more for a big difference in quality/fit.
Measurements of my sz 5 adults: 19" shaft front height (including a ~1.5" wedge), 12" calf circumference.
Measurements of the sz 4 kids: 15" shaft front height (including a ~1.5" wedge), 12.5" shaft circumference.
Keep in mind the shaft is slightly lower in the back. The stretchy panel is meant to fit taught against your calves, so the calf measurement should be smaller than what you'd need for full leather boots. Also, the measurements provided online are often using a standard size, and may vary with the size.
I bought this ivory herringbone skirt with faux-leather pockets and trim at Ann Taylor several months ago (similar from F21). I was so excited to find it in my size and on clearance that I hastily wore it out before testing it (walking around, sitting down) at home. Turns out, the skirt forms large wrinkles across the front almost immediately from sitting. It drives me nuts, but I like the design enough to deal with this flaw.
Now that I have a great pair of fitted tall walking boots, the search passively continues for narrow (12-13" calf circumference), classic heeled, below-the-knee boots suitable for shorter legs (~13" shaft height). Any suggestions are welcome!