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 one of my close like-sized friends spoke so highly of her Stuart Weitzmans 50/50s. OTK boots sometimes have a risque connotation, but the flat style makes these more classic. Sure enough, the calves on these are nice and slim, and the foot is narrow and sleek. The ones I am wearing are an old style from last year. I don't see them available anymore, but Stuart Weitzman's signature 50/50 boots are extremely similar (or, the Reserve boot which has a nice and low stacked heel).
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). I've worn my adult ones so much commuting to work and on the weekends that I entertained the thought of a "backup" pair. The final push to try was the positive reviews - not by little girls...but by grown women claiming these were great petite-friendly boots.
SW Women's boot in sz 5 vs SW Girls Mainline boot in sz 4 (kids)
As soon as the kids boots arrived, I realized they just do not compare. You definitely get what you pay for, and my expectations were high from owning the womens pair first.
I've felt plenty of decent "faux leather" in the past, but these boots felt like cardboard. This sharply contrasted with the signature buttery soft leather or suede 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. The kids version was also a tiny bit wider in the calf, and a tad roomier in the foot.
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 and Stuart Weitzman both carry womens boots down to a 4!). For interested shoppers who can wear womens, though, I'd recommend spending more on the adult version for a big difference in quality and 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.
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!