Tall boots are hands-down the most frustrating item I shop for, but it makes it all the more rewarding when winners are found! For newer readers, my trouble areas are both boot shaft height and calf width. For reference, my calves measure ~12.5" around and my lower leg is ~15" high, resulting in most "knee-high" boots hitting uncomfortably at or over my knees. It's admittedly been easier to shop for over-the-knee style boots for a little more leeway on height. You can find past reviews on the few options I've found that are a good fit: Stuart Weitzman's stretch boots, select Aquatalia boots, and also a style of stretch Cole Haan boots. These each cost a pretty penny, but quality boots should last many years so could be worth the splurge for those with similar fit struggles.
I've been wanting a pair of brown riding-style boots for years and decided to look into an actual equestrian brand. I came across a few scattered reviews for Ariat's "York" boots indicating the calves fit slim, although you wouldn't guess based on the 15" calf circumference listed online. I was pleasantly surprised by the great fit and couldn't wait to take them out for a spin!
The leather feels thick and durable (slightly on the stiffer side compared to thinner, more supple leathers) and the soles have rubber traction. They are lined and have a full interior side-zipper entry. The "maplewood" color is a medium cognac brown, and these also come in classic black and a few two-toned options. The York boots are also sold direct on Ariat's website, where you can find more specifications as well as a video on how to clean your boots. I ordered mine from Nordstrom for their customer service / easy returns in case of any issues down the road.
As you can see in the photos, there's minimal gapping at the calf circumference on me, enough room for jeans or boot socks. There is a small stretch gore panel on the inside at the upper calf to help with a comfortable fit. The shaft hits about 1.5" below my knees which is very rare for a tall boot. The ankles are not baggy on me, which is another problem I tend to find on boots that might fit otherwise. The price point is very fair for leather boots that fit (esp. compared to others in my collection), so I would definitely recommend while sizes are in stock! Unfortunately for small-footed ladies, the smallest size is a 5.5 which I found to be a snug fit with socks on.
Measurements of a size 5.5: 13.5" boot shaft height excluding heel, 13.5" calf opening circumference when measured along the interior, 4.5" across ankle width from the exterior, 1.25" heel. Please note that as with all boots, these measurements will likely decrease / increase with the shoe size.
Per your requests, I also have some leather & suede care posts planned for this season (finally ordered myself some protectant and cleaner brushes!). As always, if you guys have petite-friendly boot recommendations, please share below in the comments!