Review: Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots for narrow calves (& kids)


Stuart Weitzman Mainline boots (similar here or here), H&M coat (old), similar skirt, similar J.Crew striped turtleneck, Chanel accessories

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 risqué 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, but SW’s signature 50/50 boots are pretty similar (or, the popular Reserve boot with a low stacked heel). Update September 2020: I found the same Mainline style that I’m wearing again on sale here in sizes 4 – 10.5!


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 $600 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 shoe 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!
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  1. Your coat is an amazing colour!

    Posted 11.22.12 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Great outfit, love the first pic especially!

    Posted 11.22.12 Reply
  3. Michelle wrote:

    I love the entire outfit, Jean! Love the back of this skirt, especially. I would also suggest Stuart Weitzman for their fitted heeled boots. I own a pair of suede below-the-knee from several years back. They are labeled "giving". I have a size 7.5 (normally 7 or 7.5). Here is a picture of them (I had them folded and scrunched…but unfolded and unscrunched they still hit below my knee):

    Hope you and Nick have a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

    Posted 11.22.12 Reply
  4. See for me I got the opposite problem. I got itty bitty feet with gigantor calves a testament to long hard labour and some athletics. I would love to own boots like this but the thing is can it stretch to at least 17' in diameter without me wearing anything?? Can it go farther for me to be able to wear jeans and leggings? If you think plain boots is bad finding a good pair of rainboots are worse.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  5. Beautiful outfit! After reading your post, I have realized that I probably buy boots too large in the calves and need to start thinking about that aspect of boot shopping 🙂 Thanks for the review!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean!

    Love your blog! I recently came across these pair of boots by Enzo Angiolini!;=13247&RVI;=Catsplash_4

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  7. I also purchased the same SW girls 50/50 boots. I returned them didn't feel they were worth the price. I'm still on a search for a cheaper version of the same style boots.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    For a girl who has even smaller feet (youth size 1), I don't really much choice for shoes. I bought the youth version boots(black leather one and the brown suede-like one) and I'm actually loving it. It is very adult-like. I would love to have the adult 50/50, but for the price I'm satisfied. I'm happy companies are making more adult-like shoes in youth sizes. Thanks for the review and you look wonderful!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  9. wendyp wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I just started following your blog recently (found it through Pinterest). These are my favorites pictures of you so far, especially that last one. Somehow this outfit makes you look tall! Being petite myself at 5'1", I was never brave enough to wear tall boots, but these look great on you. Fabulous outfit!!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  10. Eva Wu wrote:

    love this look. so stylish!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm almost exactly your size and also wear size 5 shoes. I recently purchased a pair of Dolce Vita Girl's black mid-calf (on me) boots on Ruelala for $40 (originally $70 or $80). They zip up and have a 1 inch heel and 3 subtle buckles for decoration. They're fake leather but the quality is good enough for casual use. They go up to the widest part of my calf and fit perfectly snug there. I've had good success with Dolce Vita Girl's shoes – also recently purchased a pair of super cute orange suede flats.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  13. Amy wrote:

    I LOVE the Mainline boots!! I am so proud to say that I found about 8 of those boots at a Saks Off Fifth store for $600, discounted to $469.99, then an additional 40% off, plus additional 10% off if you sign up for their store credit card 😀

    2 of them were in my size too 🙂

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    For small calves, I love Aquatalia -Orion boots!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  15. Great boots and I love the leather detail at the bottom on your skirt. I recently purchased a very slim pair of OTK boots and can't wait to talk about them on my blog.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    I bought the Mainline kids version after seeing your first post…but after I received them, I was disappointed at the quality and height of the boots. I ended up buying the BP Runway boot for better quality and similar price. I'm in love with them:;=0&fashionColor;=Cognac&resultback;=0

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  17. I'm badly need a pair of walking boots after spraining both my ankles. Thank you for the review. I may need to save up for a pair.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  18. Excellent review! I'm always looking for a nice pair of boots to compliment my short legs. =)

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  19. Alison wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  20. Loving the boots! Thanks for the comparison!

    We're gearing up for Black Friday on The Glitter Life!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  21. kwu116 wrote:
    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  22. vtang wrote:

    This is a great post jean! I love your otk boots. Too bad I'm smaller than you. The SW Child might still be too tall for me. I am also looking for boots with 13" shaft. Btw, thank you for answering my tweet 🙂

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  23. Jackie wrote:

    (Original comment) I NEED those boots! I'm petite but I have large calves! So I love the stretchiness. Thanks for the review, Jean!

    [EDIT] I wish they weren't so pricey though…Could you recommend a less expensive boot that is similar?

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  24. vtang wrote:

    This is a great post jean! I love your otk boots. Too bad I'm smaller than you. The SW Child might still be too tall for me. I am also looking for boots with 13" shaft. Btw, thank you for answering my tweet 🙂

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  25. Joanna Le wrote:

    What a gorgeous pair of boots! I especially like the stretchy back, which could fit a variety of calf sizes.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  26. Jackie wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    I've always found Jimmy Choo and Louboutin boots to fit my narrow calves perfectly. My sister has the same issue and loves her Madewell boots.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  28. Mady T. wrote:

    love the outfit! the bright red coat looks amazing!


    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  29. Beautiful photos! Love the backdrops! You are right, the adults version is much better than the girls' one. Good luck finding a replacement!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  30. laura wrote:

    Banana Republic currently has leather boots with a 13" shaft and sturdy heels! you should chek them out!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  31. Diana S.T. wrote:

    you look gorgeous, I love the boots!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    I am on a site called DUO right now trying to decide which boots I want. I cannot buy boots from the stores, they are too big. I agree the kids boots are not made for adults. DUO boots are pricey, but they are made to fit your legs. I have very thin calves. Good Luck! Love the skirt BTW.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  33. Emily wrote:

    Love this outfit! That coat is adorable and I love the styling.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  34. Adriana wrote:

    A few years ago, I stopped shopping at Aldos due to their discomfort and lack of quality. However, I was sitting in the store waiting for my sister one day and randomly tried on this pair of mid calves boots:

    I'm the same height as you (not sure about leg length) and this boot hits me about 2.5 inches below the knee. They are super comfortable – I recently wore them to Italy, where we walked EVERYWHERE, and was very amazed at the comfort for aldo shoes. They are also lined inside with a cotton/flannel material that makes it extra comfortable and keeps your legs a bit warmer. These are leather with rubber soles.

    I got the cognac ones on sale..and if there's another sale, I might just go back for the black ones! Hope this helps in your search 🙂

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    Now that's what im talking about! Im the same anon complaining that the outfits are too mismatched in the previous post. This outfit is spot on. Love it. more plEase!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  36. Janki wrote:

    I found your look to be such a flashback for me. When I was in college I was an exchange student in Japan for 18 months and THE LOOK at the time was tall boots worn with a short skirt and a peacoat. Though, not always with tights and often with the skirt just peeking out under the coat. I then realized that I had really narrow calves and even in Japan couldn't find a pair of boots that "cut" well. After many months of searching I finally found a pair that fit with just a wee bit of space. I've kept those for years now, even though my feet widened with pregnancy.
    Your boot are fantastic (the women's version). I NEVER would have thought of OTK boots as I always think of Pretty Woman or something a Kardashian would wear. With the tights, it looks so cute.
    You bring up a good point on testing out the clothing for the wrinkle factor. Before, I'd just be so excited it fit (especially if no alterations were needed) that I'd fail to see if it rode up, wrinkled, etc.

    Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  37. love the bag!!!!!!! really nice outfit!!! you pull it off soo well!!!

    xoxo jenna

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  38. Celia wrote:

    Just wanted to say a quick "hello". I'm so glad I found your blog and even more excited to learn that you tailor is in my vicinity. Looking forward to your future posts.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  39. Suzie Q wrote:

    I adore over the knee boots, I got a flat pair from Aldo. I love this outfit with the mini skirt and red short tweed coat!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  40. Fanny wrote:

    lovely outfit ^^

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  41. Bela Anzu wrote:

    Have you considered the black leather boots with a classic heel from Geox? They are slim fit and may fit you below the knee, depending on the length of your calves. I purchased one last year, but am not sure if they'll be selling the same or similar style this year.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  42. Love the boots, I'm happy you were able to find a pair that fits perfectly. You really look like Wendy in the lat 3 pics.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  43. m wrote:

    it's too bad about the kids boot! the women's boots look great on you. :]

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  44. Carla Krae wrote:

    Some of the photos aren't showing.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  45. Julie wrote:

    I have such a hard time finding boots to fit my slim calves! I find Zappos is nice to navigate and their multiple filters are awesome. Love the last photo, you are stunning and belong in a magazine!

    xoxo, Julie @ OBSESSED

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  46. Sabrina wrote:

    The adult version of the boots look so much better on you. A lot more, well, grown up. It's slimmer and taller. And I love the look of an over the knee boot on you!


    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  47. jules wrote:

    i never thought i could pull of an otk style boot, but you've changed my mind – you look great!


    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  48. Anonymous wrote:

    So gorgeous! You look amazing as always! Love the boots. Instantly wrote of OTK styles for petite legs but you've changed my mind.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  49. You look amazing!! I love the outfit especially that skirt! So beautiful.

    A Petite Treat

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  50. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh I'm so happy I'm the first to comment. Jean, I love ur blog so much that I put it as my homepage on my computer and Ipad. Pls keep doing all these awesome posts. I love that everything is so classic and work appropriate. Love ya! 🙂 by Adelia

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply

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