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


Stuart Weitzman Mainline boots (similar herehere, or here), H&M; coat
Ann Taylor skirt, 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 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).
arboretum1I 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!

83 thoughts on “Review: Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots for narrow calves (& kids)

  • Reply Anonymous November 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Now it's time to find a boot for people with thick calves. Find it Jean.

  • Reply Anonymous November 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jean! I just found this blog while on my quest for narrow shaft boots. This blog specifically review boots for women with narrow calves. Hope it helps!

  • Reply Ran November 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm
  • Reply newpetite November 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Thats a gorgeous coat! You make OTK boots work so well.. I rely on IMPO boots via DSW..

  • Reply Anonymous November 23, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Child-version items can be a great disappointment sometimes (as I've suffered every now and then with Zara Kids). Thanks for the informative blog post.

    Unfortunately I almost couldn't recognise you- you look too much like Wendy. Hope you can find your own recognisable style. Maybe it was the updo + sunnies combo that was too reminiscent of Wendy (especially the hair). I recognise YOUR style as being very classy and pretty with the most perfect fit.
    I love your usual hairstyle but I get it that you'd want some variety.

  • Reply Divya November 23, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Jean, I need ur advice. I want to buy this Jcrew dress online. I'm a perfect 0P at ann Taylor but have never gotten anything from JCrew. Are their sizes bigger? I'm 5'2" 105 lbs

  • Reply Divya November 23, 2012 at 8:11 am

    FYI I'm currently pregnant otherwise I'd just buy it try it on and then return it. The dress I've got my eye on us this red peplum dress. It's pricey so I'm waiting for a good sale…

  • Reply Mary-Irene November 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Have to say I agree with the sentiments here about too much of a Wendy feeling in this post. I was so distracted by it, I almost missed the point of the post. We all try to channel our inner Wendy from time to time, I mean, that's why we follow her.She's an inspiration for us all. So please this is not meant as criticism at all.

    As this fashion blogging niche continues to explode, I think it's necessary for bloggers to find a unique place in the world and stick to it. Does not mean that styles cannot evolve. But the presentation of that evolution should be ownable by the blogger and recognizable by the followers who are helping these blogs succeed.

  • Reply Anonymous November 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I agree with the sentiments too. However Mary Irene I'm surprised you think that because you support one of the most egregious style copiers in this fashion blogging niche.

  • Reply Anonymous November 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

    If you take a look at Jean's past posts, this isn't the first time she has combined an updo and sunnies.

    Wendy has ordered UniQueen tweed jackets based on Jean's review before. Does that mean that Wendy has been inspired by Jean? Would you see it as Wendy borrowing Jean's style?

  • Reply Anonymous November 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

    As a super petite fellow, I am so glad to run into your blog. I am 5'0" and 98 lbs. It is very difficult for me to find time to search for clothing that fits me, especially with 3 children, my time is very very limited. You have found a loyal follower to your blog!


  • Reply lin November 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    actually, i didn't confuse the two. i read both jean's and wendy's blogs and i think they both have their own personal style. they may be inspired by each other but are very different and that's why i enjoy reading both blogs.

    jean, great outfit and pictures. i love all the colors, so very crisp and bright. i don't have any suggestions for boots since i'm not petite but your OTK boots fit you so well.

  • Reply YL November 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Hey Jean, I'm a longtime reader, first time poster, and I wanted to chime in on the boots-for-thin-calves subject.

    I'm built very much like you– I too have tiny feet (sz 4.5-5) and tiny calves (12-12.5 inches) and I struggle to find boots that fit. I've had good luck at Aldo getting boot that fit; this pair is currently on sale for 50% off.

    The website claims they have a 13.25 inch calf circumference, and I believe them. I plan on getting a pair, and wanted to let you know about them. Good luck, and happy thanksgiving!


  • Reply Anonymous November 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Hi Jean,
    I always enjoy reading your blog and wanted to provide a helpful tip that I have used over the years a number of times for boots, as I have thin calves, but large feet (size 40). If the boot has a seam up the back, a good cobbler may be able to take in the seam by a couple of inches. I have even had them put in a zipper up the back as a solution when there was no seam up the back and no side zipper. Not all cobblers are willing to do this and one cobbler in downtown Danvers, MA took it in by the zipper, instead of the back seam, which ruined the look of the boot. So, I would advise before doing this option to consult with the cobbler as to how they would take the calf in, especially with a nice boot. I am not sure which suburb of Boston you live in, but the cobbler in Salem, MA at Gagnon's shoe repair has done an excellent job with this for me in the past.

    Boots with laces have also been great!

  • Reply Kristyna November 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Kristyna November 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I really like the outfit. I am always fascinated by the way you combine your clothes, it just looks so good!

  • Reply Kim Uyen Dang November 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Jean, and everyone out there!
    I too have always had a difficult time finding flattering boots because of my narrow calves. I've had great luck at the Alton Place cobbler in Brookline. The guy there is very experienced with leather boots and charges only $25 per pair. He has taken in 3 pairs of boots for me and I have always been happy with the results. Also, it makes shopping lots more fun when you don't feel so limited! I hope everyone out there considers tailoring.

  • Reply Anonymous November 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I bought these kids' ones also after you linked to them and I sent them back right away. They fit fine, but my husband took one look and said "Oh, new rain boots?"- they looked very plasticky, which is fine, but they weren't a good value at $70. Really like the way the adult ones look!

  • Reply Joy November 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    They look great on you. I wish there was also a version where it was leather all the way around. I'd love to see your suggestions for a classic-heeled, below-the-knee type of tall boot.

  • Reply katmac November 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Would a 4 or a 5 be good for someone who typically takes a 6 in boots? Thank you!

  • Reply Myrtha November 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    You Look a bit like Wendys lookbook in this post.

  • Reply Amy Braddock November 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Hi, I've been reading your blog for quiet some time and love your style! I'm 5'2" and enjoy seeing how you make fashion work on a small frame. That being said, I've been on the hunt for a 'pea coat', but one that hits above the hips like the one you are wearing. I know you posted a link to similar coat, but could you tell me the brand of the one you are wearing? It looks much nicer, I love it!

  • Reply Chocolate Cookies & Candies November 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I've been wearing SW boots for years. Two years ago, I bought a pair OTK boots from SW. Absolutely fabulous. I've got size 4 feet and am 5'2. They fit perfectly. I can walk, run, trek through puddles and snow and they're in fantastic condition.

  • Reply Anonymous November 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Boot idea for small calves:
    (maybe you can still hunt these down somewhere)

  • Reply Anonymous December 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    For a skinny-calf tall boot, you might try Timberland Stratham Heights Tall boots:

    I can verify that the size 5.5 has a 13" shaft and 13" calf circumference. The medium brown is actually a deeper color brown than depicted and the boots are really not as rugged as they may appear in the online picture.

  • Reply Anonymous December 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Boots with the furrr

  • Reply Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply misseunj December 9, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Hi Jen

    How much was your Chanel bag/clutch (?) I love it! Wondering how much they are in the states (Im from Sydney)!

  • Reply Shlieka December 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Jean,
    Check out the Chanel sale at Saks on Friday! I saw a lot of boots at presale (at least in the New York location) at a 30% discount. ^_^

  • Reply Jenny January 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Jean,

    I just bought these boots because of your entry. I was wondering how you care for these boots?

  • Reply Anonymous February 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Jean,

    love your blog. im just 5'0", can i wear a SW 50/50 OTK boots? what should i beware of when wearing this shoes?

  • Reply Anonymous September 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    i just bought the SW kids boots. cant afford the adult. I am a kids size 4 and also womens 5.5/6 I am 4'11.. have musclular calfs from gymnastics and I love love the kids boots. no not real leather but the fit me great so just a fyi for readeers. love jean.. best dresser I know!!!

  • Reply SOPHIA March 31, 2014 at 1:17 am

    I just bought the SW kids boots too, however it's too wide for my calves, I'm about to sew the fabric together to make the boots looks more narrow. But anyway it's a good alternative for the women version.

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