Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

January 21, 2011

Fat Foot Week! Five Great: Tall Boots for the Fatted Calf

Filed under: Boots,Five Great...,Wide-width Shoes — Miss Plumcake @ 4:52 pm

You know what? “Wide calf” boots can just go ahead and bite me. They SAY “wide calf” but are like, 16″ instead of 14″ and it makes me insane. I do not have freakishly large calves and they are almost pure muscle –which is what happens when a girl genetically predispositioned to muscular calves goes to college built into the side of a mountain– so WHY is it so damn hard to find boots that fit my damn legs?

I get SO. MANY. EMAILS. asking for a good pair of knee high boots for under $100. Honestly I think that’s aiming a little low for a real leather boot, even if it is made in China, but it shouldn’t be impossible to find an at least marginally better than average quality solid leather –I HATE those stupid elastic panels– boot for $200.

Which brings me to the subject of Good Boots.

There are some shoes where you can cheap out. Fabric evening shoes? You can get a nice pair of Nina’s for $60 and no one’s the wiser, but boots take up too much visual space and attention to go cheap and cheap boots look cheap. Which isn’t to say I didn’t wear the hell out of my white stretch vinyl boots when I was doing burlesque-flavored go-go on the weekends (good times) but that is not this.

Obviously you could go with calf-fit boots from Duo. Right now they’re having a HUGE honking sale so this might be your best bet if you’re looking to buy boots right now.

That being said,  I also have been Less Than Impressed with the Duo customer service. I ordered two pairs of boots on January 1st. They warned that shipments to the US might take a bit longer than the seven day delivery thanks to slowdown in customs. But it’s been 15 business days since I ordered them and they haven’t even made it through customs. Not only did they not send a tracking number automatically (and doesn’t EVERYONE do that these days?) when I contacted customer service they were not especially polite or friendly.

They finally provided me with tracking numbers. Turns out my boots haven’t even made it through customs yet, and I find it awfully unusual that I can get a pair of shoes shipped from Italy and have them get through customs in two days, but these boots from England are taking the better part of a week.

And interestingly, when I asked where exactly the boots were made, the response was “Our boots are made in small family owned factories throughout Southern Europe, using leather sourced from Italy.” and that sounds juuust a little shady to me, because to me when you say Southern Europe instead of Spain or Italy that means Turkey and Croatia and I’m just not super comfortable with the idea of boots being made in non-EU European countries. Anyway, I had two DUO boots listed as recommended, but they’ve left a bad taste in my mouth, I’m taking them off until I get the boots (and they had better be PERFECTION).

ANYHOODLE let’s have some boots, shall we?

Here we have your basic black high-heeled boot. Ros Hommerson “Maryland” with a 19.25″ calf:

These are the sort of boots you have forever. They’re not especially exciting, but boots really need to be styled on the leg. Personally I’m not crazy about black leather boots (except suede) but I would wear these.

Of course there’s the black motorcycle-style boot. It’s not a style I particularly love, but that’s just because I couldn’t be less of a motorcycle boot girl if I tried. Still, classic is classic and the Ros Hommerson “Sphere” with a 19.25″ calf is a classic version of an iconic look.

NOW we’re singin’ my song:

These are actual boots used for mounted police. I love a riding boot but it’s been hard to find a good tall one for under $500. There are several colors and widths, the widest is 20 1/8″ at a 19″ high size 11. They’re surprisingly more affordable than I thought and you can’t get more authentic for that military/horsey look.

Finally, as a resident of the Lone Star State, I’d be remiss if I didn’t feature a pair of cowboy boots. As I’ve mentioned before, if you are fat of calf men’s ropers or low-shafted boots –10 or 11 inches– are the way to go. Your feet will wear out before even a $100 pair of cowboy boots will and you can get them in pretty much any width you want. While not technically ropers, these Western boots from Justin are cute, and look easy to get on (you won’t have to buy boot hooks for them).

Oh, and don’t wear pointy-toed cowboy boots anyplace where cowboy boots are part of the culture. Pointy cowboy boots are for vaqueros and A&R guys from L.A.. Bonne Weekend y’all!


  1. In all fairness, I have ordered two things from the UK since November and both took right around 30 days to show up (including a perfume from Ormonde Jayne, where I’ve generally been quite pleased with their service). And I have also never received a tracking number automatically from any company based in the UK. Annoying, yes, but also just seems to be the way it is right now. Though there’s no excuse for rudeness from customer service.

    Comment by SarahDances — January 21, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  2. @SarahDances, really? I’ve had speedy shipping from the UK recently. I have to get my tea and cough drops from there and it’s about 2 weeks on the nose.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — January 21, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  3. Ruh-roh. I’ve got a pair of knee-high black leather boots with stretchy back panels. I’m not even plus-size, I’ve just got very toned calves and am somewhat on the tall side (5’10”). Boot sizes are ridiculous, and I’m a student and can’t afford any better. If I mostly wear them with jeans, does that make it better or worse? o.0

    Comment by Frances — January 21, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  4. @Frances: It’s just my personal taste. There’s no hard and fast rule against them. Besides, you’re a student. Students are young and gorgeous in paper sacks.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — January 21, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  5. Elastic panels aren’t my thing, either, but in despair a few years back I bought a pair of Frye campus boots on sale and took ’em to a cobbler and had the mother of all elastic gussets
    installed. (Seriously — it’s 7″ high and 4″ wide at the widest point.)

    Totally worth it.

    Comment by Laura — January 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  6. @Plumcake, Seriously. My mother bought the perfume for me just before Thanksgiving, and it barely got here in time for Christmas. I ordered a t-shirt for my boyfriend (I accidentally just typed t-s**t, which frankly given the quality… I’m really not pleased, but I’m not sending it back to England) on December 15th, and it arrived on Tuesday (January 18th).

    I don’t know about Ormonde Jayne’s customer service, since I wasn’t having to deal with them, but I gave the t-shirt people hell and *still* never got a tracking number. Don’t even get me started on how when they responded to my third (!) email, they assured me they’d responded to all communications received… but I digress.

    I’m just sayin’ they seem to have some kind of customs holdup right now, so I wouldn’t be so tough on DUO about it. My one experience ordering from them was quite satisfactory.

    Comment by SaradDances — January 21, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  7. Pure speculation ahoy- the post here (at least in Scotland) is enormously backed up. It took 41 days for something posted before Christmas in England to make it here- and I don’t even live in the back of beyond anymore.

    Customs is a bit weirder than usual on top of that since the printer-bomb incident.

    No explanation on the shipping reference, however.

    Comment by Modgonne — January 22, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  8. Wow, I’ve had really good luck getting my Duo boots. They made it here in less than two weeks and I’ve always found customer service to be quite lovely.

    I’ve had worse service from within the US!

    I hope you get your boots soon, and that you like them as much as I do mine!

    Comment by Christine — January 22, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  9. As per this fab blog, I stumbled upon the DUO shop when I was studying abroad in London in college, traveling back home across the pond with 2 pairs of boots. Since then, I’ve order 2 other pairs on 2 separate occasions from DUO. Shipping has never been a problem for me–I once ordered a pair on Sunday night and received them Friday Morning. The only problem I run into with these boots are that the zippers wear out quite quickly. I don’t necessarily take the BEST care of my footwear; I do have a tendency to wear them ’til they scream to be put to death. BUT I have gotten the zipper replaced numerous times, even on the same pair, which is not a cheap move.

    I will try my hand at those Ros Hommersons

    Comment by alyssa — January 22, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  10. I have the opposite problem…slim, athletic legs and wide, wide feet. I wish I could wear Duo boots!! I usually get boots that stretch all the way around rather than zip up, because everything I find in a wide is automatically wide in the leg as well. Then I wear them until they die. Just bought a new pair in a new brand than usual (Clark’s)…here is hoping they work well, boots are like slippers to me this time of year!

    Comment by GoddessofPurple — January 22, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  11. Going to London in March, and my first stop will be Duo’s fitting room. I haven’t been able to buy knee high boots since Jr. High.

    Comment by Ash — January 23, 2011 @ 12:40 am

  12. Try the Boot Band. Its a width expander for any boot that you want to wear with a full zip. It expands the width of boots to give you the extra room you need to wear your boot by attaching to the boots zipper. It was in O Magazine in October.

    Comment by Krista Barnett — January 23, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  13. @Krista, I think that’s a great idea in theory but I absolutely hate the way they look!

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — January 24, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  14. As usual, I have questions. Does anybody know if the Ros Hommerson boots (or anybody else’s) are wide at the ankles as well as in the calf? I have medium width feet but thick ankles & large calves. These look as though they taper to narrow ankles, which does me no good at all.

    Comment by Jezebella — January 24, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  15. @MissPlumcake it looks like the bootbands are a part of the boot. I do not prefer the zebra but I could definitely rock the plain ones. Next time, instead of being so negative try offering something constructive.

    Comment by Brooke Love — January 24, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  16. @Brooke: I am completely aware of what the bootbands are, I’ve received their press kit and looked into them months ago. I think they are a great idea as I’ve mentioned, but I don’t like the way they look. If you are not interested in my opinion there millions of other blogs where I am not the editor. I suggest you find one of those.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — January 24, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  17. Thanks @Miss Plumcake and @Brooke Love for your opinions. I am actually the inventor of the Boot Band and I have gotten great response and have helped so many women get into the boots they want without destroying them or altering them. But yes, like any product, it is not for everyone because everyone has different taste. Thanks! Krista

    Comment by Krista Barnett — January 24, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  18. If anyone in the UK orders from Duo, please be aware that they use HDNL for their standard service. I won’t be ordering from them again… Also annoying was that on the order form, they ask if they can leave the parcel with a neighbour. I ticked ‘no’ as I was having them delivered to work, and ‘next door’ is a large Royal College. This translated into “Do not leave with anyone but the customer” – not the smae thing at all. It all got sorted out, and I loved my shoes, but anyone who uses HDNL as a courier doesn’t care about when their customers receive their goods.

    Comment by Ponytail — January 25, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  19. Plumcake, where can I find Ropers now? I tragically chose to move out of the southwest and I can’t find them ANYWHERE in my new locale (KY).

    Comment by Gryph — January 26, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  20. Gryph, silly, just go to the Justin website and use the “find a retailer” doodad.

    Comment by Jezebella — January 26, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

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