by Erin on November 23, 2010

Forgive the multiple oooooooo's and the exclamation point, but really, these deserve it:

Picture 2


They're the Corso Como Rhonda (available from Amazon and anywhere boots are sold; I bought mine gently pre-loved — and significantly cheaper than list — on eBay). And I loooooves them. (There's those oooo's again!)

I didn't realize when I moved to the Bay Area last year how much I would need flat black boots. You see, when it's pretty much 50 degrees all winter long, it's too cold for bare legs, but slightly too warm for tights. This only leaves knee socks (which I do love, but are occasionally a bit juvenile) and boots. Flat, black boots that go with everything. (If you're asking "why don't you just wear pants," this must be your first time here at A Dress A Day. Archives are on the right. Take your time, we'll wait.)

Flat black boots. Sounds simple, right? You can't open a web browser without tripping over a boot sale, this time of year. But the flaw in my boot-seeking plan is that I have big calves. Big, muscular, yeah-I-used-to-play-college-soccer calves. Calves that, at 16" around, are EXACTLY ONE INCH bigger than most boots' top circumference.

But these beautiful soft, classic boots have TWO elastic insets in the back. It looks like a cute design fillip, but the two inserts mean that these boots Just Fit, without me having to take them to the Magical Boot-stretching Man. (Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the Magical Boot-stretching Man, but the hassle of "will it stretch?" means that I'm usually limited to buying boots on super-super-sale, so in case they don't stretch I won't have wasted too much time and money.)

So, thank you, Corso Como, for doubling up on elastic. Two thumbs up! (And thank you, also, for not draping these boots in pointless metal hardware and wacky straps.)

(Btw, if you have the opposite problem — teeny ectomorphic jackstraw calves — check out the last letter here at Tomato Nation's Vine for your options. Because, sadly, there's no Magical Boot-shrinking Man.)

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue November 23, 2010 at 6:10 am

Oh Erin. They are great boots. I have been looking for a pair of boots to fit my honking calves for a while. Now to find them somewhere that ships to Canada! (And, if I’m really lucky, on sale.)


urbaninfogirl November 23, 2010 at 6:41 am

Ooooooh I too have bigger calves and I’m always on the hunt for a pair that will fit! Lovely, thanks!


Janet November 23, 2010 at 7:13 am

oooooh aaaaah schweet!


Steph November 23, 2010 at 7:59 am

Erin, haven’t you heard of wide-calf boots? A lot of mainstream shoe/boot brands offer them–and in some very hot styles. I used to have the very same problem, because my calves are 16-16 1/2 inches at their widest. But since I found several good quality, well-priced, stylish brands that offer many of their styles in wide-calf sizes I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Naturalizer, Eddie Bauer, Born all come to mind. Search for wide calf boots on Zappos or go to I refuse to suffer through too-tight boots and I refuse to pay to have them stretched/enlarged when it’s just not necessary.


sheila / out of the ashes collectibles November 23, 2010 at 8:16 am

Now you need a double breasted “military” styled coat!


Erin November 23, 2010 at 8:37 am

Hi Steph! I have tried wide-calf boots and not been happy. :-( They tend to have wide ankles, too, and they’re often more expensive than taking regular boots to be stretched. And they’re not the most fashion-forward designs, either.

I do have one pair of wide-calf Vaneli boots that I like, though.


apeppermintpenguin November 23, 2010 at 10:42 am



Evalyn November 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

I need to speak up for skinney legged girls everywhere. My favorite new boots are (watch the site for periodic 20% off sale, always free shipping). My fav old boots are my 20 year old Tony Lama black cowgirl boots. I pulled out all my boots for a polish-up and . . . I must stop buying boots.


Meadowlark November 23, 2010 at 10:53 am

I just need to know how sturdy the tread is. I’m a known “slipper” on ice and snow. Something fashionable that won’t put me on my butt is my goal. Picture perhaps?

Reply November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

Those are beautiful. My calves are even bigger than yours, Erin, and I’ve had good luck with Ros Hommerson boots.


Rachel November 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I, too, have wide calves. My current lust is the Gallop boots by David Tate. I don’t agree, though, that all “wide calf” boots aren’t fashion forward. There’s a lot of diversity. And BTW, Zappos will let you filter boots by shaft circumference and height now!


Cathy November 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Thanks. I also have wide calves and didn’t even know about wide-calf boots until a couple of years ago. (Hence I had never owned a pair of boots until then.) I love the simple style of the ones you posted.

I’m interested in your take on tights in the Bay Area. I do wear them (from about now through January), and I think boots are hotter than tights.


Jinian November 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Duo Boots are available in a bunch of different calf widths, wide and narrow, which is great in theory — my first pair hasn’t yet arrived. I loved their web site so much that I have to talk them up already. You measure your calves and it tells you which boots will work!


Kristy November 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Pretty boots! I’ve been wearing my Dansko Penelopes ( ) for a couple of weeks and I love them. Since they’re both lace-up and zipped, you could customize the fit.


susan, australia November 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm

you can indeed get your boots taken in BUT the cheapest alterations are done in Moldova (ie eastern Europe) – so you must be able to in the US


Lemonola November 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Meadow Lark–My Corso Como Raquel-Lug boots arrived last night. They are very similar to the Rhondas but as the name suggests, they have lugged soles. Great when you need a bit of traction with your fashion statement!


Julia November 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Who is the Magical Boot-Stretching Man? Is he here in the Bay Area? Boy, have I got a job for him!


Eirlys November 25, 2010 at 6:16 am

Gotta give another plug to Duo. They happen to have a Bath store, in case you’re ever over here, Erin. :)


Erin November 26, 2010 at 10:53 am

Julia, my current favorite Magical Boot-stretching man is in Burlingame, on Broadway. He’s a genius.


Gina November 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I thought I was the only person in the world with the massive calf problem! But $189! I’ll have to save for a while….


JustGail November 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm

If you have a good shoe/boot repair person, they can also add an elastic gusset (or a bigger one) to most boots. But yeah, I can see where that doesn’t really help the ankle area. Ah, I vaguely remember the days when I didn’t have to worry about my fat calves!!


Mdvs December 1, 2010 at 6:22 am

I love boots… specially for this coooold weather! There is no way around it and once I heard that there is no such thing as bad weather but bad clothing. I find that so true… So every winter, I get ready.

But I have a problem, I like brown boots more often than I like black. If I see a brown boot I love, then I look for the black version of it and it turns out to be not as pretty as the original one. So I guess I really have a problem with black boots. However, I bought a pair the other day just for the sake of having one.. In the mean time, I am looking for the perfect right pair of boots.

Fashion in the…


charlotte December 1, 2010 at 6:33 am

While expensive, the Stuart Weitzman stretch nappa boots (available in several colors, and in suede) have an amazing fit for skinny legs like mine, but also — judging from online reviews and from in-person comments by a Nordstrom shoe seller — larger calves. They comfortably stretch to fit most legs. I bought the 50/50 boots (over-the-knee, half nappa, half stretch fabric) and love them.


Jessica December 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

Those are stellar boots indeed! Just the sort I’d try to find if I was boot shopping, as I trend not to like trendy/flashing or overly tall (aka, over the knee) boots. Instead I like to opt for classic, beautifully tailored pairs such as this versatile gem.

Wishing you a beautiful Wednesday & festively fantastic December ahead!
♥ Jessica


Kellie R. - When Ladies Dressed December 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm

I LOVE boots!!! These are great!


Michelle Glauser December 10, 2010 at 9:18 am

I love these boots because they’re just what I want in boots–class and low heels. But $200? Yikes.


Fuggles January 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

Another plug for Duo boots (based in the UK) – they are totally superb – there are branches in Bath, Manchester and Edinburgh where they measure you, and they have the boots in stock. In London, you can try them on, then they post them to you. The ‘fitters’ are wonderful, helpful, and very patient. Really recommend!


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