Ask Angie: K/R Boots Galore and sandals too. (Picture heavy)

I've been trying for a couple of years without success to find some black boots that I can wear with skirts, that are on the dressy side, and fit my skinny calves as well as possible. Other qualifiers are:
- a low, refined heel
- at least 4 hours of comfort shoes that I can walk and stand in
- not too expensive as I don't live in a climate that calls for boots more than a few months, but when I need them, I really want them.
- not a square toe.
- less than 15.5" tall
I picked out a few possibilities to show you, all on sale right now, and really need your brutally honest opinion. Should I keep any of these or keep looking?
1-4: These are very close to what I think I want. They are AGL Italian leather boots that I found at the Rack. These photos show you what a size 38 or 7.5 looks like with a 14" opening in the shaft. Many boot descriptions say they have a 14" circumference, but that is usually for a size 6. Larger sizes have larger openings. My legs are 12 inches at their widest part. As you can see, even 14" boot shafts are quite roomy. Are they too roomy to look sleek?
Pros: as close as I've come so far to what I want and at a price I'm willing to pay for the right boots. Big enough for light socks and for tucking if I want to. Comfortable enough to be eight hour footwear.
Cons- Even on sale these are still pricey, so I only want to keep them if they are 10s. Do the proportions look right on me? I don't want to buy these and still be looking for my boots.

I'm also considering a bootie instead of a tall boot to wear with tights with a skirt.
The next 2 fit this category:
5-7: Aquatalia by Marvin K., "Versus" lined soft suede leather pull on.
Pros- very comfortable and warm and fit pretty well at the ankle; waterproof; well made
Cons- still expensive; wonder if pulling them on and off will stretch the opening over time; do they look ok on me with skirts or do they look off proportionally?
8-12: (sorry for so many photos but wanted to show several angles). These are Impo "Novice" of all man made materials.
Pros- maybe most fashion forward of the bunch with the pointy toes; dressy; comfortable; ankle fit isn't too bad, less than $60
Cons: not leather, probably won't last more than a few seasons
13 and 15 show Bare Trap shooties that I already own. Will they work as well as any of the others under consideration for now?

Some Sam Edelman "Sutton" sandals on clearance at The Rack. At first I thought that they were "Okalas". Please overlook my non pedicured feet. I don't do polish in the winter in order to let nails have a rest. Are these worth keeping? I like the black with cream snake and could use some black summer footwear, but these are pretty open. They seem very comfortable but need more house testing if they pass your scrutiny. Are they 10s?
I'm really not sure what to do about any of these. What do you think is working, if anything? I am willing to keep looking if that is the best move. I could finish out the winter with what I have and see what next fall or NAS offers. I have a pair of black riding boots with buckles down the side that still have life in them, besides some brown riding boots. As for the sandals, if these are not 10s, I can wait.
Thank you for looking and for any advice you can give me.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Joy -- boots boots boots! Well do I know your woes. 

    First, though, the sandals, because I can for sure comment on those. I own the Suttons. My feet are higher volume than yours and so for me, even in the larger of my two sizes, they tended to pinch a bit across the instep and toes when my feet were swollen --- BUT I am not in the least sorry I bought them anyway -- they are lovely sandals and very versatile, and have begun to soften up some into greater comfort. I have the nude/ silver colour. I'd recommend them if the comfort is there for you. It's great to have the wedge heel. 

    As for the boots -- I think these tall ones are beautiful and would be great for wearing with jeans tucked in and/ or a sock. But technically, I think they are still a bit too wide for dresses -- I mean, ideally. The fit reminds me of my old Franco Sartos...just slightly too tall and too wide in the shaft at the top. 

    Of course I know the difficulties you have had and your constraints. (I am lucky that my shoe size is smaller -- this makes my search marginally easier, I see.) On the other hand, the scale looks right for you -- they definitely don't look bad. I suppose it just depends how "perfect" you need these boots to be and whether you'll be satisfied with these.

    I also like the Aquatalias and if they would work for you as a winter option in the interim, maybe those would be a better bet. Although perhaps they would work better with trousers on your slender legs -- not sure. And if you need a bootie for dresses, then that wouldn't be the greatest. However, the quality is certainly there, and also stability due to the heel shape. And that's important in winter weather. 

    For some reason I am not as crazy about the last booties, although perhaps the scale is better with dresses.  And they'd be great for rainy weather. 

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I can't thank you enough for wading through the long post and photos.
    I love the sandals but they are actually the smaller of my sizes. You bring up a good point about feet swelling and mine often do in the heat. They seem comfortable now but may not be in mid summer when they would be worn.
    Your concerns about the boots are exactly why I need input. The tall ones are a bit too tall and too wide to be ideal. I'm ready to give up once again on finding something. I looked at the Duo boot site but didn't see a style I wanted. This isn't a really cold climate except for a few days of the winter, except for this year and that may be clouding my well as the sale prices.

  • Debbie replied 6 years ago

    If the comfort factor is there keep the sandals.

    The first pair of boots to my eye would look great with skinnies but gape too much without. I would pass on the booties for the reasons Suz mention.
    The boot search for those of us with skinny or wide calves is long and tiring.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Debbie, huge thanks for reading all this and for your wisdom.

  • Jjsloane replied 6 years ago

    Joy - agree with Suz' assessment. I think the sandals look great, but would  be concerned if they fit your summer feet. I have the Impos in leopard print and find them a good height and comfy, but you are correct they are not top of the line. They do seem to be wearing well and I'm considering a navy pair because I cannot find the right navy ankle booties. 
    Would you consider something like the Munro Sophias for the tall boots? I have them in the black suede and they are stretchy so hug the calves (although mine are not nearly as slim as yours) I got them here, but they can be found elsewhere if you need better return options:

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    The sandals are brilliant. Please keep.

    The tall boots are still too wide and a tad high in the shaft. I vote return. 

    I love the look of the synthetic booties in #8 and #10. Refined and versatile. I vote keep those. They match your style. 

    I worry about the casual rubber wedged and suede look on the Aquatalias, and am wondering if that is your style. For very, very casual settings maybe? I vote play around with them first. See if you like the outfits you put together with them. 

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Jj and Angie, I really really appreciate your help in getting this sorted. I will return the tall boots and probably the suede ones. I like the comfort and quality but not the look so much. I'll probably keep the sandals if they are comfortable wearing around the house for several hours. I'm needing a warmer day for this but think they will be comfortable on my low column feet
    I'm also leaning toward keeping the synthetic booties. I could also wear them with jeans and trousers that need a bit of a heel and replace those round toed Bare Traps.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Joy, I'm almost 100% sure those sandals will be comfy for you. The only reason they pinch on me is that my feet are higher volume than yours. And truly -- even on me they don't pinch enough to be truly uncomfortable. Just enough for me to notice it. I wore them last summer on the hottest, most humid days (even in NYC) and the wedge is perfect for that. I have quite a high instep  and my forefoot, while not wide, is also not narrow. 

    Frustrating about the boos, though....

  • April replied 6 years ago

    Joy -- we have the same calves.  I'll ping you whenever I try on any tall boots that actually fit.  So far, the only ones I've ever owned that fit off the rack were the Aquatalia "Undy" boots from NAS a couple of years ago and a pair of Frye Melissa lace-ups.

    Then I had two pairs altered by the cobbler, and have decided I won't do that again.  Expensive, risky, and once the boot really hugged my calf, my feet looked amusingly long and calves looked like little stovepipes.  

    We skinny-calf ladies must help each other out!

  • Beth Ann replied 6 years ago

    Wanted to say that I love the Impo booties. Sleek, unfussy and modern!  I am working on upgrading my shoe collection, and have noticed that the price point for real, good quality leather goes higher and higher.  This winter has made me realize, however, that there is still room for a synthetic shoe in my wardrobe, as long as they look good, fit well and don't leave my feet too sweaty.  I think this kind of shoe/boot is perfect for slushy or rainy days, particularly.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Suz, that is good news about the sandals, I think they will work well and they fill a hole. Thank you for commenting on them.
    April, boot shopping is hard isn't it? DH has seen so many pairs come and get returned that he is starting to notice the fit on women wearing boots and has come close to accosting one to ask where she got her boots :)
    Please let me know if you find any. I need to add another qualifier...not more than 14" high and that may be too tall. I know what you mean about feet looking too long while legs look like stove pipes!
    Beth Ann, as long as the faux leather doesn't look really cheap, I'm ok with it. The Impos will probably last until the style changes anyway. It's a big plus that the slush just wipes off.

  • Tina replied 6 years ago

    I have those Aquatalias. I almost returned them because I feared the suede wouldn't hold up in the slush and snow. True to their good reputation, they have done splendidly! I don't wear mine with dresses/skirts, I bought them to wear with pants. They are very comfy, they are a bit of a pain to put on and take off but once they're on my feet are happy even after hours of running around. I am a size 6 with a skinny ankle and calf, these work well for me. I also have a leather bootie by Aquatalia, those I wear with dresses. Leather just seems dressier to me.
    PS where I live we have 4 distinct seasons, we generally have very cold winters and lots of snow. I find my booties even provide a measure of warmth compared to some of my other non gear footwear.
    End of novel.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Agree with keep the sandals and return the two leather boots options as not quite what you want. I do like the looks of the pointy toe booties, but it is a quality and comfort issue with those.

  • Adelfa replied 6 years ago

    I have the Suttons too, in the exact color(s) of yours. My story is similar to Suz. I must have been having a small foot day when I bought them because that strap just doesn't fit! But they are still wonderful and others love them! I think yours fit you well and you won't have trouble.

    It's interesting. Sometimes if something is good enough *and* inexpensive enough, it's worth it, isn't it? You don't need perfect shoes for that price point, and they are cute!

You need to be logged in to comment