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The Fat Girl's Guide to Fall Boots that Fit
Posted by Toni in Plus-Size Fashion
Torrid's Faux Suede Ashley Boot

Autumn brings more than vibrant leaves and crisp air - it also brings catalogs featuring adorable skirt-and-boots combos that make my debit card tremble with anticipation. One time, I fell hard for these dreamy, black pleather boots with a platform heel. This was two kids and about 40 pounds ago, and even then I couldn't get them to zip around my muscular calves. I went up a size, then another, then another, convinced one simply had to fit. When I found myself staring down at a pair of size 13s that made me look like a kid playing dress-up, I gave up. I haven't shopped for fashionable boots since.

Times have changed, however. I asked Kathy Koziatek, who heads up the "Size and Width" category at Zappos.com, to answer some questions that will help girls like me (and you) find some cute boots that fit.

Are there any companies making boots specifically for plus size women, or women with larger calves regardless of their size?

There are definitely companies making boots for women with larger calves or as we would say, the "athletic calf" or hard to fit calves. Shopping in "brick and mortar" stores these days, it is extremely hard to find boots that have an adjustable calf, wide calf, or wide-wide calf, and at Zappos we offer all of the above.

I notice Zappos has a "wide calf" option in the women's boots section. Does this refer to the style of the boot, or was it developed specifically for the needs of women with muscular or otherwise thicker calves?

The "wide calf" option allows our customers to filter their search of our products by the attribute that is important to them.  Zappos feels that it is important to deliver terrific service and selection, so we offer hard to find items that we make easy for our customers to shop with our user-friendly search feature.

Any great surprise finds for women who need boots with a wider calf by manufacturers who aren't necessarily targeting a plus-size market? (Example: I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Target's rain boots actually fit my muscular calves!)

There are many leather/suede/microfiber stretch boots that aren't necessarily targeted to plus size markets, but you would be surprised by how much "give" there is in the boots. Something else to look for is extra goring [elastic] applied to the shaft's construction that results in a more flexible fit.

Where on the calf should customers measure to ensure the best fit?

You want to measure the circumference of your calf at the widest point to ensure the proper fit.

Any thoughts you'd like to add regarding boots for plus size women that we haven't yet covered?

Just remember every brand fits differently, so don't get discouraged if the first boot you try on doesn't fit your calves. It's OK to spend time shopping! There are some really hot brands right now like David Tate, Fitzwell, Ros Hommerson and Naturalizer.

Oh, how I wish I'd taken this advice back when I was ogling those platform boots! After researching this topic, I think it's time to start shopping again. Tee and I had fun digging up some more great finds for girls with big calves:


Jasmine Lace-Back Riding Boot (sexy!) at Avenue

PUNCH! at WideWidths.com

Classic Riding Boot at Silhouettes

Kayleigh Side-Buckle Boot at Woman Within

David Tate's Cruise Boot at Zappos.com

Patchwork Fashion Boot at Lane Bryant

Step-Up Comfort Boot at Jessica London

Women's McGibbon Floral Rain Boot at Target

So, girls: tell us about your favorite boots and fave places to shop for them in the comments section. (And look for a guide to snow and ski boots this winter).