Boots For Petite Legs

Q. I’m 5’1" and have just recently bought 2 pairs of knee high boots online that I absolutely adore. But because of my petite build, I have the following problems: one boot is too loose at the very top of the boot around my knee so it mimicks rain galoshes; the second is so tall it reaches an inch above the bottom of my knee. The first boot is leather, the second is suede. I know you can take boots to the cobbler to have them stretched, but can u also have boots taken in and shortened? I would hate to return these shoes.

-Boot Strapped

A. I’m 5’5” and the boot gap around the calf is not just a petite problem. It seems women are evenly divided between their search for boots that fit slender calves and those for larger calves.  I always start my search early in the season lest boots go on sale and my options are significantly diminished if they don’t have my size. I quickly get fatigued and disappointed going from store to store so I search the internet. I am a huge fan of and for their detailed information on boots including height, circumference or diameter of the top opening. I measure the largest part of my calf and then go shopping.

For a dressy pair, I look for suede pull-on styles that have a bit of stretch so it hugs my calf better. For casual styles, I look for details that list the smallest top opening and of course I purchase several pairs from sites that offer free shipping and returns. Why trudge through the mall or around the city when options can be delivered to my door?

For help when you’ve bought the boots you love, but need a bit of tailoring, you need a shoe doctor – a shoe repair person who specializes in leather goods. This may be the same person who tends to leather coats and handbags. Ask your local shoe repair guy for a referral. He may be able to do the job, but be sure he knows what he’s doing and has done this kind of work before. Consider asking a few leather/shoe repair specialists before you hand over your new boots.

You’ll find these boots in my closet. I adore them both:

Aquatalia by Marvin K. RanchStuart Weitzman

1. I’m loving these boots for casual days with jeans or a skirt. Bonus: they’re waterproof. Aquatalia by Marvin K. Ranch, $375 at

2. Pricey, but I take care of them. Stuart Weitzman Diamondback, $499 at

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad someone asked this question! I have skinny calves and my one pair of tall black boots really do look like galoshes on me. I’ve resigned myself to only wearing short boots – there is simply no way I would pay more than $150 for a pair of boots. There’s a real need for lower-priced “skinny” boots – won’t someone please invent them?

Back to Top