Naturalizer Macnair Wide Shaft boots with 17 3/8" shaft circumference (size 9) from

Naturalizer Macnair Wide Shaft boots with 17 3/8″ shaft circumference (size 9) from

It’s the time of the year when boots go on clearance, and we’re able to pick up wonderful styles for great prices!

Boot buying for us plus-size ladies is often challenging, especially when shopping online. When dress boots first came back into style, I remember trying on pair after pair and not being able to get them zipped. I wondered if the manufacturers had forgotten about those of us who don’t have skinny legs. Then I saw a pair of dress boots advertised with a “wide calf” designation. I saw the mention of the word “wide” and thought that I had finally found a pair that would fit. However, I was still having challenges zipping the boots all the way up. Finally I discovered…it’s not only the calf circumference that curvy gals need to check out, it’s also the upper shaft circumference! Different styles of boots are naturally designed for different shaft widths. You may find that in some styles, you can wear a regular boot, and don’t need a wide calf or wide shaft version.

The key here is to measure around your leg below the knee at its widest width. Your minimum shaft width will be about that size. If the boot is very stretchy, or has an elastic gusset, you may be able to go a little smaller. Also consider whether you will be wearing these boots over leggings or tucking in pants, in which case you might want to go a little larger.

Here’s an example:

boot2boots3<< This is the Nine West Vaionesco dress boot available (at the time of publishing this post) at Shoe Metro. This boot is not designated as “wide” anything, but it  has a 17″ circumference, which is only 3/8″ less than the Naturalizer wide shaft boots in the upper photo.

On the other hand, Nine West’s Retta dress boot design, available from,  has only a 15″ circumference. >>