Friday, December 7, 2012

Food for the Sole

It's amazing what you can blame on the lack of light, for example, my newest purchase:


Liuba Boot by Lamica (never heard of this brand but I think it's German, though the boots are made in Italy). There's not much about the company online. I got mine at Browns
In truth, I have been wanting to get a new pair of boots - not "winter-weight", but chic and leather - for as long as I can remember. For years I've rotated through pairs of the ubiquitous Franco Sarto Scala stretch boot. Those don't last more than 2 years but they're compatible with just about any outfit and, cuz they're not leather (though designed to look like it), they're durable in most weather (though not snow). Note: The Scalas are not as shiny as that link photo would have you believe, but definitely get them in brown rather than black (to minimize the fakeness).

Here's the thing. Fake leather is not my bag, but I have exceedingly narrow calves. Lots of peeps will tell you about the misery of not being able to buy boots because their calves are so prominent or thick but it's just as hard (in terms of shopping for knee-high boots that look good) for the skinny-calved among us. Look, I'm not saying that slender calves are harder in general, just in terms of finding well-fitted knee boots. And every pair I've ever found that's fit (and that's about 5 over the last 10 years, not that I bother much) has cost a living fortune.

Because the Sartos work so adequately (though I'm paying $200 bucks for fake leather aka practically plastic), I've been lulled into a state of inertia.  They really do fit my calf perfectly and they fall nicely. However, the Scala really doesn't jibe with my "buy quality" philosophy. Don't misunderstand, the boot is fine (till the surface eventually scratches off on the inner ankle and you can actually see fabric underneath???), fine enough that I've owned many pairs.

A knee boot with beautiful slouch is a non-negotiable staple, from my perspective. It reminds me of the terrific offerings of the late 60s and 70s. My mother had a pair and I thought they were so elegant. A slouchy knee-boot goes perfectly with short skirts, long skirts, jeans (wide or narrow), pants of all stripes. I mean, in a zillion years I wouldn't wear fake fur. So why I'm wearing plastic at the age of 42 is beyond me.

Today I went to Browns, which is having a fairly good sale (esp. for pre-Xmas), to rectify the situation. I knew I wouldn't get off cheap, but I hoped I'd at least find something that would fit for less than the usual $600. (Sidebar: Why there's a proportional relationship between narrow boot shafts and expense is beyond me. I mean, shouldn't the wider shafts, which require more leather, be the ones to cost more??)

The Liuma called to me. The colour is fantastic. It's the shade of brandy, seriously, and the photos above don't do it justice. Furthermore, while they could be narrower (the very widest part of my calf has a circumference of 13.5"), there's no visible gap between my leg and the boot. (Can't tell you what a hideous look that is, IMO.) And the leather is a supple, Italian calfskin that, I sense, will crease and wear beautifully. Sure, this purchase wasn't cheap (after tax they came to $340 on sale), but I wear the Sartos, on average, 4 days a week for 8 months of the year and every time I put them on I regret that I'm wearing plastic.

What you can't see in the photos, and the ones I found online don't really show this off to good effect, is that there's a cognac leather insert that runs up the back on either side of the seam (above the ankle), that both defines the shape of the ankle and provides a rich design element.

So, today's questions are these: Do you like my new boots?? (Leading question, I realize...) Do you struggle with this shape of boot either because your calves are thinner or thicker than average? Have you heard of this brand and can you enlighten me about its origins? Have you worn the Sartos and, if yes, what are your thoughts about them? Let's talk...

27 comments:

  1. Lovely Boots! I wish you years of wear of them, they look very classy and classic!

    Some boot-related thoughts: I have large and narrow feet and am always surprised how often that translates in boots to "must have giant ankles and calves". I always thought my calves too large, but it seems not to be true for boots. It's likely the same if you have small feet and ankles but large calves. It's worse than bra fitting ;-)without trying them on since they rarely give the calf circumference for more sizes than the average. Higher end boots fit me often a lot better, but I cannot afford them.

    Pet peeve: lace up boot cuts that do not take into account that it's not a good idea to make the calves as wide as a zipper only boot - I ended up with one pair that has to be laced so tightly it looks ugly and is still too wide in the shaft. (I have a fantastic pair of suede LaCanadienne boots I got on sale that looks wonderful laced up, but they are not really sensible winter shoes.)

    My best purchase in terms of price, warmth, waterproofness and traction were a pair of black, zippered kneehigh boots from Payless that lasted me three NYC winters - for less than $40.

    P.S. I am German but had not heard of Lamica, but then they are not in the price range where I'd have expertise.

    Mona

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    1. Thank you Mona! My kid has really long (size 9) NARROW feet and it's so hard to find her any shoes. I totally share your pet peeve, btw. And La Canadienne is my go to brand - I've written many times about my purchases. The suede really can make it through snow and rain, fyi. They don't love salt, of course, but if you spray them you should be fine.

      Thanks for this great comment.

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  2. Oh I am a fan of a pretty boot and that is a very pretty boot. My calves are on the ah, curvy side. Mom has commented many times in my life that I have my Dad's calves, I like them myself. I think I'd look disproportionate with stick legs and curves everywhere else. They aren't so wide that I can't buy boots but enough that a lot of styles won't do up. The ones I'm wearing at the moment barely do up with stretch denim tucked in. I know they are expensive, but much like bras, does it get more practical? When you wear them a few times a week every week for months, it's worth the extra pennies.

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    1. I totally agree that it's all about proportion. Fortunately, my calves go with the rest of my legs :-) I have thought many times that buying boots is like buying bras only, in this scenario, I'm on A cup end of the spectrum!

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  3. Those are perfection!
    I'm usually able to fit boots without much problem, although I've found that since upping my running mileage so much, the calf fit can sometimes be a bit tighter.

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    1. Thank you!! I really do love them.

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  4. Yes I like your boots very much.
    I managed to find chocolate brown totally plain high boots that are comfortable just the other week: they are the most expensive boots/ shoes that I have ever bought!
    Here in the UK the largest calf size in regular boots is 13.5" so you would do better here. I was surprised to fit into normals sized ones (but very grateful too). For this reason it is some years since I had bought boots.

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    1. It's funny how the simplest design can cost, yes? Interesting to learn about calf sizing in UK. Between this and the lingerie options, I'm wasting my time in North America! :-)

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  5. I've been searching high and low for a set of snow boots that are knee high and sexy like the ones I used to have from the 80's. (They were mom's, from Wal-Mart, and I wore them out.) I haven't really seen any that strike my fancy for less than $200, and that's way over my budget, so I guess I'll be wearing my lace-ups and hoping we don't get more than 3" of snow at any given time. But I seriously covet the boots by a Canadian company called Santana or Satanta or something.

    As another proud owner of 13.5" calves I too have trouble finding boots that fit snugly. And I've never seen an option for narrower boots, only "normal" and "wide". I think your boots are pretty cute, I don't love the color, but I'm very much a black shoes person, so just ignore me on that. :-)

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    1. It's Santana - I haven't tried the brand but I know it's popular. They should have narrow calf options! Why don't they??

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  6. I've been boot shopping this week and you done good!

    When I started I was looking for a low heel rider style in leather. Definately not winter friendly in NY nor warm! But it was what I wanted, damn it! After extensive online and in person shopping I was completely unable to find anything in my price range unless it was plastic/man made. And even some of the plastic was out of my price range!

    So I changed direction and went for practical, but cute. While I would have preferred something that was a bit higher on the leg I ended up w/fur lined leather that hits about mid calf with what they are calling a moccasin sole. I wear pants all winter anyway and I will be able to tuck pants into them and still have it look good.

    Next year if the low heeled riders style boots are still "in" I'll get them earlier in the fall. I love the look with pants tucked into them.

    Hi, my name is Debbie and I'm a shoeaholic! At one point in my life I had nearly 100 pairs of shoes, honest to god!

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    1. I have boots that hit mid calf and I really like them (they're not sleek, but shearling, still it's a nice line IMO). OK, I am not a shoeaholic! (I'm a bra-aholic :-))

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  7. Ooh they look lovely.
    I have the opposite problem. My calves have gotten bigger and now I can barely shove them into my boots. Which I never really wear..lol. I'd love a pair which worked better for me!

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    1. It must be all that walking you're doing due to improved health! I hope so :-)

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  8. Hmm, fascinating! I've usually considered my calves a bit on the generous side, but they're only 1/2" wider than yours. You're also making me miss my favourite (only) pair of slouchy boots---Black faux suede wedges. You're right, they were absolutely perfect. Though my red Docs are pretty awesome. I love boots so much... And if you have the cash, absolutely shell out whatever is necessary. ;)

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    1. OK, I'm sure I did that measuring properly, but a few peeps with calves they don't consider slim, have told me that they have an almost similar measurement. One of 2 things must be happening - cuz I assure you, my calves are not just skinny in my own mind! - I mismeasured OR calves really are more or less all the same dimension give or take an inch, which makes a big diff. Also, I measured the one "meaty" part. Most of my calf is much narrower which tends to make it look stupid in a knee boot.

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  9. I'm in the middle of a Bootspree - I returned some Frye's to Nordstrom with tags on - over two years old - and have bought one pair to replace them - and am seeking another pair. I didn't think I would jump on the Pirate Boot bandwagon - but here I am.

    Love love your selection of boots!

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    1. I can't believe that Nordstrom took them back! And hey, pirate has its benefits :-)

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  10. P.S. I have slim calves and it's always an issue too.

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  11. I've been reading your blog with fascination over the bra advice (though we're, ahem, at opposite ends of the fitting spectrum), but ill-fitting shoes is where I must de-lurk! These are intensely beautiful boots, and I have full shoe-fitting sympathy. On top of feet-fitting quirks (high arches, narrow heels), I do a lot of dancing and try very hard to avoid shoes which have no foot support.

    As for calf problems, I've been okay with boots, but why - why! - are all knee-high socks made as if to assume the purchaser's calf is the same size around as their ankle? :(

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    1. Thanks for delurking Caroline! Thanks for your positive words about my new boots. I'm pretty thrilled with them :-)

      I don't know about knee socks cuz I so rarely wear them. Every time I do they totally fall down.

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  12. Swoon...these boots are gorgeous. I always spend as much as I can afford on boots and have them re-heeled and soled every winter. I have two pairs at the moment and both are in their 6th winter. I paid about £150 for one pair £175 for the other. Money well spent, I say.
    I have skinny calves too and whilst I love the fact that I can wear an ankle strap on a shoe, buying boots that don't flap is a nightmare. Normally I can fit one of the children between my leg and the leather!

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    1. Very smart thing to do. If you take care of your boots (and they're of quality to begin with) they will last... What is it with the calf width?? At least as many people as have thick calves must have thin ones.

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  13. I am also on the other end of the calf spectrum and my left calf is more than 1 inch larger than my right calf -- an additional major pain.

    Your new boots are lovely and thank you for the Brown's link! I found the exact style of short dress boots I've been looking for! And only $5 shipping!

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    1. That's terrific - that's my kind of shipping charge :-) I can imagine you have lots of challenges with the knee boots given the difference in calf circumference. Do you have knee boots altered?

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  14. Hello! Thank you veyr much for the post. Could you, please, give more information on sizing? I know they run in EUR sizes, what is there equivalent in US sizing?

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  15. I really can't say Anastasiya, I bought them a year ago and I simply asked for my regular size 8.5. Not sure what size they brought me. I would say they fit slimmer than US boots, but not smaller, if that makes any sense.

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