Revisited – Duo Narrow Width Calf Fit Boots

Cardigan – LOFT, size petite xxs
Top – Ann Taylor, size petite xxs
Jeans – Paige Blue Heights Skinny, size 23 (hemmed)
BootsDuo Boots Latina, size 35, 30 cm calf

I’ve been getting some questions about these, so it was time to revisit my pair of Duo Boots.

Duo Boots makes calf width boots, which means you can choose your boot, choose your shoe size, and then choose your calf width. This is great for ladies who have a hard time finding boots that are either narrow enough, or wide enough for their calves.

I measured my calves to be 11 inches around, so you can bet my scrawny calves look ridiculous rolling around in standard width boots. I really wanted a pair of knee-high boots, and while Duo was having a sale last year, I finally took the plunge and gave them a shot.

I ordered a boot with a shorter shaft length, since I’m only 4’11″, my knee to foot measurement is shorter than standard sizes. I ordered the smallest calf size available, 30 cm, which comes out to a little less than 12 inches. I was worried because there was still a 1 inch difference between my calf measurement and the boot calf measurement. I also required a full side zip, for ease of jean tucking.

So…after a year of owning them…I’ve only worn them once!

Fit - The 30 cm fits snugly against my calf when worn with skinny jeans. When bare legged, there’s a little bit of room, but it’s much better than any other high boot I’ve ever tried on. These boots are exactly what they are advertised as…calf fit boots. I’m happy with that aspect. It was also a good idea to order a shorter shaft boot, as these come up to just below my knee. Any higher and they would dig into the back of my knee when I walk.

Tip: The boot shaft length depends on the shoe and calf size. After choosing shoe size and calf width on the product page, boot length will be calculated at the bottom of the page. Make sure this measurement will fit your leg.

Quality - The leather is soft to the touch, and the entire boot is lined with a bright pink fabric lining. There is a leather covered elastic piece at the back of the calf for stretch, and a full side zipper. The zipper tag is a little annoying, as it can be noisy as it slaps against the boot when in motion. The one time I did wear them, they were quite comfortable. The heel is sturdy, and the bottom is textured to keep you from slipping and sliding on slick floors.

Style - This is where I’m not really happy. I kept these because, at the time, I was just so excited that these boots actually fit my calves! But, the fact I’ve only worn them once is testimony to how I really feel. I don’t like how the soft leather wrinkles and bunches, and I dislike how the ankle looks baggy. I also just don’t feel like these flatter my legs. I’m not sure if this is because my scrawny legs will just never look good in fitted boots (I hate the look of my legs in those spandexy leather boots too), or if it just means I need a more structured boot.

Cost - Duo Boots is located in the UK, and ship internationally. While the price of their boots is not outrageous, shipping costs can hurt the pocket book a little bit, especially if you decide to return them.  The customer bears the responsibility of return shipping, and with shipping being about $20 both ways, it would be a loss of around $40 if you order and decide to send them back.

Would I order from Duo again?

Probably not. At this point, I’m a little disappointed with how slim fitting boots look on me, so I think I’m going to hold off on looking for knee high boots for a bit.

However, if you like the slouchy, soft leather look, and are in need of narrow calf boots, then Duo is definitely a good bet. But try and catch them on sale if you’re in the US to off-set shipping costs. Also be sure to read through the customer reviews of any pair of boots you’re interested in. I don’t remember this feature when I ordered a year ago, but after reading through the reviews just now, I see a lot of reviews mentioned my boots are baggy in the ankle and the leather wrinkles. Doh!

Has anyone else ordered from Duo Boots? What was your experience?

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33 Comments

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Marie Pilgrim

    Honestly? I think those boots look amazing on you. And I think you look amazing in those boots. The fit with your skinnies tucked in looks to be perfect and I think the slouching at the ankle is just way too cool.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Rinny

    Although there is a little bit of slouching around the ankles, I think that the boots still look really good on you. It's so hard finding narrow knee length boots, most of the circumferences measure 14" around, so there's a lot of gapping. I love the idea of custom boots, but Duo is a bit out of my price range so I guess I'll just have to stick with dept. store finds for now >.<

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Really Petite

    Last year I went on a major hunt for the perfect boots but just never found them. For some reason, the ankles on boots always slouch which I don't like- what is up with that?

    I like these boots a lot for the fact that the calves and shaft are perfect!!! And the color looks really nice…how much did you pay for them?

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    AubreyOhDang!

    Ah, the slouch is not attractive, and I can see why you haven't made much use out of them. but what is catching my eyes (mb b/c of the light) is the leather is shiny. If one is trying to hide the fact that the ankle is slouchy, the leather should be more matte. instead, I feel it draws attention every angle caused by the slouch. Hm…If these are the only pair of fitted boots you have, I'd say wear them more since you already own them. You could always wear jeans over them. Or another option is to wear leg warmers over them (but dear god, I dread this look<<<then why am I recommending it? Ignore me.).

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Russian Chic

    May I ask what is the ankle measurement of these boots? Were there any other charges (taxes & dues) apart from the boots price and shipping fee?

    These boots look comfy and lengthen legs. Love the rich deep brown color.
    Perhaps they could be balanced out by a heavier garment like a winter coat/jacker or a chic fur vest…

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Anonymous

    Please excuse me if my question is inappropriate. What bra are you wearing? Your "girls" look spectacular and uplifted=your torso looks longer= you look taller. Thank you.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Jamie

    This happens to me with boots too. My calf circumference is actually TEN inches! So I have NEVER in my entire life had boots that fit my twig legs. I do have one size 4.5 boot from Naturalizer that is mid-calf, and what I do is I wear tights, then a pair of socks, then wool leg warmers on top, and this makes my leg fill in the boot, and also prevents that slouchiness and wrinkling around the ankles. This is my trick- legwarmers… that way the boot is not too tight around your actual feet.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Suman

    Ah, the slouch is not attractive.

    I have seen these amazing Cole Hann boots @ Nordstrom Rack for $250(on sale). They fit amazingly well for my really thin claf but too high for my boots budget and hence I don't own them :(.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Anonymous

    I returned my boots from Oregon, and it cost me closer to $60 to return them. I love the company, but that made my pair an $80 dollar experience. That was the cheapest shipping available for the size of the shoe box.

    If you order again I might try one size smaller. They look a little big still. Boots look the best when they're snug, and the leather will give a little when it stretches.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Sandy

    I own my pair of DuoBoots, which I had ordered when fall arrived. I ordered the Beech in black I absolutely LOVE them! Mainly because the calves fit me! I wear a 32cm calf. It looks great w/ leggings and tights, but it also stretches to accomodate jeans. The shoe was a bit big, and I did not want to pay the return fees, so I just use insoles and thick socks. In the future, I would defnitely get a smaller size shoe.

    Have you tried emailing a customer representive about sizing? Like clothing, I believe that not all boots fit the same. You might have to size up or down depending on the boot. If you give your measurements to a representative, they can help you figure out which boots would be a better fit for you.

    P.S. I think the boots look fine. Not fantasic, but wearable. In my humble opinion, I think they might look better with another pair of jeans (like Gap's skinny jeggings) or a pair of very thick tights (what about your grey ones?). The combined slouchiness of both your jeans and boots makes it a bit unflattering.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Angie

    they look pretty good on you and seem to fit your calves fine. i am in great need of a pair of thigh high boots that actually stays up. all mine fall straight back down :(

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    @Marie Pilgrim – Thanks Marie! I guess I've always liked that stiff, equestrian style boot over the slouchy style boot. That's probably why I'm not too keen on this style. Just personal preference I guess.

    @Rinny – Yeah, Duo Boots aren't cheap, but they're not crazy expensive either. If caught on sale, it's not too bad, but the shipping from the UK can make it costly. Good luck finding boots! It's hard!

    @Really Petite – I can't recall what the currency exchange rate was at the time (I bought these in Feb. 2009) but they were £90 + £20 shipping. I think it came out to somewhere around $150.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    @AubreyOhDang! – Yup, the camera sure did pick up on the shine and light reflections on these boots, making them look even slouchier! Maybe they'll look better with tights…a little more hipster maybe?

    @Anonymous – LOL. I'm glad they looked good! I'm wearing just a little Calvin Klein t-shirt bra, size 30C:
    http://www.zappos.com/calvin-klein-underwear-seductive-comfort-customized-lift-bra-black

    @Jamie – Hmmm…maybe I should try more layers. I'm wearing skinny jeans under boot socks in these picks, but maybe a thicker sock, like a leg warmer will help the wrinkling. Thanks for the tip! Ugh, 10 inches is tough! I'm 11 and these barely fit, so I can image 10 inches is a nightmare. =P

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    @Suman – Ohhh…Cole Haan boots are beautiful! I've considered buying a pair and just paying to get them altered to fit my calves better.

    @Anonymous – Wow! $60 to return? $80 for shipping is hard to swallow. I would not have been happy about that. Unfortunately, these boots are the smallest shoe and calf width size available from Duo Boots at this time, so I can't size down any more than I already have.

    @Sandy – I'm so glad you love your Duo Boots! I wish I had a similar experience. If I ever order from Duo again, I'll definitely be in contact with customer service, especially to ask about leather stiffness. I do want to try them with tights, hopefully they'll look better! Tighter pants might work too. These are my skinniest jeans, so it's all I have at the moment. =P

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    @Russian Chic – The ankle measures about 11 inches around the outside of the boot. There were no other charges, just the price of the boots and shipping costs from the UK.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Russian Chic

    No Duo boots for me due to roomy ankle. Thank you.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    PetiteAsianGirl

    Thank you for doing this thorough review. I am not loving it due to the roomy ankles and the height…looks almost painful even though it's not exactly at the back of your knee yet. And now that Aubrey pointed out the shine my eye is drawn to that too.

    The risk and cost of overseas return shipping is the real sinker. Have you considered selling these on the AN forum? I think someone with potentially thicker ankles and longer calves may fare better with them : )

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    kileen

    i think these boots look great on you but i agree that they are a tiny bit too shiny for my taste. i don't notice the bagginess too much but they might stretch out a bit more with wear. i do like how narrow the calf area is though and they are a good option for those who have a hard time finding boots that fit.

    thanks for the great review!

    cuteandlittle.com

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    PetiteXXS

    Did I ever mention that googling Duo boots was how I originally found your blog? And the rest, as they say, was history :P

    I strongly considered getting Duo boots this winter, but never found any sales or coupons and didn't really have time to do the thorough research I'd need to for such a costly trial buy. I do think that these boots aren't flattering your slim calves and ankles, although they do look pretty. I actually think that maybe a suede boot might look good on you because the texture will add more "weight" to your calves. And my LOFT OTK boot from the last PFC actually has sort of a shaped shaft, making for a shapely leg silhouette even though I don't quite fill it out :P

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Canadianpetite

    It does look too slouchy for your style. Thanks for the review. I think Jean is right, maybe someone reading the forum might take them off your hands.

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Michelle

    If you have only worn them once…definitely not something that you can force yourself to like.

    I do not know how I feel about them. I think they look ok. I think what bothers me more than the slouch is the shine…or maybe a combo of both. Can't make up my mind. :p

    I wonder how they would look with tights and a mini skirt?

  • Reply December 16, 2010

    Elizabeth

    I always have problems with ill-fitting boots! My solution for the slouching? Leg warmers. I wear them underneath my boots, and bunch the fabric around my ankles which fills out the boots and prevents slouching. Not only does it look good from the outside, but it gives my feet more stability inside high-heeled boots.

  • Reply December 16, 2010

    Tamara

    Thank you for your review of Duo boots – as a result of your post, I gave great consideration to ordering a pair this winter, but ultimately decided the styles just didn't excite me enough to take the risk of an international order that might have to be returned. The only knee- high boots I own are a stetch suede by Robert Clergerie – snagged at greatly reduced price on Zappos 4 years ago. Last night I found a similar stretch style by Peter Kaiser on Endless and purchased – if they work out I'll let you know!

  • Reply December 16, 2010

    curls-and-pearls

    I don't think they look bad, but I don't think they look AMAZING either. I agree about the shine comment that's what I first noticed too! I thought that perhaps it was the lovely weather you have that you hadn't worn them in a year! But if you don't love them then I'm sure they could go to a better home :)

  • Reply December 18, 2010

    Cher

    I think the boots look fine. Not great, but not amazing either. I think a little slouch is basically a given for smaller ankles, but those boots have a lot more slouch than I think I would like. For $40-80 shipping/return, I think I'd rather find a great pair of boots that I love and willing to invest in and have a cobbler take them in at the calf. At least for the most part I'd know what I'm getting.

  • Reply December 23, 2010

    Nukem

    I have ordered two sets of boots from Duo in the past and returned both pairs. While they fit my calf, they were too baggy in the ankles = not attractive. Also one pair was too high in the shaft and cut into my knee when I tried to bend my legs. I have since bought some Ann Taylor high heel boots that I really like (though I think they will be too big on you still).

  • Reply December 29, 2010

    Anonymous

    try going to an equestian shop that sells riding boots. they get expensive, but come in many shaft widths and heights. also, they often offer rubber or pvc riding boots like aigle, and those come in many different sizes too, spireling straight down into children's sizes, which may be an option for you. peruse equestrian boot offerings online and observe the acompanying size charts, i think you might find something worth springing for, but don't forget trying your local equestrian shop for a try of their offerings in person.

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Nukem

    I have ordered two sets of boots from Duo in the past and returned both pairs. While they fit my calf, they were too baggy in the ankles = not attractive. Also one pair was too high in the shaft and cut into my knee when I tried to bend my legs. I have since bought some Ann Taylor high heel boots that I really like (though I think they will be too big on you still).

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Cher

    I think the boots look fine. Not great, but not amazing either. I think a little slouch is basically a given for smaller ankles, but those boots have a lot more slouch than I think I would like. For $40-80 shipping/return, I think I'd rather find a great pair of boots that I love and willing to invest in and have a cobbler take them in at the calf. At least for the most part I'd know what I'm getting.

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    PetiteXXS

    Did I ever mention that googling Duo boots was how I originally found your blog? And the rest, as they say, was history :P

    I strongly considered getting Duo boots this winter, but never found any sales or coupons and didn't really have time to do the thorough research I'd need to for such a costly trial buy. I do think that these boots aren't flattering your slim calves and ankles, although they do look pretty. I actually think that maybe a suede boot might look good on you because the texture will add more "weight" to your calves. And my LOFT OTK boot from the last PFC actually has sort of a shaped shaft, making for a shapely leg silhouette even though I don't quite fill it out :P

  • Reply July 31, 2013

    Emily Cobena

    That is amazingly!! Id love to give those to my daughter!! She has large calves and its very hard to find boots for Super Wide calf boots for her.

  • Reply November 26, 2013

    Cindy

    You are my new hero, what a great idea! I have scrawny legs (11″ calf circumference) and have never been able to own a beautiful pair of black knee highs to wear with winter dresses. Even the thinnest calf still has that extra room that makes them look funny. I’m heading back to the store armed with leg warmers, I think you’ve just solved my problem. Bless you!
    (Yes, I’m excited!!)

  • Reply November 27, 2013

    Karen P

    Please AVOID DUO BOOTS – I Have to say I have the most horrendous experience with DUO Boots. Mine did not even last 1 day before the leather peeled of the heels and they wrinkled around the ankles to look like old boots. They tried to charge me for new heels, then after many emails offered to fix the heels. 5 weeks later they tell me they cannot fix them. They are offering me a replacement pair but after all this I would never ever trust the quality. They are completely refusing to refund. They say it is not a manufacturing fault and that my boots were not substandard but their normal quality. This tells me that all their boots are substandard to please do not recommend people to buy them. I have photos and proof including an email where they tell me I need to be extra careful when wearing their boots and also that the fault was due to lack of maintenance when they have proof I only had them 1 day.
    Please do not let other people fall for this as I am now of pocket £185

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