Knee-High Boots for Narrow Calves: Duo Boots

The search for high boots that fit thin calves is a tough one. I’ve tried the “stretchy” boot, like the ones offered by Stuart Weitzman, and I just don’t like the look of them. I think they look cheap…despite the high price tags. What I really wanted was a nice solid leather knee-high boot, with a nice heel, for that equestrian look, but with calves measuring about 11 inches around…my search has been ongoing for years.

  I had heard of Duo Boots before, the store in the United Kingdom that specializes in calf fit boots, but I was too scared to actually purchase a pair. They have a range of calf sizes, from wide to narrow, but I was worried about the measurements. The smallest calf circumference available at Duo is 30cm, which comes in at just under 12 inches…would this still be too big for my scrawny legs? I was also terrified of the shipping charges to the U.S. from the U.K. What if I didn’t like them and wanted to send them back? Returning them would cost me about $60 in shipping charges (too and from the U.K.)! Paying $60 just to try something on? Yikes!

So, Duo was having a sale, and I fell for it. I found these boots in size 35 with a 30cm calf, a nice sturdy 3 inch heel, side zipper, and a relatively shorter shaft height of about 14 inches (remember…petite legs need a shorter “tall” boot shaft). So, after pacing around the house, busting out my measuring tape a few times, and weighing the costs, I gave in to temptation and decided to give them a try…shipping charges be damned!

They arrived, and here they are…tah dah!

Duo “Latina” boots, Banana Republic camisole, Abercrombie & Fitch sweater, Junior’s Dept. jeans (yuck!)

I know, I know…poor choice of jean, right? Well, I’m on the hunt for the perfect pair of skinny jeans to wear with my new boots, and my last attempt wasn’t quite right. But let’s focus on the boots here. 

 The 30cm width is PERFECT! I can wear them with or without jeans, and my little calves don’t look like a pair of toothpicks rattling around in them. They actually FIT, as in they hug my calves! I am very impressed! 

The leather quality looks good so far, but I won’t really know until I rough them up a bit. The sole is a textured rubber, so you won’t slip and slide on slick floors, and the inside of the boot is lined with a soft fuzzy fabric (which happens to be bright pink, if that sways anyone). The boots I bought have a full side zipper, which makes stuffing jeans into them much easier. 

 As for the shipping experience, it was great! My boots were shipped the day after I made the order, and I received them in a little over a week! Not bad for coming all way from the U.K. I’ve had items shipped in state take longer than that! The items are sent by Royal Post, and need to be signed for by the recipient. I wasn’t home when my package came and picked them up at the post office the next day. I had to show my ID, sign for it, and hand write my address before they let me run off with my package, so be prepared. 

Now that I know the 30cm width is narrow enough, I won’t be so afraid to cough up the shipping charges the next time I see something I like on their website. Duo makes down to a size 35, and 30cm calf width, so if that sounds like you, take a look!

Join the Conversation


  1. says: kajal

    I have been reading your blog for the past couple of months now and I have to say, it has helped me soo much! I used to own 1 shirt in 10 different colors, and I wore that everyday! Your blog has helped me find brands that fit, and I have even found some of my own! I wanted to let you know that Sky brand tops at saks fifth avenue are the perfect fit for petite frames. I am 5 ft and 87 lbs and these tops fit me without any need for alterations. Try them out and let me know what you think!

  2. says: Alterations Needed

    Hi Kajal!

    I’m glad you’ve found my blog helpful! Thanks for the kind words! I will definitely look for Sky. Thanks for the tip.

  3. says: Knee High Boots

    These boots look great. I’ve got fairly small calves and can’t really find anything in the shops. Can i order these online?

  4. says: Liane

    hi there,

    i’m similarly height and weight challenged, and seriously contemplating splurging on some duo boots as well despite the shipping costs. did your boots fit around the ankle? that’s another problem area for me. this will be my first pair of boots, and i can’t decide if i should get them in black or brown… your thoughts? :)

  5. says: Alterations Needed

    Hi Liane!

    I have tiny ankles as well, and I’d say the fit in the ankle is about average. I’ve tried boots where the ankles were huge, and I’ve also tried boots where the ankle was snug. The Duo boots are somewhere in the middle. I’d rather have them fit snugger, but I can live with the fit given the calf is so great.

    As for color, the brown is a very dark brown, which is sometimes harder to match with other neutrals like black or navy. I would have preferred a more “chestnut” brown personally. I guess it all depends on what colors are in your wardrobe, but I would get black b/c it’s so much easier to wear with other colors.

  6. says: Anonymous

    Hello, I just found your blog recently, and I am hooked! Love that you include the pics of before and after alterations! I am 5’3 and 92 lbs. with “stick figure legs” so it is near impossible to find knee-high boots that fit my calves (11.75″) until I found Seychelles About Face laceup stacked heels. Calf circum states 12.5″ although the laces can be tightened. Sorry for posting so long after original. Get these on sale now for next fall. Keep up the good work!

  7. says: Heather (Kiraling)

    Wow, I think I finally found someone that's actually around my size (normally)!. I'm 5'0" (or technically 4' 11 1/2"), 79-80 lbs, 10" calves. Have been petite all my life. :)

    I'm definitely going to have to look into DuoBoots.. I've always had the exact same dilemma, never have stopped looking for a "tall" kneehigh boot that doesn't swallow my toothpick legs.

  8. says: Tara K. Smith

    Hello there!
    It's truly refreshing to find other petites out there. (I am 100lbs and 5'3", but alas even some XXS and 00s are WAY to tight, or just too big!. But I just ordered my first DUO's as well and I can't wait to get them! (and although you don't fancy those jeans in that pic, the whole outfit looks good! honestly :-)
    I guess my biggest problem is pants, cause I have no hips whatsoever, LOL. Got any ideas for 32inch hips??

  9. says: Alterations Needed

    Hi Tara,
    Congrats on your first pair of Duo Boots…I hope they work out for you! Ahh…yes…swimming in a size xxs is frustrating. That's why I focus so much on alterations, because really, it's necessary for women as petite as us if we want to look well dressed.

    For pants, the best (smallest hip, waist and rise) fit I've found so far, with the best fabric content is Ann Taylor Modern fit pants. I still had to get them taken in, but it wasn't that bad. I would give them a shot and just get the hips taken in to fit. For jeans, Paige is my go to brand, but Ksubi had the smallest fit I've found so far.

  10. says: Anonymous

    I want to put in another plug for DUO. I am NOT petite (5'6") but have very skinny calves and big feet and have never found a pair of boots that fit. My DUO boots that just arrived (size 41, 32 cm calf) are perfect! They look great and are comfortable. You can talk to them to get help in measuring and choosing the right size, which turned out to be needed in my case. I recommend them highly – a great ordering experience.

  11. says: doc martens boots

    Thanks for the blog and I really like that blog. As for the shoes I agreed with the Tara and Congrats on your first pair of Duo Boots. I know another link where you can find a very good collection of shoes. If you want to know more about it then visit the link.

  12. says: Anonymous

    Anyone looking for a pair of Duo Bern boots (mid-calf, gaucho style) in brown leather? I just ordered a pair in size 38 (US 7.5), 33 cm calf.
    They are gorgeous, but too big for me. (The calf fit is true to size, but they run large in length and fit more like an 8.5.)They are basically new; I wore them only once but Duo is pretty strict about returns.

  13. says: lola

    my calf size is 13 inches, i still havent found boots that fit, i checked out duoboots, pretty expensive, where can i get boots that fit me, my budget is $100
    broke college student

  14. says: Donnie

    I'm in the same predicament Lola. I found a nice black pair at also last year but the brown was too dark. I went ahead and bought a pair of wanted pull on riding boots for under $100. They are too big but I am having them altered by a cobbler where I live. I'll let ya know how they come out.

  15. says: Phillipa333

    I ordered my Duo boots (knee high) as they were not in stock in store and they fit beautifully on the calf but the ankles are enormous and sag and crease, ………..I was disappointed as I thought it would be standard that if you have skinny legs your ankles are not going to be average!  I queried this with Duo and they said only the calf measurement varies in their boots.

  16. says: Girliepratt

    I just ordered my first pair as well. I like you have super thin legs. I was over joyed with the thought of FINALLY having tall boots. I am so disappointed. Yes, thin legs usually equals thin ankles. My boots were the laurel style. The 30cm calf fit perfectly, but the ankle area was the same as the calf…so, way to big in the ankles. Now,
    I have to pay to ship them back :(

  17. says: Ashley Tsim

    If your calves are too slim, and you are looking for an alteration, I would go to Leon’s Boot Alterations. I have the same problem when shopping for boots and they always do an excellent job in altering my boots to fit my calves just right. Their website is

    1. says: Karina

      Thank you for the post Ashley! They were actually right in my backyard and got my boots taken in. You are right, VERY professional service. So happy there is a service like this that exists. I ALWAYS had a problem with purchasing boots. I think I just found a solution for life.

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