Narrow feet, skinny calves. For as long as I can remember, finding well-fitting footwear has been problematic. Sigh.
I have (distant) memories of the twice yearly trek to a children’s shoe store in west Edmonton, getting fitted for the only shoes seemingly available for narrow feet. They were sensible black velvet mary-janes, with a sweet gold clasp. Always the same, season after season, year after year. I’m sure they were cute, but because they were my ONLY choice, I wasn’t a fan. My mom and the shop owner tried their best, but I always wound up walking out of the store with those cursed velvet mary-janes. Again and again. Truthfully, I’m not ungrateful, because I now have a penchant for properly fitting footwear, developed from years of proper fittings and a deep understanding that not every shoe fits every kid (or woman!). But just once, I would have liked the cool-kid shoes growing up. I wanted a variety of shoe styles for narrow feet.
Fast forward twenty years (or 30, but who’s counting!?) and you have the same little girl-turned-woman struggling to find boots for skinny calves. Accommodating these scrawny legs may have perhaps been possible had I been petite all over, but I’m almost 5’10 with size 9.5 feet. Shoe manufacturers assume I’ll have bigger-than-average sized calves to go with the rest of my bigger-than-average-sized measurements. I’ve just gotten used to my boots looking a little like galoshes (see “before” photo below), or spending extraordinary amounts of money on boots and trips to the cobbler. Flats would gape and splay out around my arches and my heels slipped out of shoes. In my heart, I knew this wasn’t the way shoes were meant to fit, but I felt there was precious little choice in the matter.
And frankly, it’s not for lack of trying to get bigger legs and calves – I’m an avid mid-distance runner, I’ve taken up cycling in the hopes I’ll get fabulously strong (bigger!) legs; I have a very active lifestyle… but thus far, it’s all been for naught. My wee legs just stay lean, and I’m learning to be okay with that.
Enter Poppy Barley. Finally, tall boots for skinny calves. My Poppy Barley boots (pictured above in discontinued style, The Classic Riding Boot) fit snugly on both the calf and the foot, and my PB flats don’t slip, they don’t gape. My heels stay ensconced in the shoes, step after gorgeous step. After measuring myself, I spent weeks (im!)patiently waiting for my first pair of boots to arrive and when I zipped them up and they fit perfectly, I nearly wept with joy. I think I emailed Breanne within the hour gushing over my Best Purchase Ever. I was measured for flats at the spring flats launch party, and was similarly amazed with the results. For the first time ever, I have footwear that fits – skinny calves and heels, long legs and narrow feet. The mismatched equation still adds up perfectly when each shoe and boot is custom-made.
I’m a fan for life and a proud #PBAmbassador. Heel clicks,