Review: J.Crew Wide-Calf Harper Leather Boots

Nordstrom sweater (similar), Gap skirt, SPANX tights, Nordstrom belt (similar), J.Crew Harper boots (ordered up to a 9.5)

Traveling so much for work means that my wardrobe has very little consistency. I spend the work week in different cities around the country and my weekends in Charlotte, and as such have a closet that looks more like a mismatch of items than anything cohesive or weather appropriate. But if there was one item that transitions well from the chilly (albeit dry) weather of North Carolina to the freezing Winters of the Northeast and beyond, it is the riding boot. Boasting calves with a nearly 17″ circumference  finding a pair of boots that fit my feet, narrow ankles and wide calves has proven nearly impossible, until now.

J.Crew is one of the few retailers that sells wide-calf boots. I have tried a number of other pairs over the years and never found them very comfortable or of particularly great quality. During their last 25% off sale I decided to try again with these gorgeous side-zip Harpers, and couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

First and foremost, the leather is of amazing quality. I can see them lasting for years and being incredibly supple and molded to my foot shape over time. The sole is 100% leather and the gold zipper detailing and snap closure above are also of top quality.

The boots have a 17.5″ calf circumference leaving just about a 3/4 of an inch of extra room for me at the top. This doesn’t bother me at all as I have never liked the look of boots that were so tight they appeared painted on. The leather of these is stiff enough that they stay up on my calf regardless of the extra space. The toes are a beautiful almond shape and very comfortable for all day wear. If leather isn’t your thing, the boots also come in a gorgeous suede that also looks so supple and comfortable. One final note, I did size up from my normal 9 at J.Crew to a 9.5. I wanted a bit of extra room for thicker socks, but upon receipt have found that these boots do run slightly small. While i can tell that the size 10’s would be much too big, the 9.5 leaves just a smidgen of extra room for thick socks.

In other, completely random news: I purchased my first clip-less curling iron and loooove the result. I have naturally very frizzy, curly, and unruly hair and on days when I don’t want to blow dry or straighten it into place, this iron makes my natural waves bouncy and frizz-free. I highly recommend the iron I purchased and particularly love the quickness with which I achieved this look.

Have you found any wide-calf boots that you’re loving?

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  • Mel

    Love these boots on you! I debated about the outside zipper, but your review inspired me to pull the trigger on my own Harper purchase in dark cognac. Now at $143.99 (after the 40% off discount), I couldn’t resist.

    • lhaber

      Congrats on the purchase Mel! I’m glad my review helped. So jealous you got them so on sale. I loooove my black Harpers. Enjoy yours!

  • Apple

    Thanks, very helpful review.

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  • Sophia

    J Crew’s extended calf sizing is so schizophrenic. I think it was Fall 2011 that the Britten boots were available, they fit me well but the Miller boots from the same season were nearly 1″ smaller circumference and I couldn’t even zip them up! From the Fall 2013 collection I fell in love with the Parker boots but they are definitely on the small side for extended calf, almost as bad as the Millers, and the Parkers have the added deficit of being pull-on instead of having a zipper. 🙁 So it’s definitely best to try on J Crew boots in the store or order the boots when they can still be returned. Right now the Parkers are final sale, J Crew probably got tired of so many wide calf ladies returning these boots. They’re so beautiful, it pained me to return the ones I ordered!

    Great outfit, Lauren. You have a fab figure! I’m going to check out your other posts.

    • lhaber

      ah i hadn’t realized that the sizing was so off. this was my one and only try with jcrew boots. thanks for commenting!

  • Such a sweet outfit! Perfect!

  • jane

    Great choice of colours and lovely outfit

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