I've never paid much attention to Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale in the past, so I hadn't realized that the sale is for next season's styles. Apparently I've been living under a rock all these years (!!) I was excited to see a few pairs of boots on the list, but was enamored with only one, the Tory Burch Nadine riding boot in black, size 6.5 (sold here), which bears a striking resemblance to last year's H&M boots that I coveted but couldn't find.
I couldn't wedge my foot into my normal size, so I went up half a size. Even then, I still have a bit of trouble putting my right foot in (which are slightly bigger than my left). After I zipped up the boots, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they fit pretty snugly around the calves without much of a gap. I do plan on wearing them most often with socks and jeans, so this was a nice fit.
ETA: Per Cher, here's a photo of these boots with bare legs. My calves are 12.5" in circumference.
modeling shots were taken in front of the mirror (sorry for the splotchy photos)
The shaft is tall, measuring 17 1/4" in height from the back (includes a 1 3/16" heel). On my 5'4" frame, the top of the boots reaches the bottom of my knees. To determine if these boots are too tall for me, I alternate between walking around and sitting down to see if the top of the shaft digs into the back of my knees. I can somewhat feel that loop of extra material (see image below --- is there a correct term?) against my legs when I'm sitting, but it's so slight that it's not bothersome.
again, please pardon the splotchiness on the leather above due to a mirror
The buckle detailing is my favorite part of the boots. I'm not sure how authentic the look really is, but to me, these extra touches add to the charm of riding boots. Without them, the boots would look like any ol' pair. The buckles aren't just for looks either because they're adjustable. Quite a bonus.
The boots are made of real leather on the outside and on the soles, though they aren't as shiny as depicted in the photos below. There is a faint leather smell but it should disappear with time. I like how the leather is stiff so the boots keep its shape. I do worry that the leather might soften up over time, especially around the ankles. Hopefully if it does, the ankles won't sag too much. A word of caution, creases and scratches are visible on this type of leather and can't be avoided. As I walked around at home, I already noticed some creasing near the front.
So far, I've only worn the boots for a short period of time, but they are pretty comfortable. I don't foresee much of a breaking-in period, if any. I would say they run about medium in width, but the narrow ankles and slim shaft might be a deal breaker for some. All in all, I was able to check off all the criteria on my list, so I'm really happy with these riding boots.
A quick summary of measurements taken from size 6.5:
- Heel height is 1 3/16"
- Shaft height (from back) is 17 1/4" (includes heel)
- Shaft height (from taller side) is 17 3/4" (includes heel)
- Shaft circumference at the widest part is ~14"
My Nadine riding boots are exclusive to Nordstrom, but I noticed that the Calista riding boots look almost exactly the same. Both retail for $495, so they may be worth a comparison if you're in the market for a pair. Or, if you're waiting for end-of-season sales, it's probably a good idea to keep eyes on both for a greater chance at snagging one in your size. For reference, I bought mine for $300.