How to Wear Mid-Calf Boots

Of all the boot styles out there, mid-calf silhouettes can be one of the most daunting to wear. The edge of the boot typically hits between the ankle and knee, making it hard to decipher exactly which dress lengths and jeans will complement the look.

To get to the bottom of this, we’ve drawn inspiration from chic celebrities and street-style stars on how to style the boots — plus rounded up some must-know tips for choosing the right fit and silhouette. Below, discover everything you need to know.

1. Choose boots that fit comfortably around the calves.

Boots that are too narrow in the calf will be uncomfortable to wear, while boots with lots of excess room can actually make your calves look bigger. The key to achieving the perfect fit is finding a pair that hugs your calves and ankles without it feeling constricting. To test this, try wedging your finger between your calf and the back of the boot. If your finger fits just right, the boots should be wearable (and not require much breaking in). You can also look for styles with zippers or elastic at the back for extra flexibility. If you’re into a more relaxed fit, try a slim cowboy boot.

Veronika Heilbrunner Street Style, Spring Summer 2017, Paris Fashion Week, France - 30 Sep 2016
Veronika Heilbrunner at Paris Fashion Week S/S 2017.
CREDIT: Dvora/Shutterstock
Forever 21 Western Mid-Calf Boots
Forever 21 Western mid-calf boots
CREDIT: Forever21

To buyForever 21 Western Mid-Calf Boots $14 (was $55).

2. Opt for a heeled pair to make your legs look longer.

To elongate your frame, try a heeled pair. The style looks amazing in practically any heel height, from a sexy stiletto a la Kim Kardashian to a modern kitten heel for greater walkability.

Kim Kardashian Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian out and about, London, Britain - 23 May 2016WEARING DOLCE & GABBANA SHOES BY BALMAIN
Kim Kardashian
CREDIT: Beretta/Sims/Shutterstock
Yeezy lace-up knit ankle boots (season 5).
Yeezy lace-up knit ankle boots (season 5).
CREDIT: MyTheresa

To buy: Yeezy lace-up knit ankle boots (season 5), $696 (was $995).


3. Pair them with a knee-length skirt.

While mid-calf boots work with many skirt lengths, we love the idea of pairing them with a knee-length skirt or dress — as this offers a svelte effect.

Street StyleStreet Style, Spring Summer 2017, Paris Fashion Week, France - 30 Sep 2016
Attendee at Paris Fashion Week S/S 2017.
CREDIT: Pixelformula/Sipa/REX/Shuttersto
Sam Edelman Calexa Sock Bootie
Sam Edelman Calexa sock bootie.
CREDIT: Sam Edelman

To buy: Sam Edelman Calexa Sock Bootie, $70 (was $140).

4. Or try a shorter skirt for a sassier look.

For a slightly less covered-up aesthetic, mid-calf boots also look stunning when paired with a miniskirt.

Aimee SongStreet Style, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 04 Jul 2016 WEARING DIOR
Aimee Song
CREDIT: Dvora/Shutterstock
Kendall & Kylie Calie Leather Boot
Kendall + Kylie Calie leather boot.
CREDIT: Nordstrom Rack

To buyKendall + Kylie Calie Leather Boot $90, (was $175).

5. Style with cropped jeans. 

Follow Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s lead by pairing your mid-calf boots with cropped jeans. For this look, it’s best if the hem of your pants hits the top of the boot to avoid awkward gaps.

Rosie Huntington-WhiteleyRosie Huntington-Whiteley out and about, New York, USA - 16 Sep 2016WEARING REFORMATION COAT SHOES AND JEANS BY VETEMENTS BAG BY TOM FORD BELT BY GUCCI
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley</p> <p>
CREDIT: Curtis Means/Ace Pictures/REX/Sh
Aldo Schuler
Aldo Schuler
CREDIT: Zappos

To buyAldo Schuler, $150.

6. Pair them with skinny jeans for a lengthening effect.

Similar to a heeled style, wearing mid-calf boots with form-fitting pants will help elongate your legs. Tuck a pair of skinny jeans or leather leggings into the style to create a streamlined effect.

Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid
CREDIT: Broadimage/Shutterstock
Sbicca Noelani
Sbicca Noelani
CREDIT: Zappos

To buySbicca Noelani, $63 (was $70).

All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.

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