Shoes-day: Frye Shirley Artisan Tall Boot

“Why are there boots in the freezer?” That’s the question Husband asked me last week.

“Because I have large calves.” was my answer.

Husband was baffled, which is always amusing to me.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, that I have large calves, and it’s so very hard to find boots that fit. Pull-on styles are almost always out of the question, as are cheap, non-leather boots, over-the-knee boots and even boots with a nylon/elastic back (think Stuart Weitzman 50/50). J Crew has extended-calf options and I have a pair from a few years ago in black. Corso Como is another great brand that works and I have a pair in a light brown. And that’s it…two pairs of boots.

I tend to buy booties because of the calf issue. But this year, I wanted a pair of dark brown distressed boots. I’ve been looking for a few months and have tried on several different styles all over the place, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Steve Madden, etc. I finally found a few at Zappos that looked like they might accommodate my calves.

~ Frye Shirley Artisan Tall Boot, Dark Brown Washed Vintage, size 7 1/2 ~

I sized up a half size, hoping to either wear thicker sock or at least to give me just a little more room in the calf area. These are a pull-on boot with no zipper or buckles. I struggled a little to get my foot past the heel but once it was in the boot was fine. I also had to use the side tabs to help get the boot on.

Once they were on, the calves were not tight or uncomfortable at all but there was no room for anything thicker than a really thin sock. I decided to try stretch that area by freezing the boots. Have you ever done that? Stretched your shoes by putting them in the freezer? It’s the quickest and cheapest way to stretch shoes. I’ve done it a few times and can definitely say that it works.

Basically, you take a freezer bag, fill it halfway with water, squeeze out as much air as possible and put it in your shoe. Most people need to stretch the toe of the shoe or that general area. Since I needed to stretch the calf of the boot this time I used binder clips to keep the bag at the top of the boot.

I love the craftsmanship of Frye shoes. I have a few pairs of boots and a pair of Mary Janes I don’t wear but just can’t seem to let go of.

The detail at the back reminds me of boots Anthropologie offers. In fact, these are offered on their site in another color, Whiskey. That color is lighter than these and were my second pick. They also come in Black and Grey. 

I’ll be using those boot straps quite a bit, at least until these stretch out a little more.

Are you a fan of Frye? Have you ever stretched your shoes using water and and the freezer? 

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  1. December 2, 2014 / 12:52 pm

    Those boots are gorgeous!!!!

    • December 4, 2014 / 6:29 pm

      LBelle – I love them! They are my new favorites though I can only wear them with skirts and dresses. I haven't had a chance to see if leggings will work yet.

  2. December 2, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    you are so funny, but I shall remember this trick

    • December 4, 2014 / 6:30 pm

      Dianna – It was really easy and didn't take too long either.

  3. December 2, 2014 / 9:13 pm

    These boots look great and fit your calves very well. I actually have the opposite problem as you do but it's just as time-consuming to find a pair of boots that fit like they should.
    I've never tried the frozen water trick to stretch shoes but not that long ago I tried the blow dryer and sock trick to stretch some too tight shoes and it totally worked. Take a blow dryer and heat up the area you want to stretch for about two minutes then wear the shoes with thick socks for about 20 minutes. Saved me from getting rid of a pair of shoes that I really loved.

    • December 4, 2014 / 6:31 pm

      FshnOnMyMind – I've heard of the blow dryer/sock trick too. There are some really cute boots out there but I just can't wear them.

  4. December 4, 2014 / 5:09 pm

    I love that you did this. I've seen it online and been very, very skeptical. You should also try the shoe stretching spray. What I like about that is you wear the shoes/boots after you spray the interior and the shoe shapes to your foot/body while you're wearing them for the day. As far as getting them on, I'll assume you've worn Western boots at some point….but pushing thru the heel, pushing it towards the bottom of the boot helps me with the struggle. Great boots!

    • December 4, 2014 / 6:33 pm

      Gigi – I meant to order the shoe stretch spray with these I just forgot so I had to resort to this method.

      I remember my brother and I helping my dad take off his combat boots every day when he came home from work. We'd pull and pull and pull at the heel and fall backwards and laugh. The first time I pulled them off I was reminded of that. They seem to slip off pretty easy once they are past my calves.