Currently debating: made-to-order boots

I’ve been aware of the existence of customizable boots for a while, but now that fall/winter are coming (cue meme photo of Ned Stark) I’ve been searching again for boots that will actually fit me – which are surprisingly difficult to find. The problem is a lot of retailers don’t list the calf circumference of their boots, and I unfortunately don’t have access to a ton of department stores to try things on. So naturally I’ve turned to the internet, and two made-to-order brands turned up that seem to meet my fairly extensive list of requirements:

  • Genuine leather
  • Black
  • Not-gold hardware (silver/black/pewter is fine)
  • Sturdy heel between 2.5 and 3.5 inches
  • Almond or pointed toe
  • 14-15in shaft height
  • Wide enough to accomodate 15.75in calves plus jeans and boot socks
  • Back or inner zip, no pull-ons

First Contender – Duo Boots Elsa Boot

Duo Boots ElsaPros:

  • A large number of styles to choose from
  • Handmade
  • Free shipping to the US on full-price items over $70
  • Estimated delivery in 5-7 days for in stock items
  • Prices are a tad less expensive than Poppy Barley (see below) – generally between $250-400
  • Available in calf widths from 30-50cm (11 7/8 – 19 5/8 inches)


  • In case of returns, return shipping is a flat $20 and original shipping fees (if any) are not refunded
  • Foot width is determined by calf width chosen, so there are not customized foot width options

Second contender – Poppy Barley Highline Boot

Poppy Barley Highline Boot


  • Free remake (including free return shipping) if your boot doesn’t fit the frst time
  • Handmade
  • Ethical production methods (see their supply chain info)
  • You can order a leather swatch kit for $10, which is applied to your order
  • They have an option to order a different size for each foot (though a $50 fee applies)
  • Available in narrow, standard and wide foot widths
  • Available in calf widths from 30-50cm (11 7/8 – 19 5/8 inches)
  • Boot shaft heights are available in 14in, 15in or 16 1/2in options


  • Not as many styles to choose from
  • Shipping is $9.95, though you can use my referral link for free shipping if you want (disclosure: I get $15 in store credit if you do)
  • Slightly more expensive (all tall boots appear to be $450)
  • Since they’re handmade to order, they take 6-8 weeks to ship

I’m leaning toward Poppy Barley as the better option, just for the customization and free remake. Has anyone tried these brands and want to tell me how they were? Or should I keep scouring the internet for ready to wear options? Decisions decisions….

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