I absolutely love these boots
right out of the box! I am between 8.5 and 9, but almost always take a 9, which is what I bought in these. I think they are half to a whole size too big, but I am keeping the 9 because they fit perfectly everywhere else, and this way I can wear a thick sock if I need to, but they are not so big that I am sliding around like crazy. I think a looser boot is more comfortable personally.
The calf is very forgiving. I think this would fit on a variety of sizes. I have large calves (17ish inches). These stretch no problem and don't look like they barely fit. I can wear them with leggings or jeggings no problem. I think they would look just as good and feel just as comfortable to someone with average size calves. I don't think they run big, I just think they stretch really nicely. Personally, I have considerable small calf envy, so I think a gap or a suggestion of looseness on the leg is a cute look.
My only two gripes are that I wish the boot shat was slightly taller. I am a tall person (5'10") and I think that if they were just a couple inches taller, they would be the most perfect boot. As it is, they end at the widest part of my calf, so I feel like that cuts the leg in a strange way.
The scrunch leather in the back of the leg is a little odd looking. In combination with the black leather, it reads a little pirate. If they had a cuff, it would be too much. As it is, it is an interesting texture. I hate stretch panels in boots
because it looks tacky in most cases. In this case, it is leather, so the color perfectly matches the front, it's just somehow ribbed and stretchy.
I think the heel height is perfect, it's high enough that these can be dressy but the leather is also worn in and can go either way, really. I bought them to go to some nice dinners this holiday season, planning to wear them with tights and dresses
so I think they will be perfect for those occasions. I feel like the heel is very stable and the shoe is comfortable, so the added height doesn't really make these less comfortable. I think they are about as comfortable as any non ugg
/non tom shoe can be.
The leather is ridiculously soft. This is my second pair of fryes, and they blow my first pair out of the water with their quality. I'm super pleased with my purchase and am now trying not to buy them in the cognac color or the antique color or the other brown color... you get the point.
Since Zappos is so amazing, and so simple to return, I wouldn't hesitate in ordering these if you are on the fence. Chances are, you'll keep them and, like me, try to avoid buying them all.