What Height of Boot Flatters Short Legs?

Dressing for your body type isn't just restricted to clothes. The right pair of boots could either help or hurt the look of your silhouette.

Close-up of a young woman in boots. (Image: triocean/iStock/Getty Images)

Finding the best boot for your leg length can be tricky -- there might be tons of factors you haven't considered.

Learning some boot-buying strategies is the hardest part. Once you nail the rules, you'll look long, lean and gorgeous.

Step 1: Finding Your Perfect Height

The general aesthetic of your boot isn't important to how it suits your size, so opt for dressier or casual styles depending on your taste. The key to finding the perfect boot is to pay attention to the height of your boot shaft -- the part of the boot that actually covers your legs.

  1. Boot shaft height is measured starting at the inside seam of the boot at its sole and all the way up to the top of the boot.
  2. Boot shafts should be about 14 inches or shorter for petite ladies.

Keep in mind that your shaft length should not be longer than the length of your calf, because this will make you look shorter. Ankle boots work well on all figures, and they're especially elongating when worn with skinny jeans, leggings and fitted dresses.


What to Avoid:

Square toe boots, strappy boots and ones that slouch add width, which automatically will shorten you. While you can still look good in other lengths, steer clear of boots that hit at your knee. They'll cut your leg in half visually, making your legs look shorter. Boots that hit an inch or more below the knee will always make your legs appear longer.

Step 2: Heel Height

When it comes to heels, the higher the better. High heels lengthen your legs. The longer your legs appear, the slimmer your entire torso looks. If heels are too uncomfortable, swap them out for a pair of wedges. They'll give you the height without pain. Boots with hidden platforms also give additional height, and are generally more comfortable.


Try boots with vertical accents that make the eye move upward, instantly creating length.

Other Tricks

  • Boots with pointed toes also extend the leg line.
  • Slim-fit pants work with more than just ankle boots.
  • Pair them with any boot to create a leaner silhouette.

When you're wearing skirts and dresses, boots that hit above the knee are most complementary. Pencil skirts also provide a complementary line.

Things You'll Need

  • Boots that hit above the knee.

  • Pencil skirts.

credit: Venus
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credit: Venus

Select skin colored boots, since they help create the illusion of longer legs.

Macys - Kenneth Cole

If you prefer a dark colored boot then chose a knee high boot.

Where Should Capris Fall on Your Leg?

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Light Colored Boots

Select skin colored boots, since they help create the illusion of longer legs.

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