Oh Chris I feel so sorry too. I had no idea in 2011 when I walked into a shoe store after a low-key search for only the third pair ever in my whole life (I was 50 by then) how lucky I was to find gorgeous tall black boots that fit 5 foot 1 inch me perfectly! They did cost $359 which is still the most I have spent on shoes since I think! But have been worn over 60 times since and I still keep them although hardly worn in recent years. I think after what you’ve just been through I had best keep them for ever! They are a bit battered and I did buy a replacement in 2017 which were a bit tight and needed stretching with a leather stretcher. Have kept both pairs for now.
I don’t wear the newer ones much either, feel sort of “off” tall boots, maybe cos I mostly wear pants in winter and wear booties instead.
I hope the universe turns something up in the future.

Chris; I think my tall boot requirements are about the same as yours. Thankfully I live in a mild climate so I don’t really need tall boots. The boots below are the only ones that have come close to working because they are 13.5” or 14” tall. Not your style, I know. FWIW, my feet sweat less and less as I get older. Would wearing SmartWool or other wool socks work for you while wearing non-leather boots?

Zaeobi thanks, and good suggestion. I actually found the Macys boots in a store and decided to try them on as a fit experiment. Despite the poor quality and uncomfortable-ness, the fit was spot on so I collected a YLF find when I got home so I'd have the measurements for reference.

Wow Suz, that's persistance to search for 3 years! Makes perfect sense that you spent a lot and bought two pair! Laces WOULD help but I'm not
crazy about the style as you suggest. I looked at some of that sizing detail you mention. One boot detail said that the calf width was given for size 6, with it increasing by .2" every size up. It gets to be a real exercise in measurement math.

Thanks Jenni NZ, you did indeed have a great stroke of luck.

Thanks DonnaF yeah those are not my style but never say never
You are right that adding a thicker wool sock can help with the foot
perspiration issue I hadn't thought of that. I'm already sizing up to be able to add an insole and going up more for thick socks might make the boots look huge to my eye but it's worth a thought so thanks.

Ugh, I empathize with the frustration of turning over seemingly every stone and still being foiled. I've long thought that boots need to come in petite sizes too - I share the same issue that several folks on this thread do, is that as a shorter person with a heavier calf, my calf simply gets larger lower than a standard-height boot typically allows for :-(.

I don't have a huge collection, but have had smashing luck with regular-calf boots that have a well-integrated stretch panel in the design somewhere. Sometimes these are indeed still too tall of a shaft, but it's at least a design feature that give some additional flexibility (literally and figuratively). IMO this looks better in black boots than brown, but they're generally doing a better job these days of integrating the feature into the design a bit more.

I've personally had luck with Cole Haan, Franco Sarto, La Canadienne, and Donald J. Pliner specifically in the past. You might also consider looking on Poshmark if you're so inclined, it can be hit or miss but can be a way to track down slightly older styles or to duplicate something you find economically.

Thanks Ellemnop! Love your screen name I've looked at all those brands you suggest and even with a fabric panel the ones I saw in wide calf sizes were all too narrow for my calves, even with a bit of stretch added. I'm sitting on my hands for a while.

Chris, to echo/expand on DonnaF's sock suggestion, you don't need thick wool socks. Smartwool are thin dress socks. Wool is a rare fiber that doesn't feel cold when wet. I discovered this when wearing even leather boots some years ago; my cotton and polyester and acrylic socks got wet and made my toes horribly cold. Now I wear Smartwool socks. Usually when I take my boots off the socks are wet, but the wool still doesn't feel cold and my toes are fine. It does work!

The stretch panels are great, both for comfort and ease of fit. Have you looked at boots marketed mid shaft?

Ginger, I do have thin smartwool socks, but when I've tried them under non-leather footwear my feet still get damp pretty quickly because the non-leather does not breath, and for me in colder months that always means cold feet. Have tried it a number of times of different footwear wearing them around the house and it always ends up there.

suntiger, yes the stretch panels are good but not if the calf circumference is off by much, which most are. I HAVE started looking at mid shaft boots, good idea, but I've run out of steam and energy at least for now