Ok so these were a very welcome gift from a fabulous friend and they are the coolest DMs I have ever owned, and I've owned a lot! The length is mid calf for me (I'm very tall at 6ft) and the zip and laces combo is brilliant for adjusting the fit around the calf and ankle. The leather is much thinner than traditional Docs but not initially any softer, in fact they feel a bit crispy. A bit of wonder balsam goes a long way to soften up the leather though. Anyone familiar with Docs knows the break in period can be quite the challenge, and I'm suffering for the love of these beauties but not in the normal way. The foot portion breaks in easily, but beware if you have a high instep because these are quite tight in that area. I don't normally have instep issues but to absolutely fair I do have a slightly higher instep than the average person. They are loosening but boy am I feeling it as they do! The main issue is getting the top of the boot to adjust to my enthusiastically bouncy feet, again they are gradually getting there but I've had a bit of a flare up of plantar tendon issues in the attempt to make them bend to my will. Lots of other reviewers find these instantly comfortable, and to be fair I can wear them for eight hours without wanting to cry but personally I've found them difficult to break. I'd recommend the wonder balsam daily to help with the process, and I am finding them continuously more and more comfortable as time goes by. It's a testament to how very beautiful these are that I'm determined to keep going, because I love them, love them, love them! One last point, if you have a lovely juicy calf you might find these a close fit, I have a little juice in that area and the adjustment with the laces helped with that but they are pretty much straight up and down, and probably won't accommodate the curvier calf very well.