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Are Dr Martens True to Size?

Everything you need to know to get the right fit.

Last Updated on September 5, 2023

Want to get your first pair of Dr Martens but wondering if they’re true to size? I’ve had more than a few pairs of DMs in my time (they do last for years, but I have a dog that chews, so…), so I’m here to help. Shoe sizing can be a tricky thing, but when you’re spending upwards of £100 on a pair of Dr Martens, you want to make sure you’re getting the right size.

I wish it was always as simple as picking our usual sizes and hitting ‘add to cart’, but shoe sizing can vary from brand to brand, and even from style to style within the same brand. While some brands may run true to size, others may run a half-size smaller or larger.

As someone who’s always struggled to find shoes that fit just right, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to deal with ill-fitting footwear. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of tricks to figure out my shoe size, from measuring my feet at home to trying on multiple sizes in the store. And while I’ve had some success with these methods, I’ve also had my fair share of disappointments.

Now that most of us buy shoes online, the struggle has become more evident. In fact, Time Magazine reveals sizing issues account for the majority of online purchases that are returned, with an estimated 40% of all online purchases being sent back. But don’t let sizing issues hold you back from achieving a cool girl look with some Dr Martens Eye Boots.

Here’s everything you need to know about buying the right size. Next, in case you have decided which pair you should get, learn the tips and tricks on how to clean your precious Dr Martens or break in your first pair. 

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Should you size up or down in Dr Martens?

Dr. Martens might look bulky on the outside, but they generally run true to size. However, you must keep in mind that the classic boots, also known as the 1460, are a little big. Meanwhile, if you are in-between sizes, it’s safe to size down. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as sizing in Dr Martens shoes can vary depending on the individual’s preference and between styles too.

On the other hand, many people – myself included- have found that some of the brand’s shoes can run a little large. This can be a good thing if you plan to wear thicker socks or want a little extra room for comfort, but make sure you’re not spending over £100 and getting some shoes that are too big. Keep in mind that the leather will stretch over time, so if they feel tight around the sides of your feet, this won’t last forever. DMs also have a handy size guide and each of their product descriptions state whether customers find an item true to size, big or small.

person wearing black leather dr martens boots

How do I know my Dr Martens size?

Dr Martens follows the standard European sizing, so a UK size is an EU 38, a 6 is 39 and so on. The brand has a useful size guide, which explains how to find out your size if you’re unsure.

How are Dr Martens supposed to fit?

These boots should have a snug fit without causing any pain or discomfort. If you experience any pinching, particularly at the toes, while trying them on it’s an indication that the boots are too small. However the boots will gradually soften and expand as you break them in.

How long do Dr Martens take to break in?

DMs are notorious for being pretty painful to break in, but once you get past this, you’re laughing. The break-in time can vary depending on the model and individual’s feet, but in general, it can take between three and six weeks for most styles to get comfortable and mould to your feet. I usually wear mine at home with a pair of thick socks before wearing them out (especially if I know I’m going to be walking around for a while that day), which helps to break them in.

How do you care for your Dr. Martens?

Let’s admit it, we tend to get lazy cleaning any shoes, whether they’re Dr. Martens or running shoes, but nowadays, it’s easier to keep our footwear in tip-top shape. If you’ve used it in a muddy area, try to hose them down, then rub off any scuffs with a wet wipe and let it dry, or you can clean it with any type of towel. Then I make sure to store them in a cool, dry place.

Shop Dr Martens

Dr. Martens Women’s Pascal W/Zip Regular Boots

Women’s Pascal W/Zip Regular Boots, £126.29, Dr. Martens – buy now

Dr. Martens Unisex-Adult 1460 Lace-Up Boots

Unisex-Adult 1460 Lace-Up Boots, from £119, Dr. Martens – buy now

Dr. Marten's 2976 Original, Unisex-Adults' Boots

2976 Original, Unisex-Adults’ Boots, from £117.98, Dr. Martens – buy now

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