How To Break In Your Dr Martens

It's so worth it.

Last Updated on April 24, 2023

I bet you’ve been wondering whether buying a pair of Dr Martens is worth it. These iconic boots come in at nearly £200, making them an investment rather than a throwaway purchase.

There’s no denying that the iconic boots look good, but are they comfortable? If you’re buying something to last, it’s got to be comfy.

Dr Martens have been going since 1901, but it wasn’t until 1960 that the eight-holed boots with air soles we know and love were created.

photo from dr martens website
Dr. Martens

The shoe was initially worn by factory workers and sold for just £2, but it was eventually embraced by subcultures like punks, skinheads, and goths for their durability and style – as well as for being a symbol of working class pride.

When The Who’s Pete Townshend wore them, DMs became an iconic item that would go on to become one of the most popular shoes on the planet. Now, they’re widely popular and worn by people from all walks of life, including the biggest celebrities.

Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Hailey Bieber are all fans of Dr Martens, and it’s hard to walk down the street without spotting a pair.

So if you’re looking to invest, let’s take a closer look at the most important thing: comfort.

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Are Dr Martens actually comfortable?

Many say (myself included) that Dr Martens boots are super comfortable once broken in. It’s the breaking in part that’s not so nice.

The boots come with smooth leather that moulds to your feet, a pull tab for ease of use, and the exclusive air-cushioned sole design unique to DMs. These features combined make the boots incredibly comfortable to wear.

You can also choose styles with softer leather, which are even comfier.

How long does it take to break in Dr Martens?

Breaking in Dr. Martens boots or shoes can take some time, as they are known for their sturdy and durable construction.

The break-in period varies from person to person but typically takes a few weeks of consistent wear. During this time, the leather or other materials will soften and mould to the shape of your feet. 

How to break in Dr Martens

  • Wear them around the house: Start by wearing your Dr. Martens boots or shoes for short periods of time around your home. This allows your feet to get accustomed to the fit and helps to soften the leather.
  • Use thick socks: Wear thick socks when you first start wearing your Dr. Martens to provide extra cushioning and to help stretch the leather. This can help prevent blisters and discomfort.
  • Apply leather conditioner: Apply a leather conditioner or mink oil to the boots or shoes to soften the leather and make it more pliable. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • Flex the soles: Flex the soles of your Dr. Martens boots or shoes by bending them back and forth with your hands. This can help to soften the sole and make it more flexible for walking.
  • Wear them with wet socks: Put on a pair of damp socks and then wear your Dr. Martens for a few hours. The moisture from the socks can help to soften the leather and make it more comfortable.
  • Use a shoe stretcher: If you have specific areas of discomfort, such as tight spots or pressure points, you can use a shoe stretcher to gently stretch those areas. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
  • Be patient: Breaking in Dr. Martens can take time, so be patient and wear them regularly to help them mold to your feet over time. Avoid wearing them for long periods of time initially to prevent excessive discomfort.

Remember that Dr. Martens are made from high-quality leather and are designed to last, so the breaking-in process may take some time. It’s important to wear them regularly and gradually increase the amount of time you wear them to allow the leather to soften and conform to your feet. With time and patience, your Dr. Martens will become more comfortable and a long-lasting investment for your footwear collection.

Bella Hadid wearing dr martens

Should I buy Dr Martens a size down?

The sizing of Dr Martens can vary depending on the style and material. It’s best to try them on before purchasing to ensure the best fit. 

Some people suggest sizing down as the boots may stretch out over time. However, it’s important to ensure the boots aren’t too tight, as this can cause discomfort and rubbing.

If you want an elaborate answer to this question, read our take on their sizing: Are Dr Martens True to Size?

How long will Dr Martens last?

Dr Martens are known for their durability and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. 

The lifespan of the boots will depend on several factors, including how often they are worn, and the conditions they are worn in. You also need to make sure that you know how to properly clean your DMs

Regularly cleaning and conditioning the leather, protecting them from water damage, and resoling them when necessary can all help to prolong its lifespan.