I think that the legendary Doc Martens boots look absolutely amazing. Docs have stood the test of time and even today Dr. Martens are considered a stylish choice of footwear (all around the world). Docs are sure to catch everyone’s eye – but are Dr. Martens comfortable?
Doc Martens are specifically designed for both comfort and resilience. Breaking them in properly can be tough but afterward, they’ll be super comfortable.
Another question that comes up about Docs is if “they also good for your feet?”
In fact, Doctor Klaus Märtens, after injuring his ankle with his standard-issue army boots, designed improvements for them and created the Docs’ predecessors back in the late ‘40s for the sole reason of creating a much more cozy, practical, and versatile shoe that protects the wearer’s foot.
The most important thing to ensure your Doc Martens are going to feel comfy is getting your size right. There should be enough space for your toes to breathe and wiggle around while wearing thick socks, but not too much. Not too tight, not too loose.
Click here to get more information about sizing your Doc Martens!
Boot enthusiasts, reviewers, and DMs fans from all around the world often report that their Docs are the most comfortable shoes they own, even after five years of wearing them!
In this detailed article, you will learn why Doc Martens are so comfortable and what materials they are made of. You will also find a quick and fun guide to breaking in your boots!
Table of Contents
What makes Doc Martens Comfortable?
After breaking in your Doc Martens, the foam insoles and leather will adjust to the shape and size of your foot. Their cushioned bouncing soles are ideal for walking, working, and even short hikes.
Doc Martens have good arch and heel support thanks to their anatomical design and springy soles. They also are good for wide feet because they’re considerably roomy once broken in.
The air-cushioned bouncing sole is an exclusive Dr. Martens patent. It is tough and resilient enough to last forever, yet flexible and supportive to stand or walk around all day. With decades of experience in the footwear industry, you can be sure that these guys know their shoes!
Keep in mind that these are not hiking or mountaineering boots, as they are not the most breathable and water-resistant choice. They definitely won’t let you down, but DMs were engineered first and foremost for the working class of bustling cities and matured while walking on concrete, dancing in pubs, or stomping around in punk and rock ‘n’ roll concerts!
Dr Martens Style and Comfort
Different types of shoes will have a different feel to your feet. Let’s take a look at the most comfortable styles of Doc Martens:
Vegan 1460 Boots
The Vegan 1460 Boots (check current pricing: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens website) is the classic Doc Martens design that also cares for the environment! The vegan leather substitute, soft but tough and durable, makes this boot a popular choice and very pleasant to your feet.
Choose the Pascal Virginias (check availability: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens website) if you cannot say no to actual leather but want a soft material and a boot that fits well right off the bat, then this is your best bet. The fine-grain leather is so smooth and flexible, you’ll think you’ve worn them in from the first day.
Doc Martens Sandals
Doc Martens Sandals (check availability: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens original website) are super comfy, despite being a little heavier than most run-of-the-mill sandals. Vegan DMs sandals are even better. Because of their softer materials, they are much lighter and easier to break into.
Dr. Martens Chelsea Boots
With their elegant silhouette, the Dr. Martens Chelsea Boots (check pricing: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens) are cozy and versatile. Their elastic sides stretch around the ankle, allowing you to pull them on and off with great ease. Suitable for any occasion, they can complement a lot of different styles – casual, formal, or rugged.
Dr. Martens Jadon Platforms
Dr. Martens Jadon Platforms (note: always compare pricing Amazon vs. Dr. Martens Websites), double air-cushioned sole - double comfort! For that extra height boost and the unique, fierce style. Just don’t forget your double socks while you are breaking them in!
A few people complain that these boots are clunky and hurt their feet. However, that’s likely because they got the wrong size or they didn’t have the patience to break them in the right way. (Read our guide to choosing the proper size for your Docs)
Feet are the base of our bodies and deserve only the best. The ideal type of shoes is the one that, when you walk, you forget you are even wearing them.
Doc Martens are an affordable choice that combines style, comfort, anatomical support, and durability. They may seem expensive but the truth is that they are a pretty good deal for what they offer and much cheaper than other top-tier brands.
Compare the Dr. Martens Women's Blaire Fisherman Sandal:
What are Doc Martens made of?
Doc Martens boots are made of mainly two raw materials: animal leather and PVC. The Vegan range is made of a synthetic leather substitute, mostly a blend of polyurethane, which is the same material the insoles are made of. There’s also a limited collection of casual canvas shoes.
DMs boots are made of slip-resistant, relatively breathable materials which are both lightweight and flexible. They have been ergonomically revamped for workers, so they won’t fatigue your feet even after an 8-hour shift.
There’s a variety of leathers to choose from, each with different qualities. For instance, Nappa and Virginia leathers are softer than the stronger and more durable full-grain leathers.
You’ve got many options if you know your leathers, namely the Patent Lamper, Carpathian, Arcadia, Crazy Horse, Grizzly, and Suede leather, each with a different look and feel to it.
Of course, all vintage and Made In England styles are made of good old Quilon leather. Heavy and thick, it is harder to break in but extremely durable.
Just as tough but smoother and more comfortable are the vegan Doc Martens, made of premium materials called Cambridge Brush and Felix Rub Off which are 100% non-animal origin synthetic leather substitutes. Vegan DMs are much softer and gentler to your foot, and easier to break-in.
The Dr. Martens Comfort Insoles (Amazon) or from the Dr. Martens Website are constructed from polyurethane foam with millions of tiny air bubbles. They are anatomically designed to cushion and stabilize your feet, and also feature antimicrobial treatment which prevents the growth of bacteria.
The Goodyear welted, PVC, and rubber soles are resistant to oil, fat, acid, petrol, and alkali. The term “AirWair” was coined because of the air bubbles trapped inside the heels of the soles which give the boot extra comfort, durability, and their bouncy feature!
How to Break In Doc Martens Boots
Every journey starts with a single step! Breaking in your DMs can be painful and take a long time but that is the deal with any kind of combat-style boots – don’t let that discourage you!
The Doc Martens leather is extremely tough and durable. Allegedly, these boots can last a lifetime, so it’s only reasonable that it will be a while before you’ve worn them in. After a few weeks of daily wear though, they’ll fit perfectly because they mold to the size and shape of your feet.
How long will the break-in process take, you ask? Depending on the type of shoe and your foot, breaking in your DMs can take from 2 weeks up to 1 month and sometimes even more.
However, some boots can be a perfect match for your feet and feel just fine from day one. Typically though, this process is going to take some time – think of it as a rite of passage!
Compare Pricing for Dr. Martens 1490 Boots on...
Be patient. It might hurt a bit but only in the beginning. And you know what they say: no pain no gain!
Please, don’t go on a hike the very first day you wear your brand new Docs. That is a quite common mistake. You’ll have to walk around your house in your new Docs first. Only go for short walks of no more than 1 or 2 hours for the first few weeks.
Remember to wear thick and high socks. Some reviewers suggest wearing double socks to break in faster, as well as to avoid blisters and friction. In case you get blisters and/or chafing, wear regular shoes for a few days or put some Band-Aids on the spots where your foot rubs with the leather.
If you got the size right but your boots feel a little tight, then consider removing the insole to give your feet more space.
Don’t tie the laces too tight on the first days. Also, make sure you give your feet a break. The first few weeks can hurt, so wear them on alternate days – one day on, one day off.
Generally, Docs made of hard leather take more time to adjust to your feet than the ones made of fabric and other vegan-friendly materials. So, the harder the leather, the tougher the initial break-in process.
You could also apply some Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam to your boots. That is a special wax that helps soften the leather and keep your boots shiny and in tip-top condition.
Some people have tried out crazy methods to break in their DMs faster, even overnight, like placing them in a freezer or battering them with a hammer! We don’t recommend any of that, however, as it could irreparably damage the shoe. Better safe than sorry!
If you’ve got very sensitive feet or just want to break in your DMs faster, here are a few tips and tricks:
- You can stuff the boots with old clothes or newspaper and leave them for a couple of days to stretch.
- Heat up your boots with a hairdryer. It will help soften the leather. Keep the dryer at a reasonable distance and don’t overdo it!
- Use a boot stretcher (this one is very reasonably priced... EasyWay Shoe Stretcher & Tree
- Wear double socks. One pair of thin, short cotton shocks, and another one, preferably thick and high, on top of that.