Breaking in a pair of Doc Martens is like going through combat. Your toes will hurt, you will have blisters, and you'll shed some blood— literally. If you're a Doc fancier but scared of going through the hassle of breaking in, I have good news for you! There are actually a number of Docs that feel worn in even when new.
Some of Doc Martens' footwear that are easiest to break into are the Vegan Jadon II Mono Platform Boots, Vegan 1461 Shoes, Unisex 1460 Slip Resistant Service Boots, 1460 Pascal Leather Ankle Boots, 1460 Pascal Virginia Leather Ankle Boots, 101 Suede Ankle Boots, and the Sinclair Milled Nappa Leather Platform Boots.
The preference for these boots and shoes has been growing steadily throughout the years, and there's a good reason why. In this article, I'll discuss everything you need to know about comfy Doc Martens and why you should choose them over those that use stiff leather. Let's get started!
No. You don't have to break in all Doc Martens footwear because some already feel worn and comfortable right from the box. You would only need to break in for Docs that are using Smooth Leather and other stiff materials.
If you do not want to go through breaking in and use your Docs right away, purchasing a pair that is made of Vegan, Nappa, Virginia, or Pascal leather should be your go-to. These types of leather are softer than the classic Docs material, which means they won't cause blisters, and they'll hug your foot perfectly the first time you wear them.
If you bought Docs made of stiff leather, fret not, as we have a guide that can help you in breaking in!
Technically, yes. You can wear your Doc Martens without breaking them in; however, it would be very uncomfortable unless you are wearing ones that are made of soft leather.
Breaking in is very essential for Docs made of stiff leather, so you can use them for very long hours. Docs that are not broken in would be really harsh to your toes and heels. They would cause blisters and toe numbness. You'll end up giving up on them immediately.
Generally, it takes three to six weeks to break into Doc Martens, given how stiff the leather is from the start.
Of course, there are some techniques that can speed up the process, like using Wonder Balsam to soften the leather, hammering the heel and sole, using heel grips, stuffing your DMs with newspaper, removing the insoles, heating your DMs, or using a shoe stretcher.
The details on how to speed up breaking into your Doc Martens are included in the breaking-in article I shared earlier.
The easiest Doc Martens to break into are those that are made of soft leather. They feel worn straight out of the box, but they are still packed with durability and attitude.
The Vegan Jadon II Mono Platform Boots are made of Felix Rub Off, a vegan material that has a synthetic matte finish. The inner of this vegan boot is made of textile, while its sole is 100% PVC.
Since these platform boots are made of vegan material, it needs little to no breaking in. You can enjoy the signature details of the Jadon— the grooved edges, eight eyes, welt stitching, and high platform without worrying about your feet's state after.
Similar to the Vegan Jadon, the Vegan 1461 Shoes is also made of 100% Vegan leather, specifically the Felix Rub Off. This alternative to the 1461 Oxford shoe is a favorite of many office workers, especially those with smart casual or business casual dress codes.
You wouldn't have any trouble breaking into this Docs because its material is soft and supple. Another bonus is that it has a two-tone finish!
The 1460 Slip Resistant Service Boots are professional-looking footwear that has superior slip resistance and cushioning. More than that, it is made of Full Grain leather— a material that is malleable, soft, and supple.
Given that this boot is slip-resistant, this is perfect for the workplace. With the additional comfort of the soft leather, this one will surely be your fave in no time.
The 1460 Pascal Leather Ankle Boots are made of Ambassador leather. This material is heavyweight and oily. It is also tumbled, so it retains the natural characteristics of the leather. Aside from these great features, the Ambassador leather is also super easy to break in!
The inner of this boot is made of 75% textile and 25% leather, so you are guaranteed a high level of comfort.
The 1460 Pascal Virginia Leather Ankle Boots use a fine grain leather that is smooth and supple because of the treatment it went through. This is probably the comfiest Docs there is next to those that are made of vegan leather.
Dr. Martens 101 Suede Ankle Boots
The 101 Suede Ankle Boots are made of Desert Oasis suede from Leeds, England. This material feels very premium because it is a fine grain, and it is also very comfortable to wear.
The 101 Suede comes in turquoise and tan— perfect for summer outfits, whether at work or for parties!
The Sinclair Milled Nappa Leather Platform Boots is one of Doc Martens headliners not only for its intimidating platform height but also for its ease in breaking in.
As suggested by its name, the Sinclair is made of Milled Nappa, a hard-wearing and durable pebble leather that is already soft and supple to the feet even on first wear.
The 1460 Pascal Bex Leather Boots are very iconic because of its hexagonal eyelets. Paired with the Inuck, a natural milled leather, you wouldn't want to remove these boots when worn.
The Inuck is heavyweight leather that has two tones and a waxy finish. It made the 1460 Pascal full of character, unlike other 1460 boots, so you should definitely consider this if you are after style and comfort.
Dr. Martens 1461 Made in England Nubuck Leather Shoes
The 1461 Made in England Nubuck Leather Shoes is a total eye-catcher. It comes in green, black, and pink and is made of Savannah Nubuck leather. This material is full of character and is also very soft to the touch; hence, the little to no breaking in period.
What's more to love about this boot is that it retains the unique markings of the hides used. This means that each pair is unique!
The Audrick Leather Platform Chelsea Boots are perfect for everyday wear. It boasts of its towering platform and the fact that it uses Nappa Lux— a type of Nappa leather that is very soft and smooth.
You can expect these boots to be wearable straight out of the box. The side elastics also make wearing and removing it very hassle-free.
The 1461 Virginia Leather Shoes is a reengineered version of the classic 1461. It retains the classic DNA of the 1461 Docs but uses a soft and supple leather called Virginia. This material also ages beautifully, and it comes in varying colors.
Dr. Martens 1461 Men's Abruzzo Leather Oxford Shoes
If you want comfortable Docs with an antique-looking satin sheen finish, look no further than the 1461 Abruzzo Leather Shoes. This shoe is made of a fairly new leather called Abruzzo WP— a type of leather that is rich in appearance and also water-resistant.
Dr. Martens 1461 Ambassador Leather Oxford Shoes
Another Doc Martens shoes that will hug your foot perfectly is the 1461 Ambassador Leather Shoes. This footwear uses tumbled Ambassador leather, so expect that it is very comfortable to wear right away.
Another thing to love about these shoes, on top of their durability and comfort, is their tendency to age uniquely. Since it retains its natural markings, you can expect no less from the 1461 Ambassador when it comes to appearance.
The 101 Bex Pisa Leather Ankle Boots is an underrated Docs style. However, it is perfect for people who want to skip the breaking in period since it is made of Pisa, a type of milled Nappa leather that is medium-weight and very soft. The 101 Bex Pisa also has a pigmented waxy finish.
If you are after a feminine Doc Martens that is not difficult to break-in, the 1460 Vonda Floral Leather Ankle Boots are for you.
This boot boasts of its rose embroidery and the Softy T leather used for the upper. Softy T is full-grain lightweight leather, and it is also naturally soft.
Choosing Docs made of soft leather is a way to cheat the breaking-in process! I won't judge you for it, don't worry. In fact, I encourage you to opt for these Docs if you don't want your feet all bruised up.
To recap, here are the 15 Doc Martens footwear that are easiest to break into:
Note that even though these Docs use a material that feels worn in if you haven't gotten the perfect size for you, you would still be uncomfortable. Check out our articles on how Docs fit and DM's for wide feet to get you started in choosing the perfect pair for you!