Why Do Doc Martens Make Your Toes Numb?

Dr. Martens has become a prominent shoe brand not just because of its high-end boots but also because of the comfort each pair brings upon wearing. However, there are some who complain that their toes feel numb upon sliding into their Docs. If you are one of them, you might be wondering why. 

The numbness you feel upon wearing Dr. Martens may be because of the wrong sizing. Having oversized or too fitted leather boots can give rise to circulation issues hence, the toe-numbness effect. Perhaps it's also your first pair of boots, and you're not used to them yet, or you may be wearing the wrong type of socks. 

These are just some of the reasons why you may feel uncomfortable wearing your Dr. Martens. In this guide, I will identify its other causes and list down suggestions on how you can cope with them.  

More so, if you just had your Docs and your toes can't feel anything at the moment, carry on to know how to remedy your situation. There are sections where I will enumerate some ways how to make the break-in period less challenging. 

What are the main reasons why Doc Martens make your toes go numb?

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Doc Martens takes pride in producing the most durable and comfortable boots in the history of shoes. Aside from these, their boots are fashionable and practical. No wonder why their boots are more expensive and popular than others. 

You may be feeling a little uncomfortable right now because of your Docs. Maybe, you are also having doubts if the pair is really worth its price and popularity. But hear me out, and let's figure out what's causing that hassle.

Wrong size

One of the usual reasons for the toes' numbness is that you sadly got the wrong size. Dr. Martens is known for being true to size in most but not all of its pairs. Before purchasing, you should also do some research. 

For instance, shoe enthusiasts suggest sizing down when purchasing the classic 1460 Docs. Many people have been sizing up to avoid having break-in blisters. However, this isn't the case for everyone. Selecting the size that isn't right for you will give you more problems like a non-sensible toe after breaking in. 

Buying oversized boots will surely lead to the numbness of toes. If your boots are not your size and are big, your toes will feel a lot of pressure, for it will grab your pair's insoles. Unless you have wide feet, it's best not to size up.

If this is your first time buying a Docs and you have already encountered getting numb toes in the past due to your shoe preferences, buying online is not your best option. You should go to a physical store and try some on. 

On the other hand, if you already bought those elegant leather Docs, you can try to go back to the store and switch them to the size best fitted to you. If this ain’t possible, don’t worry because there are also some hacks you can do. 

First, try wearing some thicker than usual socks. Slip through your Docs and walk in it for 5 to 10 minutes a day. Don’t wear it for a long period because your toes will get really numb. 

Try to repeat this activity more than once if you have the luxury of time. This process will help you break in your Docs and let them adapt to the shape of your feet. 

Use of thick socks

Dr. Martens are comfortable to wear in the long run. If you’re past the break-in process and you still have problems with having numb toes, maybe you’re using the wrong type of socks. This can also contribute to the pressure your toes feel when wearing Dr. Martens. 

After the break-in period, your Docs might have already adapted and hugged your feet’s shape. Wearing thicker than usual socks is a no-no! Your Docs will fit you perfectly, most especially if you got the correct size. 

If you are searching for winter boots at Doc Martens, you should opt to size up. This way, you can wear some thick socks beneath and fit your selected Docs. 

Not your usual shoe fit

If you are just joining in on the Docs craze, you should brace yourself for some breaking-in dilemmas. Boots may not be your usual go-to pair. Thus, having a new Docs will surely be challenging for you, most especially during the break-in period. 

You need to be a lot more patient with your new Dr. Martens if this is your first time having them. You will not get used to its usually stiff upper leather for just a week or two. You can also get some blisters. 

Usually, the wear-in process lasts from 3 to 6 weeks. Do not worry because you can apply some agents or insert tools that can help lessen the days of your agony.  

To get through this period, you can also try the 5-10 minutes process above so that you can get used to it. You should wear them often. Eventually, the leather will stretch out and follow the shape of your feet. 

How does Dr. Martens feel to wear them when fresh from the box?

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Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Unisex Boots
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As mentioned, the famously stiff at first leather used in Docs can cause hassles during the break-in period. Dr. Martens usually feel snug upon your first wear, but it won't be too uncomfortable unless you got your size wrong or it's your first time wearing one. 

Although this period also causes some numbness in your toes if you wear them for a long time when it’s fresh from the box, there are also other issues you can encounter. Docs loyalists have already been through several break-in periods and have already got blisters or bruises. 

This is the downside of having a Dr. Martens pair. Due to its material composition, Dr. Martens boots' break-in period is likely to be challenging, especially for first-timers. 

For some, Dr. Martens may feel painful upon first wear. Below are some tips you can consider on how you can swiftly break in your Docs and make the process less challenging. 

How to break in your new Docs?

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In facing the three to six weeks break-in period, you must come ready. The simplest advice I could give is to wear your newly bought Docs often. Bend those leather and stretch them out, but don't take them yet to long trips. 

This way, the rigid leather will stretch out. It will conform to your foot's shape, and its leather composition will surely soften. Keep in mind to also choose the right accompanying socks! 

You can also try to use some softening agents like Dr. Martens' Wonder Balsam that will help you break in the boots' leather. Additionally, you can try inserting a boot stretcher in the toe area for some nights. 

Although overcoming this wear-in period overnight isn’t possible, you need to be patient to see your Docs’ worth. You’ll get good results and feel that your Docs comfortably fits your feet. 

Check out our article on how to break in your Doc Martens for more detailed information.

Are Dr. Martens not good for your feet?

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Dr. Martens boots are not bad for your feet. In fact, these are the best boot pairs for those who have foot issues. Upon breaking in, the comfortable and stylish Docs can be used every day, even for long hours. 

Docs are good for orthotics. Their boots are originally developed for people who have struggled with high arches. Their hugging and molding leather ensures high support and accommodation to your arches. 

Their air-cushioned sole trademarked as "AirWair" have been designed to be therapeutic. This greatly offers ankle support and has slip-resistant soles. Because of these, Dr. Martens are more recommended than other shoes available in the market.  

However, it can be used by many, but not all. If you are experiencing leg cramps or your legs tend to get tired easily, Docs may not be the perfect pair for you because its sole is heavier than others. 

Why does Dr. Marten's make your toes numb? Final Thoughts...

Dr. Martens are made to be comfortable. If you feel the opposite, you should try working some things out to stretch out your Docs. Try wearing it often. If given enough time, you’ll surely get used to it. 

At this point, you probably know why you are feeling some discomfort with your Docs. You might have circulation issues due to the given reasons above, resulting in the numbness of your toes, which you can remedy!

Calm yourself down because Dr. Martens are not bad for your feet. Docs are highly recommended for people with feet and arches issues. They are designed to provide great support to the crucial areas. 

If boots are not your usual fit and you are really eager to have one, you should try them on and familiarize yourself. Soon enough, you'll get the hang of it and flaunt your stylish Docs in the streets. 

If no hope is visible, you should be smart enough to buy your next sole sister. Keep in mind that choosing the right size and accompanying socks are contributing factors to having non-sensible toes.

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