How things work: Dr. Marten Boots

These boots are so named because they may just send you to the doctor…


I love docs, or I should say I love the style of docs, in the past I was too cheap to get myself a real pair so I went with the pleather dupes they sell at super stores. No more! I decided to upgrade since I’d heard so much about their unbeatable comfort. I got my shiny new white docs and proceeded to crumple to the floor doubled over in pain. OK that was the size 7, the 8s were a bit better, but still – OW.


I have very high arches which made me think these boots would never work for me but as I did my research I found out that breaking in docs is almost a right of passage. There are more blog posts dedicated to this topic than you would believe. Most have really terrible advice – ie wear them in the shower – but some did tell me a bit about where they stretch and where they don’t.

The tongue. Where the tongue meets the boot there is stitching and it is STIFF. The entire tongue is incredibly stiff. But here, the top of the ankle, and the heel will all soften and stretch with wear. The toe will soften a bit but won’t stretch very far. The length is set firm, even if you take them to a cobbler. Some people suggested just getting the things stretched professionally which I may do since my arches are so high. Something like this will be between $5 & $15.

Fit. Take out the laces, pull down the tongue, put your foot in. Unlike regular boots you’re not going to lace these up and try them out before you buy. See if the length of you foot is right for the boot and if the width is almost right. The pinkie toe is the common loser in this bargain but I had no problem with it.

Test run. After you buy them (or in store if you have a LOT of free time) wear them around the house or carpeted office. I do this with tags on, since they won’t suffer any wear or tear, I can still return them. Usually after a day I know if I love them enough to bother and if they will ever fit. I wore the boots for 45 min at a time. The length was correct and the leather did seem to be softening ever so slightly, just enough to give me hope.

Socks. These are thick sock kinda boots. While breaking them in a lot of people double up. Also use Band-aids… lots and lots of Band-aids.

To break these bad boys in just wear them often, for short periods of time. If you work in an office you can just keep slipping them on and off, otherwise put them on while you watch TV and roll on the balls of your feet back and forth.

Warning: Don’t listen to wearers who suggest doing anything that makes your hair stand on end. Don’t shower with or soak these (there is cardboard on the bottom of the sole). Don’t hit them with hammers. If you can’t break them in through wear take them to a cobbler. Also note, while docs look a bit like Army boots they are made very differently and are not as durable so ignore all the tips and tricks referencing Army gear.


Updates: These will come if I ever break these bad boys in!


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