As the old adage goes, “look after your shoes and your shoes will look after you.” This phrase is particularly pertinent for Dr Martens, the footwear brand that has become a true cultural symbol of individuality. If cared for properly, a pair of Doc Martens can last decades, looking as good as, if not better than, when they were brand new.
Emma Watson, Jessica Alba, Gwen Stefani and Gigi Hadid, are just a handful of the celebrity fashionistas partial to a pair of Dr Martens. The chunky boots featured heavily on the catwalks during London Fashion Week spring/summer 2019 and saw enormous success on the street style scene as well as on social media during 2018.
There’s no stopping this English footwear brand as it re-introduces its classic styles in materials ranging from velvet to glitter. There really is a pair of Docs for every taste.
On the other hand, Docs are well known for being blummin’ painful to break in. No doubt the celebrity fashionistas have a multitude of assistants to perform this task for them, but what if you’re not so lucky?
Well, you could buy a pair that have been broken in for you…
But many Docs fans believe that the true joy comes from a pair that you have invested in yourself. A pair that will ultimately fit your feet like gloves.
Breaking In Your Dr Martens
When you first buy your Docs you should expect to put up with a little bit of discomfort in order to break them in properly. Trust us, it will be worth it. No pain, no gain and all that.
1. Ease Yourself In
"Impatience can cause wise people to do foolish things", Janette Oke once said. Ironically, one of the worst things you can do to your shoes is to wear them.
We recommend wearing your boots for only a few hours at a time at the beginning. This will break them in slowly and minimise the discomfort to you.
Walk around on soft indoor surfaces at home and when you’ve had enough, take them off.
Wear them on alternate days to give your feet time to recover.
2. Soften Your Boots
Softening your hard, rigid boots is easy if you do it right. Dr Martens’ Wonder Balsam is made for this process. The unique blend of coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax hydrates and softens the leather, whilst nourishing and conditioning it.
The balm also protects against water, liquid and salt marks, cleaning and protecting the leather without polishing.
It really is an essential product, not only to help break in your Docs but to protect your investment for years to come.
3. Wear Thick Socks
Woolly socks for your Docs are a must. Investing in some thick, soft socks is a crucial element of the breaking in process. They will protect your feet and ankles and help to stretch the leather as it moulds to your feet, for example around the edges of your shoe.
4. Remove The Inner Sole
Inside your Doc Martens, there’s an extra inner liner. If yours feel a bit tight over the top of your foot, removing the liner will alter the fit slightly and should give your feet the extra bit of space they need.
5. Fold your Docs
The heel of Doc Martens can be tremendously unyielding. To help break it down we recommend folding the back of your boots to different heights each time you wear them. Bending the boot back and forth at the heel will also help make it more pliable.
6. Dr. No
You may have heard some old wives’ tales when it comes to breaking in a new pair of boots, so here are a few definite no-nos when it comes to breaking in your Dr Martens:
- Never soak your boots in water, this will make the stitching disintegrate over time.
- Never use Olive Oil to polish.
- Don't use Vaseline as it will make them greasy.
If you follow these simple tips, you should find that your Doc Martens mould to your feet over time, making them the most comfortable shoes in your wardrobe. And since they never go out of style, we believe it’s totally worth it.