How to break in a pair of Dr. Marten’s

Dr. Marten’s are a notoriously difficult pair of shoes to break in. They are a very sturdy shoe. So sturdy in fact that you need to go through blisters and sore feet until they become truly comfortable. Since then they have started making styles that are a bit easier to wear, made from softer leathers, you can now buy Dr. Marten’s without the hassle. However, if you want to go for a classic pair of 1460s or 1461s, then here are my tips.

These shoes have caused me so much trouble, but now I hardly wear anything else.

Dr. Marten’s are some of my favorite shoes to wear for fall and winter. Exactly because they have a sturdy feel to them, they keep your feet warm and dry and they add that edgy, grunge look to any outfit. I love them and knew when I bought them they would take some time getting used to. I have since only bought more of the lower style Dr. Marten’s rather than the boot version. The boot version are still a bit troublesome to this day, despite the fact they were the first pair I bought.

Tip #1 – Wear them

You will not break in a pair of Dr. Marten’s if you’re not wearing them. Start off with short periods of time. I wore the black shoes just to run a few errands in the beginning until they started to loosen up a bit more. The red shoes were pretty much cracked into straight away, which lead to many blisters and sores, but sometimes it also helps to simply bite the bullet and deal with it for a moment.

Tip #2 – Wear tights

I started wearing my Docs by wearing tights first. I have pretty wide feet and I find that wearing socks straight away in a new pair of shoes simply leads to cutting off the blood flow in my toes. So that’s why I start by wearing a thinner sock first and allow the shoes to mold to my feet a bit first before taking the next step.

Tip #3 – Wear insoles

This may be a bit strange, but I find that wearing a little slip in sole in a pair of Docs to increase the comfort level when you first start wearing them. It also pushes your foot up a bit more. This allow for the leather to stretch out more even quicker and loosen up the shoe bit by bit at a slightly faster pace.

Tip #4 – Ducttape

My main problem with the red pair, after breaking them in, was the shaft of the shoe being too coarse. The leather on the inside that is. With the way I move, my heel slides up a little bit, which leads to rubbing of my heels in every shoe I wear. If you then have some tough leather that it rubs up against, it will still be uncomfortable. So I tapes some duct tape to the backside of the shoe and that worked for some time. I am not quite there yet with the right shoe, but the left no longer bothers me because of this trick.

Tip #5 – Warm them up

In winter time I find that Dr. Marten’s can stiffen up a little bit due to the colder weather. The leather becomes stiffer again and that can make the first few minutes not too comfortable. That is why I like putting on my shoes and then continue to get ready to go out the door. This gives the shoes a few minutes to warm up and get some movement in there.

How do you break in a pair of shoes?

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