How to Break in Doc Martens without Breaking Your Feet? – No Pain, All Gain Tips and Tricks

by Stephanie Yankova

If you’ve ever owned a pair of Dr. Martens you know the struggle that comes with breaking them in. Contrary to the popular notion that “beauty is pain”, I believe that fashion and comfort should go hand in hand. I’ve gone through a fair share of Docs over the years – from my first pair of 1460 to Jadon, 1461, and 8053 Leather Oxford shoes, even their Adrian loafers and sandals. It goes without saying that the first time I put my foot in a Dr. Martens boot I was having ice foot baths and applying plasters to my wounds every single day for the first month or two. Thanks to my bitter experience it’s safe to say that I’ve acquired extensive knowledge on how to prevent any wounding to my feet, and it all boils down to a few simple tricks. Here are my tried and tested tips and methods on breaking in Doc Martens!

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How to Break in Doc Martens Fast?

People say that “slow and steady wins the race”, but clearly whoever came up with this proverb didn’t have a fabulous pair of shoes that they wanted to wear as soon as they took them out of the box! Even with the most clever of tricks, breaking in a pair of Docs can take from 4 to 5 days up to two weeks depending on the shoe. But what is a week of giving your new shoes some TLC worth when you’re going to have years to enjoy them pain-free? Keep reading to find out all my not-so-secret “rituals” for breaking in my Dr. Martens.

Read also: The 5 Ultimate Steps to Pack Shoes in the Suitcase Like a Pro

Breaking in Genuine Leather Doc Martens Boots

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This trick I’m about to share with you is actually a method of stretching I learned from Lonni Pike, a lifestyle influencer that’s recently been taking social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok by storm. This is an incredibly easy and straightforward method of stretching genuine leather Dr. Marten boots. All you’re going to need are freezer bags or gallon bags, water and a freezer. Here’s how you put them to use:

  • Take one freezer bag open it up, and put it inside the boot all the way up to the tip of the shoe. If you don’t have freezer bags you can use gallon bags, as well. However, because they are much thinner it would be better if you use two of them. Put one inside of the other and insert them into the boot the same way. Repeat the process with the other shoe.
  • Once you’ve done that fill the bags with water all the way up to the brim 0f the shoe.
  • Zip up the bags and then zip up the boots.
  • Put the shoes in a standing position inside the freezer.
  • Leave them in for 3 days, then take the freezer bags out of the shoes and voila! You’re good to go!

Breaking in Vegan/Patent Leather Doc Martens

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If you try stretching out your vegan or patent leather Docs you’re just going to waste your time, because in this case, that method won’t work. The chemical compound and texture of these boots are completely unlike, so you’ll have to apply a slightly different method in order to get the quickest and most effective results. In this instance, you’re going to need a hairdryer and your thickest pair of socks. Here’s what you’ll have to do:

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Credits: Deavita Photo Gallery

  • Take the hair dryer, put it on high speed and high heat and warm up the leather as best as you can.
  • Take the thickest pair of socks that you have, or layer a few thinner ones on your feet.
  • Once you have the socks on and the leather of the Docs is well-warmed up, put them on.
  • You’ll have to wear your Docs like that around the house every day until you break them in. Usually, this can take up to 5-6 days.

How to Break in Doc Martens Sandals?

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Summer is just around the corner and if you’ve just bought your first pair of Doc Martens sandals, here’s a pro tip – DO NOT wear them before you stretch them out under no circumstances. It’s guaranteed that you’ll end up with battle scars. They may look and feel like a soft leather cushion when you first put them on, but don’t let that first impression deceive you! These straps may be thin, but they are mighty! This is what you can do to break them in:

  • Take a hairdryer and heat the leather up until you can feel it slowly softening.
  • Apply mink oil or coconut oil thoroughly along the edges of all straps.
  • After you do all that, put on a thick pair of socks and wear the sandals with them around the house for a couple of days.

Note: Repeat the process of heating and oiling up the leather of the sandals every day until you feel like they’re fully broken in.

Read also: How to Store Leather Shoes Properly? 6 Easy Tips to Follow

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