When shopping for these iconic boots many wonder ‘are Doc Martens comfortable’? We want to make sure our feet will be comfortable before investing in a pair of Docs, so we don’t have to go through the trouble of returning them. Here is a guide to help, along with my personal review as a long time fan of the brand.
I have been wearing Doc Martens for over ten years myself to gather this information, so you don’t have to do all of that research yourself to get a good answer. I’ve owned multiple types of Docs, over the years, including the 1460s, Jadons and Mary Janes, pictured below.
I’ve also included a handy little guide at the end of the article on how you can make Docs even more comfortable! But first, here is my personal review, including photos of me in own Docs…
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Are Doc Martens Comfortable?
Once broken in Doc Martens are very comfortable, thanks to their air cushioned sole. These iconic boots will mold to your feet after the initial break in period (4 to 6 weeks) making them the most comfortable pair of boots you will own.
Here’s a tip though – if you are worried about the leather being too tough to break in, then I recommend checking out the ‘pisa leather’ option most Doc Martens styles come in. The introduction of the pisa leather is relatively new, and personally I’m glad of it.
Pisa leather is a much softer grade of leather and makes breaking in Docs a breeze. My latest pair of Doc Martens Jadons are made with pisa leather and I can tell you now they were easier on my feet than my other Docs made with the standard leather, during the initial break in period. Here’s a close up of the leather on the heel so you can see what I mean:
Take a look at the Doc Martens Pisa leather range here.
In general though Docs feature smooth leather that will mold to your feet, a pull tab for comfort when taking the boots on and off, and an air cushioned sole design that’s exclusive to Dr. Martens. When combined these features make the boots super comfy to wear.
I have a pair of vintage Doc Martens that I bought over 10 years ago and they are really comfortable for me to wear, even after all that time! I am able to wear my boots all day and experience no discomfort. They are comfortable around my heels, around my toes and on the top of my feet. My Doc Martens boots are so comfy because I took the time to properly break them in, making them my go-to boots.
If you’re after your own pair view the current price of Docs/any offers available on Drmartens.com.
If you want to avoid the painful blisters and shorten the typical 4 to 6 weeks break in time, check out my my break in guide.
Doc Martens are comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time. You should be able to wiggle your toes with enough room to spare. You should also be able to wear them with a thick pair of socks without the boots feeling too tight.
Here is a video of me going into detail about the comfort of Doc Martens on the Wearably Weird YouTube channel:
Getting your size right when purchasing a pair of Doc Martens is really important for ensuring a comfortable fit.
To learn more about sizing and getting the right fit, I have a detailed sizing guide here.
Are Doc Martens Comfortable to Walk In?
Doc Martens are comfortable to walk in thanks to their bouncy sole. The air cushioned sole is a Dr. Martens patented design that makes walking in these boots a dream. Once broken in the smooth leather of the boots with mold to your heels, arches and toes and won’t rub when walking.
When I walk in my Doc Martens they feel springy, which is nice. Despite their chunky appearance they don’t feel clunky or heavy to walk in. The soles on the boots are super tough and will last a long time.
This is the same across their range. The soles on my Mary Janes for example are lower, but they have that comfortable bounce just the same.
My pair of vintage Docs are still going strong and I’ve never had to replace the soles. I’ve walked miles in these boots over the years and yet they are still in amazing condition.
Doc Martens really are comfortable to walk in, and good for long distances. They have great mileage!
Are Doc Martens Comfortable for Wide Feet?
Doc Martens are very comfortable for wide feet as the boots do run slightly large. There is enough room to wear a pair (or two) of thick socks with these boots, even when you have wide feet. Once broken in the boots will mold to the shape of your feet, making them even more comfortable for those with a wide step.
I myself have wide feet and I’ve never experienced a comfort issue when wearing Doc Martens. I’ve owned several pairs, in various styles and all have been great for my wide feet.
Here’s a picture of me wearing my 1460 boots from the top down, so you can see how they fit wide feet comfortably:
The insole of the boots are also really comfy for wide feet. Doc Martens are an ideal boot for those with wide feet thanks to the roomy design and how the boots mold to the shape of your feet when broken in. Over time the leather with soften and accommodate your feet (even though they aren’t too tight to begin with).
Doc Martens are my favourite brand of boots for my wide feet for these reasons.
Check out the current price of Docs on Drmartens.com.
Are Doc Martens Good For Your Feet?
Doc Martens are good for your feet thanks to their cushioned “AirWair” soles. They are comfortable and supportive when walking long distances. After the initial break in period (4 to 6 weeks) they are good for the comfort of your feet as the smooth leather molds to the shape of your feet. They are also good for wide feet as the boots are roomy.
Doc Martens were originally designed to be for therapeutic wear. This original idea has carried through to their current style, where comfort is a paramount factor in their design. Doc make for great work boots, for those standing on their feet for prolonged periods of time. In this sense they are good for your feet as they provide comfort and support throughout the day.
Their sturdy soles have great endurance and the smooth leather of the boots will break in for maximum comfort. Once broken in a pair of Doc Martens fit their owner perfectly, making each set of boots unique to the wearer.
When wearing my own pair of 1460 Doc martens over the years I have found them to be good for my feet. The chunky soles offer me great support and the leather is comfortably broken in. They are my go to boots!
Are Doc Martens Comfortable For Hiking?
Doc Martens are comfortable for hiking thanks to their excellent tread, supportive design and bouncy air cushioned soles. They are best suited to easy, short hikes of no more than 3 hours as they aren’t the most breathable boots.
Docs have super chunky tough soles making them a comfortable match for short hikes with relatively easy terrain. Technical hikes that involve climbing aren’t a good match for Docs however.
I like to wear my Docs on easy weekend hikes or when walking my dog for long distances. I wear them on woodland hikes and on small mountain hikes to keep up with my energetic German Shepherd.
Be wary of wearing them hiking on super hot days, as they may overheat your feet. They aren’t the most breathable boots as they are made of leather. If you are going on a hot, dry summer hike it’s best to wear more breathable hiking boots for better comfort.
It’s also best to avoid wearing Doc Martens on hikes in the rain, or on hikes where you may have to cross water. Whilst the boots are splash proof, they may become soggy in the rain as leather is a naturally porous material.
For help waterproofing your docs check out my guide here.
Do Doc Martens Have Good Arch Support?
Doc Martens have reasonable arch support due to the cushioned “AirWair” soles of the boots. These soles are springy and super comfortable to walk in. For additional arch support consider inserting an insole designed specifically for arch support into the Docs. The roomy style of the boots will accommodate an insert just fine, without making them too tight.
Dr. Martens actually offer a range of insoles that can be bought and added to the boots. Whilst most of their insoles offer good support they actually have a premium insole product with a ‘skeletal support module’ that’s designed to stabilise and support your arch and heels whilst you walk.
It’s made from a cool custom foam with loads of tiny air bubble that will make each step super comfortable whilst holding your feet in anatomically correct positions.
Shop Dr. Martens insoles here.
If you have serious arch issues and you need orthopaedic shoes then it’s best not to rely on Doc Martens boots. Whilst they do offer great arch support, a shoe designed specifically for an arch issue will always be better.
I myself do not have issue with my arches but I do enjoy good arch support. I walk long distances in my Doc and have been wearing boots from the Dr. Martens brand for over ten years because I enjoy the support they give me. If you are like me and you don’t have any medical issues but like arch support, then Docs are a safe bet for you.
Are Doc Martens Comfortable For Work?
Doc Martens are comfortable for work as they are designed for comfort and endurance. Their super comfortable cushioned soles make them easy to wear all day. They feature a chunky tread for excellent grip when walking whilst on shift, making them ideal work boots.
Docs were designed to be sturdy and comfortable work boots. The original Doc Martens sole is resistant to petrol, fat, oil, alkali and acid. Some of the boots feature steel toes for extra protection when wearing as work boots.
I am able to wear my Doc Martens for 12 hours or more at a time and still feel comfortable. I used to wear them when I was working long shifts in a pet store, on my feet all day.
For added comfort when at work add an extra insole into the boots if needed.
Are Vegan Doc Martens Comfortable?
Vegan Doc Martens are very comfortable as they are made with a vegan synthetic leather substitute, which is much softer and easier to break in than leather. The leather substitute is super tough, but it’s also smooth and easy on your feet.
Vegan Docs are known for their toughness and durability, whilst also being waterproof due to the heat sealing method used when constructing the boots. In addition to these great qualities vegan Docs are also way more comfortable than their leather counterparts thanks to the softness of the synthetic leather substitute.
Shop vegan Doc Martens on Drmartens.com.
Whilst they do still require a break in period (a week or so), this lasts drastically less time than the break in period for leather docs (4 to 6 weeks). They are a great alternative to leather Docs if you’re looking for quick comfort in your boots.
Many reddit users on the Dr. Martens subreddit report experiencing a much more comfortable fit with vegan Doc Martens. Forum posts for vegan Docs tell a similar story. Here’s what I learned from customer reviews:
- Vegan Docs are easier to walk in, and won’t rub your heels as much.
- The break in period is much quicker than with traditional leather Docs.
- Vegan Docs are comfortable to wear right away.
Are Doc Martens Sandals Comfortable?
Doc Martens Sandals are comfortable as they are easy to break in. The leather straps soften much more quickly than the classic leather Doc Martens boots, making the sandals much more comfortable on your feet. Once properly broken in they’ll be the comfiest pair of sandals you own.
When wearing Doc Martens sandals make sure you tighten the straps for maximum comfort. They sandals are chunky, so they run a little heavy and can’t be worn with loose straps.
Although they are heavier than a standard pair of sandals this doesn’t make them uncomfortable to wear. They have a super comfy cushioned sole and feel ‘springy’ to walk on, making them a pleasantly comfortable sandal to wear.
The Doc Martens sandals also provide excellent arch support for those with high arches. The foot bed of the sandals feature this support, making them oh-so comfortable to walk in.
The vegan Doc Martens sandals are even more comfortable than their leather counterparts as they are made from a much softer (but just as durable) synthetic leather substitute. They require almost no break in period and feel great straight out of the box.
Most Comfortable Doc Martens Style
The most comfortable Doc Martens style are the classic pisa leather Doc Martens 1460 boots. This is due to the softer grain of leather boots are made with. The leather is much softer and easier to break in, but just as tough, making it a good choice for your feet.
The 1460 boots are loved by many for their durability, waterproof seal and most of all their top level comfort. Enjoy the iconic Doc Martens boots style without the weeks to months of breaking in.
Save your heels and toes the blisters by going with a much softer material, that’s just as tough as the traditional leather.
Here’s a rundown of the pisa leather Doc martens 1460 boots:
- Great fit and fit true to size with a little extra wiggle room for thick socks.
- The break in period is minimal (1 week or so).
- The heat sealed seams are watertight making them ideal for walking in the rain.
- Super chunky slip-resistant tread.
- Handy pull tab for ease when taking them on and off.
- Iconic Goodyear welt stitching.
- Ultra comfortable air cushioned sole (breathable) with good arch support.
The 1460 pisa Docs are an excellent choice as they offer more comfort and waterproofing without loosing any of the sturdy quality of the original leather Docs. Take a look at them at drmartens.com.
How to Make Doc Martens More Comfortable
If you already own a pair of Doc Martens and you want to know how to make them more comfortable I have a full break in guide here, including a handy ‘overnight break in method’ if you’re in a pinch for time. But if you would like a quick rundown of common issues, read on.
Below I have provided a quick troubleshooting guide for the following issues:
What To Do When Doc Martens Are Tight On Toes
If your Doc Martens feel tight on your toes there are several ways you can resolve this issue.
- Purchase a boot stretcher and some boot stretching spray.
- Lightly saturate the inside of your Docs with the boot stretching spray and then insert the boot stretcher.
- Lace your Docs up tight – you want the stretcher to have resistance to work against.
- Leave the boot stretcher in your Docs for no more than 24hrs.
When you remove the stretcher the toes of your boots should feel much roomier.
If you aren’t able to purchase a boot stretcher and stretching spray, here is an easy alternative method that I really like:
Stuffing the boots
- Stuff your docs tightly with old clothes, paying special attention to the toe area.
- Lace the boots up as tightly as you can.
- Leave for a day or two.
- Repeat the process whenever you aren’t wearing your docs and they will begin to stretch gradually over time.
If you aren’t having any luck perhaps you didn’t buy the correct size of Docs. Consider selling them on and purchasing your correct size. Here’s a sizing guide to help you find the correct size, should you need it.
What To Do When Doc Martens Hurt Back Of Your Ankles
If your Doc Martens are hurting the back of your ankles here are three ways you can resolve this issue:
- Wear two pairs of thick socks when wearing your Doc Martens to help protect your ankles.
Try walking socks or blister-resistant socks for best results. I love wearing my Docs with blister-resistant socks on long walks to cushion my ankles.
- Before wearing your Docs put band aids over your ankles to form a protective layer.
Wear band aids over the back of your ankles then slip on two pairs of thick socks.
- Speed up the break in process of your Docs with a hairdryer. Slip on the boots and lace them as tightly as you can, before using your hair dryer to heat the back of the boots where they feel tight.
Heat up the leather for 30 seconds at a time to help it soften quicker.
If you want more help including detailed instructions, it’s best to read my full guide on breaking in Docs to make them more comfortable here.
Doc Martens Tight On Top Of Foot
If your Doc martens feel tight on the top of your foot here’s how to resolve the problem:
- You’ll need to stretch out the instep of the boots to make them more comfortable with either a boot stretcher or by stuffing the boots with old clothes.
- Insert either a boot stretcher or stuff the boots as tightly as you can with old clothes.
- Then lace up your Docs as tightly as possible.
- Leave for 24hrs. Remove the stretcher or old clothes and try on the boots. If they still feel tight repeat the process.
If you want to avoid creases in the leather use a leather conditioner before stretching out the boots. It’s easiest to stretch the boots overnight or whenever you aren’t wearing them, until they no longer feel tight.
Thank you for reading this review guide on ‘Are Doc Martens Comfortable?’ – I hope you now feel informed enough to either purchase a pair of these super cool boots, or to make the pair you already own more comfortable.
For more Doc Martens content (including cheap alternatives, a waterproofing guide and more), check out…
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).