Tips for Breaking In Dr Martens Boots (1914 Smooth)

Originally German, Dr Marten’s (fondly known as Docs or DM) were introduced in Britain, where it was adopted by factory workers and postmen for their durability. Made of hard leather, these shoes are apparently designed to last forever.

Over almost 60 years, the brand has become a style icon fitting men, women and children while playing noticeable roles in other aspects of social life including music and politics. Many Africans like myself love DMs despite its association with racists skinheads. In my opinion, holding the brand responsible for how people choose to use the product is unreasonable.

Breaking into my Dr Martens boots

My first choice was the Kendra because of my love for high-heeled shoes. However, considering my injured ankle, the 1914 Smooth was a better option, providing stability and extra warmth come winter.

Placing my order online got me a 20% student discount and it arrived in a large box with the coveted yellow laces!

You probably already know this but Docs are notorious for being difficult to break in. After what feels like forever, I finally broke in mine and this post is a list of a few helpful tips and tricks to prevent those excruciating blisters.

Breaking in Dr Martens requires a significant level of commitment. To be sure, there were many days I asked myself why I spent so much money to go through this much pain. My poor little toe was burning had me sore and limping home.

Thick or Double Socks
This is by far the most common recommendation to protect your toes and heel from friction. I got these thick socks from Amazon but for extra protection, I often wore two, a thinner pair beneath.  This made my boots somewhat difficult to fit in and considerably tighter. This is probably why many recommend you get boots that are a size bigger. I found that wearing my outer socks half-way made it significantly easier to slide into these boots

Alternate Wearing Days
For the first month don’t wear your boots every day for your feet’s sake, at least until the leather has softened considerably. This is to give your feet time to recover from any minor bruising or blister that might have begun. Even with double socks, I could still feel a pinch on my tiny toe and Achilles heel.

Glue-on Protection
Simply put, I glued cotton wool pads to the areas that often hurt, before putting on my thick socks and this worked best. You can use whatever you’ve got on hand. I had Got2b Glued (for my wig) and cotton wool pads (for cleansing my face).

Sprayed Got2be glued on the affected area and let it get a little tacky before you place and pat down the cotton wool pad. I got through 10hrs (9:30am to 7pm) and over 7000 steps with this trick. In addition, it helped me ditch the inner socks and feel so much more comfortable in my shoes.


In all, I recommend these boots. It took about a month to break in but the journey has certainly been worth it. Winter is here and my feet stay warm even in -3C weather. The leather has softened and they are so comfortable they feel like a second skin. Lacing up these boots is still a bit of a headache but I’m looking to get years of wearing out of them and right now, I’m planning my next pair.

How did you break in your Docs? How long did it take?
Let me know in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. I just got my first ever pair of Doc Martens last month, and I can totally relate to this. I had a bloody blister on the way home after buying it from the store because I decided to wear it right away, and I was completely oblivious to the breaking-in process. Well, let’s say I learned my lesson haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Red says:

      Oh my goodness. That’s a terrible experience and unfortunately very common. However, I’m sure you’ve broken in now.
      Loving them yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They still need some more breaking in, but they feel much better now compared to before 🙂 I love them so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tamie says:

    First time hearing about these shoes. I’ve had a shoe it that took me a while to break into though… not wearing it two days in a row helped me.
    Are the yellow laces a signature lace for the shoes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Red says:

      I agree. To be honest, I’m not sure. However, the yellow stitching around the sole are a DM signature.


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