If you’ve ever owned a pair of Dr. Marten boots, you’ll know how important it is to get the sizing spot on to avoid any discomfort, rubbing or gross blister situations. It seems everyone has a horror story about their first ever pair of DMs that turned them off the shoe for life, but we’re here to answer the ultimate question: what size Doc Martens should I buy!?
This size guide is going to be a tricky one. There’s a lot of conflicting answers on the ‘ole web, but we’re here to deliver you the answer that’ll provide the comfiest fit for you. Unfortunately, Dr. Martens aren’t available in half sizes and the brand recommends that to get your true to size fit, you should size down to your closest whole size, rather than sizing up. However, we know that this makes for a pretty miserable breaking in process. Eventually, the leather will stretch and shape to your foot and the fit will feel practically customised, but you’ll have to be brave to get there because the shoe will 100% rub in the meantime. Personally, here at TSW, we’ve always gone a half size up so we can wear thick socks, a sh*t load of plasters and keep the laces a little loose during the initial “break in” stage.
How Do Dr. Martens Fit?
As we said, Doc Martens are notorious for being some of the uncomfiest shoes to break in. The brand has started combatting this by releasing boots crafted from softer, more flexible leather that doesn’t dig into your heel as much. Whether the DM Sinclair boot is your fave or you can’t go without the brand’s classic 1460 boot, one thing’s for sure – if you don’t size up to your closest full size, you’ll regret it. Yes, we know – the brand says size down, but you’ll just have to trust us on this one.
“Whether it was with denim shorts in the summer or jeans and a jumper in the winter, I wore my DMs everywhere. ”
Paige, Content Manager at The Sole Womens, said about her experience with DMs: “When I was in my teens, Dr. Martens were THE boot to be wearing. Whether it was with denim shorts in the summer or jeans and a jumper in the winter, I wore my DMs everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, my feet bled like crazy and I practically limped everywhere, but hey, I felt stylish AF. The first pair I had were the white floral ones, they weren’t too bad because the leather was quite soft. I’m a UK size 4.5 and I went for a UK size 5, wore thick socks and didn’t have many problems. Next came the white patent pair and I assumed going true to size would be fine because, in all honesty, it was the last size in stock and I had no problems with my size 5 (if anything, they were a little loose!) I was wrong. The patent leather didn’t soften. Instead, it bent and dug directly into my ankle and I still have scars to this day from them! After this, the low-top Doc Marten shoe phase came into play. In all honesty, I wouldn’t get these ever again in any size. The leather on the back was SO rigid, it was practically impossible to break in. If I were to get Docs again, I’d probably cop on Depop or Ebay tbh and skip the breaking-in.”
How Do I Break In My Dr. Martens?
We have an extensive guide on the best ways to make your Doc Martens more comfortable that you can read here. But, we’ll give you a little run down just in case you’re in a rush. Chloe, a Content Writer here at The Sole Womens swears by an, um, unconventional method. She says: “Like everyone else on the planet, I find DMs tricky to break in, but I swear by sanitary pads to get me through the process. I know, I know, it sounds bonkers – but sticking a pad to the insole of the boot gives extra padding and protects your foot. Of course, Compeed blister plasters are non-negotiable and I fully recommend putting them on BEFORE the blisters are caused, rather than after.”
“Like everyone else on the planet, I find DMs tricky to break in.”
Do Dr. Martens Stretch?
Originally, Dr. Martens were designed to be work boots way back in 1901. They’re sturdy and durable for a reason! Crafted from genuine leather (with vegan options available now, of course), DMs were donned by postmen and factory workers who could only afford a new pair of boots every few years. Made to last, Docs are specifically designed to mould to the shape of your foot after continuous wear, so they feel truly bespoke. Of course, there are old tricks like stuffing your boots with newspaper then hairdrying them on the hottest setting to stretch the fabric – does it work? Not sure, never tried it. But hey, needs must.
“They’re sturdy and durable for a reason!”
So, What Size Dr. Martens Should I Buy?
In short, the choice is all yours! As we’ve said, Doc Martens only come in full sizes – so if your true to size fit is a half size, the brands recommend sizing down to your closest full size. However, as experienced DM wearers, we here at The Sole Womens will always opt for sizing up because it allows more room for thick socks extra cushioning to make that breaking-in process way more bearable.