There are many universal human experiences in this world — one of them is the utter humiliation that comes with running for any form of public transport and then still proceeding to miss it. Another is when you hit your elbow on something accidentally, and your entire nervous system feels like it’s been hit with electric barbed wire. The worst of them all though is the universal dread that comes with breaking in a new pair of Docs. Why must they look so good but hurt so bad?
To save your feet from the trauma and quite literal blood, sweat and tears that comes with facing such a challenge — we asked Dr Marten’s owners to share just how they got through the teething stages with their boots. Here’s every weird and wacky tip they had to share with us.
How to break in Dr Martens
“So, I bought a pair of Paire merino wool socks for my Docs because they’re literally marketed as anti-blister socks, and they have changed the game, baby. The merino wool is super comfy, and they don’t sink down around your ankles after a few hours of wear and leave the back of your tootsies vulnerable. While I’d definitely still double sock them and add plenty of bandaids at your heels and around your toes in the early few weeks of walking, it takes the edge off because previously, I was coming home with blood all over my heels.” — Chanttel
“I know I’m not the first but where thick socks!! Wear two pairs if you need to! I would also recommend those insoles you’d put in your school shoes back in the day as the leather will really stretch over time. This will stop it from creasing on the outside. In my experience platform Docs don’t need as much breaking in — they’re also much cooler so opt for those instead” — Bianca
Apparently Adding Some Water to the Mix Helps, Too
“Guys, hear me out, but thick, wet socks. My dad’s a soldier and always did it for about a week or so to wear in his boots. I’ve also done it with my RMs, and it did help with those, too (they’re brutal)” — Skylar
“My Dr Martens took months to break in because I’d just wear them everywhere for hours on end, but my friends have wet the insides or put a small wet washcloth inside which helps a little” — Marissa
Call in the Professionals
“I got mine stretched out by a cobbler, [they still hurt] a little bit but, not as much as freshies!” — Courtney
Give Them a Good ballerina Beating
“I break my docs in, in a similar way to how I used to break in my point shoes, by beating up the leather a little. I usually heat them up a touch with a hair dryer in the spots where I find them the stiffest before massaging/needing the leather to make it softer before chucking them on and stomping around a little. If you’re not precious about your docs, you can really give them a good go, and they’ll break in quicker. I also watched a creator on TikTok talk about these heel pads, I think if I had my time again, I’d give those a whirl too.” — Bree
Give Your Feet Some Old-Fashioned Lubrication
“VASELINE. Rub it on the problem areas — heaps of it. Then socks and Docs. Double sock it if you have to.” — David
Save Yourself the Trouble and Get Your Dr Martens Second Hand
“My docs have always been the vegan leather ones, before that it was hand-me-downs (to justify wearing leather) that were already well and truly worn in but to break in the vegan ones, I simply wore super duper thick socks (like the Tradie ones) and walked on flat roads/paths, and that was enough. One extra reason to get the vegan bois is how easy they are to break in!” — Asha
“The truth is that I bought them secondhand from my friend, so they were already broken in, but when you think about it, breaking in shoes is truly a mental game. To get you through the hard weeks of breaking into a pair of leather shoes, you need to remember why you wanted to in the first place. Think of how cute your outfits will be. Think of how great it’ll be to trapeze through the day with ease. Use that as your fuel as you wear thick socks and carry bandaids with you wherever you go” — Maggie
The Medieval Torture Method
“I purposely packed them on my last vacay ‘cos I knew I’d be walking a tonne and I couldn’t just go back to the hotel to change them if my feet started protesting.” — Louie
Now that we’ve built you up with enough courage to slide that foot of yours back into your Dr Martens one more time — go forth and break a
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.