It’s not uncommon to have a love-hate relationship with Dr Martens.
Sure, we love the way they look on our feet, giving us a versatile and chunky, black boot that can be paired with jeans, dresses, midi skirts and more. Not to mention the timeless design, which looks just as good now as it did in the 1960s.
But breaking them in can be a turbulent process – packed with tears, blisters and some very disheveled feet.
Anyone thinking of buying a pair of the boots must be prepared to go on a journey with them.
Incredible comfort can be achieved, but it may take a while to get there.
Over the years, we’ve seen all kinds of tips and tricks for getting Dr Martens to mould to feet, but which ones actually work?
We’ve rounded up recommendations from experts and Dr Marten owners themselves, for the things they’ve tried to soften their leathery boots.
These are some of the tricks they suggested…
Sticking sanitary towels to the back inner side of the shoe can help to cushion heels and stop them rubbing.
Leila Jones tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It definitely helps to protect your heels – you just have to make sure you’ve stuck them down properly.’
‘Stuff them with damp newspaper overnight everyday,’ says Laura Abernethy.
‘My first pair took months but they also lasted five years after that.’
Packing as much newspaper as you can tightly into the toes of your boots will help to stretch out the toe box. Also, removing the laces will make them easier to stuff.
Layering up with thick socks will help provide more padding for your feet.
‘Fluffy bed socks over normal socks,’ adds Gemma Flinders.
‘Although, not a great hack for warmer weather.
‘It helped me break in my Shriver Hi pair with no problems. I didn’t do the same for my Devon Heart pair, because it was too hot, and they ruined my feet.’
Wear them around the house
Start small, with little trips around the house.
This technique will help your feet get familiar with the boots, but there won’t be enough time for blisters to form. What’s more, they can be taken off as soon as they start to rub.
Blister plasters are a staple to have on hand with any new shoe, but particularly with hard-wearing Dr Martens.
Multiple Dr Marten owners have suggested keeping these close by – even in a bag when out and about, so you’re not caught out with a painful blister while on-the-go.
This way you can still continue to wear them and break them in, but the sore parts of your feet will remain protected.
Pee on them
Metro.co.uk’s senior social producer Elle Rudd says: ‘My dad swears that peeing on them and then wearing them helps.
‘It all started when he was in the army, to stretch out the boots you would wee on them and something about the acid would stretch them out around your foot.
‘He has tried to get me to do this, but I think I’d prefer the blisters.’
Laura adds that buying special wax can also help to soften the leather.
She says: ‘You can buy stuff from Dr Marten – it wasn’t available with my first pair and my last two pairs have been weirdly easy (maybe my feet are just forever Dr Marten-shaped after the first battle).’
Use a freezer
William Munro, an orthopaedic expert at FootActive, says that putting the boots in the freezer, and then defrosting them before wearing, can help break them in.
He says: ‘Yes, this sounds crazy but hear me out.
‘Simply fill freezer bags with water (one bag for each of your shoes) making sure to use strong plastic bags made specifically for the freezer, so they don’t break when the water freezes into ice.
‘Place the bag in your shoe, being careful to avoid the bag ripping while inside your shoes. Try to get the bag as close to the toe of your shoe as possible – especially if that is the main area you are trying to stretch out.
‘Place your shoes in the freezer for at least 4-8 hours to ensure that the water has enough time to freeze into ice.
‘Then simply take your shoes out of the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before you try and take out the bags of ice. Allowing the ice to thaw will make it easier to remove the bags. This never fails to stretch out my shoes by around half a size.’
Grab a hammer
‘My one and only tip – take a hammer to them,’ says Jess Lindsay.
This technique involves wrapping the shoes in a towel to protect them before hitting the the heel with a hammer. Do this around the heel and the sole of the shoe for 15-20 minutes.
It’s worth pointing out that a rubber mallet hammer can be used if you’re worried about damage.
TikToker @sophie.seddon suggests using a bit of elbow grease and squeezing the heels regularly.
However, she stresses to do this gently – so the boots don’t get damaged.
Credit: Original article published here.