6 Ways to Break in Doc Martens Sandals Painlessly

6 Ways to Break in Doc Martens Sandals Painlessly

Doc Martens are not like your regular sandals. If you have never worn a Doc Martens sandal before, you need to know some things. Doc Martens are pretty stiff and uncomfortable initially. It can take quite some time for the sandals to become comfortable. 

You must allow some time for the sandals to become wearable. Some tips will speed up the break-in process. In this article, I will share 5 great tips to break in Doc Marten sandals faster.

6 Unbeatable Tips for Breaking in Doc Marten Sandals Faster

Doc Martens sandals have health benefits. They are great for your feet because they allow natural leg movement and blood flow. Unlike many other rubber sandals, they are uncomfortable initially.

You need to spend some time getting used to the sandals. If you want to speed up the process, here are some helpful tips.

Wearing Thick Socks

The stiffness of new Doc Marten sandals may hurt your feet and cause blisters. Wearing thick socks will allow you to speed up the break-in process and also protect your feet against damage.

Even after the break-in process is complete, your sandals will need a couple more wears to mold to the shape of your feet. The thick socks will make sure you have a painless experience.

Quick Water Soaking Technique

Unlike Birkenstocks, Doc Martens sandals are made of leather. You cannot carelessly soak your sandals in water. Here’s how you should soak sandals in water. 

Wear your sandal and put the strap on. Take a bucket of water and quickly step in and out of the bucket. The sandals will become damp. Wear them like that. If you do this, the sandals will break in faster.

Walk Around the House

After getting the pair, your first task is to wear them around the house before taking them outside. The sandals are not comfortable initially. As you start walking around the house, you will start getting used to the new sandals. 

Do this for a week or so. Walk around 10 minutes around the house. 

Start Slow and Gradually Increase the Duration of Wearing the Sandals

Always start slow. You don’t have to push yourself too much or you will be injured. You need to ease into the sandals. Wear the new sandals around your house for a week. After that, you can try wearing the footwear outside on odd days.

Take short walks of 15-20 minutes outside. During the break-in period, keep an extra pair of comfortable sandals when you are going outside. Switch your footwear when the Docs start to feel uncomfortable. 

Your new sandals should become comfortable to wear within 6 weeks.

Put Some Foot Lotion to Avoid Blisters

When you are trying to make your new Docs softer and more comfortable, your feet will start hurting at some point. As I mentioned before, don’t push yourself too much. Take the sandals off as soon as your feet start hurting. 

If you rush into the break-in period, your feet may get hotspots. Apply patches around the affected region. Don’t let them turn into blisters. Some people have developed blisters in the heel region.

You can apply a bit of Vaseline on the heel region of your sandal. Vaseline will protect your feet against blisters. But don’t overdo it or you will have a nasty sticky experience. You can apply a bit of Vaseline each night before going to sleep.

Use Freezer Bags

There is an interesting way of breaking in Doc Marten sandals. It’s called the freezing technique. I saw it on some forums and tried it out for myself to see the results. Thankfully, this method works. Here’s how you can do it.

Take two zip-locked bags, and fill them with water. Line up your Docs with plastic bags before putting them inside the zipper bags. Put each pair in separate zip-locked bags of water. 

Leave the bags like that. The water will expand overnight. As a result, the sandals will also get stretched slightly. You can apply this method especially if you need a bit of width.

You can also check this article on breaking in Doc Martens.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to break in Doc Martens sandals?

You need to ease into Doc Martens sandals. On average, Doc Martens sandals may need 3-6 weeks to be broken in properly. Following the tips I shared in this article could help you speed up the break-in process by a few days.

2. How do I make Doc Martens sandals softer?

Doc Martens sandals become softer as you keep wearing them. If you follow the tips I shared in this article, your sandals will become softer. You can apply the quick water soaking technique to make Doc Martens sandals softer fast. 

Doc Martens suggests people stretch the sandal gently with their hands when they are wearing new sandals. Massaging the sandal will have a stimulating effect and soften the sandals faster.

3. How do I make Doc Martens sandals less stiff?

When you buy a new pair of Doc Marten sandals, they will feel stiff. Stiff sandals are not that comfortable to wear, right? Well, there are some easy workarounds. Experts at Doc Martens suggest people massage and stretch the sandals gently with their hands. This reduces the stiffness slightly.

Doc Martens has a specific product for stretching its products. It’s called Wonder Balsam. It can truly work wonders on leather sandals and shoes. The product contains beeswax, coconut oil and lanolin. You will get a sponge when you get the lotion.

Get a little bit of the mixture on a sponge and apply it to your Doc Martens regularly. If you do this, the sandals will become less stiff in a quick time.


The break-in process of Doc Martens sandals is painful. But I think the footwear is worth the pain. Once you break them in, they are comfortable and ensure healthy and strong leg movement. 

Some people give up when their feet start to hurt. I have shared some tips here so you don’t. Follow the tips and share the results. Thanks so much for reading.

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