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Do Doc Martens Run Big Or Small?

Do Doc Martens Run Big Or Small?

It is always a challenge deciding what size of Doc Martens to go for as everyone has an opinion about this brand of footwear. If you are out shopping for these shoes, it is vital to find the perfect fit as this is the only way to gain the value you so much desired.

But, firstly – how did a brand whose original focus was on workers who did not have befitting pair of work boots earn a spot in the mainstream footwear industry?

Well, this all boils down to the unique appeal and fearless attitude of Doc Martens that has allowed it to defy the test of time.  This was seen right from the start when the brand distinguished itself with its air-cushioned soles and welted construction that made them suitable for industrial workers. These qualities enabled the boots to maintain their toughness while providing users with the comforts they desired.

Do Doc Martens Run Big Or Small?

In most instances, Doc Martens will fit true to size. It’s essential to figure out the style you’ll be getting as Doc Martens can differ in size.

As the boots increasingly became popular among workers, they had a big breakthrough in the 70s. This was when they became a part of the rock ‘n’ roll and punk culture in the 70s, a platform that drove them right into the hall of fame. Since then, this brand has always had a spot in the mainstream footwear industry with its versatility, making it a suitable option for many fashionistas today.

Why are there questions about Doc Martens being true to size?

The toughness of Doc Martens is its defining strength, but also its Achilles heel when they are new. The first few weeks of owning these boots require a lot of patience as you need to break them in before you can start wearing them for longer periods. During this period, it is only natural that your feet will be extra sensitive to the tight feel and toughness of the Docs. For many people, this is instantly translated to mean that Doc Martens are not true to size and either run big or small.

But, is this the entire picture?

The process of breaking in Doc Martens is slow and a little demanding, but ultimately it gives you the value you desired in the boots. If you are patient enough and follow the best practices to properly break them in, these shoes will gradually soften and provide a better and more comfortable fit. However, if you rush this process, you will have to deal with blisters and painful feet, given how tough these boots are when still new.

Overly, you must view the break-in process as a rite of passage that will see you gain value from this brand. To have an easier time adjusting to your new Docs, you will need to:

  •       Invest in a thick pair of woolen or cotton socks. These will keep your feet protected as you break in the shoes, helping you avoid blisters and extreme discomforts.
  •       Use wonder balsam to soften the shoes. Applying this cream on your shoes will make the leather surface to soften and become more comfortable.
  •       Wear shoes for short periods. As you strive to get used to your shoes, it is important that you only wear them for short periods at a time. Please do not attempt to wear them for long periods as they will only hurt your feet. But, do not struggle to wear them if you feel they are too small and your toes or entire foot width cannot be accommodated. This is always a sign that the size of boots is too small for you and regardless of how much you struggle to break them in, they will never provide a comfortable fit.

Also Read: How To Wear Doc Martens With Jeans

How do I find the right size of Doc Martens?

The easiest way to find the right size of Doc Martens involves first knowing your foot size. You can easily determine this by looking at the shoe number of most of your shoes that naturally fit. Always remember that the foot is three dimensional, so it is not only about the length of your feet. This is because while you might be a size 8 similar to one of your friends, your foot could be wider or thinner than theirs.

If you are shopping for Doc Martens, always remember that after the initial break-in period they will feel roomier. As such, you need to find a perfect size if you do not want a boot that will be a little too big for your feet. Nevertheless, this does not mean going for a size that is too small that it will hurt your feet and make you uncomfortable. To avoid this, you need to go for Doc Martens that:

  •       Do not cramp your toes, right from the word go. As these boots stretch, the change is never largely on the length or width but in the softness and comforts of the shoes.
  •       Are wearable. Never go for Docs that make you walk with difficulty or give your foot an unusual shape. It would be best if you felt your feet resting in the shoes to allow you to walk around in them easily.
  •       Have minimal heel slip. If you wear boots that have too much heel slip, then you settled for the wrong size. It would help if you had Docs with minimal heel slip as this will reduce over time as the leather molds.

Understanding the shoe conversions

Most of the time shoppers find a hard time settling for the right pair of Docs because of the made in England styles that are sold in UK sizes. To avoid confusion, you can always refer to the shoe size conversion below:

3 5 36 22  
4 6 37 23  
5 7 38 23.5  
6 8 39 24.5  
6.5 8.5 40 25  
7 9 41 25.5  
8 10 42 26  
9 11 43 27  


6 7 39 24.5  
6.5 7.5 40 25  
7 8 41 25.5  
8 9 42 26  
9 10 43 27  
9.5 10.5 44 27.5  
10 11 45 28  
11 12 46 29  
12 13 47 29.5  
13 14 48  
14 15 49.5  
15 16 51  


The bottom-line

Doc Martens offers their shoes in whole sizes, and for those who are half a size (such as 7 ½ or 8 ½), it is best going down by half a size (opt for 7 or 8). But, if you find your whole size, then it is best to go for one in that number and not size down. This is because while some classic models such as the 1460s might run a bit big, they will not stretch the length rather give you more wiggle room. If you do not like the extra room, you can always add Doc Martens insoles and have the fit you desire.