Dr. Martens Shoe Care
"Paging Dr. Marten"
Summary: In this article we cover Dr. Martens (Doc Martens), explain how to lace them up, how to avoid blisters, and how to care for them. We also compare the iconic shoe to other brands like hunting boots, hiking boots, and Timberlands.
What’s Correct: Doc Martens or Dr. Martens?
Shoe enthusiasts both casual and serious alike have likely heard of the trendy brand and found themselves wondering how the brand’s name is actually supposed to be said.
Who Invented Doc Martens?
The Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich.
And yes, Doctor Marten invented the Dr. Martens. He was a German doctor during WWII. Long story short, he injured his ankle while skiing in the Swiss Alps. Finding the standard Army issue boots too uncomfortable, he created his own boot.
Doc Martens or Dr. Martens - What’s the Difference?
The brand’s name is officially written out as Dr. Martens, while also commonly referred to as Doc Martens. Neither is incorrect, but Dr. Martens is the official brand name and should be used when referring to the brand formally.
Any official catalog listing will have the brand listed as Dr. Martens, while Doc Martens is typically the accepted shorthand or slang for the brand when discussing them casually.
Hardcore Dr. Martens enthusiasts (we're looking at you, Reddit) will likely expect you to refer to them as Dr. Martens, however, so be aware of the context within which you are discussing them.
Lacing Up Your Dr. Martens: Step by Step
Dr. Martens have their own distinct design and therefore have a specific style in which they should be laced up.
Follow the steps below to successfully lace up your Dr. Martens the correct way:
To begin with, you’re going to want to start by lacing up the two bottom eye hole of your Dr. Marten, ensuring the lace is going through the underside of the hole.
Next, you’ll want to take the shoelace through the opposite side of the shoe, ensuring the laces are exiting the shoe through the top side rather than the underside.
Next, lace up the other side of the shoe. Thread the other side’s shoelace through its opposite side from the top of the shoelace hole, then bring it back to the original side.
Push the shoelace underneath the following eye hole. To finish, go ahead and tighten the laces throughout the Dr. Marten.
What to do When You Have a Dr. Martens Heel Blister
If you haven’t yet broken in your Dr. Martens, blisters are likely to be unavoidable. Start by working to avoid blistering from your new Dr. Martens by breaking them in before wearing them.
Breaking in Your Dr. Martens
A good tip for wearing any new shoes, in general, is to make sure you are wearing a thick layer of socks. If no especially thick pairs of socks are available to you, you can go ahead and put on two pairs of thin socks.
Next, you’re going to want to break them in around the house, slowly, a few hours at a time. If you can, go ahead and put them on and walk around for a few extended periods of time.
Instead of simply sitting around in them, you’ll want to test the entire range of motion available to you by moving your foot dynamically. This will ensure that when you wear them out of the house for the first time, your Dr. Martens shoes will already have been broken in.
Doc Martens vs. Timberlands
Both Dr. Martens and Timberlands are popular fashion boots - and for good reason. Both are sturdy and stylish, and can easily be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion.
Each comes in differing models, so which shoe is best for you really comes down to the models you're comparing and your own personal shoe needs.
Dr. Martens are typically lower in price than Timberlands, although this too can be subjective. The overall price of both depends greatly on the size you're buying and the gender they are intended for, with the price of men's Dr. Martens typically being lower than those of men's Timberlands, while Timberlands for women or children are typically cheaper than Dr. Martens for the same demographic.
Similarly, both brands offer more styles than just boots, but Dr. Martens typically offer more styles for women than for men, likely due to the demographics within each is more popular. Click here to learn How to Stretch Leather Shoes
If possible, stretch them out more than you might think you’ll need to. Go ahead and stretch your foot further, elongate it more, and ensure you have unlocked an all-around larger range of motion than you would while walking around normally.
Additionally, many Dr. Marten enthusiasts suggest adding insoles and wearing extra layers of socks with new Dr. Martens boots in order to avoid blistering.
Doing all of this should help you break in your Dr. Martens before it’s time for you to wear them out and help you to avoid blisters. Sometimes, however, blisters from new shoes are unavoidable.
Dr. Martens Shoe Care
As any Dr. Martens enthusiast will tell you, Dr. Martens require a specific care regimen in order to keep them looking their best. In order to keep your Dr. Martens looking new, you can follow basic shoe care rules such as taking precautions to prevent shoe crease and read our Leather Conditioning Tips.
Additionally, if you find your Dr. Martens have begun to break apart, using a good leather shoe glue is key.
Dr. Martens vs. Hunter Boots
Dr. Martens and Hunter Boots may typically be sold within the same category, but with a few major distinctions. Dr. Martens usually offer a more bold look, while Hunter Boots come in a wider variety of staple fashions.
From Chelsea Boot to over-the-knee styles, Hunter Boots offer more diversity by way of the classic boot, while Dr. Martens remain looking distinct.
Dr. Martens vs. Hiking Boots
While Dr. Martens are usually quite sturdy, they are, above all, a fashion boot. These boots provide more style over function. Those looking to use their Dr. Martens as hiking boots should be advised that they are not really an outdoor boot.
Not only will the Dr. Martens likely deteriorate quickly after attempted use as hiking boots, but they will also likely not keep you as safe from the elements as a typical hiking boot would.
Hiking boots usually offer more grip, making them the safer choice when trecking through rough terrain. You will likely find your Dr. Martens uncomfortable after just a few hours of attempting hiking with them.
When it comes to hiking, it's best advised to use a boot designed for the job, lest you risk hurting your boots, or yourself.
What About Similar Shoes?
There are a few shoes in a similar style, but what sets Dr. Martens apart?
Custom Doc Martens
Here are a few pics of cool Doc Martens we've found on the internet, with a link below each picture on where you can get them.
Doc Martens 1490 - painted in the style of Giannicola di Paolo (painting title 'The Annunciation' ) - Currently sold out on Amazon and sold out on Importitall. May be available on Dr1490
Doc Martens 1490 - available at Urban Outfitters
Ed Hardy style designed Doc Martens 1460 - available on WeGrooove2
- Alex Pop