How Do Doc Martens Fit?

Dr. Martens is one of the most iconic footwear brands in the United Kingdom and is instantly recognized around the world. Initially made in the 1960s as factory boots for the working class, they became a staple of punk wear through the 1970s and have been a fashion statement ever since.

Nowadays, Dr. Martens has represented the rebellious nature of the counterculture and is often worn as a symbol of attitude by adding that extra edge to your style. What makes Dr. Martens fantastic are their durability and resilience as they are made with the same ideals as they originally were.

They are investment pieces that will last for years of continued use. In this guide, we’ll be providing you with everything you need to know about Dr. Martens fit, how you need to break them in properly, and much more. 

How Do Doc Martens Fit?

Normally, Doc Martens do fit true to size meaning that you can purchase the size that you are. However, this is dependent on the style of shoe that you are purchasing. If you are buying the classic 1461 boot then you may find that you can go down a size or purchase an insole as they can run big to size.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that Doc Martens will increase in length but not necessarily in width so if you have wider feet, make sure that you try the shoes on in-store. 

Here is a sizing guide so you can have a better idea of what size to purchase:

  • UK size 3 (European size 36) = US Men and Women size 5
  • UK size 4 (European size 37) = US Men and Women size 6
  • UK size 5 (European size 38) = US Men size 6 and Women size 7
  • UK size 6 (European size 39) = US Men size 7 and Women size 8
  • UK size 7 (European size 41) = US Men size 8 and Women size 9
  • UK size 8 (European size 42) = US Men size 9 and Women size 10
  • UK size 9 (European size 43) = US Men size 10 and Women size 11

Additional Facts On Sizing

It’s always best to go in store to ensure that the size that you purchase is the best one for you. However, for those who don’t live near a Doc Martens store, there are some facts that you should bear in mind that you can remember when deciding which size is the best one for you.

The sizes can be found on the inside of the tongue of the shoes or the ankle strap on the sandals. The designs that are from the Made in England styles will display the UK size rather than the US size, so you will need to refer to the conversion chart in these cases.

Here are some points that you should think about when researching which size to go for:

Sizes Offered

The sizes offered on the US site are provided in US sizing but there is a conversion chart so you can also view UK and European shoe sizes should you need to.

When it comes to the US sizes on offer, Doc Martens only offers whole sizes meaning that if you are a half size, you should go down to the nearest size if you have narrow feet and up a size if you have wider feet. This will ensure that you will have a more comfortable fit. 

How The Shoe Fits

The fit of the shoe is entirely dependent on the style. A shoe from the women’s range tends to be more suited for narrower feet whereas shoes on the unisex and men’s lines are wider and may be more accomodating for wider feet.

Also, bear in mind that shoes made from soft leather tend to have more stretch and comfortability than the patent leather styles which are more rigid and can be more difficult to break in. 

Going Up A Size

If you do decide to go up a size then remember that this is more likely to affect the length of the shoe rather than the width, especially if you are purchasing a shoe from the women’s range. 

Using The Size Guide

Knowing how to use the size guide will also ensure that you are getting the best size shoe for you. If you can’t make it to a store then here are some great tips to remember when it comes to using the size guide and how to measure your own foot and use the chart: 

1. Knowing Where To Measure

The first thing to know is that the measurements are given in inches and span the length of the insole in the shoe rather than the length of the foot within that size.

2. Measuring Your Foot

When measuring your foot for Doc Martens, it’s important to measure from the heel to toe while wearing the socks you plan to wear with the shoes and also while you are standing. This will give you a more accurate measurement of the insole length. 

3. Knowing What Kind of Fit You Want

Knowing whether you want a tight fit or a more comfortable and roomy fit is important, especially if you are in between sizes.

For those with narrower feet, they may want to go down to the nearest size so the shoe is more fitted whereas for those who have wider feet or want a roomier shoe, going up to the nearest size is the best option. Either way, it’s all about what kind of fit you want and is dependent on the style of shoe. 

How To Break In Your Doc Martens

When you purchase your Dr. Martens, the first thing you will need to do is break them in. As they are made from rigid leather and faux leathers, it’s important to spend a good amount of time wearing them for short periods of time until they eventually begin to soften and break in.

You can do this by walking around your house to familiarize yourself with the feeling of your Dr. Martens. If you have never worn Dr. Martens before, you should be aware that they can feel hard against the foot and ankle while also being extremely heavy.

You’ll get used to the weight of the shoes and the materials will begin to provide the support you want from them. Once this is done, you’ll be able to wear the shoes every day for long periods of time.

If you are finding the boots too hard, you can soften the insides using Dr. Martens’ Wonder Balsam which is made from beeswax, coconut oil, and lanolin which can provide the leather with hydration and fasten up the softening process.

If you have wider feet or are finding the shoes too tight then you can take the inner sole out of the shoe or add an extra insole if they aren’t feeling snug enough. Whether they are too tight or too loose, make sure that you wear a pair of thick socks to protect your feet against cuts and blisters.

This will also help the leather to shape your foot more comfortably. If you don’t wear any socks then you will find that the shoes will most likely cause cuts and blisters which will be worsened by the heat that your feet will be exposed to.

The more your feet swell in the heat, the worse the blisters will become. It can take a while for the Dr. Martens to fully break in but once they have, you won’t want to take them off. 

Are Dr Martens Unisex?

Another great thing about Dr. Martens is that their designs are unisex. The Dr. Martens belief is that their designs go beyond gender and that their shoes are for everyone.

They do offer designs in men’s and women’s ranges but you’ll be able to find all of their styles available at every size meaning that no one is excluded from purchasing whatever shoe is best for their style.

Bear in mind that the women’s range of shoes run a little bit narrower than the men’s so keep this in mind if you have wider feet. The men’s range is also unisex and tends to be wider meaning that if you have narrow feet or are in between sizes then you can go down a size for a tighter fit.

However, if you have wider feet then choosing a shoe from the unisex range will mean that there is a better chance of them fitting properly. 

Can The Soles In Dr Martens Be Repaired?

Dr. Martens are made using their iconic AirWair sole which provides the shoes with their durability. Usually, they should be able to withstand any condition but if they do need repairing then you can take your Dr. Martens to your local store where they will be sent to the factory for repair.

This is because the boots are made from one piece that has been molded. This is another reason why it is important to make sure that you are choosing the appropriate size in order to prevent your insoles from getting damaged prematurely. 


Overall, you should always purchase a pair of Dr. Martens that suits your style and is fully comfortable for you. However, it is equally important to know how to take care of them and how to break them in properly to avoid any injury to yourself or damage to the shoes.

Whether you go for their classic 1461 boot or their iconic sandals, knowing what kind of material you are working with will mean that you can prepare to properly take care of them so you can make the most from them.

Related Posts:

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top