Dr. Marten boots and shoes are notoriously sturdy. In fact, the brand new shoes are so sturdy that they can take some breaking in before being comfortable to wear. Because of the thick leather used by the brand, new Dr. Martens can be hard, causing blisters or sore feet. Breaking them in may take effort, but once you’ve softened up your Dr. Martens, your feet will probably thank you.
Soak your shoes. It may sound weird, but getting leather shoes wet will help them stretch. Soak your shoes in water for at least two minutes. Soaking the shoes primes the leather to stretch. If you’re afraid of damaging your Dr. Martens, you may want to coat the outside in a waterproofing solution made specifically for shoes.
Protect your feet. Cover your feet in Vaseline or another thick lotion. This will prevent blisters. Put on your thickest pair of socks. If you don’t own a pair of thick socks, put on two or three pairs of thin socks. The goal here is to protect your feet and stretch out the leather. The more socks you’re wearing, the easier the leather will stretch. You want your shoes to be able to bend with your feet when you walk, and the only way you can make that happen is if you stretch your shoes.
Walk around. Wear your wet Dr. Martens shoes until they dry. This will mold the shoe to your foot. Keep the shoes on even when you’re sitting down. If you feel a blister coming on, take the shoes and socks off and try again the next day.
Bend the shoes. Grab a shoe with your hand and bend it back and forth to loosen the sole. Wear the shoes for a few hours. Take them off and bend them again. Do this day after day until your Dr. Martens feel broken in and comfortable.
Use a stretcher. If you’d rather buy a gadget than try to break in your Dr. Martens on your own, you can buy a shoe stretcher. A shoe stretcher looks similar to a shoetree and is made to stretch ill-fitting shoes.
Nadria Tucker holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has contributed articles to "Birmingham Magazine" and "Lipstick Magazine" and her fiction has appeared in "THE2NDHAND," "New Southerner" and the fiction anthology "All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10."
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