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How to break in doc martens

Updated April 17, 2017

Dr. Martens, also known as Doc Martens, are a brand of boots that were originally developed in Germany in the late 1940s. They have been manufactured for many years because they are both durable and fashionable. Dr. Martens are made of high quality, durable leather that has been finished naturally. Because the leather used to make them is so thick, it may take more than a week to break them in, but once you do break them in, you can wear them for years. It's better to break them in when you have free time at home since the break-in process could become painful.

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  1. Rub Wonder Balsam (a tub comes with every new pair of Dr. Martens boots) onto the outside of the boots. Pay special attention to the seams and the heals.

  2. Wrap a thick towel around each boot. Hit the towel-wrapped boot with a rubber hammer several times.

  3. Rub in more Wonder Balsam and repeat the process. Remove the boots from the towel. Flex and twist the boots.

  4. Wear the Dr. Martens boots for two-three hours. The next day, wear them for three-four hours. Each day, wear them for an hour longer until you can wear them without them hurting your feet. Once you're able to walk and wear the boots for a full day without discomfort, they are fully broken-in for your feet.

  5. Cover your feet with petroleum jelly. Put on a very thick pair of socks and then put on your Dr. Martens.

  6. Turn on the shower and stand inside it until your boots are soaked.

  7. Leave your boots on as long as you can, or until they have dried. If they are removed before drying, put them back on as soon as you're able until they are no longer wet. When this happens, the shoes are broken in.

  8. Cover your feet with petroleum jelly. Put on a very thick pair of socks and then put on your Dr. Martens boots.

  9. Wrap wet towels around your boots and get them really damp.

  10. Keep them on as long as possible or until the towels and shoes are dry. If you need to remove them to take a break, put them on again as soon as you comfortably can. Once the towels and boots are dry, the process is complete.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wonder Balsam
  • Towel
  • Rubber hammer
  • Petroleum Jelly


About the Author

Fred Wood is a freelance writer and producer based in New York who started writing in 2007. His work can be found at wpix.com and he contributes to several TV news outlets in his tri-state area, including the CW and CBS networks. He specializes in news, health and lifestyle articles. He earned a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism from Jackson State University.

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