Are Doc Martens Good for Hiking? Comfort or Compromise?

Doc Martens shoes have been around for ages and you can often find them on the feet of musicians, workers, or people associated with the punk culture. These simple yet classy shoes have played a significant role in improving the overall design of leather shoes in the market.

But would I use it for hiking? I would most likely take a hard pass. Though these shoes are comfortable and extremely sturdy, hiking with these shoes would be quite a painful experience. Still, there are a lot of people who have hiked wearing Doc Martens boots.

In this article, I will discuss both sides of the story so that you can decide for yourself if Doc Martens are good for hiking.

Hiking in Doc Martens: Pros and Cons

Let me start off with a quick list of the advantages and disadvantages of hiking with Doc Martens.


  • Good Posture

Doc Martens shoes come with excellent arch support that ensures your posture is perfect. And since the interior of these shoes is quite spacious, you will be able to maintain a good stance all the time. Strong and Sturdy

  • Protected

Doc Martens shoes are known for their protective design. Even if you do not go with the work boots that have steel plates at the front, a basic shoe by the brand is still sturdy enough to withstand any hiking trail.

  • Looks Good

Well, if looks matter to you during hiking, Doc Martens will not be a let-down. These shoes have their own charm and it looks ruggedly stylish.


  • Heavy

The number one problem with hiking in Doc Martens boots is that they are quite heavy. Compared to a hiking boot, these shoes weigh a ton.

  • Not Flexible

These shoes are also quite rigid. Even after you break them in, you will have limited ankle movement. If you are hiking in hilly terrain, there is a good chance that you will sprain your ankle trying to climb rocks wearing these shoes.

  • Not always Waterproof

Weather can be unpredictable in the wild. Although some Doc Martens shoes can withstand rain, not all of them are made waterproof. If it suddenly starts raining during a hike, or if you have to cross a river on foot, then you might just ruin your shoes.


As you can see, the cons outweigh the pros of hiking in Doc Martens. Don’t get me wrong; I love my Doc Martens. But for hiking, I would rather go with a different option.

Are Doc Martens Good Travel Shoes?

Well, it depends on your destination. As I said, I would not recommend wearing it while hiking. But if you are traveling to a city environment, it is not a bad choice. These shoes have their own distinct aesthetic appeal. The simple, no-nonsense, and rough design of these boots is quite attractive, to be honest.

Are Doc Martens Good for Walking?

Yes, Doc Martens are quite decent for walking. Since these boots are designed for comfort and durability, you should have no issue walking in them the entire day. However, if you are hiking in hilly or rough terrain, I would strongly advise against wearing it even after breaking it in.

How Long Do Doc Martens Take to Break In?

The break-in period is the bane of any good leather boots. That is why a lot of first-time users of leather boots have so many complaints regarding comfort. The truth is, although leather is a decently flexible material, it is stiff at first. After using it a couple of times, it starts to loosen up.

The same goes with Doc Martens boots. You need to wear it for a couple of weeks at least until it starts to feel flexible. Typically, these shoes have a lower break-in period compared to other shoes like Timberlands. A new pair of Doc Martens should not take more than two months to break in.

Do Dr. Martens Hurt Your Feet?

Well, it depends. If you buy a shoe that does not fit your size, then it will hurt you. It might not even be apparent for the first few hours. But after wearing it for a longer period, your feet will start to ache. In extreme cases, you might even start developing blisters on your feet.

With Doc Martens, if the size is right, it should never hurt your feet. Doc Martens work boots especially are designed for workers who need to traverse in hazardous work environments such as construction sites for a long time. So comfort is always a prime concern of the brand.

Besides, the interior cushioning in Doc Martens boots also makes sure that you do not feel any discomfort while wearing them. I have already said, these shoes require a break-in period to get comfy, however.

So, if the shoe is completely new, then it might be a bit uncomfortable to wear at first. My advice would be to keep wearing it for a month or so. If it still hurts, then consider getting it replaced.

Do They Have Good Arch Support?

When it comes to arch support, Doc Martens is no slouch. The interior of these boots is designed quite well and gives you enough support for walking or standing for a prolonged period. You can even use custom inserts if you want more arch support. But the one that comes with the shoe is decent enough.

Personally, I swap out the inserts in my shoes any chance I get. Since I have flatter feet than most, the natural arch support in Doc Martens is not exactly comfortable for me. However, for most people, the built-in insert should provide enough support for a comfortable walking experience.

Final Thoughts

People have had mixed results hiking in Doc Martens. Personally, I would not recommend it. But if you want to try it out for yourself, by all means, go for it. Your experience might be better than mine.

I hope my article could give you enough information to know exactly what you are getting yourself into if you are planning to go hiking with Doc Martens boots.

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