Breaking in my Dr Martens: A Slightly Cautionary Tale

 

Despite having longed for some since I was a teenage emo queen, it was only last month that I actually splashed out on my very first pair of Dr Martens boots. When I was 16 and performing in a college play, I stumbled across a very second-hand pair in my size from the costume cupboard, and spent a long time regretting not ‘liberating’ them from the department, as they were an absolute perfect fit and insanely comfortable. Finally, I spotted a pair of Black Patent Leather Boots, and decided it was time to make them mine. Unwrapping them, I almost felt a sense of awe – things I’d wanted to own for such a long time, finally in my hands and ready to slide my feet into and traipse around comfortably in with an effortless grungy style.

The very first time I wore them it was a COMPLETE disaster. I was aware that DMs usually needed a good breaking in, but I don’t think I’d realised how painful they can be before the breaking in process if you don’t do it properly! After pottering around in the house in them for a while, I thought a trip to Tesco would be an excellent short journey to break them in – and it was, for about three minutes. By the end of the less-than-a-mile walk, I was in agony, hobbling round the aisles and unable to even put my heel down flat due to rubbing. After making it home, I removed the boots to actually see blood soaking through my tights. Despite this, I still wasn’t put off – and was determined to make them my comfy go-tos that teenage me had always dreamed of, in time for five days in a field at this year’s Download.

There are loads of tips around the internet claiming paper stuffing and ice help with the breaking in process, but I stuck to the classic wearing them in. Yep, I EARNED these boots. And this is how I did it…

Wear them indoors first

After my ill-fated supermarket trip, I decided to keep within confines of an area where I could freely take them off (although on Tesco day, I was pretty close to hobbling home in my socks). For a couple of days, I popped them on while pottering about the house.

Make little steps into the outside world

Once I’d gotten used to wearing them around the house, I started to slowly venture into the outside world – a walk down the street to the postbox, a stroll around the block. Relatively quickly, they began to mould to my feet better, and they felt more and more comfortable in the boots as time went on.

Invest in some thick socks…

By the time Download rolled around, I was pretty confident strolling around in my boots, but made sure I packed multiple pairs of thick socks to keep rubbing to a minimum and to make sure my feet were super comfy. When you first buy them, the inner material can be pretty abrasive and thick socks really takes away a lot of the friction. Even now they’re broken in, I still prefer to wear them with socks rather than just tights.

…and plenty of plasters!

One of the most painful things I found with breaking them in was the rubbing on the backs of my feet, leaving nasty blisters/wounds where the interior had rubbed away at my skin. Buying some big plasters was an absolute lifesaver move though, as they both protected the sore heels I already had AND stopped any further rubbing really well.

By the end of the Download weekend, I could honestly say my Docs had become some of the comfiest footwear I’ve ever owned – and they held up easily through the muddy wasteland that was the Campsite Village. As well as being a dream to wear, I also love the edge they add to a look – they look equally as great with girly dresses as they do with denim shorts and a band t-shirt. If you’re thinking of investing in a pair, ABSOLUTELY DO IT – however, make sure you really do break them in before you take them on an adventure!

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