are doc martens good for hiking

Are Doc Martens Good For Hiking? + Things You Should Know! [2022]

Have you ever wondered if the pair of Doc Martens you have are suitable for hiking? 

This timeless fashion necessity has a wide following among shoe enthusiasts who swear upon the comfort of a good pair of these rugged shoes. 

But, while they may look great, are Doc Martens suitable for hiking? Let’s find out!

The demanding nature of the art of hiking essentially calls for suitable, sturdy footwear that is resilient enough for rough and rugged terrains but also comfortable to use for long hours. 

This is why specially-made shoes are designed for hiking, as not all footwear is catered to this category. 

With that being said, Doc Martens are okay to hike in but not the best.

 They are relatively durable, but the leather on the Docs is stiff and tends to cause blisters and a lot of discomforts while you explore the trails. 

These boots are also on the heavier side and don’t offer much breathability, affecting your comfort and speed on your hike. 

However, there are two sides to consider, as with all footwear debates. 

As you read on, we’ll discuss whether or not hiking in Doc Martens is a good idea, the pros and cons, and everything in between so that you can find the best boots for your trail adventures. 

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What Are Some Of Doc Martens’ Main Features?

Most of Doc Martens’ boots are designed to incorporate a stiff and smooth leather upper, their signature air-cushioned rubber sole, and their well-known yellow stitching found in most of its designs. 

The highlight of these boots is the eight-eye design that makes the boot tall enough to hit low on the calf. 

Doc Martens have replaced their stiff leather uppers with a more textured, softer, and thinner leather in recent models.

 This has helped elevate the image of the boots and make them slightly easier to break in – credit to their flexibility. 

It is not a mystery that a pair of Doc Martens can be hard to break in, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

 It’s just a matter of making sure that the stiff leather is softened which can only happen with usage and time. They are also typically heavier than regular hiking boots.

Can You Use Doc Martens For Hiking?

When looking for the perfect hiking shoes, there are several qualities you should look out for to ensure you are comfortable when you hike.

 Let’s see if Doc Martens has what it takes to go on a hiking adventure. 

1. Finding The Perfect Fit

It’s a known fact that it is crucial to wear proper shoes when planning to go on a hike. 

The shape and dimensions of your hiking shoes should not be compromised for anything less than perfect. A good rule of thumb is to have the boots fit snugly around the heel and ankle while still having room for your toes to wiggle.  

Finding the right size for a pair of Doc Martens won’t be a problem, but you’ll have to break them in first. 

The toughness of these boots requires a little patience- you’ll have to take some time, up to weeks, to soften them and get used to them slowly.

 It would help if you never skipped this vital stage, and it can involve wearing them for short periods every day until they don’t hurt your foot anymore. 

Thick socks are a must when you’re breaking in your boots. You might also need to use the leather protector and softener to soften the leather. 

Please don’t rush into wearing them for long periods until you have broken them incorrectly, or you might end up with severe blisters. 

2. Comfort And Breathability 

When looking for the perfect hiking boots, your comfort should be on the top of your checklist.

 For a demanding activity like hiking, you’ll need to make sure your feet can breathe to stay comfortable and dry on your trails. 

After you’ve broken them in, Doc Martens are good for your feet and are known for being tough but comfortable. 

Practice walking in them every day for short distances until they feel more comfortable and snug. 

3. Traction 

Traction is the resistance to slippage that shoes have – an essential factor to consider when you go hiking as you won’t want to be in a slippery pair of shoes. 

You need a pair of shoes with treaded and rugged outsoles that will not slip regardless of the types of surfaces you’ll have to storm through. 

Doc Martens has a competitive edge in this area as they are designed and built to be slip-resistant. 

The rubber soles add to the functionality of these boots in different settings without having to worry about your safety. 

4. Stability And Support 

You’ll need as much support and stability in your feet as you can get when exploring miles of challenging terrains on your hikes. Without proper support and strength, you risk getting cramps and tripping more often, especially on uneven surfaces. 

Doc Martens are constructed and built to be sturdy and supportive. The air-cushioned soles are a great perk to have as it helps cushion the ankle and make it easier to walk in these boots.

5. Weight 

A big part of what makes a great pair of hiking shoes is the weight. It is an essential determinant of your performance on the trails, and it’s necessary to wear lightweight shoes. 

Lighter shoes reduce the effort you need to use and will not drag you back regardless of how much distance you’ve covered. 

This is an area where Doc Martens don’t fare very well because despite being lightweight for a pair of boots, they are pretty heavy compared to shoes specifically designed for hiking. 

These shoes tend to feel a little bulkier, too, which can be a challenge going uphill. 

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Stylish and good looking Heavier and bulkier 
Good mobility Tight around the ankles 
Durable uppers Limited sizing 
Good protectionExpensive

Advantages Of Using Doc Martens For Hiking 

1. Stylish and Good Looking 

Doc Martens are undeniably a very stylish brand, and it helps that they’re visually pleasing. They have an upper half-covered, whereas the bottom is puffy, which gives it its distinctive look and keeps you from slipping on challenging terrains. The color of the boots is also a plus!

2. Mobility  

The leather uppers in Doc Martens allow you to move freely without restriction, whereas the lightweight boots’ construction makes long treks much easier to endure. They can also withstand rough and rugged surfaces without a problem. 

3. Durable Upper

The upper portion of Doc Martens boots for hiking is also very durable. This enables you to put up with a heavy load without any difficulties. Thanks to their insulation properties, they also keep your feet warm in cold conditions. 

4. Protection

Doc Martens offers a good stance, excellent construction, durability, and weight. Because of this, by wearing a pair of these boots, you’ll be able to feel the protection these boots offer from any possible external injuries and dangers you might encounter on the trails. 

Disadvantages Of Using Doc Martens For Hiking 

1. Weight 

The weight of a pair of Doc martens may be too heavy for hiking.

While it’s relatively lightweight for a pair of boots, you will need a light pair of shoes when used for hiking.

When your shoes are too heavy, they can slow you down and, in some cases, may even cause injuries. 

2. Can Be A Little Tight Around The Ankles

A pair of Doc Martens shoes usually have very high tops, which can sometimes be restrictive around the ankles.

When you’re breaking these shoes in for the first time, there can be a lot of discomfort around your ankles and, in some cases, even blisters. 

3. Size

One of the drawbacks with Doc Marten hiking boots is their sizing, as they are pretty limited. They can also be quite tricky to fit accurately.

This means that you might have trouble finding the right size and fit, especially if you have wide feet. 

4. Expensive

A pair of Doc Martens may also be on the pricier side for some because of the limited availability of styles and colors on the market.

These may not be feasible options for some who have saved up to buy hiking shoes. 

Are Doc Martens Good For Hiking In The Snow?

You can use Doc martens in the snow, but the leather models are not fitted for hiking in the snow as they are not waterproof. On the other hand, Doc Martens’ synthetic waterproof winter boot collection would help keep your feet warm, comfortable, and dry while hiking through snowy trails and terrains. 

Can You Wear Doc Martens In The Rain?

If they have not yet been waterproofed, you can use your pair of Doc Martens in the rain for at least 15- 20 minutes. If they have wax, waterproof spray, or dubbin, a type of wax used to waterproof leather, you can only wear your pair of Doc Martens in the rain for an hour or more. 

Most Doc Martens can take a little bit of rain, but it’s not advisable to have them soaked in water for too long or weather the storm. Leather that is cared for and treated with waterproofing materials will be able to endure a decent amount of rain exposure. 

Best Doc Martens Boots For Hiking

1. 1460 Serena Collar Faux Fur Lined Lace Up Boots

are doc martens good for hiking

What we like about this Doc Martens for hiking

  • Streeter leather 
  • Winter-proof
  • Iconic 8- eye work boot design 
  • Great traction rating 
  • AirWair heel-loop 

What we didn’t like: 

  • It can be a little heavy
  • Not suitable for casual wear

This pair of Doc Martens boots is all about exploring in the winter. The 1460 Serena Lace-up Boots come equipped for harsh conditions with its rugged appearance and construction made of super durable Streeter leather. 

It also comes with WarmWair faux fur for extra insulation.

In addition to this, they also come with multi-colored shoelaces that make them look more versatile and vibrant, almost similar to actual mountain climbing shoes. 

The rigid BEN soles in these boots will also provide comfort and warmth for walks or hikes on colder days and the excellent traction ratings that come with them. 

2. Dr. Martens Women’s 1460 Crazy Horse Boot

are doc martens good for hiking

What we like about this Doc Martens for hiking

  • Streeter leather 
  • Grooved sides
  • Iconic 8- eye work boot design 
  • Great traction rating 
  • Slip-resistant soles 

What we didn’t like: 

  • It can be a little heavy
  • Lack of cushioning along the ridges of the boot

The Women’s 1460 Crazy Horse Boot offers excellent traction and comfort for your hikes without compromising style.

This pair of shoes has cushiony air soles that make walking in them a pleasant experience without having to worry about too much discomfort. 

They are an excellent fit for those with wider feet and bigger calves with ample space for those who need a bigger toe space.

With proper waterproofing, these boots also do pretty well with keeping moisture at bay. 

3. Dr. Martens Women’s Combs W Combat Boot

are doc martens good for hiking

What we like about this Doc Martens for hiking

  • Welted construction 
  • Grooved sides
  • Iconic 8- eye work boot design 
  • Extra tough nylon
  • Slip-resistant soles 

What we didn’t like: 

  • Lack of cushioning along the ridges of the boot
  • It may not be suitable for those with wide feet

The Women’s Combs W Combat Boot is not only an excellent-looking pair of boots, and it is pretty durable too! They do well with long distances and can withstand rough terrains effectively. 

They have a big toe box that allows your toes to wiggle in and is comfortable around the ankle, so you know they’ll keep you comfortable on your feet all day. 

These boots also have great padding and no bindings but may require additional padding and arch support to maximize comfort. 

4. Dr. Martens Womens 1460 W Black Nappa 8 Eye Boot

are doc martens good for hiking

What we like about this Doc Martens for hiking

  • Synthetic soles
  • Good abrasion
  • Iconic 8- eye work boot design 
  • Grooved sides
  • Slip-resistant 

What we didn’t like: 

  • Sizes may run small 
  • Lack of resistance to cold 

These classic 1460 Boots for Women are both sturdy and fashionable, both of which are perfect for looking for a good-looking pair of Doc Martens that does the job. 

They are often true to size and can last for a long time with constant use. 

The soft Nappa leather helps ease your feet into these shoes with minimal break-in time, so you won’t have to endure any pain for long before you can wear them out and about for hikes.

If you’re looking for a pair of Doc Martens that is fashionable and fuss-free, this is for you! 

5. Dr. Martens, Unisex 1460 Slip Resistant Service Boots

are doc martens good for hiking

What we like about this Doc Martens for hiking

  • Synthetic soles
  • Good abrasion
  • 8- eye work boot design 
  • Grooved sides
  • Slip-resistant GRIP-TRAX outsoles
  • Moisture-wicking

What we didn’t like: 

  • Sizes may run small 
  • It might take a while to break-in

If you’re looking for a pair of Doc Martens that are good for hiking, these Unisex 1460 Slip Resistant Service Boots may be for you. These shoes offer great support and cushioning for your feet, which will do well if you plan to wear them for long hours. 

Their slip-resistant soles are great for the outdoors, especially if you’ll be exploring wet and rough trails on your hikes.

They also break in quickly and protect your feet from possible injuries you may get on your adventure, so you know you’ll be getting a steal with this one. 

In conclusion, while Doc Martens may not be the best option for hiking, it does not mean you can’t wear them for short walks or shorter, flat trails.

Or, if you’re feeling okay in them, you can maybe try wearing them out for long after they’ve been properly broken in. 

Doc Martens are sturdy and stylish and offer excellent mobility when you break them incorrectly.

They also have great uppers that keep your feet warm and protected from the external conditions you might come across on your hikes. 

We hope this article has helped you understand some of the pros and cons of wearing Doc Martens for hiking and some of the best models you can try to begin your Doc-hiking adventure on the trails.

 Good luck!  

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