Why Do Doc Martens Make Your Toes Numb? 5 Reasons Are Here

Lately, I have been wearing my Doc Martens whenever I go out. And this leads to me noticing that the shoes make my toes numb. Instantly I searched, Why do Doc Martens make your toes numb?

Your toes get numb wearing Doc Martens for 5 reasons. Your boots are small, or you’re wearing thick socks. Besides, wide feet can be a reason – pressure from the tight boot can cut off blood circulation, making your toes numb. Finally, oversized or new boots can also be responsible for your misery.

To know further about it in detail, continue reading this article.

Why Do Doc Martens Make Your Toes Numb?

Why Do Doc Martens Make Your Toes Numb

There are 5 reasons why wearing Doc Martens boots may numb your toes. Let us dig deep into each of those reasons.

1) Small Size

It is the possible leading culprit for your toes becoming numb every time your wear Doc Martens. Due to there being several different types of shoe measurements, many people end up buying the wrong size of the shoe. More specifically, smaller, tight shoes.

Suppose your Doc Martens are a size or two smaller than your actual size, the tight grip from the leather, and your toes have no space to move or breathe. It may cause your toes to become numb.

Additionally, smaller shoes mean your feet are more restricted; this could lead to suffocation and insufficient blood flowing to your toes, making them numb.

2) Oversized Doc Martens

Just like how smaller Doc Martens can make your toes numb, oversized Doc Martens, too, can do the same. It happens subconsciously; your toes grab your shoe’s insole while wearing an oversized boot to maintain balance.

It causes too much pressure on your toes and restricts adequate blood circulation, making your toes numb every time you wear Doc Martens.

3) Wide Feet

Doc Martens are usually made for people with standard feet. So, even if you buy the shoe according to your size but have wider feet, Doc Martens will be tighter for you.

It leads to your feet, especially your toe getting numb because the pressure from the tight boot cuts off blood circulation for your toe from the latter part of the feet. If you face this, we suggest wearing a size bigger than your actual size.

However, here is our top pick of Doc Martens, which are perfectly suitable for your wider feet.

Doc Martens For Wide FeetFeatures
Dr. Martens 1460Synthetic sole, grooved sides, yellow sewing, and a heel strap.
Dr. Martens Jadon BootSturdy platform sole, grooved corners, yellow threading, and a heel-loop.
Dr. Martens Men’s Chelsea BootGrooved edges, a bright sidewall stitch, and a cursive heel-loop.

4) Thick Socks

Thick Socks

As Doc Martens are boots, many people wear them in the winter. Another thing people love to wear in the winter is thick, warm socks. But when you mix both, it can be the primary cause of having numb feet.

Usually, when people buy Doc Martens, they buy them according to their feet size without socks. Bare feet, the boots fit them perfectly, but when you wear them with a thick pair of socks, there is a lack of space which may cause decreased blood circulation to your feet.

Thus you end up with numb feet.

5) New Boot Wearer

It is probably the most common cause of numb toes when wearing Doc Martens. Your feet are not used to wearing boots. Boots are a bit different structurally compared to ordinary shoes, so they can put excessive pressure on your feet.

You may see your toes getting numb if your feet or toes aren’t used to it. Wearing your Doc Martens more often will automatically get your feet to use to the boot, which would stop the numbness.

Are Doc Martens Bad For Your Feet?

No, absolutely not. These classic boots are one of the most comfortable boots you will find. Furthermore, many people with foot issues use Doc Martens as a remedy boot.

As many of you may know, Doc Martens are made using soft and air-cushioned insoles, one of the most comfortable insoles on the market. It provides maximum comfort and safety for your feet.

However, the insole may feel like it’s sinking in the beginning but fear not; after a few wear, it will mold into the shape of your feet, giving maximum comfort.

How To Stretch Small-Sized Doc Martens?

It’s easy and quick to make your small-sized Doc Marten a bit bigger. Just follow the steps below.

  • Get a thick pair of socks and wear them with your Doc Martens.
  • Then, walk for at least 10-15 minutes while wearing the thick socks and your Doc Marten boots.
  • Repeat this process a few times every day for a few weeks, and you should be able to stretch your small-sized Doc Martens a size bigger.

How To Break Into Doc Martens?

Even though Doc Martens is one of the most comfortable boots available, they need to break in to enjoy maximum comfort. However, how can you do that?

Here is a step-by-step tutorial for the primary 2 ways of breaking into a Doc Martens.

The Traditional Way

The Traditional Way

This method takes only a few steps to break into a Doc Marten. It’s pretty simple. So, let’s start the steps together.

Step 1

The first and the most crucial step is to buy the right size of Doc Martens. Even though Doc Martens are known for running true to their size, if you buy a size too big, it may be hard to break into.

Step 2

Wear the boot with thick socks and have it all laced up. Doing this will make your Doc Martens break in comparatively faster. They will also help protect your feet from any blister a new boot may cause.

However, remember not to wear the boot with thick socks for too long. Because the boot is true to your foot size, putting on additional thick socks may restrict blood flow. Wearing it for too long may lead to numb toes.

Step 3

It is the easiest step: wear your boot indoors for at least 10 minutes every day and walk around. Doing this for a short period every day is beneficial as Doc Martens’s insole may be stiff, and the leather may be tight when brand new.

It will loosen it up and break in even faster.

Step 4

Another thing to do is wear the boot while running your day-to-day chores. It doesn’t matter if you are doing the dishes or having lunch; wear the boot for 1-2 hours every day. Start with a short period and slowly build up to longer hours.

It will speed up the process of the insoles molding according to your feet’ shape and softening up even more.

We suggest repeating this process for 3-6 weeks to break into your Doc Martens completely.

The Speed Up Process

The Speed Up Process

If you require your Doc Martens to break in faster than the time required for the traditional method, try these techniques.

It requires more work but is guaranteed to make your Doc Martens break in faster.

First Technique: The Magic Balm

Start by removing your Doc Martens laces and rubbing the leather with a balm. As Doc Martens are made out of stiff, full-grain leather, using a balm would soften it up.

Furthermore, the balm will ensure the boot remains water-resistant.

Second Technique: Wear Socks

We recommend removing the insole of your Doc Martens to make the breaking-in process even faster.

The inner lining of the insole is made of abrasive material, which rubs against your feet, causing blisters. We suggest wearing thick socks and removing the insole to break in the fastest.

Third Technique: Hammer Hit

Another thing to do is, wrap your shoe with a towel and hit the heel with a hammer. The towel will protect the boot, and the hitting will allow the boot to get broken into faster.

Do this for about 15-20 minutes. If you do not have a hammer, use a rubber mallet instead.

Fourth Technique: Stuffy Papers

One more possible technique of breaking into your Doc Martens really fast is stuffing it with some newspaper. Remove the laces to put as much newspaper as possible. It will help you break into your Doc Martens in no time.

Fifth Technique: Hair Dryer

The last and most effective way to boost your Doc Martens’s break-in process is to use a hair dryer for 5-10 minutes on the toughest part of your boot.

Furthermore, you can also apply leather balm onto your Doc Martens before aiming the hair dryer. It will allow the oils to melt down and absorb the leather.

Remember to wear the boot with thick socks and wear it until it’s completely cooled off. Remember not to use the highest heat setting.

How Should New Doc Martens Feel?

Right from the moment of purchase, they should be the most relaxing thing you wear. That is how doc marten is. They are comfortable right off the bat. Typically Doc martens are not known to be tight or uncomfortable when first used. 

After you wear the shoe a few times, the insoles of your Doc Martens will stretch out and become even more comfortable. If your shoe is not breaking in quickly enough, you have likely gotten the wrong size.


  • Do Doc Martens hurt when you first wear them?

No, they do not. Doc Martens are known for their comfort and soft insoles. It may feel a bit stiff but should not hurt when worn for the first time.

  • How long does it take to fully break into Doc Martens?

If You follow the traditional method, it may take up to 3-6 weeks, but if you follow the speed-up method mentioned above, you can break into your Doc Martens within 2 weeks.

  • What jeans go with Doc Martens?

If you ask us for our recommendation, we suggest wearing black or blue denim jeans as it goes the most with  Doc Martens.

Take Away

Why do doc martens make your toes numb?

Small-sized or oversized boots are the answer to your question. Wearing undersized and oversized boots puts excessive pressure on your feet and toe, cutting down the blood flow circulation, which leads to your toe becoming numb.

Other than that, we also suggest checking if you are a wide-footed person or not, as it’s another primary reason for getting numb toe when wearing Doc Martens.

Finally, ensure you are not wearing thick socks when the boots are the perfect fit for your feet. It will make your shoes feel smaller, leading to a numb toe.

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