Should You Size Up or Down for Doc Martens?

Doc Martens are probably some of the most iconic shoes in the world of fashion, a go-to for insufferably cool greasers under cuffed jeans and studded leather-wearing, snarling punks.

There’s something you need to consider, though, when you want to join this fashionable club; do you size up or down for Doc Martens? Directly from the manufacturer’s mouth, they say you should order true to your size.

Breaking in is just as important

Doc Martens were initially hardwearing work boots for factory workers and post carriers - and a lot of that pedigree still remains intact. Take a look at the classic Dr Martens 1460 Boot from They look formidable, from their welded and stitched sole to the pull-up loop. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t comfortable though, they were designed and are still intended to mould to the wearer's foot.

Once broken in, Doc Martens become impressively comfortable. You can even expect some stretching of the leather, the footbed will form to your foot, and the toe cup will crease exactly where you want it to. But the question still stands: do you size up or down for Doc Martens?

Doc Marten Sizing and Breaking in

First, let’s address the big boot in the room - You should always try to buy true to size - especially when looking at boots because there are more contact points than shoes. If you decide to go up a half or full size make sure that the boot fits snug to avoid excessive friction. To mitigate this you can wear thick wool socks, that help with moisture wicking (which also increases comfort) and tighten your laces until your new boots are broken in.