Are Doc Martens good for hiking? This a question many Doc Martens aficionados probably ask themselves from time to time. These timeless shoes can be worn with pretty much everything and to every occasion. But, can they be taken to the mountains?
Doc Martens are one of the world’s most popular shoes. They are loved by many generations and probably will continue to be a staple wardrobe piece for many. They just can’t seem to get out of fashion!
What is good about these boots is that they can be paired with everything you own – whether it be jeans, leggings, skirts, dresses, or overalls. Anything you imagine, these shoes will go well with it. They will add that nice edge to an otherwise formal or casual look.
And they also come in many styles. My, oh, my! They can be found in their original lace-up model, which shafts can be of various lengths. They can come in a Chelsea-style boot, utility-style boot, or even in a shoe version.
These boots can come in a platform or no platform version, in their original black or various colors and patterns, and can be lined with faux fur. Basically, anything you imagine, Doc Martens probably already have it!
No wonder so many people love them! They are amazing!
If you have a pair of your own, and you have been considering hiking as a new hobby, asking yourself are Doc Martens good for hiking is to be expected.
They are probably one of the sturdiest and most waterproof pairs of boots in your closet. Also, let’s be real, investing in a new pair of hiking boots can be extremely expensive. Especially because this recreation requires acquiring other hiking equipment as well.
To avoid unnecessary premature splurge, let’s see if Doc Martens are good hiking boots or not. Scroll down to find out everything there is to know!
Are Doc Martens comfortable?
Before we answer, “Are Doc Martens good for hiking?” let’s first discuss whether these boots are generally comfortable or not.
Many people hesitate to buy Doc Martens because rumor has it that they are extremely uncomfortable, heavy, and cause blisters. To some degree this is true, but these negative features only apply to the beginning stages of wearing them.
I remember when I got my first pair of Doc Martens. I had just started high school, it was the middle of December and the first snow had fallen. And of course, it was a Monday – the worst day of them all!
That day I was, for some reason, late for school. I remember I stormed out of my house, running for my life (a.k.a. for the school bus), lifting my feet through the deep snow. Every step I took was so heavy I wonder how on Earth I managed to make it on time.
So, my first Doc Martens experience will be remembered by sore leg muscles, blisters on my feet, and overall bodily tiredness.
However, after those 4 to 6 weeks of adjustment, I managed to break them in, and they became my favorite pair of winter boots. And that love is still going on!
Doc Martens are truly one of the best boots you will ever have. If you are patient enough to deal with the process of breaking them in, you will get your money’s worth with them in no time. That’s for sure!
What are some of the features of Doc Martens?
Doc Martens are characterized by many lovely and desirable features. Not only are they comfortable, but they are also the bootiest boots you can find! The leather of these boots is so smooth, and it molds perfectly to the shape of your foot, and it doesn’t rub when you walk.
With a pull tab that ensures you easily put them on and off, and with the air-cushioned AirWair sole design characteristic of this brand, Doc Martens are among the comfiest pairs of boots that ever existed.
Not to mention the plenty of space for your toes to wiggle freely and for your heels to not be cramped. With these ones, you can wear the fuzziest pair of socks you have, and they still will not be too tight. So, this makes them perfect for those who have slightly wider feet.
Because these boots were made out of sturdy leather, they offer a lot of foot protection. This protection is enhanced by Doc Martens’ models which come with features like a steel toe, extra-tough metatarsal guard, and shock-absorbing soles.
The most interesting thing for me about these boots is that they were originally created with a therapeutic purpose in mind. The designers of these boots wanted to make footwear suitable for people who spend a lot of time on their feet.
So, the answer to “Are Doc Martens comfortable?” is definitely yes, since they were literally made for comfort! And all those people who wonder whether these boots are good for feet or not and who deem them uncomfortable, are very, very wrong.
Are Doc Martens good for hiking?
Since we have come to the verdict that Doc Martens are comfortable and went through some of their features, now let’s move on and answer your question “Are Doc Martens good for hiking?”
Right off the bat, the answer is – Yes! However, it does come with a ‘but’.
Doc Martens were, as we said, created with the purpose to be worn all day. They were first sold to factory workers and police officers who usually spend the majority of the day on their feet and who need a comfortable and durable pair of footwear.
They were intended for demanding work environments and factory surroundings, made to survive various external stimuli and provide outstanding comfort to the wearer.
That being said, Doc Martens are good for…well, standing and walking. They are extremely durable and ruggedly made but are not meant to be taken for miles-long walks. Especially not the one that takes you uphill and downhill.
You can wear them when you hike, sure, but the hikes simply cannot be too challenging. They will serve you well on mild hikes since they have strong and air-cushioned soles and are not tight at all. But for the more difficult and challenging terrains, Doc Martens might not be your best choice.
Why is that so?
Well, Doc Martens are not the most breathable pair of boots on the market. They are made out of smooth leather that looks amazing and stylish and cool. However, if you spend too much time walking too many miles in them… stinky feet are inevitable. And nobody wants stinky feet, as far as I know.
Another reason why Doc Martens are not good for challenging hikes is that they are a tad bit too heavy. You might not notice it if you wear them every day, from your home to your workplace, grocery shop, gym, and back home. In those situations, they are very comfy.
But these boots are really heavy for hiking. The average Doc Martens pair weighs about 3.2 lbs. which is a bit heavier than an average pair of hiking boots usually weighs (around 2 lbs.) And when you go on challenging hikes, the lightness of your footwear is of significant importance.
The leather out of which these boots are made is also very stiff. As we already said, they were made to be durable, so it is not that easy to break these bad boys in. But, that also means that these boots can be rough if worn over rugged terrain.
Many people complained how they had previously got blisters from their Doc Marten, even though they have broken them in. That is because these boots are not meant for steep grounds. They are more of a walk-in-the-park kind of boots.
The last thing that makes these boots not that good of an option for hiking is that it is not advisable to get them wet. I know, I know. It’s weird. Am I talking about leather boots that are waterproof and cannot be exposed to water? Nonsense!
Don’t get me wrong, these are 100 percent waterproof boots. Your feet will be safe, that’s for sure.
However, Doc Martens are made out of real leather which is very porous, and constant exposure to water and rain can significantly stiffen and make them more brittle. So, they can be exposed to rain for moderate periods of time. But sometimes, you cannot predict how much water you will encounter on your hike.
That is why it is best to opt for real hiking boots and leave Doc Martens for other occasions.
What features should good hiking boots have?
Now that we know that the answer to the question, “Are Doc Martens good for hiking?” is both yes and no, we can discuss what are the features of boots that are actually designed for hiking.
I guess since you googled this question, you already have a pair of Doc Martens in your closet, and you wish to know if you can wear them for your new fun and exciting hobby. Why spend money on a pair of boots when you already have one at home, right?
Well, if that is the case, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it will be best to invest in a new pair of good hiking boots.
Every footwear is made for a specific purpose. It’s not like you’re going to take your Converse shoes for a marathon. But you’ll take them for a walk anytime. Or you won’t go to the beach in your work boots. That’s just silly.
Same thing here: Hiking requires hiking boots!
The best hiking boots are those that feel comfortable to you and provide you with enough support. These boots should fit as though they were made just for you – not too tight and not too loose. There should be enough room for your heel and for your toes to wiggle.
The soles of hiking boots should be extremely grippy, providing much-needed traction on the trail. They should be slip-resistant so you don’t have to worry about rain, snow, mud, or ice. They should also be stable and provide enough ankle support.
They should be lightweight and made out of breathable materials, so they don’t feel too heavy, and your feet have enough airflow. These boots should be well-cushioned and shock-absorbent.
Some people actually prefer a pair of hiking sneakers to hiking boots. They feel lighter than boots and are more suitable for warmer weather, providing you with the same qualities abovementioned.
Some of the best brands that produce high-quality hiking footwear are La Sportiva, Lowa, Hoka, Merrell, Salomon, and Vasque.
So, are Doc Martens good for hiking? What is the final conclusion?!
As we were able to see, the answer to this question is both yes and no. These boots are extremely comfortable to wear and are definitely one of the best boots you can invest in. They can be worn with many things and on many occasions, so you will undoubtedly get your money’s worth.
When it comes to hiking, Doc Martens can be a good companion if the trail is not that challenging. They make a good pair of boots to walk in when the road is not too steep and rocky.
However, if you are someone who goes (or intends to go) on some serious hikes, Doc Martens might not be your best option. Not for you, and definitely not your feet. They are not the comfiest when it comes to longer and more difficult walks.
You have to think about your feet and overall health, and also about the ‘health’ of your shoes. More challenging hikes can significantly damage your Doc Martens and wearing them can hurt your feet. That, in turn, can cause pain throughout your entire body.
So, a nice pair of high-quality hiking boots or shoes might be a way to go. And your Doc Martens can be saved for some other, more mellow occasions.