How to Break in Doc Martens Overnight? 6 Easy and Quick Methods That Actually Work

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Does your new pair of Doc Martens feel so stiff and uncomfortable? Well, you need to break in your shoes ASAP before you wear them for a long distance. 

Now maybe you’re thinking, how to break in Doc Martens overnight? Well, I can help you with that.

All models of Doc Martens need a particular period of time to break in and mold to your feet. But you need to do something to ‘break in’ shoes otherwise it’ll take longer to get comfortable on your feet.

In this post, I’m going to show you some of the effective ways to break in your Doc Martens faster. On top of that, you’ll find out how you’ll make Doc Martens comfortable on your feet. 

So, without any further delay let’s jump in. 

How to Break in Doc Martens Overnight?

Before I start, I’d like to be very honest with you. If you’re looking for a way that breaks in your Doc Martens within 12 hours or overnight, I may disappoint you. 

The truth is, even the most effective method needs at least 24 to 48 hours to work. So, there’s no magic spell that you can cast on your boots and they break in, in the blink of your eyes.

Worry not, I’m here to solve your issue. Here I’ll show you 6 methods that can help you to break in your Doc Martens within a short period of time. Here you go:

Method 1: The Traditional/Manual Way

This is the traditional way of breaking in leather shoes for so many years. You can apply this method to break in your Doc Martens as well. This is an effective and lengthy process. Several attempts can show up the result and to be honest, you have to be patient.

Moreover, your shoes may develop creases in this process, and to avoid that, you should use Wonder Balsam or other leather conditioners.   

What You Need

  • Socks
  • Newspapers
  • Wonder Balsam


  1. First, wear your boots with the thickest pair of socks you have and walk inside your house 2 to 3 times a day (don’t wear more than 10 minutes). It’ll help the shoe mold to your feet naturally. 
  2. You can bend the shoes inwards and outwards to accelerate the process. In this case, you can use Wonder Balsam to avoid creasing.
  3. Remove the boots from your feet and stuff them tightly with the balls made from newspapers
  4. Increase the time of wearing Doc Martens after the first week once you feel more comfortable on your feet.

Method 2: Using Shoe Stretcher and Stretch Spray (Work Within 24 to 48 Hours)

This method is one of the most effective ways to break in your Doc Martens. If you’re too desperate to wear your boots, try this method. The outcome arrives within 24- 48 hours. Here are the necessary tools to perform the job:

What You Need

  • Water 
  • Spray Bottle
  • Clean, lint-free cloth
  • Shoe stretcher
  • Stretching spray


  1. Take your Doc Martens and loosen the laces (don’t remove)
  2. Fill the spray bottle with water and spray on your boots to make them wet. Give extra attention to seam areas like back seams.
  3. Take the cloth and make it half. Then apply the stretching spray to the clothes to make them wet (Don’t soak the clothes).
  4. Now grab the shoe stretcher and wrap it around with the halves of the soaked clothes
  5. Put the shoe stretcher inside the boots. You can pick one of the largest settings in the shoe stretcher to speed up the process.
  6. Take some newspapers and make a couple of balls out of them. Once the balls are made, pack them inside your boots tightly. Keep in mind that you should pack the ‘leg’ part of your boots with newspaper. After that, lace up the boots tightly. 
  7. Now, wait for 24 to 48 hours for the result. After that, remove the stretcher and wear your boots. If the pairs still feel tight, you should repeat the process again. However, most of the time this process comes up with the expected result. 

Method 3: Using Wonder Balsam

Wonder Balsam is a revolutionary leather care product from Doc Martens. If you own a pair of Doc Martens, then having this product is a must.

It’s made with a combination of lanolin, coconut oil, and beeswax to soften, nourish, and condition the leather. 

However, the best part is that Wonder Balsam can help you break in your Doc Martens shoes. I’m going to show you the procedure below:

What You Need


  1. First, take your boots and remove the laces
  2. Clean the boots with a dry, soft cloth and make sure there’s no dirt and debris left.
  3. Take out the sponge from the Wonder Balsam tub and use the sponge to take some scoops of the Wonder Balsam.
  4. Now apply the product all over your boots evenly and generously. You should apply extra attention to the seam areas.
  5. After coating the boots completely, let them dry for 10 minutes. Several attempts on a regular basis can help you to break in your Doc Martens. 

However, if you want to use it as a leather care product rather than breaking in your shoes, you should follow the instructions they provide. It’ll tell you how often you should apply it to condition your boots. 

Method 4: With the Help of a Hair Dryer

Using a hair dryer to break in your Doc Martens is an effective and effortless method. You can do this quickly and the whole procedure won’t create any mess.

Most importantly, you have to be careful while doing this. Excessive heat can damage your favorite pair. On top of it, you’ve to repeat the process several times to get a better stretch. 

What You Need

  • Your thickest pair of socks
  • A hairdryer
  • Wonder Balsam


  1. Wear your thickest pair of socks so that when you wear the pair of Doc Martens it’ll feel tight. Although wearing Doc Martens with a tight fitting is tough, you’ve to do it for a more comfortable experience.
  2. Now take your hair dryer and plug it into the power cord.
  3. Keep the dryer 5 to 6 inches away from your boots to apply heat. Move the dryer back and forth to apply the heat evenly. Make sure every place receives heat for at least 30 seconds. Focus on the areas where you need a better stretch.
  4. After that, don’t take off the boots, keep them on your feet. Let your boots cool down and move your feet continuously. The continuous moving of your feet helps you to get a better stretch. 
  5. The primary duty is done, now apply Wonder Balsam to your boots to nourish and soften the leather. 

Method 5: Keep Your Doc Martens on Freezer

Keeping the boots in the freezer and defrosting them before you put them on can help to break them in. This method may appear unorthodox to you but trust me, it works.  

However, this process involves a little bit more effort but the outcome is impressive. Here you go:

What You Need

  • Resealable freezer bag
  • Water
  • Freezer 


  1. Take the resealable freezer bag and fill it in with water. Feeling the bag halfway can help you to avoid any spilling or ripping. Most importantly, use a high-quality bag otherwise there’s a chance of leaking water which may damage your boots.
  2. Now seal the bag and keep a corner of the bag unsealed to remove the air. After that, completely seal the bag and make sure there’s no place to leak.
  3. Now place the bag inside your boots. Give extra focus where you need a better stretch, perhaps in the toe area.
  4. Now keep your boots in the freezer and leave it for 8 hours or overnight to transform water into ice. As the ice expands, the leather also stretches.
  5. After 8-12 hours take your boots out from the freezer and let them thaw. You should wait at least 20 to 60 minutes to remove the ice bag from your boots. Don’t forcefully remove the ice bag.
  6. Now put on your shoes and check the fit.  

Method 6: Hammering Your Boots

You can hammer your boots to break them in. Yes, it works and is one of the effortless ways. However, hammering can lessen the softness of the leather.

What You Need

  • Towel
  • Hammer 


  1. Wrap your boot with a towel to avoid damage. 
  2. Now take the hammer and start hammering your boots in the heel and sole for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t hammer rigorously, it may damage your boots. Moreover, you can use a rubber mallet instead of a hammer. 
  3. Yes, that’s it. Repeat the process again (not immediately) for a better result. After that don’t forget to check out the fitting. 

How to Make Doc Martens Comfortable? (Works for New Pairs)

Every new pair of Doc Martens feels so stiff and uncomfortable initially. However, this feeling isn’t permanent. When your boots start to break in, they feel truly comfortable. 

To survive the initial days and make your boots feel comfortable on your feet, I have got some helpful tips that can help you out. Here you go:

  1. Get the Right Fit

When you buy Doc Martens or any shoes, don’t forget to try them on with socks (thick pairs of socks are preferable). If you’re ordering online, make sure you’ve measured your feet properly.

Doc martens are not available in half sizes. If your shoe size is 7.5, go for 7. Also, check out the width of the shoes. 

  1. Use Thick Socks

Shoes without socks feel really uncomfortable sometimes. When you wear hard shoes like Doc Martens, use the thickest pair of socks you have. Thick socks can prevent your feet from rubbing against the wall. 

If you don’t have any thick socks, wear 2 socks one over another. This also works to feel comfortable.  

  1. Wear Your Boots Around Your House

You shouldn’t travel a long distance wearing a new pair of Doc Martens. It feels uncomfortable and may hurt your feet.

For the first week, you should wear your boots inside your house. Wear them for only 10 minutes and walk. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times a day.

After the first week, you can go out wearing your Docs for a short walk. Check out the fit and comfort. Hopefully, you’ll feel better. 

  1. Use Blister Plasters

Keep blister plasters nearby, when you have hard-wearing like Doc Martens. They’re great companions in this scenario. 

Using blister plaster saves your feet from painful blisters when you walk. Use them until your boots break in. In fact, you can use them after your shoes break in to avoid any blisters.  

  1. Stuff Your Boots With Newspaper

A simple way to stretch your boots. Here, you’ll need old newspapers. Tear them apart and make a couple of balls out of them. Then insert the balls in your boots tightly, especially in the toe and other areas where you need a better stretch. 

Do it every night until you get the expected result. Eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable on your feet.

  1. Apply Leather Conditioners

Last but not the least, always use a leather conditioner at least once or twice a month. It’ll soften, nourish and stretch the leather to feel the comfort that you need. 

Also, like our skin, animal skin also needs moisture. Since your boots are made from authentic leather, don’t avoid taking care of them. A well-maintained pair of boots is truly durable and can survive the toughest condition. 


  1. How long does it take to fully break in Doc Martens?

Doc Martens shoes take 3 to 6 weeks to fully break in. Nevertheless, you can apply different methods to accelerate the process that I’ve already mentioned above. 

  1. How Do I Break In Doc Martens Sandals?

Wearing socks with Doc Martens sandals and walking inside your house 2-3 times a day for 20 minutes can help you to break them in. Doc Martens sandals and boots both need similar actions to break in. 

  1. Are Doc Martens comfortable?

Yes, Doc Martens are one of the most comfortable and durable shoes available out there. However, they feel stiff and uncomfortable before they break in. Eventually,  The leather gets soft and stretched when you start to wear the shoes regularly.  

  1. How can you tell if Doc Martens have broken in?

When you Doc Martens break in, you’ll feel tight but not uncomfortable. The snug fitting won’t bother your feet. Moreover, when you put them on they won’t feel uncomfortable in the wide area. 

  1. How long does Doc Martens last?

Usually, Doc Martens can last 5 to 20 years. The longevity of Doc Martens depends on how you take care of them. 

Final Thoughts

In this post, I’ve already shown you different methods to break in your Doc Martens overnight. As I said earlier, there’s no rocket science for breaking in your shoes overnight. Here, patience is key. Even the most effective method needs 24 to 48 hours to show up the result. 

The methods I’ve shown here are actually going to work if you follow them carefully. Most importantly, few methods require extra vigilance to avoid any damage. Be careful while you’re trying to stretch your boots. 

Lastly, don’t be in a hurry, allow your boots some time to completely break-in and compliment your feet. Trust me, you won’t regret it, the comfort you’ll get is insane. 

Richard Nelson

Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. From an early age, leather boots have been a passion for him. So, he thought why not share his knowledge with the rest of the world? 

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