07 September 2011

How to stretch Dr. Martens


To tell you the truth, my Dr Martens weren't all sunshine and daisies from the very beginning. I had some pretty heinous blisters, a dash of lost circulation and a sprinkling of bruises. My Victorian Floral Dr Martens were the worst. No cobbler was willing to put them on the shoe stretching machine since the boots are made of a canvas that would split at the seams before stretching. I'm not going to lie I nearly cried. But there was no way I was not going to wear them!

I decided that I would keep them stuffed full of newspaper for a week and if they still did not fit, I was prepared to only be able to wear them for short periods. But after a whole week stuffed full, I can now wear my canvas Docs painlessly!

I got my boyfriend to stuff my boots, because he was better able to pack the boots as full of newspaper as possible.


My pink patent Dr Martens were much better fitting to begin with. They were still tight across the arch of my foot, but at least they weren't cutting off the circulation to my toes! All I had to do was spray on a little leather stretching spray and they were fixed. The best bit is that this stuff doesn't have an odour.

44 comments:

Meg Needles said...

I'm kind of glad dr martens aren't "what they used to be" according to the people online because I wouldn't have the patience to take months of pain to break them in. My 20-eye buttero's fit perfect from day one. Only the pewter ones and the creme ones I have seemed to cause blisters, but they faded quickly.

My problem is the calves- are they made for really thin calves or something?

These are great tips. I know I'll be ording Docs in the future so I'll keep these in mind.

Max said...

Luckily I got my docs when I was 17 from a second hand shop, and they were well old then! I can't imagine how frustrating it must be, why do they make them so painful!

Jennie DeSoto said...

I hear your pain on blisters and docs! Once they are broken in though they are the MOST comfortable pair of shoes/boots ever! Love the flowers on yours! I finally found a pair of loafers like I had when I was a teen. Got to try your method of stretching them. They are still snug across my arch.

Smorgy said...

That's a great tip... If you wanted to speed it up you wet the newspaper fist. when it dries it expands and stretches.

And i've heard an ever faster way is once you've put the wet paper in, put the shoes in the freezer.

I dont know how long it takes (havent tried it myself) but apparently it works fast :)

Girl Maverick said...

I'm stoked that so many people share my love of Docs!
Good luck to everyone wanting to stretch their boots too!
Hey Meg, maybe a cobbler could do something for you about stretching the leather around the calf? Not sure if stuffing them with newspaper would help!
Smorgy don't wet the newspaper first! You could potentially damage the leather. That would suck beyond words.

Smorgy said...

Sorry Sam, I wasnt thinking about docs... I was just meaning shoes in general. Didnt even think about the leather

Theallamenta said...

Hi, I'm a big fan of Docs, but as you I'm terrified of blisters and on how hard it is to get used to them.
I got my firs pair 15 years ago and after such a long time I could use them painlessly.
I'm tempted to buy the Victorian ones, but I'm scared about having troubles.

Last year I bought a Serena pair and they never hurt. But it was a soft leather with fur inside.

I read online that another way to stretch shoes is to put newspaper inside but with alcohol.
I never tried this.

thank you for your suggestions, I think I will buy them as well :)

Ez Middleton said...

I have those floral shoes and have the exact same problem as you! But I wasn't as clever as you to put newspaper in them, I've been tanking it for weeks but think it's time to give up, thank you for the advice, they're my favourite shoes and I can't not wear them!!

GeneticFault said...

Does anyone know how I would stretch the part arcoss the top??? Please help!! I really don't want to have to put strange creams or alchoal on them I would rather wear them till I am crying !! They are my new baby's!!

Girl Maverick said...

Genetic Fault - I'm not sure what you mean about the bit across the top. But if you leave them stuffed absolutely as full of newspaper as you possibly can for a few days I'm sure they'll stretch enough for you to be able to wear them without crying! If you have leather Docs, please consider the leather stretching spray. It doesn't mark the leather at all and it really works!

Anonymous said...

Ok I just got pink patent docs in a size 7. They r do cute but r tight across the top also. It seems to b where the tongue begins n u see horizontal stitching across the top of the boot. My shoe repair guy said patent tend not to stretch. :( if I wear them will they break in? Should I return them? I tried an 8 n they r huge ( even tho I usually wear a sz 8) help!!!!

Violet said...

ahh anon- i'm having the same problem! i'm normally an 8 but they were way to big and the shoe kept bouncing up off my heel (if that makes sense)so I went with 7s. Now the 7s are cutting off circulation from my toe and its bugging me sooo much :(

kyraT said...

The pain is part of it... doc's aren't for the timid or those trying to look cool, it's where the punk rockers & punk ass poser's are seperated. : )

sarlew said...

I've recently had a new pair and OMG they Kill my feet, they are shiny blue patent ones. The cobbler attempted to stretch them but it doesn't seem to have worked that well. I'm gonna try stuffing them with newspaper next.
Guess I'm going to have to go back to wearing my 18 year old cherry red ones for a bit.

discworlder said...

Mine are PVC, will newspapers work for these too?

Anonymous said...

Hi all I got my first pair delivered today :) I wanted them since I was 15 yrs old, next may I will be.....wait for it......40!!!!! So after my really long wait I finally ordered them, got them, opened them, put them on and OH MY GOD!!!!! Ouch ouch ouch......they are so tight across the top of my foot, I knew they would need some breaking in but not that bad :(
So I'm glad I found all your helpful advice, I will start stuffing them with newspaper and buy some leather shoe stretcher.

Rebecca Skelton said...

hey i was wondering, i have a pair nearly the same as these, just a different colour, did you pack them with dry newspaper or wet newspaper? thank you for the blog post though, it was very helpful xxx

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm sooo sad, the sales lady encouraged me to get an 8 (I'm an 8.5) in the canvas floral Docs, and there is NO budging the stitching on the tongue. I bought them in Australia (home) and I'm in the USA so can't even return them. Advice for all those going to buy - get the bigger size in the canvas docs. I've had newspaper in them for months, but I still can't wear them.

polne_maki said...

Cudowne buty!!! ^_^

Danica Stark said...

It involved a lot of blisters and pain and bruises for me to be able to break in to my shoes.

http://danicastark.blogspot.com/

Josefina Castellanos said...

I have the same floral doc martens and was looking everywhere on how to stretch them. I wore them to school the day after I got them, and soon regretted it. I was limping on my way home and could only wear loafers for a week. They really hurt my feet. I tried this method and even after two days of being stuffed, they already feel better! I'll stuff them again for a few more days so that they'll stretch more!

Anonymous said...

I have the same ones, and I'm having the same issue I just got them. Did the news paper work for you

Anonymous said...

I have the same ones, and I'm having the same issue I just got them. Did the news paper work for you

Francesca Margariti said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this! I have had the same canvas floral docs for nearly a year and they've hurt my feet so much I haven't been able wear them enough to break them in. I'm going to try the newspaper!

Anonymous said...

So, I have worn docs for about 30 years and the best way i have ever found to stretch them is with a bag or double ballon of water, you fill the bag and put it in the boot so it is snug, then put the boots in the freezer, the water expansion causes the boots to slowly stretch. Now the patent ones and the canvas ones I'm not sure as i have always had the leather. Btw, you take the bag out before it thaws and makes your boots wet. Good luck

Barefoot Mahala said...

my new Victorian Floral DMs have just arrived and I'm glad to have read that you managed to stretch them - across the top of my foot they are very errrm .... "snug". I will take heart that they might give a bit soon!

Anonymous said...

I bought my first pair of dr martens today off of solestruck and they are the floral canvas ones (hence me finding your blog post) and I can not believe how tight they're made across the arch! I'm a size 8.5 australian so I bought a UK 7 because that's the same as an australian size 9, and the length is great but ouchies!! My poor feet lost circulation! I'll try the news paper tomorrow. Thanks heaps!!

Ophelia Holt said...

Hmmm I was kinda skeptical about the newspaper thing but think I am going to have to give it a go. I am currently sat here with two pairs of dam socks on and it sure ain't comfy. Mine are some vintage leather Mary Janes and there are literally half a cm too small for my big toe :( I have been wearing DMS for 7 years and I have never had problems before...

Ophelia Holt said...

*damp, though dam works equally well...

Ophelia Holt said...
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Ophelia Holt said...
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Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this blog. I just bought a pair of Doc Martens online and was really upset that they are too small. I am always size 5 in docs so I was really shocked that they don't fit. I'll try the newspaper. I hope it works. Thanks so much for posting this.

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Edgy Hou said...

Hi! I so love docs!
I'm planning to gift one for my friend for her birthday and she has showed interest for the Victorian Flowers one.
Can I ask some questions about them?
Is the material good and strong?, since it's not leather and I wanted to know if its still hardwear and keeps your feet warm.
Does the print wears off?

Thanks for the info!

Girl Maverick said...

Hi Edgy Joy

The Victorian floral boots have been great for me :)
They're as warm as leather boots in winter and the print has faded a little over time but then, it has been a few years!

Ashley Webster said...

We ordered the Hogarth ones and the painting rubs off almost immediately with even one day of indoor wear! Not sure if an exchange for the same design will yield different result. Anyone else?

Marie Anne said...

Hi,I'm so glad I found your page!
I got the Victorian Floral Docs as a present. Feeling so disheartened at this stage..have tried newspaper and wearing thick socks and using a hair dryer but nothing is working to loosen the stitching at the bottom of the tongue.

Just wondering if yours were so tight they were unwearable when your first got them.. I am close to giving up!!

Lynn Stacey said...

I love Docs however they only come in full sizes. My ideal would be a 7 1/2. The 8s are way too bug amd the 7s a bit snug. Is it possible to stretch a size 7 to be a 7 1/2?

Danni Whitburn said...

Hi I've got a pair of Victorian doc martens and the day I got them I couldn't even get them on so I read up and they come with two inside insoles so I slid the one out just while I stretch them and was the best thing I've ever done just that extra couple of millimetres to get my feet in but still hard work and cut the circulation in my toes but bareable �� Hope this helps some one!

Christena Richard said...

I just got a pair of Victorian rose ones and they're my first pair. I'm glad to see that other people have had similar issues to breaking them in, because I searched for these docs for years and was feeling discouraged that I couldn't wear them! Thanks for the info!!

Christena Richard said...

They do!? I'm going to go check mine out now! Thanks

Christena Richard said...

Same here. Going to give it another shot!

Crizelda Santiago said...

Same prob, I hope I can wear them because those Dr. Martens Vicotiran Florals are to die for! I bought it as second hand but still look as Brand New. I tried wearing them inside the house and they are cutting off blood circulation on my toes! I thought I got the wrong size but I am always US 7 so the seller said that I should stuff it with newspaper as it is still brand new and needs breaking in! I am really excited to use these adorable boots, I hope they won't kill my feet then.