Can you hike in doc martens ?

Can you hike in doc martins

One of the oldest and iconic boots that became a status and style symbol in the fashion industry is none other than doc Martens. 

Doc Marten carries a long history, once used to be just a boot worn by police is now one of the highest demanded boots in the market. Doc Marten is not famous for its history but for its quality and durability. But today’s topic is not the pros of doc Marten but it’s about  – “are doc Marten good for hiking?” Can you hike in doc Martens? Well, that’s what we will find out today in this article. 

Can you hike in doc Martens? 

Yes, you can hike in doc Martens but usually, they are not a great option as they are not built for hiking, they lack the functioning and support of a hiking boot. 

I searched on the web and asked some of my friends and they all have different opinions about doc Marten but one thing is common and that is doc Marten is not a preferable choice for serious hikers. But this doesn’t mean you can’t hike in doc Marten, the key here is to choose the right doc Marten for hiking.

If you are considering buying a doc Marten that can work as both hiking boot and casual boot then you need to know what boot is more compatible. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to choose, later in this article I will tell you which is best is best doc Marten for hiking.

Actually, it is a video where you will know how to waterproof your doc martens for hiking and the best doc martens to hike in. 

Why you should avoid doc Marten for hiking

There are various reasons why you should avoid wearing doc Marten for hiking. There are many people or hikers who used doc Marten for hiking and they had an uncomfortable experience. So, if you have any other option then you should skip doc Marten for hiking purposes. Below I have discussed the reasons why doc Marten is not a good option for hiking. 

You will probably get blisters

Doc Martens are not breathable as they are made of leather and you don’t get the mesh breathability in doc martens. So, there are high chances that you may get blisters and sweaty feet, especially in summers. If you have sweaty feet then completely avoid doc, Martens. 

Besides Blisters, there are some common dangers of hiking which can be serious sometimes, to know what are signs check out our guide here – Is Hiking Dangerous?


Doc martens are heavy boots because of the material used in them. They are mostly made of leather. The sole material is also heavy than hiking boot rubber sole.

Doc Marten may be 1lb heavier than an average hiking boot but that one pound feels too much when you hike for a long period of time with less foot support and traction control. If you want to know some light hiking shoes then see my list here – 10 Best summer hiking shoes

May lead to an ankle injury (lack of traction) 

Doc Marten is not built for outdoors so the sole of the shoes is also more like a dress boot but thicker. Where in hiking boots you get a rubber-thick sole with no heel or separation.

Here in doc Martens, you have a sleek sole that looks hard for outdoors. This also doesn’t distribute the pressure efficiently on the Rocky surface which makes it lose its grip on a slippery and Rocky surface. 

Overall, doc Marten lacks traction control which is very important for a hiking boot, otherwise, it will lead to injuries or an even more serious situation. 


The flexibility of doc Martens is also less than hiking boots. Doc martens resist the ankle movement and it feels uncomfortable when you walk in them on an elevated, incline, or decline surface. 

Rubbing or irritation 

Doc Marten comes at high ankle height which may be a plus point for ankle protection but at the same time, it also leads to rubbing and irritation. To prevent irritation from rubbing, you need a great pair of socks. If you are a woman then check out the best hiking socks for women

Less foot support for hiking environment

Doc Marten does not provide the support required for outdoors. There is no shank in doc Marten, which is a plastic or leather inside the insole or outsole of the boot to provide support to the feet. It is not absent in all doc Martens, but most of the doc martens lack this. 

If you have high arches, then you should avoid doc matins and instead go with one of these – Best hiking boots for high arches


Last but not the least, they are very expensive pairs of shoes and nobody wants their shoes to get damaged. Though doc martens are famous for their durability-but they are never tested on Rocky or rough trails with weight on your back. 


When to wear doc martens for hiking?

For short and simple hikes

If you only have doc Marten as hiking boot options, then it is not only the boot that decides how good or bad your hike will be but also the trail. 

Wear doc martens for a short day hike. The hike should be less than 5 miles, otherwise, you will feel an ache or tired in these boots. If you are hiking in summers then you may also get blisters, the longer you keep your feet in them. So, wear them on short hikes.

check out our article here – How Much do Feet Swell when Hiking?

I want you to know that all have different experiences, and your experience may be good with doc martens. So, there is not so much to worry about if you are wearing them for a short and simple hike. 

What I mean by a simple hike is, that the hike should be simple and easy as doc martens are not suitable for technical or steep trails. 

Note- personally, I prefer trail runners or running shoes over doc Martens. You can buy a pair of good hiking boots from a reputed brand that can last you long enough and will be a good investment overall. However, if you don’t have any option then make sure to use the right doc Marten for hiking purposes. Just make sure the hike doesn’t involve climbing or is not too elevated. 

People with a similar questions like – Are Duck Boots Good for Hiking ? ,Are Blundstones good for hiking?

Steps to consider before using doc Martens for hiking? 

If you have doc Martens already and don’t want to spend extra money then there are some things you need to consider before using doc Martens on trail

Break in your doc Marten first

The first and very important thing before using doc Marten for hiking is to break them in. How do you break in doc Martens? By simply wearing them enough times so the boot or leather adjusts to the shape of the feet. 

If you use the new doc martens directly then you will feel pain in your heels and toe after wearing it for a few minutes. So, break in to prevent any swelling or pain. To know more about swelling while hiking. 

To avoid any rubbing or irritation, you can use socks, that will prevent rubbing and also add more inside comfort. Check out the simple guide to walk uphill –How to Breathe When Walking Uphill

Waterproof your doc Martens

Most of the doc martens are not waterproof, so the second thing you should do is waterproof your doc martens. To waterproof doc Marten, use a Goretex spray. Before applying Goretex, clean the shoes properly.  If you don’t know how to Waterproof doc marten then check out the video below –