Do Doc Martens Run Big?

Do doc martens run big

Do Doc Martens run big? Doc Martens, so popular despite the expense and the confusion of properly fitting them.

We’re often left with a lot of questions, like whether or not Doc Martens run big. Well today we’re going to clear some things up about Doc Martens sizing and take some of the history involved with it into account.

Invented by a German Dr. in 1947 for his ankle injury, the air padded soles, firm support, and long-wearing comfort were a perfect combination. Little did he know that Doc Martens would go on to be popularized by punk bands, eventually becoming an iconic symbol of alternative fashion.

The brand has grown in popularity ever since, so without further adieu, let’s learn more about Doc Martens sizing so you can get your feet comfortably into a pair of your own!

Do Doc Martens Run Big or Small?

Dr. Martens Unisex Lace Fashion Boot, Black Extra Tough 50/50+Ajax, 5 US Men
Dr. Martens Unisex Fashion Boot | Source: Amazon

There’s conflicting and confusing information on the internet ‌whether Doc Martens run big or small, because Doc Martens uses British sizing measured in centimeters. A centimeter is 0.393701 inches, but you need not worry about doing the math.

U.K. women’s shoe sizes are two number sizes down from U.S. women’s shoe sizes. A U.S. women’s size 8 or European (EU) size 39, is equivalent to a U.K. size 6.

U.K. men’s sizes are one number size down from U.S. men’s sizes. A U.S. men’s size 10 or an EU size 45, is a U.K. men’s size 9.

Next, Doc Martens come in whole sizes with a few half sizes. If you need a half size for a wide foot, then adjust up a British size and, if for a narrow, adjust down a size.

So while the length of the foot measurement in centimeters is the same between the two sizing systems, it’s simply the number size designations that differ.

Also, Doc Martens footwear is Unisex which correspond to men’s sizes and this means that they are wider in the toe box and heel than women’s sizes. If you wear women’s sizes and need a wide shoe, then unisex is a good option, and note that the U.K. men’s/unisex size corresponds to the U.K. women’s in terms of length, but differ in width.

Do Doc Martens Run True to Size?

Understanding the sizing helps understand the fit of Doc Martens. Typically, they run true to size, but there’s a little more to it.

The size of a shoe is determined by the length of one’s foot, in this case, in centimeters. To get that measurement, place a piece of paper edged up against a wall, stand atop the paper in your bare feet, heels against the wall and mark on the paper the longest protruding toe.

Mark while upright and not bending over as that can push the feet and toes forward and distort your measurement. Use a measuring stick to which you’ve taped a pencil or have someone assist you.

Once marked, draw a parallel line at half a centimeter from your original mark. Measure in centimeters to the line you’ve drawn and that is your foot size in centimeters.

Consult a Doc Martens size chart online to match the centimeter length to the U.K. size to determine what size shoe you need. Having said that though, Doc Martens advises trying on the model shoe you wish to purchase first because there are some differences in fit for some of their models.

Do Doc Martens Sandals Run Big?

Dr. Martens Unisex-Adult Terry Sandal, Black Brando, Womens 9/Mens 8
Dr. Martens Unisex Sandal | Source: Amazon

These differences in fit have something to do with how the models support and enclose the feet, as mentioned previously with the Unisex sizing.

In a sandal, there’s less material encasing the foot, and people’s feet spread more in sandals. Doc Marten sandals ‌accommodate this aspect.

If you have a narrow foot, ‌ size down to the next whole size because a loose fit will allow your foot to slide about, which not only doesn’t support your feet and ankles, but can cause blisters. However, when the sandal has the possibility of being tightened, then you may not need to downsize.

The leather is stiff, so you will need to break in your sandals just as with all Doc Martens.

Do Doc Marten Boots Run big?

Doc Martens gives a lot of consideration to the fit of all their footwear. The crucial difference in fit is not with the length of their shoes, but with the width.

The company’s commitment to making shoes that work for the feet and provide support and durability shows in the differences intentionally built into their footwear and why some of their classic work boots, such as the 1460, Chelsea, and Jadon boots can run big. However, it’s recommended for all of these models that you wear thick socks anyway.

If you have a narrow foot, expect them to be roomy and order a size smaller. If your arches are high or you have medium wide to wide feet, the boots might be less roomy and you might order your actual shoe size.

As an additional note, Doc Martens now makes a vegan leather version of some of their classic boots, but are more prone to stretching during a faster breaking-in period, so the vegan leather will provide even more room. Also, be aware that Jadon boots are less roomy than either the 1460 or Chelsea boots.

Do Doc Martens 1460 Run Big or Small?

Dr. Martens, 1460 Original 8-Eye Leather Boot for Men and Women, Green Smooth, 5 US Women/4 US Men
Dr. Martens 1460 | Source: Amazon

As stated above, Doc Martens’ 1460 boots seem to run big. The 1460s are easily recognizable, and have changed little from the original design Doc Martens created in 1947.

When operations moved to Great Britain in the 60s, the boots received the signature yellow top stitching around the air cushioned thick “bouncing” sole and branded AirWair. Supportive and comfortable, people who spent a lot of time walking or standing wore them.

Our feet spread, becoming a little longer and definitely wider with use and age. Doc Martens took this into consideration and so the 1460 8-holed lace-up is wide yet true to size.

Do Doc Marten Chelsea Boots Run Big?

Dr. Martens unisex adult Chelsea Boot, Black Wyoming, 5 Women 4 Men US
Dr. Martens Chelsea Boot | Source: Amazon

The Chelsea boot, otherwise known as the 2976, runs a little on the “wide” side. The Chelsea/2976 differs from the 1490 boot because it has a slimmer looking profile.

Made of smooth leather and having elastic gussets on the sides, it hugs the upper foot and ankle, but should not be uncomfortable and compressing. Doc Martens released it in the 1970s and drew its design from Victorian era boots.

While the Chelsea/2976 is very minimalist, it was very popular with farmers, requiring no lacing up and tying and was easy to put on and take off.

Do Doc Martens Get Bigger Over Time?

Dr. Martens, Unisex 1460 Slip Resistant Steel Toe Light Industry Boots, Black Industrial Full Grain, 8 US Women/7 US Men
Dr. Martens Unisex 1460 Industry Boots | Source: Amazon

Doc Martens makes their footwear to conform to one’s foot, thus you can expect them to stretch where needed to accommodate variations in individual feet as no two feet are exactly the same and can differ in arch, instep, and heel. Even Doc Martens vegan “leather” footwear will stretch.

The stretch and conforming, along with the air cushioned soles-this is where the name AirWare came from-are all in the service of comfort. However, the breaking in of Doc Martens is a process that can take several weeks.

First, know that the fit of your Doc Martens should not compress your feet and there should be a small amount of room between one’s toes and the front of the boot or shoe. So many people advise one to wear thick socks and to take your time in breaking your Doc Martens in, that it’s safe to take them at their word.

Don’t break your Doc Martens in on days you can’t easily change out of your shoes into a more broken-in pair. Take short walks at first.

Condition your Doc Martens leather boots and shoes with a leather conditioner to prevent the leather from stiffening and cracking, to make them resist water absorption, and help the leather stretch. Doc Martens sells their own socks and leather conditioner which you can find through the company’s websites or wherever they sell Doc Martens.

Conditioning and cleaning your Doc Martens is maintenance you’ll want to do 3 to 4 times a year, after conditioning and weather-proofing them for the breaking-in.

You can also purchase insoles from Doc Martens if your arches need more support or if you find after breaking in that your boots fit a bit loosely around your foot or you can remove the insoles to give you a little more room.

This has to do with the depth of your foot from topside to bottom or the spread and or width of your feet. (The length of your foot is how your shoe size is determined, but as you can see, width and narrowness can determine how footwear fits you.


So, do Doc Martens run big? We’ve covered some territory and history on this topic and offered a few tips on how to keep your Docs fitting nicely.

Made of thick leather, Doc Marten boots are sturdy and supportive. While they may not last forever, you can make them last quite a while if you do the proper research and try on a few pairs before officially purchasing.

Now with that in mind, go out and find your perfect pair of Docs!

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