Hiking is one of the best ways to get a bit of exercise, explore, and get in touch with nature. Yet, hiking will only be enjoyable if you have a pair of good hiking boots. Now you must be wondering - are Doc Martens good for hiking?
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, and I cannot explain it easily. The truth is that you can hike in Doc Martens, but only if you do not have any other shoes that you can hike in. At the same time, Doc Martens are suitable for hiking specific trails, but you must not wear them on different types of trails.
In today’s guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about Doc Martens shoes – what they are made of, when you should wear them and when not to, and so on. If you have an upcoming hiking trip and plan to wear your Doc Martens, I recommend reading this entire guide with the utmost attention. You will find the information handy for sure!
Can I Use Doc Martens for Hiking?
You can hike in Doc Martens for sure. Keep in mind that this should not be your first choice. If possible, you should always hike in a pair of specially designed hiking boots.
I know that not everyone can afford to buy a pair of hiking boots. Usually, only experienced hikers spend a lot of money on dedicated hiking boots. If you are starting to hike now, chances are you want to use something that you have at home.
If that is the case, you can take your Doc Martens on a hike but make it a short and easy one. So, no serious hiking with rugged terrain or harsh conditions. You might feel comfortable in your Doc Martens at the beginning, but things can turn quite fast.
When Might Be Hiking in Doc Martens Okay?
There are several cases in which it is okay to hike in Doc Martens. As mentioned before, you can do light hiking in them. I would recommend that you choose an undemanding trail and do the hike only in good weather.
There are several reasons why you should not go on a serious hike with a pair of Doc Martens. Serious hiking, as well as overnight camping trips, goes hand in hand with special hiking boots. They offer better ankle support, have soles suitable for uneven ground, are waterproof, and are way more comfortable.
You cannot find all these things in a pair of Doc Martens. This type of boot takes a long time to break in, so you should never take them hiking right after you buy them. That will leave your feet hurting and with quite a few blisters.
Also, Doc Martens are not the best for uneven terrain. They will not support the ankles that well, might slip a bit, and not be that comfortable. The insulation and traction on these shoes are not that good, while they can also feel a bit too heavy in the feet.
Doc Martens are perfect for regular walking or a work environment that does not include that much physical activity. You will be comfortable even if you stand on your feet all day long. I give you this – they are one of the most styling types of boots, but they are not that good for hiking!
Tips for Hiking in Doc Martens
In the previous section, I mentioned some of the reasons why you do not want to hike in Doc Martens. Considering that some of you might not have any other choice, I want to tell you some tips for hiking in Doc Martens. I hope these tips will make the hike more pleasant for you!
Break Them In
First of all – the Doc Martens you have must be completely broken in before you take them on a hike. You should take the oldest pair that you have worn the most. You should never hike in a brand new pair of Doc Martens because they will leave your feet hurting for days after the hike!
The breaking in takes a while because of the sturdy materials used for the boots. Please consider this as one or two regular walking trips will not be enough to prepare them for a hike. It will take at least a couple of weeks or a month before you feel comfortable in them.
Taking a pair of ill-fitting Docs on a hiking trip is not a good idea. Again, your feet will feel horrible for days after the hike if the Doc Martens do not fit like a glove.
So, I would recommend that you either go with some Docs that fit you well or with another pair of shoes. I am saying this for your good, so please take my advice on it!
Also, on your pair of well-fitting Docs, make sure that you adjust the laces so that they fit your lower legs well. You do not want them to be too tight or too loose. A great fit will offer your ankles better support while protecting your feet from injuries as well.
Wear Thick Socks
I recommend wearing a pair of thick socks – if you have special hiking socks, those will also be a good fit for the situation. The thicker the socks, the better!
Wearing suitable socks is not something you should do only when wearing Doc Martens. I also recommend this even if you have good hiking boots that you have been using for a long time. This type of socks offers you more comfort, especially when you hike for long periods.
Use Blister Protection
You can get a lot of blisters when wearing uncomfortable shoes on a hike. The blisters appear as a result of the foot rubbing on the sock or the shoe too hard. Also, if you have a pair of shoes that are too small or too big, they will cause your feet to blister.
Blisters might appear on your heels, on the bottom of the feet, as well as the toes. If you are planning on hiking in Doc Martens, I recommend you protect these places so that you do not have to deal with blisters afterward.
I do not recommend hiking with Doc Martens in harsh conditions. They might be well-made boots, but they are not the best at keeping your feet dry.
The waterproof factor is an essential factor to take into consideration. If you know that your Doc Martens let water get into the shoe, then you should try to waterproof them. There are a ton of waterproofing sprays, waxes, or polishes that you can use for the purpose!
Are Doc Martens Good For All Weather?
Doc Martens, as a company, offers a wide variety of boots. None of the brand’s boots are completely suitable for hiking. Still, you can take them when you hike a short and simple trail regardless of the weather.
Even though they do not have the same waterproofing as the specialty hiking boots, Doc Martens are still a great pair of boots. Their distinctive look includes the leather exterior and the rubber soles. Let’s talk about these soles because they are amazing!
Most Doc Martens boots have shock-absorbing soles that are completely slip-resistant. Even though these rubber roles add to the weight of the shoe, they are still very comfortable. Some boots come with air-cushioned soles, most come with puncture-resistant soles, while others have springy soles.
Also, most Doc Martens have a breathable leather surface that is quite durable. On the front of the boot, you might find a steel toe to protect the toes in case you bump into something.
If there is one thing, I can conclude that Doc Martens are well-made boots that will keep your feet warm and protected. You can hike in a pair of Doc Martens even though it is not a dedicated pair of hiking shoes.
There is no doubt that Doc Martens are the most stylish, most comfortable boots out there. You will never want to replace them once you see how fun it is to hike in them. Still, investing in a good pair of hiking boots is advisable if you want to hike often.
Doc Martens are a great pair of boots with a leather material surface and a high-quality sole that you cannot find elsewhere. Once you buy your first pair of Doc Martens, you will never go back to regular boots. So, I recommend that you try them out as soon as possible!
Let me know if you have a pair of Doc Martens at home and what your experience with them has been like. I would love to know if you have considered taking them on a hike, so let me know in the comments below what your thoughts on it are!