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Unbreakable Dr Martens boots.

(28 Posts)
ThanksForAllTheFish Sat 10-Sep-16 11:29:11

I have a lovely pair of cherry red DM boots that I've owned for about 16 years now (they were pre owned unworn condition when I bought them and going by the details on the tab etc I believe they are from the mid 80's). The problem is no matter how much I try I can seem to break them in. I've tried and failed many times over the years to get these boots ware-able (before sticking them back in the wardrobe for another 3/4 years and going back to them). I really want to have them as my winter boots this year so I've take them out to try again.

I've tried softening them with neatsfoot oil, leather dubbin and Vaseline. I've massaged the leather loads. I've worn them with thick socks and blister plasters. I've been horse riding in them, they've been worn in heavy rain, I've worn them around the house and out and about many, many times.

Initially they hurt at the toes but now that's fine.
Then they skinned all around my calf where the top of the boots are. That's gotten a little better now but I still need to wear thick socks to stop it happening.
My new problem is skinned heels. I've never had that issue with the boots before. Wore them on the school run yesterday and blistered one of my heels and the other is also quite red.

I'm hoping this is the last stage of breaking in and they will be fine. I'm thinking I might batter he hell out of the heels with a hammer to soften them.

Any other tips for breaking them in please?

I'm at my wits end. I've owned other dr martens over the years and never had this amount of hassle breaking them in.

TeaPleaseLouise Sat 10-Sep-16 11:31:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SerenDippitee Sat 10-Sep-16 11:40:53

You could try a leather stretching spray. Saturate the tight bits with spray, put on thick socks, and wear the boots indoors. You can also use heat from a hairdryer to soften and stretch them. Both of these methods will thin the leather a bit, of course.

Janek Sat 10-Sep-16 11:47:22

Try 1000 mile socks - they are double-layered, so one layer stays with your foot and the other moves with the boot, and blisters are prevented. I had some hideous walking boots that injured my feet every time i wore them (and they were given to me second hand by someone who had suffered the same thing). I can now wear them.

I realise that you are trying to break them in, so this should not be a long term solution, but if you are able to wear the boots pain free while you are breaking them in, then you might just manage it!

EmpressTomatoKetchup Sat 10-Sep-16 11:50:38

Could they be too small? If they are 80s DMs perhaps shoe sizing has changed since then, like with bras and clothes sizing. I dunno, I'm just thinking out loud.

ThomasHardyPerennial Sat 10-Sep-16 11:56:19

I admire your persistence as I would have given up ages ago! Are they really worth so much pain? They don't sound right for your feet.

LozzaChops Sat 10-Sep-16 11:57:02

Cycling in the rain in them! The lengths we go to...

ThanksForAllTheFish Sat 10-Sep-16 12:01:49

I think the cobblers might be the way to go if I can't get anything else to work. Im a little reluctant to try stretching spray as I'm not sure the issue is tightness but the opposite. I have skinny feet and the boots are quite wide. The rubbing appears to be where the leather is bunching up on the heels rather than tightness. There is one little bit at the bottom of the heels that's still quite stiff though so it does need to soften. I do have insoles in them to make them fit around the toe area. The thick socks also help fill up all the space in the boot.

I try the sock thing - a thick pair worn with a thin pair underneath. I've been wearing those double layer walking/ anti blister socks with them but still got a blister.

I will also look into the hairdryer thing. I don't want to ruin the leather though.

idontlikealdi Sat 10-Sep-16 12:10:59

Do they actually fit you?!

SwedishEdith Sat 10-Sep-16 12:14:52

I'd just sell them. I got some DM shoes last year I can't break in - just don't seem worth the pain any more.

Branleuse Sat 10-Sep-16 12:21:45

they dont fit you properly. Sell them on and get some ones that you can try on first

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 10-Sep-16 12:25:55

I'd say they just don't suit your feet. I've had issues with the chafing round the calf thing myself, but in this case maybe you just have to move on.

Any chance they are poor copies?

ThanksForAllTheFish Sat 10-Sep-16 12:28:10

I was typing and didn't see the new replies.

1000 mile socks look good. The ones I have are a cheaper version so maybe not working as well.

I don't think they are too small. I'm a 5 1/2 to a 6 and they are a 6. I think the 5 would have been too tight but the 6 is comfortable with thick socks.

I'm wondering if maybe they are a men's shoe rather than women's and that's why I find them wide? I'm not sure if that was a thing with 80's dm's.

EsmesBees Sat 10-Sep-16 12:34:43

I have the same problem with a pair of green DM boots from the mid 90s. They are the Devil's own boots. Very interested in any suggestions.

Judydreamsofhorses Sat 10-Sep-16 12:44:15

I eventually gave up on my beautiful cherry red DM Chelsea boots and stuck them on eBay - I realised that no amount of suffering was going to make them comfortable, and that they were just not suited to my feet.

ThanksForAllTheFish Sat 10-Sep-16 12:44:29

They are definetly not copies, I've checked and everything looks and feels authentic. I've put some photos if anyone can see anything fake looking about them?

I think the old ones that were made in England are a lot stiffer and harder to break than the new ones (made in Thailand now) or even the new vintage made in England line.

This pair might not be suited to my foot but I will persevere as I love them. I've owned 4 other pairs over the years (my school shoe of choice in the 90's) and they were all fine and comfortable once broken.

I've not held on to them for this long to give up on them now!

SaggyNaggy Sat 10-Sep-16 12:48:52

Have you tried the hairdryer method?
Socks on, boots on, blast hairdryer to warm the leather where they're tight, flex foot. Repeat.

SwedishEdith Sat 10-Sep-16 13:14:23

I'm a 5.5 to 6 as well and have always had to get a 5 in DMs. But I can see why you love them.

Flywheel Sun 11-Sep-16 00:24:41

I remember when I was a teenager, whenever I got a new pair I used to rub raw potato on the inside. No idea where it came from. Seemed to do the trick though (or maybe they would have broken in anyway)

Incywincyspinster Sun 11-Sep-16 00:46:19

Take a hammer to the heel. I did that with v stuff docs and only had 1 day of breaking in. They're now my comfiest boots. Don't get them wet to break in as it will stiffen the leather. Leather softener can also causei it to retain its stiffness. Peeing on them might work if you're that dedicated...

ilovecherries Sun 11-Sep-16 09:10:10

I have a gorgeous pair of green ones that I got in the early 90s. They've never been outside as after a few minutes, I'm in agony. I still feel the fury when any shop assistant says to me when I say a shoe isn't very comfortable that they'll soften off, you just need to break them in. How exactly you suffer the agony while you do so is still a mystery to me. One day I will sell them, but every winter I fantasise that this is the year, and I hopefully put them on.

insancerre Sun 11-Sep-16 09:14:23

Use a hammer!
Dh swears by it and he has about 6 pairs

AgedRelative Sun 11-Sep-16 09:18:53

I have a nearly 30 year old pair of dms which I've owned from new. I'm a size 5 and they are a size 4. I had steel toe capped ones which were a 3.5. These were bought in the late 80s - they did size up big back then.

MimsyBorogroves Sun 11-Sep-16 09:30:07

I had green DMs in the 90s too and I've never had blisters like those ever again. My feet were covered, and I limped for ages. Didn't dare tell my mum as she spent far more on them than she had ever spent on my shoes before and it was the first time she had let me out of clarks shoes so I grimaced grinned and bared it.

I've always been able to wear DMs since though - I've got the theory that your feet have to break into them, rather than the other way around...

cluelessnchaos Sun 11-Sep-16 09:33:39

You could contact the doc martens factory shop near Northants and ask for advice

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