How to Wear Doc Martens?  - Read This First (2024)

What To Wear Mar 09

Written by Aliki Bitsakakis

How to Wear Doc Martens? - Read This First (2)

Aliki Bitsakakis

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If you’re wondering how to wear Doc Martens, in what season, or with what pants, you’ve come to the right place! Starting off as a working boot in 1945 and evolving into a staple shoe for punk rockers in the ’70s and ‘80s, Docs are now a staple of mainstream street fashion.

Docs are worn by just about everyone these days. The brand’s original intent was to design a shoe that’s a vessel of self-expression, and today this vision continues to thrive. Doc Martens have a simple, classic look which means they can be styled with almost any outfit for almost any occasion.

Plus, they’re durable, comfortable, and one of the most versatile shoes out there. So, it’s no wonder why they’re so popular. But, the question remains how to wear Doc Martens?

Luckily, this article will guide you through the endless styling possibilities, and answer all your burning questions.

15 Outfits To Wear With Doc Martens

Before we begin our lesson on how to wear Doc Martens, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Firstly, don’t hide the boots! You’ll want to wear them with pride and show them off. Plus, their chunky shape makes it difficult to cover them up, unless you’re rocking some flowy pants (we’ll get into that later on).

Secondly, remember that Docs aren’t casual shoes, but they’re not fancy either. How dressy (or not) they look wholly depends on the rest of your outfit. Docs can be dressed up, dressed down, or they can fall somewhere in between the two. So, to create the look you prefer, constructing a unique outfit around them is key!

Thirdly, you can wear Docs in any season. If you think clunky boots aren’t summer attire, I’m here to debunk that theory. The assortment of colors available also allows you to pair Docs with any outfit in any season.

You can wear the outfits mentioned in the list below with any style of Doc Martens, yet the boots are the most popular. Whatever your personal style may be, these outfits work regardless! Now, let’s get into how to wear Doc Martens.

There are so many different outfits to wear with Doc Martens. To give you some style inspiration, we’ll show you several outfit options below. But, keep in mind that there’s no ‘best’ outfit Doc Martens go with—how you wear them depends entirely on your personal style.

Shorts with a long flannel

Let’s begin this list of Doc Martens outfits with a simple look that you can throw together with the things you already have in your closet. It’s perfect for modern pandemic dates involving grabbing a coffee and going for a walk.

Docs cut off the leg with their high cuff. A way to contrast this is by elongating the leg with shorts or a skirt, which also shows off the boot! Your chunky boots are going to be the most pronounced item in your outfit, so you’ll want to give them the attention they deserve.

Trousers, cropped chunky sweater or coat, plus boots or shoes

This outfit is a great example of dressing up your Doc Martens. Made with real or vegan leather and precise stitching, your Docs can be as fancy as you want them to be.

When wearing a tall boot and long pants, it’s important to cuff the pant leg at the top of the boot, so the boot is still visible.This, of course, is less of an issue when you go with a classy shoe.

Ripped jeans, sweater, and many accessories

This is my go-to look because it works for almost any occasion. Ripped jeans play into the grunge feel while still showcasing the boots by falling right at the cuff.

Pair these boots with a chunky sweater, a small purse, sunglasses, or whatever else you want! This outfit is perfect for school, work, going out with friends, or walking the dog.

Sweats and a nice coat

This look, which combines a casual tracksuit with a nice long coat, is becoming more popular. The Docs elevate the outfit to the next level and tie the two looks together since Docs are both casual and fancy.

This is the sort of outfit you could throw on to run out and grab some groceries but actually looks like you tried putting your outfit together.


Patterned tights fit with the punk aesthetic that Docs are known for. Plus, they’re another way to elongate the leg.

You could go for a monochromatic look or change it up with some maroon docs. This look also works with a sweater dress and a leather jacket, which is perfect for winter. If you want to be even more punk, don’t throw out those ripped tights.

Skirt and a chunky sweater

This is the sort of look that you would see in paparazzi pictures and wonder how Selena Gomez got so stylish. Spoiler alert: it isn’t too hard!

Docs with a short skirt and a pullover sweater are the perfect fall city look. Chances are, you already have these items in your closet, too.

Jean shorts with tee or blouse

Contrary to popular belief, Docs also work in the summertime. Cut-off denim shorts pair well with the punk aesthetic of these boots.

You can wear a blouse to dress this look up or a tee to dress it down. Pair the outfit with sunglasses, a purse, a backpack, or a hat—pretty much anything you want with this one.

You can stick with the boot here or opt for a shoe or sandal. This look is perfect for long walks (make sure you wear your Docs enough to break them in first), city days, or road trips.

Long skirt and a tee

Band tees are becoming common attire, and I for one couldn’t be happier. This look is a perfect example of what Docs can do, bridging the gap between casual and fancy. A band tee tucked into or tied above a long skirt is the best of both worlds.

Pencil skirts elongate the legs and bring some elegance to this punk look. If you go with a flowy skirt, make sure there’s a slit to show off the boots as you walk around.

Flowery dress, a hat, and sunglasses

Flower crowns, long dresses, big hats, and round sunglasses—you know where I’m going with this, right?

Whether you’re going to a music festival or a wedding, Docs with a long dress is a unique and chic getup. Again, make sure your dress has a nice slit so you don’t hide the edgy part of your look.


Are you still wondering how to wear Doc Martens? The answer: with just about anything. Docs truly are a versatile shoe.

And here’s a great example: this green velvet jumpsuit is perfect for a classy night out or a day in the office. You could throw a jacket over this outfit or rock it in the warm weather.

Mom jeans and a blazer

Here’s another really cool look. Mom jeans are casual but you throw a blazer on top and boom—you have a business casual outfit. Docs tie the casual and professional looks together nicely.

Docs can definitely be working boots, and you can wear this outfit in almost any professional setting.

Leggings and an ‘80s jean jacket

But can you wear Doc Martens with leggings? Of course! This is a classic Doc Martens look. The ‘80s style leather jacket takes us back to the grunge movement when Docs became popular in the US. And what would you wear with a jean jacket if not leggings?

When styling your outfit, contrast is important: if your top is baggy, pair it with tight pants, and vice-versa. Either way, your Docs are going to pop.

Flared trousers and a tee

This is another business casual look: flared trousers and a tee. Remember that your flared trousers should fall above the boots so you don’t hide them.

This outfit can be worn in any season, depending on your color scheme. You can throw a jacket on top for a winter look, or keep the tee and put on a pair of sunglasses for summer.

Overalls with a tee

I imagine that this is how Docs actually started out—as a working boot. The great thing about Docs is this: to this day they’re very durable.

So, if you’re intending on doing some physical labor, don’t worry, your Docs will be there for you. Your Docs could get a little scuffed up, but that only adds to the aesthetic.

Monochromatic leather look

This full leather outfit is edgy and perfect for colder seasons. You can contrast leather leggings with a boxy leather jacket and even mix and match colors. This is a true punk look and will have heads turning on the street.

What Pants To Wear With Doc Martens?

Now you’ve got a good idea of how to wear Doc Martens, so let’s take a moment to examine the most important element of your outfit—your pants. When thinking about pants to wear with Doc Martens, there are a few things to keep in mind.

You can opt for a form-fitting pair of pants or something boxier. Either way, for the best look, your pants need to fall at the top of the boots. And if your pant legs extend past the top of the boots, they shouldn’t be tight.

It’s a good idea to elongate your legs which are otherwise cut short by the boots. And when picking a matching top, remember to choose one that contrasts with the shape of your pants.

For instance, if you’re wearing tight pants, a baggier top is ideal. Here’s a list of what pants to wear with Doc Martens.

Jeans (skinny, mom, or ripped)

We all know that jeans go with everything, so why not Docs? It’s all about how you style your jeans, making sure that they’re either tucked into the boot or cuffed at the top. And remember, ripped jeans fit the aesthetic perfectly.


As mentioned, we are beginning to accept sweats as fashionable attire. Docs with sweats are a comfortable look. Paired with a nice coat and accessories, you could really elevate this outfit, and transform it from a laid-back look to almost business casual.


Talk about business casual! You can pair trousers with any style of Docs for a daytime stroll or a night out.

Baggy trousers are best paired with a simple tee tucked into your pants. Add a nice belt or tie your tee at the bottom so it sits above your waist.

As mentioned, we want to cuff pants above the boot, so they don’t cover them up. In the same way, your top also shouldn’t cover up your pants—your tee should allow room for your trousers to shine.

Leggings (normal or leather)

Leggings elongate the legs and really allow the Docs to pop. Remember to pair them with a baggier top for contrast. Leggings can also be leather for an edgier look!


Depending on how you style your jumpsuit, you could be ready for a summer wedding or for a casual winter day. Docs complete this chic outfit while also bringing some edge to the look.

How to Choose Doc Martens?

Learning how to wear Doc Martens begins with choosing the right Docs for you. Let’s start with a few general rules of thumb when purchasing Doc Martens for the first time. Generally, they run tight so you’re going to want to size up.

Here are the most popular styles, each of which comes in different colors and variations.

These styles come in both men’s and women’s sizes unless otherwise specified. And all these shoes work with the outfits listed above!

1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boot

This is the standard Docs look. Coming in at $200, the 1460s are available in green, blue, red, yellow, pink, and orange. The most popular colors are black, white, and maroon.

Plus, they’re available as the Mono Smooth Leather Lace Ups, which are the same shoe, but all accents and stitchings are fully black or fully white.

1460 Patent Leather Lace Up Boot

This is the same shoe as the 1460 boot above, but this leather is polished and shiny. It comes in white, pink, or purple and is priced at $190.

1460 Greasy Leather Lace Up Boot

This is another 1460 boot, but this leather is a bit more scuffed up. It’s only sold in black at $200.

Jadon Smooth Leather Platform Boots

Platform boots elevate your style (pun intended) to that of a true punk kid. Most Docs styles are also sold with platform soles. This boot costs $280 and comes in black and white.

When thinking about how to style white Doc Martens, the same rules apply. Styling white Docs is really similar to styling black Docs.

Again, it’s a good idea to keep contrast in mind when putting together your outfit.

Also, you’ll want to show off the boots, of course, so don’t cover them up with your pant legs. White is a neutral color and goes with anything (just like black), but they do pop a bit more.

2976 Smooth Leather Chelsea Boot

Another popular boot for $200, these Docs come in black or cherry red. The platform version of this shoe is $250. This Chelsea style also comes in vegan leather and is sold for $200 as well.

1461 Smooth Leather Oxford Shoes

This is a very different look but still works with the majority of outfits listed above. The Oxford shoe comes in black, white, yellow, red, blue, pink, green, and comes in at $160.

Blaire Hydro Leather Strap Sandals

Doc Martens actually have a wide variety of sandals, which may be surprising! Pictured here are the women’s Blaire Hydro Sandals, which are $140 and come in white, black, or pink.

It’s important to keep this in mind: when looking at these sandals, men’s and women’s styles are kept separate.

Choosing Leather

If you’re still wondering how to wear Doc Martens, we’re going to help you figure this out. When choosing your best style, consider the material of the shoe.

Docs come in a variety of leathers, and lots of different styles. And, at first glance, all these styles might seem the same—but they really aren’t. So, we’ll break these styles down for you based on the material of the shoe. Here are your different options:

  • Smooth Leather – This material sculpts your foot and could be polished or scuffed. It’s also the most common material you’ll see Docs made of.
  • Nappa and Virginia Leather – This is a fine grain, lightweight material that stretches well.
  • Patent Leather – This leather has a hard, glossy surface and is waterproof.
  • Vegan leather – This material resembles real leather but is made synthetically.

How To Style Doc Martens?

There are a few tricks out there for how to wear Doc Martens with style. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Laces can be done up or, more commonly, left with 4-5 rings from the top and then tied off
  • Laces can be left undone (just don’t trip!)
  • Docs are typically worn with thick socks (for comfort and for style)
  • Docs are meant to be worn and scuffed up

Figuring out how to style Doc Martens shouldn’t be complicated. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be looking fabulous each time you throw yours on and head out the door.

Where To Buy Doc Martens?

Doc Martens are available on the brand’s website and in shoe stores, such as Browns, Little Burgundy, Journeys, SoftMoc, and many more.

Prices are consistent across all stores. When choosing where to buy Docs from, it could depend on two factors: which retailer is closest to you or which one offers the best shipping deals for your area.

Can You Wear Doc Martens With Anything?

Yes! As we’ve mentioned, Docs are versatile shoes. You can wear them with almost anything, but how you wear them is also important.

So, thinking about how to wear Doc Martens is important. Here’s a good rule of thumb: put together your outfit in a way that emphasizes your own unique style, and you can’t go wrong.

Can You Wear Skinny Jeans With Doc Martens?

Yes! Since Docs are bulky, tight pants elongate the legs and emphasize the shoes, making them really stand out. So tuck your skinny jeans into the boot or cuff them off at the top.

Is It Weird to Wear Doc Martens in the Summer?

Not at all! Again, Docs shorten the legs so wearing them with shorts or a skirt helps make up for that loss in length. Yet, it’s all about comfort level, so if you’re going for a hike in the summer and you don’t sweat too much, Docs are a perfect choice.

Can You Wear Doc Martens With Leggings?

Absolutely! On their own, leggings and Docs go with anything. When paired together, you can get creative with your top/jacket combination to bring the outfit together.

Final Thoughts

“Dr. Martens’ appeal to people who have their own individual style but share a united spirit – authentic characters who stand for something. People who possess a proud sense of self expression. People who are different.”

When asking yourself how to wear Doc Martens, remember these words from the brand and be proud of your unique style. Doc Martens are vessels for self-expression, after all, and that means you can add them to any outfit that you feel at home in.

You’ve got the Docs on lock, but what about the rest of the outfit? Here’s a bit of fashion inspo just for you:

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How to Wear Doc Martens?  - Read This First (2024)


How to Wear Doc Martens?  - Read This First? ›

Wearing a pair of Doc Martens for the first time may be a frustrating experience, even if you've had many pairs in the past. If you don't obtain a proper fit and wear your new boots around the house for a few hours each day, breaking in your new boots may be painful.

What's the best way to wear in Dr Martens? ›

Martens and want to learn how to break in doc martens into them as quickly as possible, follow my favorite tested tips.
  1. Use Leather Conditioner or Softener. View It On Amazon. ...
  2. Apply Heat. View It On Amazon. ...
  3. Wear Thick Socks. View It On Amazon. ...
  4. Wear Your Boots as Much as Possible. ...
  5. Stuff Your Boots When Not Wearing Them.
Jun 12, 2023

Is it normal for Doc Martens to hurt at first? ›

Wearing a pair of Doc Martens for the first time may be a frustrating experience, even if you've had many pairs in the past. If you don't obtain a proper fit and wear your new boots around the house for a few hours each day, breaking in your new boots may be painful.

How many days does it take to break in Doc Martens? ›

On average, it takes 3-6 weeks to fully break in your docs. It can be sped up by using heat techniques or wearing them with socks to increase the break in period. However, while they may be wearable, the full break in period will come at around 3 weeks.

How do you make Doc Martens look classy? ›

Mix Weekend Staples with Dressier Pieces. Classic Docs and an easy hoodie are perfect for casual Saturdays. But rather than wear them with other comfy basics, like leggings or sweatpants, swap in a silky midi skirt and leather jacket. The end result is a super chic 'fit you can wear all weekend long.

Do Doc Martens get softer over time? ›

Docs will soften and stretch as you wear them in - You can check out our size guide for more information.

How long before Dr Martens are comfortable? ›

Persevere! Dr Martens mould to your foot so the effort is worth it. Once broken in, they'll be the comfiest pair on your shoe-rack so take it slow but keep going. Getting them fully broken in and comfy can take a couple of weeks but you'll get there.

Do Dr Martens loosen over time? ›

Just like all pairs of leather shoes, Dr. Martens do stretch overtime. To begin with, you may find the shoes to be a little more snug, so make sure to follow our top tips on how to break shoes in.

What are the hardest Dr. Martens to break in? ›

Martens' original, thick, hardy, not-super-comfy boots. That's why the MiE Docs are hardest to break in but rest assured, if you bought the regular 1460 Dr. Martens, these tips will help as well. Their leather is a tad thinner, so it'll only be an easier process.

What kind of socks to wear with Dr. Martens? ›

The best socks for Doc Martens are those that provide a combination of comfort, durability, and moisture-wicking properties. Look for socks made from high-quality materials like merino wool or cotton blends that offer breathability and moisture management.

Can you take the insoles out of Dr. Martens? ›

Dr. Martens shoes come with removable insoles; removing the insoles is a quick and easy way to give your feet a little extra room while breaking in your boots. This should also enable you to wear your new boots for a longer period of time. Once you've worn in your shoes, you can always put the insoles back.

How can I make my Doc Martens more comfortable to walk in? ›

Martens recommends purchasing its socks, heel pads, and balm to hasten the process. The balm is supposed to soften the leather and help them break in quicker, while the heel pads and socks will prevent blisters. The company also recommends using aluminum soda cans to stretch the uppers in place of your ankles and feet.

How do people walk in Doc Martens? ›

Unfortunately there is no sure fire way to break in your Doc Martens quickly. The best way to break them in as quickly as possible is to wear them as much as you can. Wear them around the house, on walks to the shop and anywhere else you can. The more you wear them, the quicker they'll break in.


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