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Dr. Marten Boots: How to break them in and what to wear them with

If you follow me on Instagram you will have noted that I acquired a pair of classic Dr Marten Boots a couple of months ago and have spent that time working out how to break them in and make the bastards comfortable. For a while they were known as ‘These Bastard DMs’ (BDMs), but I’m here to tell you how to change all that. How they are now very comfortable and one of the most hard wearing and useful pair of boots one could ever wish to own. But I may still refer to them as my BDMs just for old times sake.

I should imagine, if you are anything like me, that in your youth you had a pair of Dr Marten Boots. They were almost a right of passage when I was growing up. They were a badge of honour to be worn at all times. I painted flowers on mine and they were my pride and joy for many years. I have no idea what happened to them, but I do remember the dedication it took to wear them in. I’m not going to lie, it still takes a bit of time and effort, but with these simple steps, you can get to acceptable comfort levels in about a week.

STEP 1. Buy yourself some top level hiking grade socks. Get them from an outdoorsy shop and don’t skimp on the price. Ideally you need ‘Smart Wool’ Socks, In my opinion, they are the best anti blister socks money can buy.

STEP 2. Get some Leather Cream. Dr Martens sell their own, but I just used an old tube from Clarks, that I was obviously up-sold when buying kids school shoes many moons ago.

STEP 3. Put on socks and boots and rub the leather cream all over the boots.

STEP 4. Blast boots with your hairdryer, so they are almost hot, this will help the cream soften the leather much quicker.

STEP 5. Go for a walk. Don’t go too far the first time. I’d say 30 mins tops.

STEP 6. Repeat steps 1–5 about 6 times. over the course of a week or so. Also, if you can be bothered, massage the boots when you’re not wearing them, the more the leather is used, the softer it will become.

I won’t blame you if you’ve already stopped reading and decided this all seems like too much work, but I saw it a personal challenge and once soft, these boots will literally last you for 10+ years and they NEVER go out of fashion. Here’s a few DM styles and what I would wear them with right now…


These are the ultimate classic DM style. The original ‘Bastard DMs’. Lovely smooth leather, just the right amount of lace holes, will never date. Wear with one of your 5 new jacket styles I talked about last week. I LOVE this quilted one from Arket, it’s sort of cool country casuals, and a nice scenic jumper french tucked into your high waisted jeans. I always tuck my jumpers in these days, makes me feel like it creates an ‘illusion’ of a waist. It is very much an ‘illusion’ in my case…

1. Amazon Soft Cotton Graphic Sweater 
2. Arket Long Quilted Jackets 
3. Levis Ribcage High Waisted Jeans 
4. Womens Hike + Crew Socks 
5. Dr Martens 8 Hole 1460 Boots 


I bought these ones about 2 years ago and they actually didn’t take so long to break in, I think the leather is a little softer. They go with EVERYTHING. I particularly like them with patterned dresses as the fact the boots are so plain doesn’t detract from the prints on your clothes. I’m hoping that by the time I publish this post that this H&M dress isn’t out of stock. They have a few great versions of it and I have it on good authority that it’s excellent. Very Ganni for less than 1/4 of the price.

1. H&M Tiered Leopard Print Dress
2. & Other Stories Long Fringed Blanket Scarf 
3. Mango Leather Biker Jacket 
4. Cos Leather Shopper Bag 
5. Dr Marten Kensington Flora Boots 


If you’re not a dedicated breaker-in of the BDMs then you need the Pascale version. These are made from a different, softer leather, so don’t need all that rigmarole. Personally I think that’s cheating an that you need to suffer for your look, that it gives you a sense of pride once you cracked it, but, each to their own. Why not tone down the butchness of your boots with a nice frilly shirt. I also Love this Hush Jacket. It should have gone in last weeks post but I hadn’t discovered it then.

1. Hush Quilted Jersey Jacket 
2. Gucci 1955 Horsebit Handbag 
3. And/Or Ikat Printed Blouse 
4. Hush Agnes Straight Fit Jeans 
5. Dr Marten Pascale Boots 


The classic DM Chelsea Boot. I love them in the old school Ox Blood colour. I bought these for my husband 7 years ago and they are literally the ONLY pair of boots he owned until I bought him a new pair this year. Wear with your cardi and buffet dress. This one is from Next. It’s a very similar shape to the Zara one I have that’s now sold out, plus it’s Navy, so slightly more universally flattering than black.

1. Next Puff Sleeve Cotton Poplin Dress 
2. Arket Oversized Cardigan
3. Marks & Spencer Check Cotton Car Coat 
4. Dr Marten Oxblood Chelsea Boots 


We used to call it pleather, but times have moved on and now we call fake leather ‘Vegan’. To be fair technology has also moved on and the material doesn’t look like cheap plastic anymore, it genuinely is a good as the real thing. I don’t know if they are less stiff than the real thing or if putting a hair dryer on them is advisable to be honest. They might melt…

1. & Other Stories Oversized Blazer 
2. & Other Stories Gathered Leather Bag 
3. Anine Bing Revolution T Shirt 
4. Mango Straight Fit Crop Jeans 
5. Dr Marten 1460 Vegan Boots 

I’ve had requests for a new jeans edit, a trainer edit, a trouser edit and something about bags that are not too expensive. If there’s anything else you want to see, let me know. Of course, I may just ignore all these suggestions and write about something totally different, but you never know.

K x

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January 18th, 2020

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