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Can I hike efficiently with Doc Martens?

Are doc martens good for hiking? Doc Martens can be worn all day in the city as long as they have been worn well. But the tough leather used in Docs takes a long time to soften up, and until that happens, your boots won’t be very comfortable.

Still, even when broken in, Doc Martens aren’t a good choice if you want a boot that’s good for all-day walking on trails. Docs are heavy and need more breathability, so they’re no match comfort-wise to a proper hiking boot.

Are doc martens good for hiking?

Do the rain and snow ruin Doc Martens?

Most Doc Martens can handle a little rain, but you should avoid wearing them in a storm or soaking them in water.

Leather that has been taken care of and treated with waxes to make it waterproof can handle a fair amount of rain. But genuine leather is porous, and if it gets wet often, it can become complex and brittle when it dries.

Because of this, you shouldn’t wear Doc Martens in the rain. If you regularly protect your Docs from water damage with wax or leather conditioner, they should be fine when wet for a short time. But if you want shoes that can handle any weather, you should get a pair of authentic hiking boots.

Read more: How to clean hiking shoes

What Hiking Boots Are Good?

The best hiking boots are the ones that fit your feet well and give you the grip and protection you need on the trail. Generally, hiking boots or shoes made for hiking are the best shoes, but some people prefer to wear lightweight trail running shoes instead.

There are so many good hiking shoes that we can’t list them all here. Check out La Sportiva, Lowa, Hoka, Keen, Merrell, Salomon, Oboz, and Vasque if you need a good pair of hiking boots. Manufacturers of hiking boots make their shoes for particular hikers and hiking styles, so you must find a pair that fits your needs.


One of the most important things about a good hiking boot is that it gives you a good grip on uneven, rocky paths that may be wet, icy, snowy, or muddy. Soles are almost always made of rubber, and like car tires, they have different levels of the tread to give you grip. In addition to the kind of rubber used, the grip is better if the track is deeper.

Doc Martens do have rubber soles, and theirs are made to resist oil and water because they’re meant to keep people from slipping on factory floors. This gives them a slight advantage, especially if you’re hiking on a wet or icy trail. The soles are also meant to be hard to puncture, which is great if you’re walking on sharp rocks, and they do have a good amount of tread. Even if you only look at the sole, they are better than your plimsolls.


The next issue is how well it lets air in. If you’ve only worn your Docs around town, you might not have noticed if they let water out because you might not have sweated in them. The best hiking boots are made of fabric that lets air pass through. This is because your feet will sweat in them, and if that moisture can’t get out, it can cause blisters, foot fungus, and cold feet.

So, how is Doc Martens? You might not be surprised to learn that leather is naturally breathable, which is why it has been used for boots and shoes for a long time.


From what I’ve heard so far, Docs are comfortable. They let air in and have a nice cushioning in the middle. But do they feel good enough to hike in? How comfortable your boots are on a long walk will also depend on whether or not they rub.

Here is one place on the trail where you want to avoid wearing brand-new Docs. Doc Martens takes a long time to break in, even if they fit perfectly. They can also give you blisters on your heels and rub your calves because they have a high top. People do hike in Docs and say they don’t get blisters or rubs, but we wouldn’t recommend walking in a pair you haven’t broken in yet, and you’ll want to wear high, thick hiking socks with them (take a look at our guide to the best hiking socks for some good options).

Ankle support

Now, hiking shoes don’t have to have ankle support, but it’s good to have it on uneven or rocky ground where it’s easy to trip and twist your ankle. You can get it by hiking in boots instead of the best trail running shoes and tying them upright.

Docs would support your ankles well because they go up high, but the leather uppers are thinner and less substantial than a sturdy pair of hiking boots, so you could probably do better.

Ankle support isn’t a must for hiking shoes, but it can be helpful on uneven or rocky ground where you could easily trip and twist your ankle.



Your hiking boots should be flexible enough to bend with your foot. Very stiff boots can hurt or change how you walk, while boots with too much give don’t protect you adequately.

Docs usually have good flex because they are made of soft leather and have soft rubber soles. Newer versions have been made with cushioned pockets to improve this. On the other hand, some of the most durable Docs won’t bend enough to be comfortable for hiking.


As we’ve said, you want hiking boots with good flex, but they must also protect you against bashing against rocks and other obstacles on the path.

Docs are meant to be work boots where you might drop things, offering adequate protection underfoot and around the foot. The ones with steel-reinforced toes are even better. Still, they don’t have much padding around the ankle, so hitting your foot on a rock could be very painful. Docs are pretty tough shoes, though. They are made to take a beating.


When shopping for hiking boots, it goes without saying that you don’t want to put too much weight on the tips of your legs. As hiking boots, Docs lose some points in this area.

Classic Doc Martens for an average-sized man weighs 1 lb 9.6 oz (726g) per boot, but a lightweight pair of synthetic hiking boots like the Keen Explore boot costs less than half that. Leather hiking boots are heavier than Docs, but most are still lighter than a pair of Docs.


And finally, there’s the issue of making something waterproof. It would help to have waterproof hiking boots to keep your feet from getting wet and sore. Normal Doc Martens are not waterproof, but you can use a waterproof spray to make them waterproof.

What to Wear Hiking in Summer, Spring, Fall, and Winter

How people dress for hiking has changed dramatically in the past few years. How we think about hiking gear has changed now that we have a lighter load with the right technology and fit.

There are no longer just ugly red, yellow, and green traffic light colors. Instead, there are different color ranges, layers, textures, materials, fits, and seasons that you can use to make your hiking clothes fit your needs.

There are a lot of choices on the market, and it can take effort to figure out what to get when all you want is a nice setup that you can use for hiking, camping, or just being outside. Outdoor companies have been trying to sell cutting-edge hiking gear and broaden the selection of hiking clothes for men and women.

So, what should you wear when you go hiking outside? And why is it so important to wear the right clothes outside? The main reason is “comfort” and protection from things like getting too cold. Wearing clothes that are right for the changing altitude, terrain, and alpine areas is essential.

I live in a tropical country, so when I go hiking, I wear shorts or 3/4 hiking pants to protect myself from leeches and overgrown roots. But if you live in a country with four seasons, you’ll probably want to find hiking gear you can use in all or some seasons.

are doc martens good for hiking

The End Result

Doc Martens are great boots, but we wouldn’t choose them if we were going on a long hike through steep and rocky terrain. Dr. Martens that have been worn in for a while are fine for short, mostly flat trails, but we wouldn’t recommend them for more challenging hikes.

Ultimately, we love the style and durability of a good pair of Docs, but they aren’t as comfortable or breathable as most hiking boots. If you want good boots that can accompany you on all your trips, you’re better off with hiking boots or trail running shoes made for that purpose.

Even though we don’t recommend buying a pair specifically for hiking, you could wear Docs on a hike if you were in a pinch, as long as it wasn’t a long distance or on challenging terrain.

After thinking about all these things, we decided that Doc Martens aren’t the best shoes for hiking because they’re heavy, not waterproof, don’t protect your ankles well, and tend to rub. However, they’re also better than hiking in jeans.

Even though we don’t recommend buying a pair just for hiking, you could wear Docs on a hike if you were in a pinch, as long as it wasn’t a long distance or in rugged terrain or weather. If you want to go to the hills in Docs, you should follow these rules:

Please don’t wear them for too hard of a job. Think of a walk through the woods instead of a steep climb.

Start by breaking them in. Stay out of your new Docs. Make sure that yours fit your feet well.

Wear thick, long socks. Docs tend to rub, which can ruin a hike, so wear thick socks that go up to your knees.

Keep them dry. Since Docs aren’t waterproof, you should spray them first.

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