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Officially known a Dr. Martens and informally called Doc Martens by fans, the company makes combat boots and shoes with similar designs. The founder of the company created his first pair during World War II as an alternative to the boots that the military issued to him. Doc Martens are now popular with fans around the world who love the classic designs and bright yellow stitching.
Whether you have a classic black and yellow pair or one of the funkier designs, you might wonder if you can take your Docs hiking. As the boots have a combat/military design, you can wear a pair for long hours without feeling much in the way of discomfort. Depending on what type of boots you buy, you can get up to 20 years out of a pair as long as you take care of them. While Docs aren’t the best boots for hiking, you can wear them on your next adventure.
Are Doc Martens Good for Hiking?
To decide whether your Docs will work on a hike, you need to consider the pros and cons. One of the best things about Docs is that they don’t need breaking in the way that traditional hiking boots do. They’re ready to go as soon as you take them out of the box. Docs are more comfortable than other types of boots and can easily handle short trips. You’ll also find that they give you more traction, which comes in handy when you hike in the rain or come across slippery trails. Another reason to choose Docs for hiking is that they work well on simple treks. Most are easier to clean than standard hiking boots, too.
The main con of wearing Doc Martens when hiking is that they are not designed for hiking. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself dealing with blisters and foot pain. Docs can wear and rub against both your heels and toes. Even if you use blister pads or bandages, you’ll likely wind up with a few blisters. The boots aren’t as durable or strong as you think once you take them on a hike. There are tons of stories from hikers who found that their Docs broke down on longer hiking trails. You risk the stitching coming loose and the soles breaking. Keep in mind that the Docs that are available today are better for striking a pose or making a fashion statement than hiking.
When Might Hiking in Doc Martens Be OK?
After reading the pros and cons of hiking in Doc Martens, you may decide to leave the boots at home before your next trip. There are some times when it makes sense to wear Docs on the hiking trail such as when you want to take a short hike. If you can complete the trail in sneakers or running shoes, you can wear Docs, too. Doc Martens are also perfect for the urban trails that many cities have in small parks. You can finish one of these trails in well under an hour.
You can also wear certain types of Doc Martens when hiking. Though the company once made a boot inspired by hiking boots, it claimed that the pair was only suitable for urban hiking. If you have a pair of 939 Ben boots, you can rest assured that the boots are suitable for hiking. The Ben boot comes in a leather version and a horse leather model. Both models have the features that hikers need, including air-cushioned soles and padded collars that keep you comfy on long hikes.
If you have the choice between skipping the trail or hiking in your Docs, there are a few things that you can do to make the journey a little easier. You should choose an older pair that fit your feet like a glove or a second skin. When it comes to socks, grab a pair that rises higher up on your leg and above your boots. The socks will keep the boots from rubbing against your calves. If you wear another pair of socks over the first, you can reduce chafing and blisters. It’s also helpful to waterproof the boots before you hit the trail.
What are Better Alternatives to Dr. Martens for Hiking?
Doc Martens are so comfortable that some fans wear them in factories and positions that require them to spend hours on their feet. That doesn’t mean you should always wear Docs when hiking as there are some great alternatives. Both hiking boots and shoes have lots of traction for wet trails and extra padding to both reduce fatigue and help your feet stay comfortable. You can easily find hiking boots online and in sporting goods stores. Knowing what to look for can help you find a good pair that meets all of your needs.
One thing to think about is the weight of the boots. The more that the boots wear, the more energy you need to use to lift your feet. You want hiking boots that you can wear for hours or all day. The boots should also provide enough coverage to cover your entire foot, which reduces the risk of injury caused by your environment. Good boots will also have extra support for your ankles to keep you from turning or twisting your foot as you walk.
Hikers also look for boots that have a flexible sole with added traction. You want to make sure that the boot can handle all types of trails and surfaces and that the sole moves as your foot moves. Many hikers benefit from boots that are breathable and waterproof, too. Your feet can breathe as you hike to prevent sweating and will remain warm and dry in all conditions.
Doc Martens are the ultimate antiestablishment boots. They have a rugged design that makes them popular with the punk rock crowd and anyone else raging against the machine. While you can wear Docs when hiking, you need to make sure that the boots can handle the trail or go with one of the best alternatives.
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