Doc Martens have been around since 1945, designed to replace army boots after the creator, Klaus Martens, injured his ankle while wearing the standard issued pair. Their practical style and comfortable fit made them a hit, and their long-lasting quality continues to be the main selling point.
While most people would agree that these iconic boots are worth the investment, breaking in your Doc Martens can be a pain, literally. The thick leather and tough inner lining that make them so durable are a killer for your feet, known for leaving their new owners with raw ankles, blisters, and some seriously achy arches. But do you wonder what socks to wear with Doc Martens?
What Socks to Wear with Doc Martens?
To help alleviate this issue, you have to wear the right socks, especially in the first month or so of ownership. To save your feet the trouble of testing out different pairs, I gathered up tons of options designed for you to put them through the wringer.
I’ll cover three lengths– calf, ankle/quarter, and no-show– so that no matter which style you’re rocking, you can skip the injuries and enjoy your Docs.
Let’s dive in!
If you’re wearing the classic 1460, calf-length socks are your best bet for avoiding raw ankles. You’ll want something with a built-in cushion to protect friction points, like the balls and heels of your feet.
- Materials: 96% polyester, 3% other fibers, 1% Spandex
- Shoe size: 4-10
- Colors available: Black
Double up on the doctor by wearing your Doc Martens with Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Blister Guard socks. The brand stands out in the footwear industry, designing shoes, socks, and insoles that support foot health.
Their Advanced Blister Guard socks have unique features that make them the perfect option for breaking in your boots, including their Blister Guard Green Yarn woven into the heel and toe, where friction does the worst damage.
One of my favorite features is the comfortable toe seam. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your Docs laced up just right only to get irritated by an off-center seam. This design prevents that issue, making them a solid choice for easy comfort.
- Materials: 76% polyester, 13% Spandex, 2% nylon
- Shoe size: 6-12
- Colors available: Black/Olive Drab, Dark Grey, Grey, Khaki, Olive, Black, Black/White, Black/Grey
Work boot socks are durable and comfortable, making them ideal for protecting you from Doc Marten-related blisters. The APTYID socks wick away moisture with thick but breathable fabric that feels soft on your feet even after all-day wear.
The arch band compresses the center of your foot and helps prevent the socks from slipping forward, ensuring that they don’t bunch up uncomfortably in the toe. The leg has the same elastic compression design, so your socks stay snugly in place.
- Materials: 63% cotton, 18% nylon, 10% Merino wool, 7% mohair, 2% other fibers
- Shoe size: 9-12
- Colors available: Coyote Brown, Foliage Green
These socks are an incredible bargain, providing military-grade foot protection at a very reasonable price. Despite adding 10% Merino wool, reviewers say that these keep their feet cool, dry, and comfortable, even in the most grueling environments.
Jefferies Military Socks come three-to-a-pack, so on top of making your Docs more comfortable, they are also an incredible value.
- Materials: 80% Merino wool, 15% polyester, 4% nylon, 1% Spandex
- Shoe size: Men’s 5-9.5 and 10-12, Women’s 6-10.5 and 11-13
- Colors available: Charcoal
Buttons and Pleats 80% Merino Wool Socks are a medium-thickness sock with a brushed inner lining for plush comfort.
The Merino wool construction of these socks makes them incredibly comfortable, warm, and soft without making you suffer through the coarse itchiness of traditional wool. You also won’t have to spend your day tugging your sock back up, thanks to the no-slip cuff.
They also have built-in mesh ventilation channels to encourage airflow, compression arch support, and full cushion padding along the sole.
- Materials: 77% cotton, 12% polyester, 11% polyurethane
- Shoe size:
- Colors available:
You can still wear fun, colorful socks with your Docs, as long as you prioritize the utility features. One example is the KONY Moisture-Wicking Cushioned Crew socks in various heathered jewel tones.
With this pick, you don’t have to sacrifice your colorful sense of style for the sake of comfort. These have a mesh panel in the ankle, sweat-absorbing brushed cotton fibers, and extra-thick cushioning along the bottom for durable wearability.
However, the care tag on these says they are hand-wash only.
- Materials: 76% Merino wool, 13% polyester, 7% copper oxide polyester, 2% nylon, 2% Lycra Spandex
- Shoe size: 6-16
- Colors available: Grey and black base with orange, yellow, navy, or natural accents
Copper may sound like a strange material for socks, but the metal can reduce odor and keep bacteria at bay. Combine that with soft, temperature-regulating Merino wool, and you have a boot sock you can comfortably wear in any season.
Pore-Text socks have a Y-toe and Y-heel for superior comfort, as well as a full-cushion toe ring to keep the balls of your feet safe from friction.
Do you prefer the shorter Doc Martens like the Chelsea boot? You can skip the calf-length options, but you’ll still want a quarter-length sock to prevent uncomfortable rubbing between your skin and the leather.
- Materials: 72% cotton, 21% polyester, 6% nylon, 1% Spandex
- Shoe size: 5-15
- Colors available: Black, grey, white
Carhartt has a reputation for their rugged work clothes, and their socks meet those same high standards. The brand has been perfecting its textiles for more than a century, so you know you are buying a quality product that will do what it promises.
One helpful feature is the odor-fighting cotton fibers to keep that notorious dirty sock smell at bay while remaining soft and breathable. They also check the list for all other crucial features, including overall thickness, a cushioned sole, and the right height to protect your calf.
- Materials: 64% polyester, 185 cotton, 16% nylon, 2% Spandex
- Shoe size: 9-12
- Colors available: Neutral shades in tan and brown
Timberland boots suffer from the same issues as Doc Martens, so their specialized quarter-length socks work well with other boots. These are a favorite for reviewers who spend long hours on their feet, with one woman explaining that these are the only socks her husband, a factory worker, is willing to wear.
People also note that they love the slightly longer leg and thick cushioning that stands up to years of wear.
- Materials: 80% Merino wool blend, 18% nylon, 2% Spandex
- Shoe size: 8-12
- Colors available: Navy blue, army green, brown, black
Caudblor Merino Wool Hiking Socks are pricier than many of the other options on this list, but that markup in price translates to an incredibly soft four-pack of socks with reinforced ankles, arches, and toes.
They’re designed for winter wear, keeping your feet toasty warm without stifling them. These socks are extra-thick, so if your Doc Martens still feel unbearably tight, you might want to tuck these away to wear after your boots have stretched a bit.
- Materials: 75% combed cotton, 23% polyester, 2% spandex
- Shoe size: 4.5-7, 7-11
- Colors available: 6 different packs with a variety of color combinations
The lush French terry insert sets the AmGift Full Cushion Thermal Boot Sock apart, and it’s reflected in the rave customer reviews. A few notable comments say that despite having an extra cushion, these socks maintain a pleasant medium thickness and are just as warm as wool without the itch.
A few people also say they run a little small, so size up if you’re worried about the fit.
- Materials: 75% cotton, 20% Spandex, 5% polyester
- Shoe size: 7-9, 9-11, 11-13
- Colors available: Grey, mint, light blue, beige, grey
Practical, comfortable, and tough enough to withstand your favorite outdoor activities, the SeoulStory7 Full Cushion sock has a midweight pile cushion and Y-heel to reduce rubbing across the entire bottom and sides of your feet.
Strong elastic in the leg and arch compression band keeps the sock in place while supporting your natural curvature.
- Materials: 68% polyester, 15% Spandex, 14% rubber, 3% nylon,
- Shoe size: 7-9, 9-12
- Colors available: Black, white
Bering Ankle Socks are a low-key, basic boot sock that only sits about an inch above the top of your Doc Martens. The cushioned sole reduces the impact on your foot, as does the contoured arch band.
Bering crafted these socks with durability in mind, recently updating their fabric blend so that they stay snug and stretchy without any special care requirements.
- Materials: 49% Merino wool, 41% polyester, 7% nylon, 3% Spandex
- Shoe size: 6-12, 12-15
- Colors available: Black, khaki, green
If you’re looking for a classic quarter-length sock that won’t leave you raw and blistered, Sox Town Merino Wool Hiker Cushion socks are a safe bet. They’re on the higher end of the expense scale, but that’s par for the course when it comes to quality Merino wool.
The combination of reinforced stitching around the ankle opening and moderate thickness protects your skin from hotspots where the leather might rub. The high-density fibers in the heel and toe put an extra layer between you and your Docs in the areas most prone to blisters.
Read Also: Are Doc Martens Comfortable
Finally, there are the Doc Martens that require no-show socks. Their take on the Oxford, Mary Jane, and Loafer require the same break-in period, but you’ll need to target your lower ankle for the extra TLC from your socks.
- Materials: 85% cotton, 13.5% polyester, 1.5% Spandex
- Shoe size: 5-7, 7-11
- Colors available: Black, beige, grey, white
These no-shows live up to the name, with the reinforced ankle stitching dipping down on the sides to stay well-hidden. These are extra thick and cushiony for comfortable wear, with some reviewers saying that these are the best no-show socks they’ve ever owned.
For the unfortunately folks out there who have experience with lower quality no-show socks, there are few more uncomfortable feelings than slipping off of your foot and sliding further into the shoe. That’s why I love the silicone bands on the heel. It puts another layer of protection between you and the back of your shoe while effectively keeping your sock in place.
- Materials: 63% cotton, 30% polyester, 4% nylon, 3% Elastane
- Shoe size: 6-12, 12-14, 12-16
- Colors available: Black, white
Amazon Essentials are usually a very basic version of whatever the product is, but they put a little extra love into their Cushioned No-Show socks. The zone mesh maintains a cool, dry environment inside your shoe, and the zone cushioning on the ball and heel virtually eliminates friction in vulnerable areas.
They have more than 5,000 reviews and a 4.5/5 rating. Buyers say they love the just-right levels of support and excellent durability. One major con popped up in several comments: the sizing runs large.
- Materials: 71% cotton, 27% polyester, 1% Spandex, 1% other fibers
- Shoe size: 6-12, 12-14
- Colors available: Black, white
While running in your Doc Martens isn’t advised during the break-in period, socks designed for that purpose are undoubtedly worth considering.
The Champion Double Dry Running Sock’s cotton fibers quickly absorb sweat, so your feet stay dry even when they’re donning thick leather boots. The reinforced ankle opening stops the lip of the shoe from rubbing against your skin, and the cushioned sole of the socks does the same against the rugged inner lining of your Doc Martens.
- Materials: 98% polyester, 2% Spandex
- Shoe size: 4-10
- Colors available: Black
Dr. Scholl’s offers the same Blister Guard technology in their calf-length socks in a stylish no-show version for the days you’re not feeling boots. Like their longer siblings, these combat odor with antimicrobial fibers, feature a smooth, comfortable toe seam, and utilize Blister Guard yarn to stop blistering.
- Materials: 65% cotton, 34% polyester, 1% Spandex
- Shoe size: 5-6, 6-12, 12-13
- Colors available: White, charcoal, brown, denim, grey, black
Dickies, like Carhartt, is an authority on durable, comfortable, and well-engineered clothing that holds up in rugged conditions. The brand is a trusted provider of work gear, so their socks fit the bill for comfortably dealing with a new pair of Docs.
Their Dri-Tech Moisture Control Socks do away with sweat efficiently, while mesh ventilation increases airflow, and Best-Fit Arch Compression technology supports and stabilizes your foot.
- Materials: 80% cotton, 16.5% polyester, 3.5% Spandex
- Shoe size:
- Colors available: Pink/purple, pink/yellow, pink/red, pink/grey, blue/yellow
Just in case you’re bummed out about breaking in your Doc Martens, you can slip on a pair of the Genii Cushioned Running Socks in their Mood-Boosting colors for an instant dose of happiness.
These come in a 5-pack featuring four pairs of peachy-pink socks with purple, yellow, red, and grey accents, as well as a single pair of turquoise blue socks with yellow accents.
Of course, I wouldn’t recommend them if they weren’t also effective at battling against blisters. The heel has anti-slip silicone tabs that keep the socks firmly in place, the seamless toe is soft and comfortable, and the ventilation panels allow heat to move away from your feet.
The anti-blister textured plush layer between the bottom cushion and inner lining is one clever addition to these socks. These are surefire winners for anyone who needs a low-maintenance pair of everyday socks for their low-top Docs.
Read Also: Doc Martens Alternatives
Wrapping Up: What Socks to Wear with Doc Martens
When you get your first pair of Dr. Martens, don’t let the temptation to wear them all day, every day ruin the experience. These are high-quality shoes that mold to the shape of your foot, resulting in a long-lasting boot that feels like it was handcrafted to your exact measurements.
To get that result, though, you have to invest the time and patience into keeping your feet from getting maimed in the process. The heels, ankles, balls of your feet, and toes are vulnerable hot spots where friction can cause blisters, rawness, and irritation.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to invest in a thick, cushioned pair of socks that keeps all of the leather off your skin during the first few weeks you’re breaking your boots in. Start out wearing your Docs at home with high-quality socks for just a couple of hours per day.
As the leather softens and contours to your shape, you can increase the time you’re in them and reduce the thickness of your socks. Eventually, you’ll have a buttery-soft pair of leather boots that are undoubtedly worth the work you put into them.
You may also want to check out these online stock stores.