A pair of Dr Martens work boots in leaves

Do Dr Martens Run Big or Small?

Buying Dr. Martens, sometimes called Doc Martens, can be a big deal since they aren’t exactly cheap. The quality makes Dr Martens worth the splurge, but this is the type of purchase where it really makes sense to do a little research before you buy. If you are wondering “Do Dr. Martens run big or small?”, I am here to help.

What I’ve done in this article is gather customer feedback from online retailers and customer reviews regarding whether or not Dr Martens fit true to size.

Since Dr Martens only come in full sizes, without the option for half sizes, that leads to a common question:

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Do Dr Martens Run Big or Small?

Generally, Dr. Martens do not run big or small. In most cases, they fit true to size. Some customers do report Dr. Marten boots running a half size big. The brand does not sell half sizes, so our best advise is to order normal or a half size down, depending on how close your feett are to true size.

We reviewed customer feedback from several large retailers and calculated that approximately 68% of customers providing feedback report that Dr. Martens boots fit true to size.

That’s pretty good, but considering the cost of Dr. Martens, the safest bet is to just purchase your Dr. Martens from Amazon, Zappos, or another online retailer that allows hassle-free returns.

Are Dr Martens true to size?

Dr Martens boots generally fit true to size. But, when customers do have sizing issues with their Doc Martens, it’s most often because they report the boots as fitting a bit too large. This is somewhat to be expected considering that Doc Martens does not offer half sizes.

We did some research into customers reports as to whether Dr Martens run true to size, too big, or too smal. Specifically, we ran some statistics on the 858 reviewers on Amazon who reported a fit review Dr Martens Jadon Boots as of the time of publication.

Out of 858 customers reviewing the fit of Dr. Martens, this was the breakdown:

Too SmallTrue to SizeToo Large
# of customers73581204
% reporting8.5%67.7%23.8%

As you can see, almost exactly 2 out of 3 reviewers on Amazon report that Dr. Martens runs true to size.

We also manually reviewed the top 20 reviews which discussing sizing issues, to understand how this actually plays out in detail.

Out of those 20 written reviews, about half (9 people) complained of the boots running a half size to a size too big. This is more than the 23.8% reporting Doc Martens run too big in the large sample size. But, of course, you have to remember it’s often the case that unsatisfied customers are more vocal in reviews.

It is worth noting that several of the women reviewers specifically said Dr. Marten’s women’s boots basically came in men’s sizes.

A woman trying on a pair of Dr Martens work boots
Sizing issues seem more common for female wearers of Dr Martens

The bottom line? If you are worried about sizing, you might want to order a half size down from your normal shoe size to err on the side of caution. This is especially true if your normal size is a half-size since Dr. Martens doesn’t offer half sizes. A quote from a forum post I came across from a woman who owns many pairs of Dr Martens is illustrative: “I’m a 6.5 and I always get 6 and it never fails.”

If your normal shoe size is a size 6.5, then a size 6 should be a good fit with Dr. Martens. If your normal size is a size 6, then just order a size 6 and prepare for the possibility it may be a little big. A comfy pair of socks will help make up for the extra wiggle room if the shoes run a little bit big for you.

Doc Martens Sizing Tips

A pair of Dr Martens Boots, which generally run true to size or large

If you are still wondering whether Doc Martens run big or true to size in your case, here are a few things to consider:

Dr Martens Only Sells Full Sizes – If you normally wear a half size, your best bet is to round down to the nearest whole size (since Dr. Martens run a bit big, that is better than sizing up).

Women’s and Unisex/Men’s Dr Martens Fit Differently – Dr Martens sells shoes in both women’s and what it called “unisex/men’s” sizes. It’s a bit confusing, but generally speaking Women’s Doc Martens run a bit narrower.

Length Varies With Size More than Width – Changing a size up or down changes the length of the boots, but won’t significantly alter the width (however, buying Women’s vs Unisex/Men’s will do that).

Use a Pair of Thick Socks if Needed – Since Doc Martens sometimes run big, one trick to help make sure they fit you better is to buy a pair of thick socks. These from Dickie’s are great for men, or women should check out these from Gold Toe.

If In Doubt, Measure and Consult a Sizing Chart – If you need a size chart to see what your size should be in inches, check out this screenshot from the official Dr Martens size guide at drmartens.com:

Do Dr Martens stretch out?

Dr. Martens stretch out over time. Like any other work boots, you can expect a break-in process with Dr. Martens. Over time, they will stretch out some and conform to the shape of your foot.

Our advice is to make sure that you aren’t mistaking “new and a little uncomfortable” for “doesn’t fit.” Keep in mind that Dr Martens may take a little while to break in compared to other boots, giving the quality of the leather involved.

In fact, if you are ordering a half size down per the above sizing advice, you may want to stretch out our Dr Martens a bit. Here is an article about stretching out your new Dr Martens if you want to learn how to do that.

Stretching a pair of boots against a tree
Dr Martens tend to stretch out with wear

Are Doc Martens comfortable?

Doc Martens are generally considered very comfortable to wear, which is one reason they are such popular boots. Assuming you got a well fitting pair of Dr Martens, and you have allowed a little bit of time for them to be broken in, you will likely find them to be very comfortable boots.

After doing a search in Amazon for comfortable in the questions box I found that almost everyone out of the sample of reviews I looked at said they were very comfortable boots. To quote an Amazon reviewer, “They’re heavy boots but the MOST comfortable boots I’ve had EVER!!“. Not all were quite as enthusiastic as this reviewer, but the consensus is Dr Martens are overall comfortable boots.

Should you size up or down in Dr Martens?

You should generally not size down in Dr. Martens. While 67.7% of reviewers report that Dr Martens fit true to size, for those with sizing issues, the strong majority found Dr. Martens to fit too big.

How do you know what size Dr. Martens to get?

Generally, you should order Dr. Marten’s in your true size, with the exception if your size is a half size. In that case, it is best to order down to the nearest whole size.

What do I do if my Doc Martens are too big?

If you order Doc Martens and they come too big, you can either return the boots or try to make them more comfortable by wearing a pair of thick socks.


Based on my findings, when it comes to Dr Martens, they run true to size for most people. You might be fine ordering your size, many people are.

Again, 67.7% of reviewers said the boots fit true to size, but most that didn’t said they ran a little too big. Our best advice is to use your best judgment. If you usually wear a half size, round down to the nearest whole size.

If you really want to do more research, even after everything we’ve covered, the reviews on Amazon and other large online retailers are an absolute gold mine of information from real-life customers.

👞 More Shoe Sizing Guides:

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