Going on a hiking trip without a proper set of hiking boots is strictly a no-no. If you partake in this type of trip often, chances are you already have a nice pair of boots in your arsenal. In case you do not, then you should really consider getting one for yourself to avoid any risk of accidents during the trips.
Whether you can use a pair of Doc Martens as a hiking boot, however, is a different question. Yes, these boots have a reputation for being sturdy and comfortable, but as hiking boots, are they really that reliable?
To answer that question, you will have to think about the elements that you want in a hiking boot and compare it with Doc Martens critically before using it as a hiking boot. We are here to lend a hand in that regard.
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What to Expect from Doc Martens?
Before we head further, let us take a moment to look at what exactly Doc Martens boots offer. The two main features of these boots are comfort and durability. Since these are made with the workers in mind, comfort is a priority. In fact, you can wear it all day long, without any discomfort in your feet.
In addition, Doc Martens work boots also offer an excellent level of protection and traction to suit any sort of work environment. Some units feature a high-grip, puncture-resistant sole, welted construction, and many other excellent features to provide utmost safety for the wearers.
As a matter of fact, Doc Martens are widely considered as some of the finest made boots in the world. This is the primary reason why many people want to wear these shoes while going on a hiking excursion.
But what are the factors that make a good hiking boot, and does Doc Martens work boots fulfill these criteria? We will cover these questions in the next section of the article.
Features of a Good Doc Martens Hiking Shoe
While choosing a hiking shoe for your next trip, there are certain factors that you need to keep in mind. These aspects will make sure your shoe can tackle the harshness of the hike and serve you well for a long time.
Hiking boots that cannot prevent your feet from sliding forward by providing excellent traction are not really hiking boots. These shoes should allow you to plant your feet in the ground against heavy-wind without any loss of stability. With good quality hiking boots, you can even tackle muddy terrains without any issues.
Slippery boots in a tough mountain trail is an extremely risky business. When you are buying your hiking shoes, it is essential that you try out the traction for yourself by putting it on.
Doc Martens are an excellent choice as hiking shoes because of their superior level of traction. Most of these shoes feature rubber soles that are slip-resistant by design. You can tackle almost any sort of terrain in these boots with little to no issue. In fact, these shoes sometimes offer better traction than even high-end, commercial hiking boots.
2. Comfort and Breathability
Your comfort is of the utmost importance when you are hiking on a mountain trail. To ensure your comfort, your boots must be breathable and should feature designs that can reduce the chance of sweating in your feet. Most good hiking boots offer excellent breathability and comfort.
In cold conditions, you also want decent levels of insulation in the shoes to keep your feet warm. It can get very cold high up in the mountains, and a non-insulated shoe can freeze your feet if you are not careful.
Doc Martens work boots are an excellent choice both in terms of breathability and comfort. However, initially, they might feel a bit rigid. So if you plan on using these shoes for hiking, it might be a wise idea to break it in. It would make it more comfortable and easier to walk in these shoes.
Protection is, as always, a crucial element of an excellent hiking boot. You will face harsh walking conditions when you are on a steep mountain trail. That is why it is essential to get a pair of boots that can protect your feet from blisters and the rocky terrains as much as possible.
With Doc Martens, you get decent levels of protection in the form of leather surface or even steel toe in some cases. However, these shoes are quite rigid and do not offer the flexibility you want from your hiking shoes. Still, as a protective pair of shoes, you cannot disregard them entirely.
4. Support and Stability
Support and stability are critical to any hiking boot worth its salt. Since most hikes require walking on tough terrains for a long time, you cannot compromise when it comes to a stable experience. This is a critical feature that you should always look for in a good pair of hiking boots.
Doc Martens, when it comes to support and stability, offer excellent results. Since these are made for workers, stability and leg support are two of their prime concerns. Most Doc Martens boots also come with air-cushioned soles that further enhances their stability and thus improves your overall walking experience.
For a comfortable hiking experience, you should choose a boot that is not too heavy but covers all the previous aspects. Unfortunately, hiking boots themselves tend to be a bit heavier than, say, a casual pair of sneakers. The best you can do is minimize the weight as much as you can.
With heavy boots, you will naturally feel a bit more fatigue as it would constantly drag you behind. Doc Martens as worker boots tend to be quite heavy. Some of them even feature steel-reinforced toe that increases the weight further.
As you can see, Doc Martens are not really a bad choice if you want to use them as hiking boots. If you like how it feels, by all means, use it.
We hope our article could shed light on the subject and helped you pick out the right shoe for your next hiking adventure.