I love my Doc Martens, but they didn’t always love me. While they’ll definitely up your style game, you’ll have to endure that infamous Doc Marten “break-in” phase complete with blood, sweat, tears, blisters, and chaffing. The journey has its rough patches and, like any good
relationship, sometimes you need a third-party intervention. No, no – I’m not talking about a therapist (though one might help), I’m talking about the right pair of SOCKS.
In my experience, the key to a healthy relationship with Docs is finding a good pair of socks. The best socks for Doc Martens ease the break-in period by providing added comfort, reducing friction, and protecting your feet. That perfect pair also subtly elevates your daily style, helping you look great while you work through the pain.
As a Doc wearer myself, I have first-hand experience. So before those blisters set in, please enjoy this curated list of the best socks for Doc Martens.
There is no shortage of sock styles out there for a variety of occasions, but the best socks for Doc Martens excel in the following categories; thickness and cushioning, moisture-wicking, breathability, height/coverage, and durability.
Coming in at the top of the list is DM’s very own Marl Organic Socks. The principle of Occam’s Razor (the simplest solution is the best one) definitely applies here, and we can trust that this thick, yet breathable cotton-blend sock is pressure tested and developed specifically for Doc’s themselves, and for a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with this choice.
My runner-up goes to REI Co-op Merino Wool Light Hiking Crew Socks. I personally wear these almost everyday with my Docs. I find them to be the perfect balance of cushion and breathability that somehow manage to keep my feet at the right temperature regardless of the season.
Doc Marten has a long-standing reputation for producing high quality products, and their socks are no different. I actually purchased a pair of these while buying my first pair of Docs at a DM store. The store employee recommended I try them instead of the generic pair of athletic socks I was wearing at the time. After wearing them for the first time, I immediately felt the difference.
In general, I prefer a Merino wool with my Docs, but this cotton blend really does the trick. Wearing these makes me feel like my entire foot has been optimized for the Doc Marten experience. I love the timeless look, variety of color options, and versatility of these socks making them easy to wear with or without my Doc Martens.
Despite the Marl Organic Sock not maxing out every criteria on our list (it doesn’t appear to be moisture-wicking), its accessible price and the fact that they were literally designed for the boots we are shopping for make it an easy top choice. Not only that, but these socks have held up very well over time, still holding a spot in my rotation to this day.
Material: Cotton Blend | Cushioning: Thick | Moisture-Wicking: Not specified | Type of sock: Thick Crew
I’m a bit of Dr. Scholl’s fanboy, particularly for their insoles, which I strategically use to adjust comfort and sizing for almost every boot I’ve ever purchased. As a company that specializes in the fight against footwear discomfort, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that these socks are borderline heroic, swooping in to save our poor feet from our nemesis, that is, the “break-in” phase.
The stand out feature of these socks is the proprietary Blister Guard Technology that eliminates rubbing on the heel and toe. Additionally, this sock boasts Anti-Microbial Technology to keep odors under control, and Moisture Management Technology to keep your feet dry. The only quirk is the aesthetics of the ‘‘non-binding top” which may appear too therapeutic for certain social settings.
Overall, this sock is a fan favorite. One reviewer wrote “It’s the only sock I will buy from this day forward!”, and with 4.5 stars and almost 4,800 reviews, I’m tempted to believe them.
Material: 95% Polyester, 4% Other Fibers, 1% Spandex | Cushioning: Yes | Moisture-Wicking: Yes Type of Socks: Standard Crew
Classy, classy, classy. London Socks really came through with these beauties.
These socks pair perfectly with Docs in terms of comfort, but also in terms of style. Ideal for when you want to elevate your Docs for a date or special event. Though on the pricier side, these socks look and feel luxurious, and sometimes we all need a little luxury. You deserve it.
Material: 86% Organic Cotton, 13% Polyamide, 1% Elastane | Cushioning: Yes | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Type of Socks: Boot Crew
Danish Endurance has created a great product with their Merino Wool Hiking Socks. These socks boast some pretty impressive features including anti-blister cushioning and a breathable cooling mesh that runs up the side, all for a very reasonably-priced 3 pack. Sounds too good to be true? That’s what I thought until I saw the 4.5 rating with almost 29,000 reviews…that’s not nothing.
One reviewer offered this review “The socks are the best I ever tried, never had a better sock for hiking.”
Material: 30% Wool (Merino), 36% Nylon, 33% Acrylic, 1% Elastane | Cushioning: Yes | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Type of Socks | Hiking
Seemingly overnight, Carhartt went from a no-nonsense workwear company to one of the most popular trending streetwear brands. The running joke is that folks who wear Carhartt rarely work the hard-labor jobs this attire was designed for – and I’d say that’s probably true (trust me, I live in Brooklyn).
All that said, Carhartt still delivers on their original promise of high-quality workwear, and these socks are no different. Perfect for winter weather, these Heavy Thermal Socks will keep your feet plenty warm and cozy, and all jokes aside, they really do match perfectly with the Doc Marten aesthetic.
Material: 39% Wool, 22% Polyester, 21% Nylon, 17% Acrylic, 1% Spandex Cushioning: Cushioned Sole | Moisture-Wicking | “Fast dry technology” Type of Socks | Thermal
Appearance developed a great sock for everyday use with your Doc Martens, but I might hold off wearing these until after properly breaking them in. These socks are a bit thinner, but still good for Docs because of the durability of the Merino wool that makes up 90% of the blend.
Think about these socks more like a versatile dress sock that can be worn with your Docs. Great for everyday use, whether you are grabbing a drink with a friend, on a date, or going to a networking event (do those still exist?). Whatever the occasion, these socks are sure to pull through for you.
Material: 90% Merino wool 10% Nylon. Cushioning: Yes | Moisture-Wicking:Yes | Type of Socks: Crew
When you first start wearing your Doc Martens, your toes and heels are essentially battling for space inside the shoe, so why not opt for a sock that was designed for actual tactical warfare? Okay, pause; I’m not going to sit here and legitimately compare wearing Doc Martens to going to war… but you get the jist. These are legit.
Darn Tough accomplishes some of the best cushioned socks on the market by utilizing a knitting technique called ‘terry looping’ which gives them that extra cushiony feel while simultaneously helping with moisture control. Also, huge plus for the ‘performance fit’, which means your foot won’t slip and slide inside your boot.
With the only major downside being a higher price point, it’s safe to say you’re in good hands with these socks. Bonus points for the 3x earthy color options as well – which, if you’re a minimalist guy, should check all your boxes.
Material: 64% Merino Wool 34% Nylon 2% Lycra Spandex Cushioning: Yes, Full Cushion | Moisture-Wicking | Yes Type of Socks | Tactical Boot
Darn Tough is making their second appearance on the list of best socks for Doc Martens. Now, I don’t know about you, but my ‘work’ mostly consists of sitting in front of a computer slamming iced-coffee, occasionally raising my standing-desk to keep my body moving, but that’s not the type of work we’re talking about here…
These socks are for those who are on their feet, rocking calloused hands and dripping with sweat after a hard day’s work (I salute you, good sirs).
What I love about these socks is their ability to provide a great middle ground between providing adequate cushioning and moisture wicking, all without suffocating your feet. With 4.9 average rating after almost 600 reviews, it looks like other working men are recommending these as well. While at a relatively higher price point than other options on this list, they’re a great investment.
Material: 56% Merino Wool 41% Nylon 3% Lycra Spandex | Cushioning: Yes, full cushion toe | Moisture-Wicking:Yes | Type of Socks: Work Socks
I love my REI Co-op Merino Wool Light Hiking Crew Socks. Like I said, I personally wear these socks almost everyday, making them a tried-and-tested quality pair of socks. I purchased these socks around the same time I got my Marl Organic Socks, and much like that special connection you have to the family car you learned to drive in, these will always have a special place in my heart.
The reason I voted these best for hiking is because of their superior heel cushioning, overall design, style opportunities, and breathability. Whenever I’m unsure which socks to wear for a trip, I grab these. Doesn’t matter if it’s going to be hot or cold weather, I’m confident these will do the trick.
Material: 64% Merino Wool 34% Nylon 2% Lycra Spandex | Cushioning: Yes, full sole cushion | Moisture-Wicking: Yes | Type of Socks: Hiking
Who doesn’t love Bombas? Not only do they make a high quality product, but they also famously donate one pair of socks for every pair purchased.
These socks meet almost every criteria I’m looking for in the best socks for Doc Martens. They feature full cushioning designed specifically for hiking, thermoregulating ventilation to keep your feet feeling cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and moisture-wicking capabilities, which we know is huge for keeping your feet dry inside your Docs.
On top of that, the color options are spectacularly unique and are perfect for balancing the intensity of a dark Doc Marten leather boot or shoe. Wear this for any occasion to lighten the mood and express your personality.
Material: 54% Cotton (Supima®) 24% Polyester 20% Nylon 2% Elastane | Cushioning: Full Cushion | Moisture-Wicking: “Airflow Venting” | Type of Socks: Hiking Calf Socks
What To Look For In The Best Socks For Doc Martens
Thickness and Cushioning
Doc Martens are known for their durability, but that comes with the price of some initial discomfort. To ensure maximum foot comfort with your doc martens, it’s important to choose socks that provide sufficient thickness and cushioning.
Look for socks with extra padding in the sole, heel, and toe areas to help absorb shock, reduce friction, and prevent blisters. This is even more vital for Doc Martens than for other types of boots.
Sock Type / Length
From a style perspective, pairing Docs with no show socks is definitely a look, but you’ll be in for a world of hurt. Almost all Doc Martens boast high-quality leather that will rub and irritate any exposed part of your skin.
For boots, crew length or boot length (shocker) socks are good options as they provide adequate coverage and protection to your ankles and lower leg. If you’re wearing a Doc Marten shoe, you can get away with an ankle sock.
Moisture-Wicking and Breathability
Doc Martens are fantastically multi-purpose. I’ll wear mine to a nice dinner, then on a hike the next day. However, unlike a pair of specialty hiking boots with fancy thermal-regulating mesh, Docs can be a bit… suffocating.
Keeping your feet dry in Docs can be challenging, so it’s vital to look for socks that will pick up the slack. Look for moisture-wicking materials like merino wool, bamboo, or synthetic blends speciality designed to keep your feet dry and cool.
If you’re on the hunt for just one pair, the best socks for Doc Martens are DM’s very own Marl Organic Socks. Despite not hitting all of the characteristics that we’ve been talking about, I can tell you first hand that these are the best overall pick based on comfort, durability, style, and price point.
A close second is my beloved REI Co-op Merino Wool Light Hiking Crew Socks because of their superior quality and performance. Regardless of the trip I’m about to go on or the errands I need to run, these are the first socks I reach for.
Generally speaking, yes, thick socks are ideal. Doc Martens are known for their tough break-in period and wearing thick socks can provide additional cushioning and support while you wait for the leather to soften and mold to your foot.
While thick socks will provide the best cushioning, if your feet tend to sweat excessively or if you’ll be wearing your Doc Martens in warmer weather, they may trap moisture, leading to blisters. In these cases, opt instead for a thinner pair of merino wool socks or hiking socks that are built with breathable and moisture-wicking qualities.
The best socks for Doc Martens are those that provide a combination of comfort, durability, and moisture-wicking properties. Look for socks made from high-quality materials like merino wool or cotton blends that offer breathability and moisture management.
Additionally, consider socks with thick cushioning in the sole and longer length (leave your ankle socks in the drawer). And of course, find socks that match your style, express your personality, and make you feel good.