Largely recognized as one of the most iconic footwear brands in the world, Dr. Martens established their reputation by producing robust, practical boots with excellent comfort and durability in mind.
Following massive support among working classes upon their UK release, Dr. Martens were later embraced by punks rebelling against consumerist culture in the late 60s and 70s. Ever since, the brand has become synonymous with counterculture, rebellion and is currently adding a little flair to the modern-day style.
Docs are globally appreciated as some of the most reliable shoes on the market. In fact, it’s an investment piece worth considering without batting an eye. Not to mention that you can style them with just about anything.
To help pick the best pair, here is our guide to the Best Doc Martens, with additional advice on sizing and how to break them, breaking them in.
Here are The Best Doc Martens You Can Buy
1460 Greasy Leather Lace-Up Boots
Usually, it’s hard to make a good thing better, but this improved take on the 1460 leather boots makes a case for tossing a pair of Docs in your closet.
The 1460 Greasy Leather Lace-Up Boots is one of the most popular models in Dr. Martens lineup. It is one of the best Doc Martens made with recognizable features such as an excellent lacing system, classic leather construction, a heel-loop, grove sides, yellow stitching, and a comfortable air-cushioned sole.
Made to last, this unisex pair of boots from Dc Marten is forged, employing some of the most acceptable construction methods. Goodyear welt and the heat-sealing method were utilized in the making of these boots.
It comes with black leather construction, all-black laces, and an excellent pull-up built on top of the brand signature air cushion sole. This 1460 model emulates its predecessors with a matte dark leather that’s designed to offer a waxy look and experience.
The boots are meant to break in beautifully where the leather gets softer and adaptable to your feet the more you wear it. The stated high-durable leather rests on an AirWair sole that is oil and slip-resistant, meaning you don’t have to stress about the abrasion or slippage when working on slick surfaces.
- Leather and synthetic built material
- Electrical hazard rated
- Made with industrial water-resistant leather
- Grooved outsole sides
- Original Dr. Martens 8-eye design
- Air-cushioned sole for added comfort
1461 Atlas Leather Oxford Shoes
First off, we appreciate the styling of these 1461 leather oxfords; they are undoubtedly preppy and punk rock. The soft “Atlas” leather is attractive and sophisticated, while the stitching and contrast-color laces add a modern-day twist.
The 1461 Atlas Leather Oxford Shoe was the second version ever introduced by Dr. Martens, and the same focus on small details and overall craftsmanship is showcased here. Enough proof that good design will hardly go out of style.
One more impressive aspect about these kicks is that they are simple yet stylish, making them incredibly versatile. They come with an air-cushioned outsole alongside classic waxed aniline leather and subtle pull-up leather, and a slight sheen.
Developed with Goodyear welt, both the upper and the sole are heat-sealed and sewn together for sustainable durability. Indeed, longevity is one of the many things Dr. Martens are recognized for.
Overall, Dr. Martens, 1461 Atlas Leather Oxford Shoes are only stylish and easily recognizable. The outsole is not only durable but highly comfortable too. The boots are also tinged with yellow stitching that conforms to the stitching around the sole of the shoe. Not to mention the black leather upper that gives that 1461 model a perfect finish. Classic retro boots from Dr. Martens.
- Waxed atlas leather upper
- Contrast-colour with yellow stitching
- Airwalk bouncing sole
- Three eyelets with yellow laces
2976 Smooth Leather Chelsea Boots
Many features describe the 2976 Chelsea boots, but in simple terms, it’s more like a sleek and streamlined version of the 1460 boots above. First released in the early seventies, the Chelsea leather boots take place from deeper London and rebellious rock and lock alike.
These boots are equipped with a stretchable ankle gusset to enhance wearability and work great paired with almost everything from trousers to skinny jeans.
Additionally, the 2976 Chelsea boots are designed to deliver the much-needed toughness, fit and ease of use, boasting their Victorian predecessors plus killer style. These boots live up to all the signature Doc’s details, including iconic stitching, heel-loop, and grooved sides.
Built to last, this boot is forged with one of the finest construction methods, employing Goodyear welt and heat-sealing to the sole. The whole thing is made with highly durable material and sits on an AirWair sole, which is slip/oil resistant.
Durable and superbly stiff to last, the smooth material utilized here can be polished to a dapper shine or artfully scuffed-up, subject to individual preference.
- Pull-on style with stretchable gussets
- Excellent built quality
- Durable upper leather
- Iconic stitching and groove sides
Vegan Jadon II Mono Platform Boots
The Vegan Jadon II Mono Platform Boots sport an aggressive, chunky outsole alongside 1 ¾ inch visible empowerment. This pair boasts all the recognizable Doc’s details, including grooved edges, yellow stitching, and heel drop, and comes with an inner ankle zip to enhance wearability.
What’s better, it’s 100% vegan. It is built to last and developed using one of the most reliable construction methods. The heat-sealing and Goodyear welt construction makes the whole thing even more durable and ideal for various occupations.
As a full-volume revamp of the brand’s iconic Original boot, the Vegan Jadon II Mono Platform Boots retains all Doc’s details to ensure uncompromised comfort or durability. With the monochrome vegan-friendly colorway, this model neglects real leather but none of the attitude.
Another impressive aspect of the Vegan Jadon II Mono Platform Boots is that they are designed with synthetic material and sit on air AirWair sole. These features make it slip-safe and abrasion-resistant. We recommend using Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam to protect the fabric and keep your boots clean, smooth and supple.
- 100% vegan leather boots
- Features core Dr. Martens DNA
- Goodyear welt construction
- Air-cushioned outsole
Wincox Smooth Leather Buckle Boots
The Wincox Smooth Leather Buckle Boots are more like a moto remix of the Chelsea, offering the classic pull-on design plus an injection of vintage biker style. They are equipped with buckled harnesses and gunmetal hardware.
The material employed here is a twist on the classic Dr. Martens leather, durable with a smooth and polished finish. Similar to other Docs Marten boots in this line-up, the Wincox Smooth Leather Buckle Boot has been made utilizing Goodyear welt construction.
When it comes to cleaning, you can get rid of dirt using a damp cloth, leave it to dry, and then apply the right colored wax shoe polish to restore shine as desired.
- Elastic gussets for easy pull-on
- Mid-height Chelsea boot
- Durable Goodyear welt construction
- Polished smooth, original Dr. Marten leather
1460 Crazy Horse Leather Lace Up Boots
A contemporary leather for an old classic footgear. These iconic 8-eye leather boots are packed with Crazy Horse, durable leather with a worn as well as distressed look. It’s one of the best Doc Marten work boots with grooved sides, heel drop, and yellow stitching, which is quite common in Doc Marten boots.
These boots are the brand’s iconic air-cushioned outsole, which is oil/slip-resistant and offers good abrasion resistance. This synthetic sole combined with Goodyear welt construction makes these boots incredibly durable and ideal for multiple activities. Below is a summary of the major highlights.
- Original Dr. Marten 8-eye boot
- Air-cushioned outsole
- Oil/slip and abrasion-resistant
- Natural-type oil-finished leather.
- Packed with all classic Doc’s DNA, including heel-loop, grooved sides, and yellow stitching
Molly Women’s Leather Platform Boots
Are you still searching for the best Doc Marten boots? Then you might be impressed by the Molly Leather Platform Boots. Made for ladies, these boots took the prominent double-height sole of the quad retro feminine boot. They augmented it with supple, satin-gloss leather and oversized eyelets alongside ribbon laces.
The Molly Women’s Leather Platform Boots are also designed with every Classic Doc’s DNA, including visible stitching, grooved edges, and heel-loop. The extra-wide eyelets also come in handy for excellent fit and stability.
These boots also come with an air-cushioned sole that’s oil, slip, and abrasion-resistant, so wearers can work comfortably on different surfaces without having to worry about slips. Moreover, Goodyear welt construction was utilized to make these boots, meaning durability and value for money are pretty much guaranteed.
- Leather upper
- Lace-up style
- Goodyear welt construction
- Grooved edges and visible stitching
- Ant-slip air-cushioned outsole
1490 Virginia Leather Mid Calf Boots
The 1490 Virginia Leather, Mid Calf Boots are absolutely amazing. As in the case of most other Doc marten boots, we would suggest going for a size smaller for a more agreeable fit. Apart from that, these boots look amazing and are super comfortable for wearing all day. After the break-in period, the shoes will get even more comfortable as they conform to the contour of your feet.
All things considered, the 1490 Virginia Leather Mid Calf Boots are classic Dr. Marten boots, featuring all the iconic Doc’s DNA, including grooved edges, yellow stitching, and heel-loop. Not to forget that they are even laced higher for an improved attitude. And more importantly, these boos come in soft, flexible Virginia leather.
They are among the best Doc Martens boots on the market with numerous positive reviews and excellent customer support. The soft, full-grain leather utilized here is carefully treated to deliver a smooth and supple wearing experience, even when you wear these boots for an extended period of time.
- Features all the iconic Doc’s DNA
- Made with soft and flexible Virginia leather
- Excellent customer support
- Easy cleaning
Vegan Sinclair Platform Boots
The Sinclair Platform Boot is yet another vegan-friendly option whose absence would definitely subside this review. The Sinclair boot has been improved through synthetic oxford material.
The whole thing is tough and durable, yet comfort goes uncompromised. It is built on a Bex sole- vegan platform that’s finished with visible stitching alongside a yellow and white heel loop to deliver the brand’s DNA.
Overall, the Sinclair Platform Boots is one of the best Doc Marten Vegan Boots. The synthetic leather substitute serves just like the real thing, yet is derived from absolutely no animal products. And we can’t just overlook the fact that these boots come with adjustable straps to enhance wearability.
- 100% synthetic vegan material
- Core Doc’s DNA
- AirWair air-cushioned sole
- Goodyear welt construction
- Round toe cap
Best Doc Martens: Buying Guide
Usually, Dr. Martens fits true to size, so we’d suggest going for the size you usually wear. However, some people believe that some models like 1460 run a bit larger, which still can be confirmed as these boots can differ in size depending on which style you choose.
Classic boots, in particular, tend to run a bit larger. One thing about Docs is that they don’t come in half sizes. So if you’re between sizes, you might want to go down a size or consider getting an insole. Leather is likely to stretch over time as you wear it but be informed that tight boots will simply take a while longer to fully break-in.
This aspect pertains to how Dr. Martens actually feels to wear. Well, after getting your size and breaking them in, Dr. Martens boots can be more than a workhorse. These are not the most lightweight boots, but you get used to a heft short of a struggle. Their great Goodyear welt construction can be an added advantage if you’re working amongst debris or using them for outdoor activities such as industrial environments. With time, the treads wear down, and the heel might wear unevenly, but you truly need to pound them to get there.
Despite the fact that Doc Martens boots are not entirely waterproof, they’re typically designed to withstand the elements with their durable construction and tough outsole.
Nonetheless, you can always enhance the waterproofing ability of your doc Martens by applying a protective shoe oil, for instance, Dr. Marten’s own Wonder Balsam. This product is derived from a unique blend of coconut oil, beeswax, and lanolin, which works to protect the leather against water damage.
The Wonder Balsam also helps to moisturize the fabric, preventing it from cracking. Also, be sure to give our Dr. Martens a once over with a waterproofing spray, preferably before you first wear them. Try to dry them off when they get wet, as too much exposure to water isn’t good for leather.
Breaking In Dr. Martens Shoes
Unfortunately, when most people hear about Dr. Martens, the first thing to hit their mind is how notoriously hard they are to break in. That said, you might end up suffering many blisters in your quest to achieve the fabled land of comfy boots. On the bright side, the break-in period is just a matter of softening up stiff leather, which only happens with time and wear.
You might have run over a huge load of advice for breaking in these boots, heating them with a hairdryer, tossing them in water, and even hitting them with a hammer. But lease abstains from any of these as you’re more likely to damage your boots and subside their lifespan. No such bullet silver here. You just need to wear them. Start with short stretches within the household where you can easily take them off once they start hurting.
Don’t expect to wear them for a full day on your feet right out of the box. You’re likely to regret it. Instead, put on some thick socks when wearing these boots for shorts spurts, and gradually increase your wear time until you’re satisfied they are comfortable for all-day wearing. They will soften with time and subject to how you wear them; you should find them comfortable within a couple of weeks.
If you truly can’t stand the lengthy break-in process, go for something made from Pascal leather. It is relatively softer compared to the original and is more comfortable right from the box. However, you will still have to put in some effort until they are perfectly comfortable- though it will be a much painless process.
Why You Might Want To Wear Doc Martens
Many things make Doc Martens suitable to wear; from comfort to durability, the boots are ideal for workwear. Still, it takes more than that to make a good pair of shoes. Below are the various things that make doc martens awesome.
Built to Last
No doubts that Doc Martens are made of stiff leather outwardly. In fact, taking a gander at them, you’re likely to wonder whether such stiff fabric will bend with the feet during movements. But don’t worry.
The leather is flexible. Everything will be comfortable as soon as the newness is gone. On the bright side, the harder the fabric, the longer it will last without sustaining wear and tear.
Other models, however, are not made of leather entirely. They are crafted with synthetic material and leather blend. You will also realize that most Docs shoes are accompanied by thick outsoles. Mostly, they come with synthetic soles, which are also of high quality.
The 1460 model, for instance, comes equipped with a synthetic sole with a heel measuring 1.25 inches. Moreover, the outsoles are air-cushioned for excellent shock absorbency and are slip/oil resistant too.
Ample Arch Support
As earlier mentioned, Doc Marten boots are built on an air-cushioned sole that’s bouncy and flexible. It supports different types of arches. However, if the arches are way too high, these shoes might be accommodative and. Thus, you might want to invest in custom inserts to make them more fitting. The arch refers to the raised area between the heel and the toe area. Some people have theirs too high while others have theirs too low such that they have flat feet.
The best thing about having a flexible bouncy sole is that it’s ideal for those with a very low arch.
No doubts that docs are some of the most accommodative shoes on the market. While work shoes tend to feel too restrictive, people with wide feet have problems finding the right pair. If that’s your case, Doc Martens are carefully designed for that very purpose. Even the slip-on models are very roomy and are easy to pull on and off. Well, they might feel a bit restrictive at first, but the longer you wear them, the more comfortable they get.
Doc Marten Shoes Are Well-Made
Last but not least, Docs boast an excellent, reliable, built quality. The upper is superb, and so is the outsole. The stitching on the upper is meant to last a long time, remain intact, and in a perfectly usable shape. That means the shoes will not start falling off simply because they were exposed to water. Indeed, this footwear brand went into mass production in 1960 and has maintained the quality.
The Bottom Line
All things considered, Dr. Martens are worth the money. Whatever model or style you choose, it will be worth it. These shoes look a bit rugged, but the best thing is that they’ll never go out of style. These shoes are culturally iconic for a good reason. They are fairly priced, and you probably won’t hesitate about getting a replacement if you do wind up wearing them out.
They’re not the easiest to break in, but if you invest in some thick socks and put some little effort to flex the leather, you will be compensated with a boot that actually feels like a second skin.