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Are Vegan Doc Martens Good? Vegan 1460 Lace Up Boots & Vegan Footwear

Vegan Dr Martens Review

Are vegan Dr. Martens aka Doc Martens good?

This is a long-term customer review. It is a comparison of vintage (made in the UK) 1460 Dr. Martens and their newer vegan shoes. All images are of my own pairs. I have bought four pairs of Dr. Martens (Doc Martens).

I still have them all. The first pair I purchased were second-hand, vintage, and in new condition. I bought them long before I was vegan. The other three pairs I have were purchased since becoming vegan.

Since then Dr Martens has released many vegan leather products. The last three pairs are all from the vegan range. All are in different styles: boots, shoes, and sandals. I have a pair for every season. I have included Amazon affiliate links for the products to make shopping easier.

The Soles: Vintage 1460 UK Leather Boot

Are vegan Doc Martens good?

My first Docs are leather boots. They are silver and rub off to reveal fluorescent orange underneath. The soles are made in the UK. I loved them and wore them everywhere. They were comfortable but didn't stop my feet from getting wet in winter. They are also heavy due to the denseness of the sole.

Traditional Dr. Martens have a stiffer air-cushioned sole. The new flex soles are much lighter. They are more comfortable and easier to move in. This makes them a practical choice for everyday wear. I feel more comfortable in my felix lace than in my vintage boots.

Felix Rub Off

The "Felix Rub Off" is a type of synthetic leather. Dr. Martens uses it in some of their vegan footwear. This synthetic material looks and feels like real leather, but it's made from non-animal sources.

Some of Dr. Martens' vegan shoes and boots have Felix Rub Off. Like traditional leather, you can polish them to keep their shine. The term "rub off" suggests that wear and buffing can change the finish of the material. Over time, it gives it a distressed look, which makes it popular. It's a choice for those who want Dr. Martens' classic look but without using animal materials.

Vegan 1460 Lace Up Boots

How to break in vegan Doc Martens

1460 Classic matte black vegan leather boots (Amazon): These lace up boots were not sold in my size at the store I was at, EU 40. I had to decide whether to go up or down a size. I chose a 39.

The 8-eyelet boots comes in some finishes such as the matte finish, rub off and crushed velvet. Black boots being the more iconic look.

As you can see from the images I bought the boot in black. These lace up boots were not sold in my size at the store I was at, EU 40. I had to decide whether to go up or down a size. I chose a 39.

In retrospect, I should have gone up, as putting on thicker socks is easier than trying to break in vegan leather. Vegan leather does not give like regular leather.

These sat on the shelf for a while, unbroken, unworn because they were too tight. I eventually decided to try to break the boots in, or I would sell them. They would not be an art piece sitting on my shoe rack. Docs are meant to be worn!

So, two pairs of socks and walking around the house became the norm. These suckers are tough. They would not give. I was not about to give in at this stage. I was mad at myself for not buying the bigger size and mad that I spent so much money.

I persevered, and walking around the house became walking around the block. Honestly, these things made me do kilometres to break them in. Don't worry; there is a happy ending. I now wear them to work. I work at a job that keeps me on my feet and includes small daily walks.

I like to save my boots for rainy winter days as they keep my feet dry and warm. Wear socks with a decent thickness. If the weather is warmer, sweat can lead to rubbing. So buy socks that are made from natural or absorbent fibres.

They are a lot lighter than original UK-made Docs. This could be a positive or a negative, depending on your perspective. Some people might take this as cheaper quality. I like the lighter weight.

I also enjoy not feeling like I am doing light leg weights when I'm walking around. So, while they may not be as solid as the original, I enjoy moving at a normal speed with no tired leg syndrome.

They are comfortable to a point. I have worn these all day and walked around after work in them, but they are not sneakers. And they are still not soft. The vegan leather holds its form like nothing I have ever known.

If you have gone smaller, like me, you will probably want to alternate these between softer shoes. This will stop your feet getting sore from the rigidity of the leather. If you were more intelligent than me and went up a size, huzza! You are going to have feel-good feet and look trendy all winter long.

I am not a rough-housing kind of person, but they haven't worn or scratched. Ok, I admit I'm a princess. I try not to ‘scuff my docs'. I have been wearing them for two years and owned them for three.

My boss asked me if I had new shoes. They look almost as good as the day I bought them. They are low-maintenance, practical boots that are easily styled.

Vegan 1461 School Shoe

Are vegan Doc Martens waterproof?

1461 Classic school shoe style (Amazon): These were the first vegan pair I bought. I bought these in an EU 39. They were a little tight, and the leather was tough. These I wore straight away, and they broke in slowly but not with the resistance of the boot.

These were easier to break in because there was less leather and more foot flexing. I wear these with thinner socks, which are suitable for milder seasons. They look cute with quirky ankle socks.

I have been wearing these for three years with no damage. The only marks on them are crinkles where my foot flexes. I haven’t gotten wet feet from these.

Vegan Blaire Leather Sandals

Do Doc Martens last? Blaire vegan sandals

Blaire matte black sandals (Amazon): These are great for summer! I have these in an EU 39, and the sizing is good. Bening sandals, there is not much leather to them, so they don’t need the breaking-in that the other two pairs need.

The ankle strap is generous. While you get used to wearing your sandals, I suggest you wear the strap loosely; otherwise, you can get some rubbing where the ankle strap sits.

I have been wearing these for three years. I have worn these the most out of all three pairs. Living in Australia and working in an environment without proper air-conditioning gets hot. These are just what I need for warmer months.

These sandals are spongy and supportive. I wear them for hours without complaint. They require about the same amount of care as the other shoes. I wish I had bought these in brown when I saw them. They are my absolute favourite out of all my pairs.


Break in Doc Martens
Photo bomb, she just wanted to be involved.

Do I need to break in vegan Doc Martens?

Yes, yes you do. It will not be easy. If you must choose between going up or down a size, go big or go home. I had to do daily walks of about 20 – 30 minutes around my block before I would even consider wearing them to work. To find out how to break in your Dr. Martens, read: How to Break in Dr. Martens: A Step-by-Step Guide.

What socks should I wear with my Docs?

I would suggest (Amazon links included):

Cotton (Organic): Organic cotton is a breathable and soft option. While cotton may not be as moisture-wicking as some other materials, organic cotton socks are free from pesticides and chemicals used in conventional cotton farming, making them a better choice for the environment and your skin.

Hemp: Hemp socks are durable, absorbent, and resistant to odour and mildew. Hemp is a very sustainable crop, requiring little water and no pesticides, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious consumers.

Are vegan Doc Martens waterproof?

My real leather boots are not waterproof. They allow water in, and I have been caught out many times. It could just be mine?

On the other hand, my vegan leather boots do not leak. The vegan leather is water resistant. I would think that they are water resistant rather than waterproof.

My vegan boots have not leaked. The stitching is very tight, and I have not had water get in between the leather and the soles. However, I do not go jumping in puddles or wading through streams.

They are not gumboot-level waterproof. Wonder Balsam helps to protect your Dr. Martents from water, but it is not vegan.

Are vegan Doc Martens worth it, and do they last?

Are vegan Doc Martens good? Yes! My opinions come from my personal experience. I like these boots and shoes. I like them enough to own three pairs and write a positive blog post about them.

I wish Dr. Martens would come out with more vegan options more frequently so that I can feed my shoe addiction. My bank account might not agree as they are still expensive.

When I think about the longevity of these items, I consider them a great investment. Docs can be styled in many ways, are classic fashion pieces, and are seasonal. It’s a quality versus quantity equation for me. Rather than buying a cheap pair of shoes that last a season, I have shoes that last years.

If you want to buy Dr. Martens through Amazon, here an affiliate link: Vegan Dr Martens.


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