It’s been just over two months since I bought my Dr Martens Vegan 1460s*, so I thought it about time that I gave them an honest review. I’ve never had Docs before, but wanted a pair for some time – especially seeing as they’re produced in cruelty-free conditions using no animal by products. In fact, they originate from a little village near where I grew up, so there’s some sentimental value too!
I picked up this pair just after Christmas so as to deal with the cold and icy weather, which we surprisingly didn’t get too much of this year, but as my daily commute is a 30 minute walk, I felt it was worth it. (I also found that my newly divorced pair of heeled boots were the culprit behind my shin splints and exaggerated over-pronation, so if you’re experiencing that, I’d suggest getting some “sensible” shoes!) Here’s how I’ve been getting on…
Living in a city, dealing with rough terrain is a rarity, so you might think that wearing a pair of these is akin to driving a 4×4, but hear me out. I’ve been floored by black ice on flat cement many more times than crunchy thick snow on grass, so my respect for the soles on these is sky high. They are practically indestructible, and will hug the floor like it’s their long-lost lover! Not once have I stumbled on badly paved ground or in puddles either, although the inflexibility of them does make taking stairs a bit of a chore.
Now onto the “synthetic leather”. As a mix of plastics, including nylon, the uppers are flexible and so far, have been hard-wearing. Nothing has managed to scuff or stain them either – the pictures featured are after two months of use, and all you can see are the wrinkles from where my feet have bent in the shoes. It’s also a nice touch that the yellow “tongue” is a lighter colour than Dr Martens‘ other boots, making the Vegan 1460s instantly recognisable. One thing that I have noticed, and I’m not sure if pegging it on the material is fair seeing as I’ve never worn the leather boots, is that these guys do not keep your feet warm. It’s alright if you’ve been walking for a little while or are wearing hiking socks, but if you’re standing around in the bitter cold, your feet are going to feel it.
Wearing My Docs In…
The other major drawback that I have experienced is the wearing-in process. Boy did these things destroy my feet in the beginning. Even after looking up the best ways to wear them in harmlessly (two pairs of socks, plasters, wearing them in at home, special shoe polish, heating them up using a hairdryer…), my heels wore away and I had painful blisters for days – making the risk of falling over in less practical shoes an appealing concept, so as to stop the pain. Despite the move towards a different material, the shoes’ design is still the same – the steel toe-caps and hard structure will make your feet mould to them, rather than the other way round. If you’re prepared for that, then I would definitely recommend these. For me, it was only after four or five weeks that there was no rubbing – and that’s after I’d ruined a few good pairs of socks, gotten through a whole box of plasters, learnt to lace up differently and applied Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream* every couple of days too (that stuff is dreamy, by the way).
All in all, I would recommend these boots if you’re looking for long-lasting, strong and grippy boots that will probably outlive you (making the £120 price-tag just a little less painful), but unless you’re really lucky, you will hurt, and you will have to tame them before they love your feet back. Also I would recommend buying these in a size down if you’re female – I bought these in a Size 4 (I’m a 5) as they’re unisex.
Seeing such a reputable brand produce boots specifically catered to the vegan leather market is a great step forward, and as they’re also in fashion right now, it’s a good time to purchase them, to show your style and your resistance against the meat industry (how very anarchic!)
Hi, having worn leather DMs I can say that there is no difference in breaking in vegan DMs, happily thus has never been a problem for me.
I see that you mention inflexibility and steel tie caps? These aren’t standard in DMs and I believe you’ve bought the safety boot version. They have not only steel toecaps but a metal pierce-proof layer across the entire sole of the boot, DM safety boots are pretty much as comfortable as it’s possible to make safety boots, but safety comes first and comfort second. All safety boots are uncomfortable or this reason, I’m afraid to say.
Standard DMs have neither of these work boot safety features and are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. I have many pairs of DMs over very many years and liken them to slippers I can wear to walk the dog in
I hope this helps in choosing your boots. My beautiful vegan DMs are fantastic, worn all day,every day. They’re good looking, safe and comfortable, they’re style icons! Having a lifestyle change of compassion, I’ll never buy leather again and will now live (and, one day,die) in my gorgeous DMs!
Thanks, I’ll follow your blog with interest – thank you for it. I need all the help I can get in living with compassion, so bless you.
Thanks for the background info Linda! It’s great that you love your boots just as much as I love mine – I woke up to snowy conditions today and immediately thought about how happy I am to have these boots to walk safely in!
I have a pair of vegan DMs that I bought in November. The right one really hurts the back of my heel and rubs the skin off. It’s been almost 3 months and I’ve worn them a lot and even have my feet time to heel for a week but then it happened again. It’s only one of them though, how long will this last? I’m really considering getting rid of them.
Hi Danielle, great question – I remember mine taking a while to adjust, but if you’ve been wearing them almost three months I feel like they should fit you by now! Have you tried visiting a Dr Martens store? They may be able to help adjust the fit or find a replacement for you.
Hi Besma, I’m struggling to find information on how the plastics used to manufacture the vegan range are created. There’s no mention of whether it’s recycled (which I’m taking as inferring it is not). Do you have more info on this? I feel its an important factor when purchasing, as a vegan.. and particularly as these boots are advertised by Dr Martens as an environmentally friendlier alternative to leather.
Hi Lauren, thanks for the comment – it’s a question I would be asking now too! When I bought these boots in 2014, vegan leather was only just becoming a ‘thing’, and since then I’ve learned that it tends to be a plastic-based material (which isn’t so eco). My understanding is that they’re simply a plastic version of their leather boots, so they avoid the meat industry (which can be cruel and heavily polluting) but they’re not recycled/circular in any way. That being said, I’ve been wearing mine for years, and they’re not showing any signs of wear yet, so the plastic is still high quality and will ensure lots of use. I hope that helps!
I have just bought these shoes, usually a size 7 but they were a bit big so went down to size 6.
They hurt so much, not only the heel, but my toes is curled up at the front – did you experience this with your toes? They are so tight, I honestly feel like taking them back tomorrow and go back to size 7 and wear 2 socks instead!
Any advice much appreciated!!
Hi Steph, really sorry to hear you’re having trouble with them! My boots were horrible for the first few weeks, but only around the ankle area, and once I’d worn them in they’ve fit like a glove ever since.
If you’re finding you have to crunch your toes up it sounds like they’re too small (but I’m not an expert – have you got a Dr Martens shoe store near you? They might be able to help). I also tend only to wear thin socks with mine, as they rub a lot in thicker ones. Whatever you do, I hope you sort the problem and get to loving your pair – mine are still going strong years later! x
I’m having the same problem! What did you end up doing because I’m worried if I return them for a larger size they’ll be too big
You said that you didn’t do anything to care for your boots except just a quick scrub with a wet cloth.
I just wondering after 3 years, are your boots still shinny as first time you buy them?
Hi Chintya, that’s exactly right. The boots’ exterior is quite matte from the beginning, and that has stayed the same over the years. I was wearing the boots in the winter just passed, you can see how they look here. I hope that helps! B x
Hi i have these for 3 years now. I use them mainly on my motorcycles. They are as strong and durable like the leather ones. The only diwnside is that they size a bit small, so i don t use them for long walks, altough i would like to. But otherwise they seem to last for quite a long time.
Thanks David, that’s a useful insight! I chose a size down when I bought mine, which is recommended for women. Good to know that men should get their true size or a size up if they’re planning on doing a lot of walking! x
Hey, I really want a pair of docs. I would like to buy a pair made of vegan leather BUT I really need something that keeps my feet dry in the slush and snow. With the vegan pair, do you find your feet stay dry after walking through snow/slush?
Hi Nathan, thanks for the comment. My feet have always remained dry in slush, snow, and rain – when I’m wearing mine, I walk through puddles without worrying! I hope that helps, and you enjoy your vegan 1460s when you get them. x
That’s so helpful. Thank you!
Am also interested to buy this , but am worried will my feet be dry on a snow, when its – 5c outside? And will it be to much cold (feet) if am walking in this boots more than 30min?
Hi Nata, that’s a good question. The shoes aren’t insulated, so your feet will be cold. I only have to deal with snow in the city, so they do just fine, but if you’re outside for 30 mins+ you probably want a pair of hiking boots or snow boots. Have you tried Patagonia? They might have something better than Docs. x
Hi! I recently bought a pair of these and love them. What product do you use to keep them conditioned/looking new i.e. creams, polishes, etc and considering winter weather as well?
Hi Jack! I’m still loving mine too – my next outfit post will feature a follow up to show how they’ve done over the years. I don’t do anything to care for mine, other than a quick scrub with a wet cloth if there’s any marks on them. They’ve kept incredibly well!
Hi I’ve bought some cherry vegan boots and they are tight over the top just wanted to ask if this would ease or do I go for next size up?
Hi Helen, how long have you been wearing your shoes in for? Mine were tight around the heel, but that did go away after wearing them in for a month. I also found that the laces just needed undoing slightly – they felt okay everywhere else. I would recommend checking with a Dr Martens store (if there’s one near you)!
Hi Helen, I have this problem too. Could I ask U if it loosened up for you? I don’t know if I should send them back? Everywhere fits fine, so don’t want to go up a size. TIA
Is this Vegan leather really made of plastic and nylon? Neither one of those sound particularly eco friendly.
Hi JR, great question. Most generic vegan leathers will be made from a petroleum-based product, similar to plastic. You’re right in thinking it’s not very eco-friendly too!
When I purchased my Docs, I was looking for any kind of alternative to leather. I’m incredibly happy with the longevity of my boots, but years later I now look for more eco-friendly leather alternatives. My top picks are pinatex (pineapple leather), cork, and reclaimed/deadstock leather if neither are available.
I’m hoping there will be more choice on offer in the near future, but until then I’m not aware of any eco-friendly leather alternatives better than the above!
If you purchase “reclaimed/deadstock leather,” you are NOT a vegan – just so you know.
Lol, thanks for the gatekeeping John. I’m not a vegan and do not claim to be – just looking for kinder ways to live and dress.
Hi, I am curious about your DR MARTENS: VEGAN 1460 BOOTS. In what condition are they now? After 3 years of using? If you still have them. I am thinking about buying one, but I am not sure because they are not cheap and I am not sure if they are still made long-lasting. Thanks.
Hi Monika, I do indeed still have them! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the material has held up – they look similar to the photos from this blog, with the creases where my foot and ankle naturally bend but other than that, all in one piece.
I wear my Docs a few times a month, and quite a lot in the winter – especially when it’s snowy. They’ve lasted so well. My one tip would be to get a size that fits really well with the socks you intend to wear – mine are a bit tight when I wear thick socks, so I stick to thinner socks.
I hope that helps! B x
Hola, quiero comprarme unas botas de plataforma negras de la marca Martins que sean veganas nada de cuero y piel donde las puedo comprar?
Hi Mar, have you checked if ASOS ship to you? They sell them online here: ASOS Vegan Dr Martens