Doc Marten’s footwear is a brand that represents the working class in Britain. Since its arrival seventy years  ago in the footwear arena, it still reigns among the youth. It entered the UK market at $3 per pair, and today the price has escalated to $225+.
The Doc boots have evolved from Britain’s-worker boots to a global fashion icon. Besides, once the family-owned business is taken over by Permira, a private-equity firm. Yet, their style and loyal fans will not go anywhere.
Doc Martens shoes are popular for its soft-cushion soles and tough leather material. The ankle boots are designed to offer sufficient support to your ankles. Due to its high comfort level, Doc footwear has become a household name.
Even celebrities cannot ignore its style, flexibility, comfort, and fashion statement. It started with a humble price but today the brands cost high. However, you can choose Doc Marten alternatives. Many footwear companies produce similar designs and features, but at a low cost.
In this post, we’ll review the top 5 affordable Doc Martens alternatives and we’ll dive into the history of Doc Marten and how his bouncy soles got popular.
Our Top 5 Picks
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 5 Picks
- 2 Treesolo lace-up ankle boots for her [similar to Doc Martens 1460 with 8 holes]
- 3 Fisi water-proof combat style shoes for women [similar to Doc Martens Chukka boots]
- 4 Bruno Marc Combat Boots for him [similar to Doc Martens Combs Nylon for men]
- 5 Bruno Marc Men’s Combat Oxford Boots [similar to Doc Martens steel toe 8761 leather boots]
- 6 Polar Fox Casual Classic for men [similar to Doc Martens 1460 Vegan Combat boot]
- 7 Brief History behind the popular boots
- 8 90’s and Beyond
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9.1 Why should I buy a Doc Marten alternative boot?
- 9.2 What is the break-in process of Doc Marten leather boots?
- 9.3 How men can look stylish wearing Doc Martens leather boots?
- 9.4 How women can look stylish wearing Doc Martens leather boots?
- 9.5 How will you lace Doc Marten’s boots?
- 10 Wrapping it all up
Treesolo lace-up ankle boots for her [similar to Doc Martens 1460 with 8 holes]
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- Cowhide leather
- Wear-resistant and slip-resistant sole [similar to Doc]
- Flexible and soft traction
- Round-toe design gives space for toes to wiggle
- Trademark yellow stitching
The shoes will never dull your feminine look but will instantly increase your style level. The shoes look just like Dr. Martens and no one will recognize it to be a duplicate. You can get this Doc dupe on loveyourfoot.com at friendly rates.
Fisi water-proof combat style shoes for women [similar to Doc Martens Chukka boots]
The Fisi alternative has a similar height to Doc Martens Chukka boots. It reaches above your ankles accurately without any concerns about blisters. They have a comfortable heavy bottom portion. It is a little different than the Doc martens Serena, which has a furry border and soft leather. The alternative has a regular leather border.
Trademark yellow stitching and help loop makes them pass as Doc Marten except the mark ‘Made in China’ at the bottom. Outsoles are slip and skid-proof. Wearing them is comfortable.
Bruno Marc Combat Boots for him [similar to Doc Martens Combs Nylon for men]
In terms of material, the original Martens are designed from a blend of nylon and suede, while Bruno Marc uses imported leather. Besides, lace-up Bruno Marc boots have a side zipper that makes it easy to slide your feet without any botheration of lacing them every time.
It gives the wearer a ‘biker’ look. The buckle is decorative that is seen in Doc’s Nylon Khaki boots. The sole, ankle fitting, flexibility, and comfort level are similar to the originals. The outer sole is slip-resistant and long-lasting.
Bruno Marc Men’s Combat Oxford Boots [similar to Doc Martens steel toe 8761 leather boots]
The Bruno Marc low ankle boots closely resemble Marten’s 8761. They are similar to round toe boots without the steel toe. Feet feel dry and warm, so are popular as winter boots.
The outer soles are flexible and give good traction. The Bruno Marc is a little short than the originals with 6-eyelets. In terms of material, Bruno Marc uses faux leather, while originals are designed from 100% leather.
The look-alike Bruno Marc is available in seven rugged looks with 1” thick heels. The framework offers a strong structure to last long. The inner sole is light and soft with faux fur lining.
The cost is quarter the rate of original Doc Martens. You can say Bruno Marcs Combat Oxford boots give more value in terms of flexibility, style, and softness.
Polar Fox Casual Classic for men [similar to Doc Martens 1460 Vegan Combat boot]
Polar Fox pair is chic and modern looking. Youngsters will drool over this cheapest alternative for Doc Marten’s 1460 Vegan footwear collection. Both are designed from Vegan leather [synthetic leather]. It is a great material option for animal lovers, who can wear the pair without any guilt. The leather is durable, breathable, and water-resistant.
There is no compromise on the flexibility and softness of the boot’s leather body. The inner fur lining looks chic, while speed hooks attached over lace eyelets add more style. Insoles are interchangeable, so you can wear the boots in every climate. Slide zipper allows sliding feet inside and outside easily.
The rubber soles are impact-resistant, flexible, and durable. The traction and ankle support are similar to Doc Martens. A great shoe with a feel of the expensive original Doc Marten’s yet at a low cost.
Brief History behind the popular boots
Dr. Klaus Marten was a 25-year soldier, who returned to Munich in 1945 with a broken foot, after the II World War. He found the regular footwear with leather soles very rough during recovery. The doctor fashioned a prototype shoe that offered more traction and cushioning. This shoe he gifted to his friend Dr. Herbert Funk, who just adored it.
Both became partners and started using unused military supplies and discarded rubber to make innovative footwear in 1947. The cushioned soles offered older women comfort and soon the business started to grow. Both wanted to expand their footwear business overseas and so they published ads in European Magazines in 1959.
Bill Grigg saw the ad and approached Dr. Martens to get a license to use Doc air-cushion soles in producing work boots. Grigg adjusted the heels and rebranded the sole. Dr. Martens footwear got introduced in the UK market in 1960. Even though the remarkable Northampton Productive Society produced some footwear under Dr. Martens’s license, it was the Grigg Group Ltd. that was the most productive manufacturer of Doc work shoes.
At the start, the £2 work-wear boots were popular among police officers, the factory workers, and the postal employees. It soon became a part of the working-class uniform among the skinhead culture. In the late seventies, the skinhead culture vanished and an era of glam, Goth, punk rock, two-tone, and new-romantic genres started. By the mid-eighties, Doc became a familiar icon of British working class and youth culture.
90’s and Beyond
In the nineties, Dr. Martens was a profitable entity that manufactured more than 10 million pairs every year. In 2000, the sales started declining and in 2003 it started to show signs of bankruptcy. It relocated its production to Thailand and China to save money. This relocation was a challenge to Dr. Marten’s philosophy regarding British-made boots produced in the core of England.
Nevertheless, since 2002, the popularity of the Doc brand has escalated. The company’s production has also skyrocketed from producing a single to 250 styles every year. Competition has also increased over the years. Today, Doc has filed lawsuits against several of his competitors to protect the design of its iconic work-boots. In 2014, the company was sold to Permira and since then the boot price increased by 25%. In 2018-19 the profits escalated to 70% due to their innovative Vegan range.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I buy a Doc Marten alternative boot?
The 5 best alternatives to Doc Martens allow people to buy boots with similar comfort, looks, and durability but at a low price. Some of the above alternative brands can get passed as original Doc Marten unless they are closely looked at. You cannot anticipate the quality and durability of the alternatives to be similar to the original Dr. Martens. However, these off-brands come pretty close to the brand Doc Marten.
What is the break-in process of Doc Marten leather boots?
New pair of leather shoes can be painful if worn without breaking them. Even if you wear your brand-new Doc Marten for 15 minutes, expect to suffer from blisters. A break-in process is necessary to make the DM boots more comfortable. The boots are amazing but need time and tactics to make them comfortable. Tips for efficient break-in process for leather boots.
- Wear one or two pairs of thick socks and walk with the boots around your home for some time. The moment you feel hurt, remove them. Do wear the boots 2 to 3 times every day but ensure to move around doing your household chores, which will allow the leather to lose its stiffness.
- You can give your feet a break by trying them on alternate days.
- Slowly increase the time you wear outdoors until you feel confidently comfortable.
- Before wearing bend, the heel forward and backward to soften the leather, especially the uncomfortable spots.
- Never use a hammer to unstiffen the Doc Martens leather boots
- Apply leather conditioner and leave it overnight. It will hydrate the leather and soften it.
How men can look stylish wearing Doc Martens leather boots?
Doc Marten boots are chunky, which doesn’t mean they get pigeon-holes as a niche style. Below are some tips for men to wear Doc Marten boots stylishly.
- Wear the vintage style 1460 red leather boots with a plain tee and distressed black jeans. For that extra oomph, add a leather biker jacket in black.
- Blue jeans and Doc. Martens complement one another. The Capper boots are work-boot style, which when worn with a check shirt makes you look macho.
- Wear Doc Marten’s combat ankle boots with cropped denim jeans. Add a denim jacket for a street style look.
- Recently, skinny jeans and Doc Marten’s boots are in trend. Blue jeans and black boots or black jeans and red boots look great. Add long-line tees or oversized knit jumper to the outfit!
- With shorts, wear Doc Marten 1470 shoes rather than the 1490 taller boots.
More of a visual person? Check out the Men’s Style guide on Youtube
How women can look stylish wearing Doc Martens leather boots?
- With a floral mini dress, she can choose a slip-on 2976 Chelsea boots and layer a blazer or cardigan for the cold weather.
- With a sweatpant or leggings, go for 8053 Dr. Marten’s boots rather than sneakers.
- Ripped jeans and a blazer pair with Dr. Martens Brogue Oxford helps to improve your professional look into a polished one.
- The 1460 boots are compatible with the utilitarian jumpsuit as a casual outfit.
- Boast your Doc Martens with cuffed jeans.
- If you need to add height, then wear pants outside the boots to appear long.
More of a visual person? Check out the Women’s Style guide on Youtube
How will you lace Doc Marten’s boots?
Lacing boots is just like lacing shoes. Using different lacing methods offers your boots, a unique and stylish look. You can choose one that provides better support or makes you feel comfortable. People even lace their boots through lower 4 to 5 eyelets. For ankle boots, the ladder lace method is the best.
Ladder lace method
- Run the lace straight across bottom eyelets on the outside.
- Insert the lace through the next eyelet vertically – going from outside to the inside.
- Cross the lace over the tongue.
- Bring it outside and thread it vertically through the next hole.
- Repeat the process until you reach the top.
Remember, the only time the laces go through a hole from outside is when you move to the vertical eyelet. On the top, the laces have to face on the boots inside.
Wrapping it all up
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. Don’t forget to check out the affordable Doc Martens alternatives that we have listed above. You will get the same styles like the genuine Doc Martens boots, but without having to burn a hole in your pockets.
You will love to add at least one of them in your wardrobe. Are you looking for Ugg but don’t want to spend the money? You’ll love this Ugg Alternative article