WATCH: MY 5 FAVORITE BOOTS OF 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y7_Bu7XGB0
Dr. Martens is one of the most iconic boots of all time, deeply tied to various music countercultures in the latter half of the 20th century.
Weird fact: the guy who started it all, Dr. Klaus Märtens, was a doctor in the Nazi army toward the very end of World War 2. He injured his foot skiing, didn’t like how Nazi boots felt as he was healing, so he made his own boots with rubber from Luftwaffe airfields after the war.
So in an industry that’s now jam packed with shanks, Goodyear welts, space age soles, and zillion dollar leathers, does the old 1460 still hold up?
READ THE FULL REVIEW: http://stridewise.com/dr-martens-1460-review/
A super uncomplicated boot without much stitching, Dr. Martens calls this “full grain leather” but it’s so corrected and thin that it looks like plastic. Otherwise the most notable features are the bouncy rubber sole and the trademark yellow stitching going around the welt. The shaft is also pretty high at over 7 inches, so make sure you have long socks.
It’s true that some people are comfortable calling a leather both full grain *and* corrected. Horween’s famous full grain leather Chromexcel is considered lightly corrected, for example. (Horween themselves told me that.)
But I’m wary of being told I’m an idiot for calling something “full grain corrected grain” so I’m calling this corrected grain. It’s from either South America or Asia (that’s all they could tell me) and while they say it’s “famously stiff,” I found it more thin and plasticky than anything else.
One cool thing is that you can get these in just about any color you can imagine (they have *several* floral patterns) and there’s even a Chromexcel if you want to pay the extra.
WATCH MY MOST POPULAR VIDEO, RED WING VS WOLVERINE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvcLK864n8
Use their “Wonder Balsam,” which is made mostly of lanolin, beeswax, and coconut oil. I know a lot of people just use coconut oil, but the beeswax is important for weatherproofing. If that’s your priority though, they also sell a product called Dubbin Polish to add a layer of wax to the outside.
The main event, this sole is definitely my favorite part of the shoe. It’s soft but not too soft and it has great traction and shock absorption. It’s a little squeaky on indoor surfaces, but this may abate with time.
After the rubber sole there’s a cork midsole and some polyurethane foam, which would help with the shock absorption.
Downsides: there’s no shank and it’s extremely hard to resole. Some people specialize in Dr. Martens soles, but don’t expect to be able to resole them.
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FIT & SIZING
Size down one half or one full size. They have no half sizes available and no other widths, which will disappoint a ton of people.
In general, this doesn’t fit the foot super well. It has a blobby, generic shape that didn’t contour the natural shape of my foot well.
Between $120 and $145. If you’re patient, it’s not hard to find a place where they’re on sale.
Dr. Martens Pros
• Sole is super soft
• Pretty water resistant
• Casual, can be worn with a t-shirt
• Cultural icon
Dr. Marten Cons
• Laces come undone easily
• Difficult to resole
• Doesn’t fit very well, pretty shapeless
• Lack of a shank
• Thin, plasticky leather
• Not versatile
• Not very mature or masculine
I don’t love these shoes. Read my full review for more of my reasoning — Google “stridewise dr martens.”