Dr Marten boots and shoes are some of the most recognizable in the world. They have a reputation for being among the most robust and durable footwear available. Unfortunately, they also have a reputation for being difficult to break in as well as expensive.
Luckily we have found 15 of the best Doc Martens alternatives, so you can rock the style without breaking the bank. We’ve also found some styles that can challenge Doc Martens in the trend stakes and are a bit easier to break in too.
We’ll look at some of the closest and more affordable alternatives to Doc Marten boots on the market. Boots made by ICHIGO, Dunes, Bates, Thursday, Skechers and Amazon all produce boots that make good alternatives to Doc Martens.
They offer similar designs, and styles some in genuine leather and others in synthetic leather. Many are similarly priced to Doc Martens while others are much more affordable. Let’s look at what’s available as an alternative to these iconic boots.
OUR TOP PICK
These ankle boots from ICHIGO are a really close match and would be hard to tell from a real pair of Doc Martens. They are made from synthetic leather and have thermoplastic elastomer soles which have excellent grip and traction.
A cushioned footbed means they will keep your feet comfortable while the side zipper makes putting them on and taking them off easier. There is no need to undo the laces each time you wear them.
The upper faux leather is spill resistant and has a velvet lining which makes them breathable and soft. A lace up front with metal eyelets make these a classic style of boot replicating the style of Doc Martens. A must-have for any stylish wardrobe.
- Good resemblance to Doc Martens
- Much less expensive
- Thick, grippy soles
- Cushioned footbed
- Faux leather won’t last as long as genuine leather
These stylish lace up boots from Dunes are a neat alternative to Doc Martens. It would be hard to tell them apart except for the lack of the classic yellow stitching.
On closer inspection they only have 5 eyelets with two lace hooks as opposed to classic Doc Martens which have 8 eyelets.
These boots are made with a soft vegan leather upper and a thick rubber sole.
For comfort, they have memory foam insoles and a soft faux fur lining.
The laces are waxed for functionality and there is a side zipper for ease of getting them on and off. A sturdy back tab makes pulling them on a little easier.
- Reasonable likeness to Doc Martens
- Soft faux leather upper
- Thick rubber sole
- Memory foam insoles
- Quality will not be the same as Doc Martens
Men’s Paratrooper boots in genuine 100% leather are a serious contender as an alternative to Doc Martens. They are 11 inches high from the arch with a thick rubber sole which is slip resistant.
While they are laced up at the front the boots have a side zip for ease of getting on and off.
At the top of the zipper there is a leather flap with two snaps which keeps the zipper in the upright position.
The toe and heel of the boots are polished with some detailing where the toe meets the rest of the upper.
As this manufacturer makes boots for the military you know the quality is going to be good.
- 100% genuine leather
- Non slip rubber sole
- High boots for better protection
- Stylish & practical
A stylish and everyday combat boot, the Thursday Explorer is less trendy than Doc Martens but also is more sophisticated.
They are a versatile and comfortable boot with more focus on wearability over fashion.
The black matte leather has a more casual, utilitarian look and is rugged and resilient.
They have storm welt construction for longevity and long lasting Kevlar blend laces. For comfort the soles are flexible, and the insoles are shock absorbing memory foam.
A padded collar and fully lined supple glove leather interior ensure that your feet will be protected and comfortable.
This is helped by the cork bed midsole that conforms to your feet. Available in sizes 6 to 15.
- Durable and resilient boots
- Handcrafted for longevity and quality
- Durable, but flexible outsoles
- Comfortable and versatile
- Very expensive
Hawkwell’s women's combat boots are stylish and rugged. They are made from faux leather and have a thick, rubber sole which measures 1.5 inches at the heel.
Thanks to its construction the sole offers durability, traction and safety.
The boots have a lace up design but with a side zipper for ease of getting on and off. There is a pull-up tab at the back to facilitate putting them on. The insole is cushioned and soft making the boots comfortable to wear.
These classic combat style boots work well in a modern wardrobe and are very versatile.
Available in burgundy, black and white with contrast stitching they do a good job as a Doc Marten alternative.
- Stylish and versatile
- Good lookalikes for Doc Martens
- Non skid rubber sole
- Comfortable insoles
- Faux leather is not as tough as real leather
With its chunky sole and yellow contrast stitching these boots are a good choice for a Doc Marten alternative.
They have genuine leather uppers which are full grain and durable. The oiled leather is designed for durability and water resistance.
The rubber sole has good tread for comfort and durability. A leather welt is a feature of this ruggedly built work boot.
The premium latex foam cushioned insole provides maximum shock absorption for comfort and long-lasting support.
These boots are lace up with metal eyelets and a prominent Duke’s label on the tongue.
For ease of pulling on there is a pull tab at the back of the boots. Unlike some designs there is no side zipper.
- Full grain, oiled leather
- Rubber sole
- Cushioned latex insole
- Full leather welt
- Sole is not as thick as some other brands
The Steve Madden Bettyy is a close approximation of Doc Martens’ Jadon boot.
They are so closely matched that only someone in the know could tell them apart. The Bettyy has an opaque sole and black eyelets as well as the lack of yellow contrast stitching.
It has a very thick sole, and is very sturdy but it’s surprisingly comfortable to walk in.
There is no branding on the boots so if you like the style but don’t like sporting brand recognition this is the boot for you. It has a clean monochromatic look.
The boots are a lace up design but have side zippers for ease of getting on and off.
- Very close resemblance to Doc Martens’ Jadon boot
- No visible branding
- Thick soles but comfortable to walk in
- Still quite pricey
For an eye-catching pair of military boots at an affordable price these Bruno Marc offerings are a perfect alternative to Doc Martens.
They are made from 100% PU, an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer with a thermoplastic elastomer sole.
They have a lace up design but a side zipper for convenience and the heel tab makes it even easier to get the boots on and off. A padded collar with a checked lining provides comfort and a snug fit.
These boots feature a classic vintage design with a buckle on the side and lace hooks at the top of the upper. The rubber sole has an interesting, layered design.
- Classic vintage design
- Durable PU leather upper
- Rubber sole
- Side zipper
- Not genuine leather
For a serious and chunky pair of combat boots you can’t go wrong with these from Dream Pairs.
The thick sole makes them a good alternative to Doc Martens and the rounded toe ensures lots of room and comfort.
With their block heels these are a sturdy boot and are made from soft PU leather in the upper and feature thermoplastic rubber outsoles. They have a lace up design for style and a side zipper for convenience.
A cushioned footbed keeps your feet comfortable, and the material allows your feet to breathe. They can be worn with any outfit so are very versatile.
- Good resemblance to Doc Martens
- Classic military design
- Durable and sturdy
- Versatile style
- PU leather won’t last as long as real leather
These lace-up boots are a good alternative to the chunkier Doc Marten boots, having a more pared down look.
Nevertheless they are a stylish and sturdy pair of boots with attractive contrast stitching around the welt.
The upper is made from smooth and supple vegan leather and the sole is rubber with good grip and traction.
Like Doc Martens they have 8 metal eyelets and a lace up design. However, for convenience these boots also have a side zipper.
A large pull tag at the back makes getting them on much easier. The soft memory foam insoles and fabric lining ensure comfort.
- Soft vegan leather uppers
- Long lasting lug outsole
- Side zipper
- Memory foam insole
- Not waterproof
These stylish motorcycle boots for men are a neater alternative to Doc Martens.
They are made from synthetic leather and have a high quality rubber sole. However, it is not as chunky as some other brands of boots, particularly Doc Martens.
They are a cross between a classic dress boot and a trendy utility boot so are very versatile and can be worn with a range of outfits.
The boots are a lace-up design and have a comfortable padded collar in contrasting material.
A cap toe and textured heel give the boots a stylish look and there is contrasting stitching around the welt. Five metal eyelets ensure a snug fit when laced up.
- Stylish motorcycle boot
- Rubber sole
- Padded collar
- Synthetic leather
If you want to make a statement without wearing Doc Martens these boots from MOMOKA are the way to go.
These boots are huge with a 2 ½ inch heel at the back and have serious attitude. Made in the style of a Chelsea boot they have a mid calf length.
The cleated platform sole is made from synthetic rubber and the uppers are faux leather.
There are pull tabs at the front and back of the boot opening for ease of getting on and off, and they have a fabric lining.
As the soles are not true rubber they will have little traction on slippery surfaces, so this is something to bear in mind.
- Hugely stylish
- Great alternative to Doc Martens
- Pull on Chelsea boot style
- No traction from synthetic rubber soles on slippery surfaces
For a pair of shoes with overtones of Doc Martens but without the price tag these lace ups are ideal.
The high glass Oxford-style is so trendy with the chunky white rubber sole and contrasting welt.
The uppers are 100% genuine leather and the soles are real rubber offering good grip and durability.
The leather is a retro British brogue design and is water resistant. Adjustable lace-up closure and flower designed leather linings add to the appeal of these shoes.
These shoes will look fantastic with a pair of leggings and an oversized shirt. Despite how chunky they look, these shoes are very lightweight and offer good support.
- Inexpensive for real leather
- Lightweight design
- Good support
- Edgy style
- Sizing can be inconsistent
For a pair of Doc Marten look-alikes these Amazon Essentials combat boots are a good choice for affordability.
While the soles are not as chunky as Doc Martens they are still sturdy looking boots.
The uppers are made from synthetic leather and the soles are rubber. They come in a range of colors including black, black crocodile design, green, and brown.
The style is lace up, but there is a side zipper for convenience and a rear pull tag for pulling the boots on.
Inside there is 5 mm latex and memory foam padding for comfort. The boots are true to size so order your usual shoe size. They are also relatively inexpensive.
- Inexpensive alternative to Doc Martens
- Latex and memory foam padding
- Side zipper
- Synthetic materials won’t last as long as real leather.
If you want an ankle boot but are not willing to sacrifice comfort for style the Skechers leather Chelsea boot is a good choice. They have a thick rubber sole and a waterproof leather upper.
For fans of Chelsea boots these are a great alternative to Doc Martens. They are a pull on design and for ease there are two pull tabs, one at the back and one at the front of the boot opening.
Known for their everyday comfortable styles, Skechers have put a memory foam footbed into these boots. As well as being comfortable they are also very versatile and can be worn with a range of outfits.
- Comfortable everyday wear boot
- Slip on for ease
- Rubber sole for grip and durability
- Don’t have many similarities to Doc Martens
Buying a pair of Dr. Martens, or Doc Martens as they are affectionately known, is not like buying any other pair of boots.
Of course there is the price tag to consider but there is also so much more.
When you buy Doc Martens you are not just buying boots but a style, an idea, an icon.
However, there are a couple of things that put people off buying these world famous boots; the price and the time they take to break in.
They are pricey and yes, they take weeks of painful feet to tame them into submission.
So it's not surprising that people go looking for alternatives to Doc Martens. There are plenty of substitutes but you need to consider several features of each before making a purchase.
Nobody will argue with the quality of Doc Martens so if you are after a pair of equal quality boots you need to look at the material they’re made from.
Similarly, the soles of those iconic boots are instantly recognizable, so you want a similar style of sole.
Then there is the style. The classic 1460 Dr Marten boots are the most famous so look for a similar design.
Sizing is vital to get right, or it won’t matter how high quality the boots are, they’ll still hurt. Of course, price is an important factor as is the durability of an alternative.
Finally, the all-important breaking in. With nightmare tales of how painful breaking Doc Martens in can be you may want to look for something a little kinder to your feet.
So, let’s take a look at each of these features in turn to help you in your quest to find a pair of Doc Martens alternatives.
Quality Of Material
Doc Martens are made from genuine leather and this is one of the reasons why they are so highly prized.
Good quality leather may be stiff and take time to mold to your feet but when it does, it is very durable and hard wearing.
So when looking for a good alternative to Doc Martens consider the quality of the material.
Many of the boots we featured are made from synthetic leather which while not as durable is actually much softer right from when you first start wearing the boots.
Deciding whether you want the alternatives to last years or just one season will help you prioritize the importance of the material.
Many fashion conscious people are happy to just have an on trend look and don’t worry about how long the shoes will last beyond that.
Others want to invest in a good quality pair of boots or shoes that they can wear for years but are not prepared to pay the price, financially or physically of owning a pair of Doc Martens.
Look at your reasons for wanting to own a pair of Dr Martens alternatives, and it will help you choose the right material.
One of the most outstanding features of Doc Martens are their soles. Filled with air bubbles the AirWair sole is famous for how durable it is and also how comfortable it can be.
The soles also have an intricate grip pattern which is designed to keep traction even in slippery conditions. Finding a sole that is as durable and as comfortable may be tricky but not impossible.
Many of the alternatives also have rubber soles, but others use a synthetic rubber which is more akin to hard plastic.
As such it doesn’t have as much grip and will not give your feet the same amount of traction.
Consider the places, circumstances and times of year you will be wearing your Doc Martens alternative boots and how much grip you may need.
Of course, you can’t account for every eventuality. For example, a shiny hotel lobby floor may suddenly become an ice rink under your synthetic rubber soled boots.
It’s always better to have a good grip on your boots even if you think you may not need them.
Comfort comes from the sole too so bear this in mind. A sole that is too thin or too rigid may make your feet ache after hours of wearing your boots.
The style of boot that you choose as a Doc Marten alternative may be a dupe of the real thing or perhaps simply pay homage to the iconic footwear.
For example, chunky soles may be reminiscent of Doc Martens despite the style or design of the boot not being similar.
There are many different styles of boots that have borrowed ideas from the original Doc Martens, so you should be able to find a style that suits you.
If you want a pair of boots that are versatile and can be worn with lots of different outfits a minimalist, pared down design may be a good choice.
Alternatively if you want to choose something that will get you noticed there are plenty of boots that have just as much attitude as a pair of Doc Martens.
Not all DMs are boots either and they have some great shoes too. A pair of alternative shoes similar to Doc Martens will typically have a chunky sole and a unique style.
Doc Martens offer only whole sizes so if you are half size then it is best to go down a size rather than up.
For choosing an alternative to the originals you will need to look at the sizes offered in that brand and style.
As with Doc Martens, fit may vary based on the style of the boot or shoe. If you are unsure of the sizing take a look at the brand’s website and see if their footwear is true to size.
Some makes and styles will run small whereas others may run big so get as much information as you can.
Check comments on the website to see if there is any mention of sizing from previous customers. Often you will see a common theme in the comments if there is an issue with sizing.
Remember going up a size in boots or shoes will only change the length of the footwear and not the width.
If you have wide feet you should shop specifically with brands that offer wide fittings.
When it comes to buying alternatives to Doc Martens you can go really expensive or relatively cheap.
More often than not there is a good middle ground for pricing with a decent amount of choice for style and design.
Many Doc Martens are sold for between $120-$200 depending on the style. This is a lot of money, but the durability of this brand means that most people see this as a long term investment rather than an extravagance.
Choosing an alternative means deciding how long you want the boots to last and how much you are willing to spend on a decent pair.
When spending over a hundred dollars on boots you will expect them to last so check the quality of the materials and make sure you are getting the most for your money.
Real leather will always cost more than synthetic leather as it is more robust and durable.
Of course, price also reflects what is fashionable and trendy so consider this as well.
If you are happy to spend a lot for an on trend look that is not made from the most durable materials then that’s fine if you can afford it.
One of the known disadvantages of owning a pair of Doc Martens is the amount of time and effort that goes into breaking them in.
The company even offers lots of tips, tricks and products to make the process easier and less painful on your feet.
So what happens when you buy an alternative to Doc Martens? Are you going to have the same issues with getting them to mold to your feet?
That depends of course on the type of material that the boots or shoes are made from.
Synthetic leather is a popular alternative to genuine leather for a number of reasons. Naturally, the cost is much lower and there is a trend away from animal derived materials toward other options.
The majority of the alternatives that we featured are made with PU leather which means it is a polyurethane. This is a plastic that is adhered to an underlying fabric.
One of the other benefits apart from lower prices is that this material is much softer and therefore requires less breaking in.
Combined with the lower prices this benefit attracts a lot of people to choosing a Doc Martens alternative over the real thing.
As infamous as Doc Martens may be for their price and stiff leather they are equally famous for their durability. This is why they have endured as a brand from the 1960s and are still popular today.
Other genuine leather boots will be durable although not all are made to the same standards.
Nevertheless a synthetic leather will never last as long as the real thing, provided of course that you take good care of the leather.
The soles of Doc Martens are one of their sturdiest features so if you want your alternatives to last make sure you get good quality soles.
Real rubber rather than synthetic rubber is likely to last much longer and will give you better grip and traction.
If durability is not a consideration for you, and you’re just looking for a pair of boots as alternatives to Doc Martens for the short term there are plenty of inexpensive options available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Doc Martens So Uncomfortable?
The stiff leather that Doc Martens are made from is very abrasive when the boots or shoes are new.
There is no give or softness to the leather, so it tends to rub and cause blisters. Breaking in the boots or shoes takes a few weeks until they mold to your feet.
How Can You Distinguish Doc Martens From Lookalikes?
There are a few distinguishing characteristics of Doc Martens that allow you to single them out in a crowd of similar boots.
The first is the iconic yellow stitching as well as the transparent air cushioned soles. They also have 8 eyelets for the laces.
Why Are Doc Martens So Expensive?
There are many reasons why Doc Martens are so expensive but perhaps one of the most enduring reasons is that they are seen as a sign of rebellion.
They have a loyal following of wearers who will pay the price regardless of how expensive they may seem to others.
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