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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

22 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
307 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best women’s Dr. Martens boots

Last Updated April 2020

Dr. Martens boots have defined generations and genres alike, ranging from durable workwear to essential punk rock kicks. Women’s Dr. Martens boots are all about class and sass, which is why every fashionista needs a pair.

Dr. Martens is best known for premium leather combat boot styles. The company’s signature eyelets and laces adorn feet and legs in a variety of cuts, ranging from ankle-high to just below the knee. While the original, traditional Dr. Martens boots are black, they’re now available in a broad range of colors and finishes. They’ve also expanded their iconic line to include boot-inspired fashion sneakers as well as high-heeled styles.

If you’re looking for a pair of classy-edgy boots, Dr. Martens boots are a shoo-in, and we’re sharing this buying guide to introduce all the styles and what to expect from this iconic footwear brand. We’ve included several of our favorites, too.

Dr. Martens boots are ideal for those who seek superior ankle support. Keep in mind that this also means you’ll need to get used to the boots’ rigidity, though you’ll feel comfortable in them once you break them in.

Key considerations

Dr. Martens boots are staples of pop culture and fashion, as well as the workaday world.

The world of work: Given their durability and long-lasting wear, these boots have been adopted by many people in professions in which they spend considerable time on their feet or walking. Postal carriers, industrial workers, and even commuters wear them, just to name a few.

The world of music: Dr. Martens are also widely embraced by musicians, beginning with British punk rockers and New Wave artists in the 1970s and 1980s. They continue to be a staple footwear of musicians, especially those in rock and metal bands. It’s safe to say that almost every rock star owns at least one pair of Dr. Martens.

The world of fashion: When it comes to fashion, Dr. Martens rears its head in just about every style. These boots have made their way into grunge, festival fashion, high fashion, and even wedding attire. The sky's the limit when it comes to wearing Dr. Martens boots, and their versatility is often what drives purchases.

Rock out old school

Look no further for a versatile pair of Dr. Martens women’s boots. This classic style made from 100% premium leather features a traditional finish. Measuring approximately 8 inches from the arch, it hits the center of the calf on the average wearer. The nonslip outsole features a 1-inch heel to provide just enough height for a comfortable fit. It matches virtually everything in your wardrobe, whether you need a classic work boot or prefer something stylish to pair with jeans or even dresses.

Features

Premium construction

Dr. Martens boots are made from durable premium leather that is known for its stiffness, so breaking them in is a must. They’re held together with fine stitching detail around the quarter panels, though their contrasting yellow stitching around the outsole is what’s most recognizable.

Slip-resistant outsole

Many Dr. Martens boots feature a unique slip-resistant outsole. It certainly lives up to its reputation, because the deep, grippy treads retain traction on slick surfaces. The outsole is also heat sealed as well as sewn together, so it won’t peel or break off.

Air-cushioned insole

To promote a comfortable fit, Dr. Martens boots are equipped with cushioned insoles. In fact, they’re often called “bouncing soles,” which inspired a punk rock band (Bouncing Souls). Some insoles are attached to the boot, while others are removable and can be replaced with custom insoles.

Heel tab

Another signature feature of Dr. Martens boots is the black-and-yellow heel tab, which is on every boot the company manufactures. There are select styles that feature the tab in different colors, though the design and print remain the same. Keep in mind that this stylish feature is actually functional — it helps you slide your foot into the boots.

Eyelets and laces

Dr. Martens boots are instantly recognizable by their distinctive eyelets and laces. Original styles feature 8 eyelets, though you’ll find boots with between 6 and 14 eyelets. They’re paired with high-quality woven flat or rounded laces.

Cut

The cut of the boots typically determines the number of eyelets on Dr. Martens. Generally speaking, the higher the cut, the more eyelets and the longer the laces. Cuts range from ankle height to just below the knee. Mid-cut styles that measure approximately 7 inches from the arch are the most popular.

Design

Colors: While black is probably the most common color for Dr. Martens boots, brown and cherry red are also popular neutral colors. If you prefer loud, statement-making fashion, there’s no need to slow your roll. Enjoy a pair in colors as bright as bone white or hot pink.

Embellishments: Over the years, Dr. Martens boot styles have included snakeskin, flowers, paint splatter, plaid, glitter, and even flags. As far as embellishments go, buckles, chains, zippers, pyramid studs, and other types of bedazzling have graced Dr. Martens boots.

Finishes: Dr. Martens are available in a variety of finishes ranging from low shine to high gloss. Matte, semi-matte, and satin finishes are also seen on some boots.

Other styles

PVC/vegan leather: If you love Dr. Martens but don’t want to wear leather, some pairs are available in PVC or vegan leather. While not every boot is available in this material, you’ll find many popular styles that are. With that said, the wear and durability will differ from those of Dr. Martens’ premium leather boots. While these boots are still well made, they won’t last as long as leather boots.

Laceless: There now laceless Dr. Martens boots, which are appreciated by those who aren’t thrilled by the prospect of intricate lacing. Many of these slip-on styles have flexible panels or zippers to provide a quality fit. Some laceless styles closely resemble traditional Dr. Martens boots, whereas others adopt a dramatically different profile.

Hybrids: Sneaker-inspired styles by Dr. Martens are also on the rise. These resemble a boot/sneaker hybrid that marries a high-top sneaker with a mid-cut boot. They’re usually made from canvas or synthetic materials and can be laced up or zippered closed. 

Dr. Martens boots are often referred to as “Doc Martens” or “Docs.”

Accessories

Insoles: Dr. Martens Unisex Comfort Insoles
Keep your feet comfy all day in Dr. Martens with insoles. We like these from the manufacturer, which promote foot stabilization and proper anatomical positioning of the ankle. They’re made with Smartmask technology, which includes tiny air pockets that excel at shock absorption.

Conditioner: Dr. Martens Shoe Care Kit 2
Maintain your Dr. Martens to help them last for decades with proper boot care. We like this kit, which includes Wonder Balsam, a wax mixture that nourishes and protects leather. It also includes a neutral shoe polish that resists water and stains.

Dr. Martens women’s boot prices

Women’s Dr. Martens boots cost between $80 and $280, mostly depending on construction and embellishments.

Inexpensive: For $80 to $100, you can find a diverse collection of Dr. Martens boots made from synthetic materials. Some of these resemble original styles, whereas others have simple, lightweight designs.

Mid-range: Priced between $100 and $150 are original Dr. Martens boot styles featuring six to ten eyelets. There are also some newer high-heel styles in this category, as well as a variety of finishes and colors on more traditional styles.

Expensive: Dr. Martens boots that cost between $150 and $200 include higher-cut styles as well as trending designs featuring in-season colors or embellishments. Heavily adorned Dr. Martens can cost as much as $280. 

EXPERT TIP

You might want to wear custom insoles with your Dr. Martens boots, in which case you’ll need to trim them to fit inside the boots.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Break in your Dr. Martens boots before wearing them for a prolonged period of time; otherwise, you could end up with blisters.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Lace your boots loosely. To slip the boots off and on more quickly, some consumers opt for a looser lacing system that suits them. The Dr. Martens stay secure on your feet despite having an overall looser fit around the calf and instep.
  • Try on multiple sizes. Dr. Martens are only manufactured in whole sizes, so you’ll need to size up or down if you’re a half size. Those with slender feet tend to size down, while the opposite is best for people with wider feet.
  • Avoid scuffed heels. While it’s tempting to pry your foot from the boot by stepping on the heel, this only causes unnecessary scuffs on all points of contact.

Sexy spin on a classic

These striking Dr. Martens women’s boots feature a 4-inch heel and a deep tread. The Kendra is available in a lustrous cherry red leather with a glossy finish that gives these boots a dressy curb appeal. You’ll love the fine detail including ten brushed-gold eyelets that pair nicely with the signature gold stitching around the outsole. No matter where you go in these Dr. Martens boots, you’re sure to put your best foot forward.

Other products we considered

There are plenty of Dr. Martens women’s boots to choose from. We also like the Dr. Martens Women’s 1460 Pascal Glitter, a fun spin on the original style. This sparkly rose gold pair even has pink ribbon laces. Don’t let these stylish, high-fashion boots fool you — they still have the signature slip-resistant outsole to make them as durable as they are beautiful. For a tartan touch of edgy pizazz, we like the Dr. Martens Women’s 1460 Tartan Plaid Boot. This original style features a vibrant patchwork design that is sure to spark conversation. It stays true to its 1460 roots when it comes to comfort and function while embracing a throwback punk rock-inspired style. 

Dr. Martens manufactures women’s boots as well as unisex styles. These can be listed on retailer websites in both men’s and women’s sections, so be sure to check both.

FAQ

Q. Where are Dr. Martens boots manufactured?
A.
While the Dr. Martens design studio is located in England, only a small percentage of boots are manufactured there. Most styles are currently made in Asia; however, Dr. Martens recently announced it intends to double its stateside production in the next year.
 

Q. Do Dr. Martens boots have steel-toed styles like other work boots?
A.
Only a handful of Dr. Martens boots are steel-toed, and they’re mostly men’s or unisex styles. Dr. Martens boots are strictly made of premium leather or synthetic materials. The toe boxes are extremely rigid and sturdy, so they’re highly resistant to dents or crushing.  
 

Q. How long will my Dr. Martens boots last?
A.
Believe it or not, some wearers have been rocking the same pair for over 20 years. Dr. Martens boots are known for their unmatched durability and quality, which is why they typically outlast other boots. Provided you care for them appropriately with the right products, they could last you from a decade to a lifetime.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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