How Long Do Doc Martens Last?

Doc Martens are considered one of the coolest boots in the market and have been a fashion staple since they were released to the market in 1959.

While they were originally designed as a comfortable substitute for stiff trench boots for soldiers, they were eventually adopted by a lot of different movements, most notably by the skinheads who championed the style of the British working class.

And while they are known as some of the coolest boots on the planet by a lot of people, they also cost a fair amount of money.

Which has led a lot of people to ask how long these boots can last, to see if they are worth the investment.

Doc Martens claim that their boots can last up to 7 years if cared for properly. However, a lot of people have claimed that if they are maintained well, these boots can last much longer than the company’s claim, with some models being able to last up to 20 years.

So while they may be a bit pricey, they are an investment that’s well worth it since the boots can last you decades if you know how to take care of them.

And in this article, we’re taking a look at how to properly maintain Doc Martens as well as some other things you need to know if you’re considering buying a pair for yourself!

Read on to learn more.


How Long Can Doc Martens Last?

As we mentioned earlier, the brand claims that their boots can last 7 years, but honestly speaking, that is a very modest estimate.

There are numerous stories out there of people who bought themselves a pair of “Docs” back when they were a teenager in the 90s’ and have found that the boots are still wearable today.

That is a lot longer than what the brand claims, and most Doc Martens owners will swear that these boots can last you decades on end if they are cared for properly.

One of the primary reasons these boots can last so long is because the company pays very close attention to quality and has mostly retained their original production methods that were the reason the boots were so durable and stylish in the first place.

While only around 2% of their shoes are still made in their original Northamptonshire factory, their quality control and production methods remain the same regardless of where they are being produced.

How Should You Take Care Of Doc Martens?

The main reason people have been able to keep their Docs with them for so many years is that they are properly maintained.

This is the secret to long-lasting boots that will stay fashionable for a very long time.

To properly take care of a pair of Doc Martens, they should be cleaned and polished regularly.

Ideally, you should clean and polish your boots whenever they get dirty, which will depend on how much you wear them and where you wear them, but as soon as you see that your boots aren’t in the best condition, it’s time to get your cleaning kit out and properly service your shoes.

That being said, the brand recommends doing this at least every three months to keep them in the best condition possible.

And in this section, we’ll be laying out a step-by-step guide that you can follow whenever you need to clean your Doc Martens.

Step One: Prepare A Shoe Care Kit

This is the first step before you can start cleaning your boots, and if you don’t already have a shoe care kit at home, it might be best to build one if you plan on buying a pair of work boots.

Ideally, you would want to have high-quality shoe polish, a shoe brush, damp cloth or sponge, and a bottle of protection spray in your care kit.

It would also help to have a designated area where you’ll clean your boots that you don’t mind getting dirty.

And once your kit is prepared, it’s time to proceed to the next step.

Step Two: Clean The Boots

Before you start polishing your shoes, it’s important that you remove as much dirt as possible.

It’s recommended to use a damp cloth or sponge to remove the dirt from the shoes, and if your boots have a lot of mud on them, you can also bang them together to remove the dirt before wiping them down.

When doing this, it’s also important to remove the laces and wash them separately with warm water.

And once you’ve removed most of the dirt, simply dry them up using a different cloth and your boots will be ready for polishing.

Step Three: Polish The Shoes

There are a lot of different shoe polishes that you can use on your boots, but a great option would be the polishing cream made by Doc Martens specifically made to be used on their shoes.

But if you can’t get your hands on that specific polish, any other high-quality polish designed for leather will work fine, just make sure that the color of the polish is the same as your boots.

Or to be on the safer side, you can also use non-colored, clear shoe polish.

Using a dry cloth, scoop out some shoe polish and apply a thin layer onto the leather, focusing on areas with scuffs and scratches.

When finished, wipe off the excess with another dry cloth.

If your boots aren’t in the best condition, you can apply another layer of polish, but make sure that the first layers dry before applying the second layer.

From there, if you want an extra shine on your boots, it’s recommended to buff them using a brush after the polish has dried.

This is an optional step, as some people prefer a matte finish on their boots.

You can use any bristle shoe brush for this task, but the Doc Martens brand also makes a bristle brush specifically designed for shining leather shoes and boots.

Step Four: Apply The Finishing Touches

After your boots are cleaned and polished, it’s time to apply some finishing touches.

Start by putting back the laces that you washed and dried beforehand.

Or if you want to experiment, you can even use a new pair of laces that have a different color to add a touch of your own personality to your Docs.

After lacing up the boots, they’re about ready to go, but there are a couple of extra steps you can take to give them extra protection.

These are all optional but are definitely worth the effort.

You can start by spraying Ultra Protect, which is a spray developed by Doc Martens designed to protect your boots and laces up until they need to be cleaned and polished again.

You can also apply shoe spray to the shoes to remove any unwanted odors.

And once that is complete, your Doc Martens are fully ready to get scuffed up and worn again.

How Can I Tell If Doc Martens Are Fake?

Since these shoes cost a fair amount of money, you would want to make sure that you are buying a real and authentic pair as there are a lot of fakes on the market today.

An easy way to spot fake Docs is by checking the heel of the shoe as an authentic pair will have an AirWair loop, which most fakes won’t have.

You can also check out the inside of the boot and check the typing of the brand name, a lot of fakes will misspell the Doc Martens brand on the insole of the shoes.

On top of that, you can also check out the base of the boots, as they should have the iconic yellow stitching of Doc Martens, and the bottom of the sole should have the manufacturer’s stamp and cross sign on it.


Doc Martens are a great example of a shoe that perfectly combines style and comfort.

While they were originally designed as a comfortable boot for soldiers to wear, it didn’t take long for their designs to become synonymous with a lot of different cultural movements all over the world.

From the British skin-head and ska movement, all the way to Seattle’s iconic grunge movement, Doc Martens can be found as they are a timeless shoe that will probably stay in style for many years to come.

And as long as you make sure to take care of your Doc Martens properly, they can last you many years as a trusty, comfortable, and stylish work boot that you can wear almost every day.