Are Doc Martens Waterproof? – Detailed Q & A Guide

Also known as Dr. Martens and the DMs, the Doc Martens is one of the iconic footwear brands that have made its name from the sale and manufacture of high-standard English footwear in the world. Their boots are not only robust and practical but are also comfortable and very durable.

Are Doc Martens Waterproof
In fact, these boots offer a snug fit and are designed to cherish and cushion your feet with ample softness when walking or standing for prolonged hours. Besides, they have a thick inner cushioning that makes them the best for hikes.

But, besides their welted construction and the characteristic yellow stitching, are Doc Martens really waterproof? You see, when most shoes are soaked in water, they become extremely uncomfortable making it difficult for you to walk. In fact, some shoes can get damaged instantly while others can make you develop rashes and skin irritation.

So, with that said, this guide will try to answer some of your pressing questions regarding Doc Martens while still discussing whether they’re truly waterproof or not.

What are Doc Martens Made of?

If you’re shopping for Doc Martens footwear, the first question you’re likely to ask yourself is what type of material they’ve used in the construction. Now, since their debut in the 1940s, Doc Martens have always used real leather in the production and manufacture of their footwear.

What are Doc Martens Made of
But, to manufacture shoes and boots that meet all levels of comfort, feel, and durability, this brand decided to use different kinds of leather. Some of the leather they’ve used include Analine leather, Brando leather, Smooth leather, Tuscan leather, and Quilon leather among others.

Although Doc Martens managed to become an investment piece in both the working and styling categories, the brand decided to create a new material experience that would catch the eye of the modern-day customer. For that reason, the Quilon leather was born.

What is Quilon leather? Now, Quilon leather is a classy smooth leather finished with a textured surface print known as “haircell”. The reason why Doc Martens decided to use this type of leather was to retain the vintage look of their footwear but cleanly and stylishly.

But, although Quilon is stunning and visually appealing, this leather is relatively stiff meaning it will take you weeks of wearing your shoes or boots before you can eventually break-in.

Are Doc Martens Waterproof?

This is the most pressing question most customers ask when shopping for Doc Martens. To answer this question in plain English, Doc Martens are not waterproof.

But, although they aren’t technically waterproof, these shoes/boots are water resilient meaning they can tolerate light showers and mild rain. So, in case you’re walking outside in bad weather and you’re suddenly caught up in light rain, Doc Martens can really help to keep your feet warm and dry thanks to the leather construction.

However, if you’re caught up in a heavy downpour, Doc Martens cannot withstand such conditions as they’re not waterproof. In this case, rainwater is likely to seep in through the seams leaving your feet wet and the shoes too uncomfortable to walk on.

In most cases, Doc Martens can survive for around 15 to 20 minutes before getting soaked with water. Although this is a positive rating, you should spray your shoes with a waterproof protectant spray if you want to waterproof them. Also, you can apply some wax on the seams to prevent water from seeping through while in the rain.

Lastly, Doc Martens have released a pair of entirely waterproof boots. The 1460 ankle boots are lace-up boots made entirely from smooth leather. These boots can tolerate heavy downpour for a longer time and are safe to use in snowy conditions.

Can You Wear Doc Martens in the Snow?

Although Doc Martens are constructed using durable leather and tough stitching, that doesn’t make them suitable to use during winter. Now, Doc Martens have a durable leather construction and a tough sole design that makes them the best for hiking.

Can You Wear Doc Martens in the Snow
In fact, their thick soles provide them with superior traction that enables you to walk comfortably on wet, snowy, and icy conditions without skidding. However, this advantage is only limited to mild snow. If the conditions are worse, burying your Doc Martens in snow will cause some of it to stick on your shoes making them wet when the snow melts.

And since your Doc Martens are not waterproof, the extra snow on your shoes will cause water to seep through the seams to make your feet wet. When it comes to keeping your feet warm, the leather layer used on these shoes is too thin to keep your feet warm.

For that reason, you have to wear a pair of thick woolen socks to keep your feet warm. However, if you feel like your Doc Martens will inconvenience you during winter, then you can try switching them with a pair of Doc Martens Warmwair Boots.

The best thing about this line of boots is the warm construction that allows them to tackle wet and cold conditions well. They have water-resistant leather and an extra faux fur lining that provides the best insulation against extreme cold.

Can I Waterproof My Doc Martens?

Earlier on, we mentioned that Doc Martens are not entirely waterproof. Although their design allows them to withstand light showers, it’s not the same when it comes to heavy downpour. For that reason, you should coat your Doc Martens with waterproofing treatments to make them waterproof.

Can I Waterproof My Doc Martens
Now, in case you’re wondering how you can waterproof your Doc Martens, here’s a complete guide of how you can accomplish the process.

  • Start by wiping your Doc Martens to remove any dirt and debris.
  • Next, pick your waterproof spray and start spraying your shoes/boots. Make sure you maintain a distance of about 6-8 inches when spraying.
  • When spraying, make sure that you touch all areas of your shoes from the upper connects, the seams to the outer soles.
  • When you’re done, allow the shoes to dry up naturally.
  • Lastly, use a protective shoe oil to coat the upper connects of the leather. Here, you can think of using a shoe protector such as Wonder Balsam to condition and protect the leather against water and salt marks.

The best thing about Wonder Balsam is that it’s made from a unique blend of beeswax, lanolin, and coconut oil for the sake of moisturizing the leather to protect it against cracks.

Are Doc Martens Durable?

Yes, they are. In fact, this is one of the major selling points of Doc Martens. According to most wearers, these shoes/boots can last for over 20 years, which is all thanks to their rigorous stitching. This is quite different from most leather shoes whose soles split and leather crack after some years of regular use.

Are They True to Size?

The best thing about Doc Martens is that they’re true to size. However, these shoes are marked according to the sizing system used in the UK. For instance, they don’t have any half sizes available.

What this means is that you have to choose between a smaller-sized shoe and a larger one depending on your preference. A smaller size will be snug and quite tight while a bigger size will be loose, secure, and very comfortable.

Are Doc Martens Comfortable?

One of the best things about Doc Martens is that they’re relatively durable. In fact, the durability aspect of these shoes is the main reason why most companies consider them as the primary footwear for their employees.

But, for Doc Martens to be comfortable on your feet, you first have to break them. Thankfully, this process usually takes a few weeks of regular use to finally break your DMs. Once you’ve broken them, the hard leather molds perfectly to the contours and the shape of your feet leaving you comfortable.

Doc Martens are easy to wear on any occasion including hiking and standing as they provide soft fluffy-like support that keeps you comfortable for long.

Are Doc Martens Good for Walking, Hiking, and Traveling?

Earlier on, we mentioned that Doc Martens are comfortable shoes that can help you a lot if you’re planning to wear them for an entire day. To those whose working schedules demand them to stand or walk for long hours, these shoes/boots can prove to be a necessity as they have springy soles and supportive leather that keeps your feet comfortable when you’re wearing them.

But, for your DMs to prove their worth, they have to be thoroughly broken in to ensure that you’re not feeling uncomfortable when wearing them. Remember, the leather used on these shoes can be too tough and can press your feet making them very uncomfortable.

However, if you’ve worn your Doc Martens for several weeks and you’ve already adapted, then they can be the best candidates for walking, standing, hiking, and traveling.

Are DMs Slip-Resistant?

When it comes to skidding, Doc Martens shoes and boots are equipped with intricate grip patterned soles that are highly resistant to skidding. This makes these shoes the best candidates for industrial environments where the safety of the worker is paramount.

The GripTrax soles used by these shoes have undergone rigorous testing on wet surfaces where there are oils, fats, acids, and petrol spills. In addition to spills, these soles offer a lot of safety in rainy and snowy conditions meaning you’ll feel safe when walking in chilly weather conditions.

Lastly, if you’re wearing Doc Martens in kitchen environments, you need to be very careful when stepping on oils and greases as these shoes are not designed for such environments. Always make sure that you clean the under-soles carefully with mild detergents to remove any oil and grease from the soles.

How Do I Break In My Doc Martens?

Unlike other shoes, Doc Martens will demand you to break in to adapt to the shape of your feet. However, the severity of the situation will hugely depend on the type of material they’re made of. Some leather materials are soft and easy to adapt while others are stiff and too stubborn to adapt. So, how do you break in your DMs?

How Do I Break In My Doc Martens

  • Always start by wearing your Doc Martens on a flat soft surface such as inside your apartment. Start walking from one room to another to get your feet used to the shoes.
  • If the leather material is too stiff, then you can consider softening it up using DMs Wonder Balsam. Just as we discussed earlier, this is a special blend of beeswax, lanolin, and coconut oil.
  • If the shoes/boots are feeling too tight, then you can consider removing the inner soles to relieve yourself from the excess pressure.
  • Next, put on more socks to add some cushioning to your feet to prevent you from getting blisters. Also, the thick socks will help to expand the leather fabric making the shoes more comfortable to wear.


So, are Doc Martens waterproof? Well, yes they are. However, the level of water resistance will hugely depend on the amount of rain and how much you’ve done to waterproof them. In case you’ve sprayed the leather material with a waterproof spray and masked the seams with wax, then there’s a high possibility that your shoes will be water-resistant.

However, if you’ve not waterproofed them, then you can consider switching them with a pair of waterproof boots from the same brand.

With that said, we believe that this guide has offered you ample information regarding Doc Martens. In case you’d like to add something else on top of what we’ve discussed, then feel free to share your mind in the comments section below.

Have a look at:

A list of 12 best boots for ironworkers

A list 10 best shoes for airline pilots

Leave a Reply