Are Doc Martens Real Leather? [Ethical Leather DM Boots]

Written By Mahia

Whether it’s a smooth, suede, or patent Doc Martens, the versatility of these leather boots is beyond comparison.

As there are various types of leather out there on the market, including vegan leather, the question if Dr. Martens are made of real leather, is valid.


In this article, I will put light on what type of leather is used to manufacture DM shoes and if they are real or not.

So, read till the end.

Do Doc Martens Have Real Leather?

Yes, Doc Martens has and uses real leather (Bovine) during the manufacturing of their boots, shoes, and other footwear that provides you with comfort, and durability, along with the look. Dr. Martens also offers vegan leather options if you are against animal cruelty.

Vegan leather is made of synthetic materials like plastic and PVC.

However, in most cases, the boots are originally leather-made, such as smooth leather, patent leather, napa leather, and the list goes on.

One more thing, DM doesn’t use angora, fur, or exotic animal skin but uses wool and leather from non-mulesed sheep. The brand also has a formal animal welfare policy aligned with five freedoms that trace some animal products to the first stage of production.

Even so, they are not totally transparent about where their animal products come from.

Moreover, Doc Martens boots are iconic no matter the material, and you can style them in various ways according to your aesthetic.

Are Doc Martens Vegan leather

Yes, DM boots are vegan leather. As the demand for animal cruelty-free products is skyrocketing, the manufacturers of Dr. Marten’s shoes launched several vegan versions of the most popular models.

Vegan leather is made of either plastic or PVC material which makes them mostly waterproof.

So, you can try wearing them for your skating sessions. Animal-friendly leathers are durable, good quality, and comfortable at the same time. They have maintained all the qualities of the original leather ones.

There are many controversies about how long doc martens last. As they are not that cheap, to begin with. So take a look before your purchase.

Different Types Of Doc Martens Leather

Vegan or real, all DM boots are leather made. And the variations are endless. From so many options, you need to know which one is best suited for you. Knowing about the leather Doc Martens comes with will make your boot journey much easier.

Let’s see the different types of leather Dr. Martens made of:

Smooth Leather

Who doesn’t want a pair of smooth-finished boots? Dr. Marten’s manufacturers made sure you are getting a versatile pair. As this leather can be polished or left matte as per your wish.

My Doc Martens Burgundy Jadon Boots are my go-to. I love the smooth texture of the leather, not to mention the stability they have.

My feet don’t hurt much in this comfy pair. I also managed to find a way to break in my DM overnight.

Virginia Leather

Another popular leather Dr. Martens comes with is Virginia Leather.

It’s a soft-grain and classic natural leather with a tough finish. This type of leather is not made from animals, but from vegetables through traditional tanning techniques.

This material gives your shoes the durability and supple feel you want in the long run. For example, 1460 Pascal Virginia Boots.

Patent Leather

As Dr. Martens are leather-made, you will find several fine-grain leather pairs with a lustrous finish. If you are into glossy shoes, patent leather is the perfect choice for you.

To carry out a classy and formal look, patent leather shoes and boots are enough.

I have a DM Leopard Emboss Patent Leather Boot. I wear it occasionally to maintain the shine. Over 5 years, they look the same as a new one.

Napa Leather

Napa leather is a hard-wearing, highly durable, soft full-grain leather that is obtained from sheep, goats, and calves with pliable and mild hides.

If you want to try out napa leather, Dr. Martens Women’s 2976 Nappa Leather Chelsea Boot is a fine piece you can look into.


The tanning process of this boot is excellent and softer compared to other models.

So, to style your soft feet with a long-lasting shoe, give this Chelsea Boot a chance and find out if Doc Martens are considered a work boot if you are planning to do so.

Suede Leather

Suede leather is a super soft and cozy leather, made from the underside of animal hide. It has a distinctive fleecy finish to it, that ensures comfort as soon as you wear your boot.

My brother owns several pairs of DM shoes, 1461 Suede Oxford shoes are one of the gems he adores.


However, this leather is comparatively less durable and water-resistant. So, be aware of this before your purchase.

Are 1460 Doc Martens Real Leather?

No, 1460 is a corrected leather, though the company describes it as full-grain leather. The fact is, this particular one is very smooth and doesn’t have any trace of grain on the skin to be a full grain.

Anyway, 1460 is one of the most popular models out there. Its upper is smoothed down and is not suede or roughout.

In the beginning, it will be stiff but, after the break-in time, it will start to soften and mold according to your foot. You can polish this comfy leather to a dapper shine or artfully scuffed up, depending on your choice.

However, no matter what, this versatile pair is a staple boot despite being corrected leather.

Be aware, if you are buying a real Doc Martens as there are so many dupes of these boots to mislead you.


Is Doc Martens Leather Ethical?

DM is not 100% ethical as they are not completely transparent about where the animal products come from.

Are All Doc Martens Real Leather?

Yes, Doc Martens boots and shoes are made of real leather, but they also come with vegan models.

What Are The Soft Leather Doc Martens Called?

The soft leather DM is called Pascal Vriginias. Virginia leather is a soft and fine-grain leather, which is treated to feel very supple and smooth.

Final Take

From boots to shoes to sandals, Doc Martens have mastered every sector with their high-quality leather.

You will find all types of leather shoes from this renowned company, including, patent leather, smooth leather, suede leather, and so on.

This is all in all information about the leathers DM is made of. For more info, comment below.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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