Dr Martens Types of Leather

In the early years, Dr. Martens primarily used leather as the main material for their boots. It was durable and came to define the distinctive style that would become the brand's signature.

Today they have expanded into different types of leathers, however some remain more popular over others, starting with;

Smooth Leather

Commonly referred to as genuine leather or corrected grain leather, Smooth Leather is the quintessential Dr. Martens leather. Smooth leather is known for its sleek appearance & durability, a testament to Dr. Martens' history of crafting enduring footwear.. Polished smooth leather makes for a great choice in both casual & formal occasions. It’s suitable for year-round wear and pairs well with a wide range of styles.

To break in a new pair of Dr. Martens Smooth Leather boots, wear them gradually for short periods to allow the leather to mold to your feet. Since the leather is buffed to provide a smooth finish, it can feel stiff initially and might require a longer break in period compared to other leather boots. A good quality leather conditioner or a softener can help soften the leather, allowing fir a shorter break in period. The iconic 1460 Smooth Leather Ankle Boots are the classic example of smooth leather boots.

Nappa Leather

Nappa Leather is known for being soft and has a supple texture with a luxurious feel. It's perfect for those who prioritize comfort without compromising on style. Dr. Martens Nappa Leather Boots are ideal for everyday wear and can transition seamlessly from day to night.

Due to their softer texture, Nappa Leather boots are easier to break in. You can wear them with thick socks and walk around the house for about a week to get them comfortable. A classic example of Dr. Martens Nappa Leather Boots is the 1460 Pascal Front Zip Ankle Boots.

Patent Leather

Patent Leather is easily identified by its glossy finish and makes for the perfect footwear for all your night outs. On the flip side, due to the glossy nature, patent leather boots are also stiff.

The stiff nature of Dr. Martens Patent Leather Boots makes their break-in period comparative longer ranging from a few days to a month. You can apply a leather conditioner, but we recommend taking the laces off while brushing the shoes. The Dr. Martens 1460 are also available in patent leather.

Crazy Horse Leather

Crazy Horse leather is made from natural grain which is treated with a special type of wax to create a rugged, distressed appearance and unique aging process. This process results in a durable and strong leather known for its ability to develop a rich patina over time, making each item unique and adding to its character. These boots are perfect for casual outings and outdoor adventures. Its lower price compared to some other leathers and relatively low-maintenance care also contribute to its popularity.

To break in Dr. Martens Crazy Horse Leather boots, apply a leather conditioner and wear them regularly to allow the leather to adapt to your feet. Breaking in Crazy Horse leather Dr. Martens can be challenging, as this type of leather is known for its durability and sturdiness. The break-in period may vary but typically lasts a few weeks.

Wyoming Leather

Wyoming leather is known for its textured surface and rugged look, reminiscent of worn-in hiking boots. It's a durable option that can withstand rough terrain and inclement weather. Dr. Martens Wyoming leather boots are suitable for outdoor activities and urban exploration.

Due to the rigidity and thickness of the leather, Wyoming Leather typically takes around 2-4 weeks of regular wear for optimal comfort and flexibility. Choose from the best, from Shriver HI to Colorado and everything in between, these Wyoming leather boots will never disappoint you.

Brando Leather

Brando leather is a heavyweight, full-grain leather known for its toughness and resilience. It's designed to withstand heavy wear and tear, making it ideal for work or everyday use.

Due to their thick, sturdy construction, Brando leather require a longer break-in period. To soften the leather, apply a leather conditioner and wear them regularly. The break-in period can range from a few weeks to a couple of months. Check out these Brando leather Dante shoes by Dr Martens, perfect for everyday or work use.

Virginia Leather

Virginia leather is a soft, fine-grained leather treated to feel smooth and supple, with a lightly pebbled finish, and offers a sleek and sophisticated look. This is one of DMs most comfortable type of leather and is easy to dye. It's a versatile option that can be dressed up or down, making it suitable for various occasions. Virginia leather Dr. Martens are perfect for year-round wear and pair well with both casual and formal attire.

The break-in period is typically short, lasting a few days or weeks due to the soft nature of this leather. Explore DMs Virginia leather boots from 1460 to 1B60, and everything in between, just a click away to elevate your style.

Harvest Leather

Harvest leather is a premium, full-grain leather known for its rich texture and natural grain patterns. Harvest leather can be stiff due to its unique tanning process, natural variations, thickness, chemical treatments, and environmental factors.

Due to its stiff nature, the break-in period may vary but usually lasts a few weeks as the leather needs to soften and mold to the shape of your feet.

Arcadia Leather

Arcadia leather is a high-shine, two-tone leather that catches the eye with its glossy finish and vibrant colors. It's a bold choice for those who want to stand out from the crowd. Arcadia leather Dr. Martens are perfect for adding a pop of color to your outfit and making a fashion statement.

The break-in period can range from a few weeks to a month as Arcadia leather can be stiff initially due to its tanning process, smooth finish & thickness. But once the struggle is over, these boots make a bold statement. Explore Arcadia leather Jadon Platform Boots by Dr Martens that will turn heads wherever you go.

Greasy Leather

Greasy leather is treated with oils and waxes which makes them sturdy, but it also enhances its durability and water resistance. It has a distinct, rugged appearance and develops a unique patina over time. Oily leather Dr. Martens are perfect for outdoor activities and inclement weather.

Due to its sturdy nature, the break-in period may take a few weeks to a few months. Check out these matte black, Greasy leather 1460 unisex DM boots, perfect for various outdoor adventures.

Grizzly Leather

Grizzly leather is a heavyweight, full-grain leather with a rugged, textured surface. It's designed to withstand heavy wear and tear, making it perfect for adventures and activities where traction is key.

Grizzly leather Dr. Martens require a longer break-in period due to their thick, sturdy construction. To soften the leather, apply a leather conditioner and wear them regularly. The break-in period can range from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather refers to top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side to produce a soft, velvety surface. This process creates a texture like suede but with more durability. To style nubuck leather boots, consider pairing them with jeans and a casual top for a laid-back, everyday look.

Due to its origin as a top-grain leather, the breaking-in process may take a week or two. When breaking in Nubuck Leather Boots, it's essential to wear them gradually to allow the leather to mold to your feet. Start with short wear periods and gradually increase the duration to ensure maximum comfort. With proper care and maintenance, nubuck leather boots will become a staple in your wardrobe, providing both style and durability for years to come. Check out DM’s Nubuck leather 2976 Chelsea boots and get ready for an uncompromised look with comfort.

Carpathian Leather

Carpathian leather is a supple, full-grain leather with a smooth, polished finish. It's known for its softness and flexibility, making it incredibly comfortable to wear. Carpathian leather Dr. Martens are perfect for all-day wear and can be dressed up or down.

As Carpathian leather is known for being soft and flexible, break in period is typically short, lasting a week or less.

Hi Suede Leather

Hi Suede leather is a velvety, soft leather with a luxurious feel. It's known for its plush texture and rich colors. The luxurious feel and sophisticated look of Hi Suede leather make it a popular choice for those who want to elevate their Doc style. Hi Suede leather Dr. Martens are perfect for adding a touch of luxury to your outfit and can be worn for both casual and formal occasions.

Due to the soft nature of this leather, the break-in period usually lasts a few weeks.

Aniline Leather

Aniline leather is a premium, full-grain leather dyed with soluble dyes that penetrate the surface, allowing the natural grain to show through. It's known for its softness and natural appearance. This leather offers a unique look and feel, but its delicate nature, need for dry environments, and specialized care requirements make it a niche choice with lower demand Aniline leather Dr. Martens is perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of natural leather and want a luxurious feel.

Due to the soft nature of the leather, the break-in period typically lasts a few weeks.

Vegan Felix Rub Off Leather

Doc Martens offers the Vegan Felix Rub Off Leather as a cruelty-free alternative to traditional leather. Made from synthetic materials, this leather mimics the look and feel of genuine leather without harming animals. It features a matte finish and a subtle shine, providing a sleek and modern aesthetic. Styling DMs Vegan Felix Rub Off Leather boots is versatile; they can be paired with casual outfits for everyday wear or dressed up for a more polished look.

As for breaking in time, Vegan Felix Rub Off Leather tends to be softer and require less break-in time compared to genuine leather, offering comfort straight out of the box. Check out these eco-friendly Vegan Felix 1461 oxford shoes by Doc Martens.

Quilon Leather

Quilon Leather is a durable, hard-wearing leather option offered by Doc Martens. Known for its toughness and resilience, Quilon Leather is treated to withstand heavy wear and tear, making it suitable for various outdoor activities and rugged environments. This leather typically has a smooth finish and may develop a unique patina over time, adding character to the boots. Styling Quilon Leather boots is versatile, as they can be paired with casual or workwear outfits.

Due to their robust nature, Quilon Leather boots may require a longer break-in time compared to softer leathers, but they offer excellent durability and long-term comfort once broken in.

Abruzzo Leather

Abruzzo Leather by Dr Martens is a water-resistant smooth leather with a rich, antique appearance. It undergoes a meticulous tanning process to enhance its natural characteristics. Abruzzo WP Leather Boots exude sophistication and elegance, making it suitable for both casual and formal occasions.

Abruzzo WP boots requires minimal break-in time due to its softness and flexibility, making it comfortable from the start.

Deadstock Leather

Deadstock Leather boots by Dr Martens are crafted using a mix of surplus leather from renowned tanneries, such as Desert Oasis suede, Classic Oiled Shoulder, and Wax Commander. Each boot is uniquely made with various types of leather, offering distinct textures and finishes. The production process involves upcycling leather scraps that would otherwise go to waste, resulting in one-of-a-kind pairs with a sustainable approach to manufacturing.

Breaking in Deadstock Leather boots by Dr. Martens can be challenging due to the thick, heavy-duty leather used in their construction. The break-in period typically ranges from about 2 to 3 weeks of full-time wear.

Classic Pull up Leather

Classic Pull Up leather is known for its satin finish and subtle character pull-up effect. This leather is typically made by applying oils and waxes to full-grain leather. When stretched or creased, the oils and waxes cause the color to lighten, creating a unique aged appearance. These leather boots pairs well with casual and rugged outfits.

The break-in period for Classic Pull Up Leather Boots can vary depending on the specific style and how often it's worn. You can expect some initial stiffness that will soften with time and wear. To make the process easy, we recommend using a branded leather conditioner, which helps soften the leather and enhance its flexibility.

Wanama leather

Known for its satin-like sheen and luxurious feel, Wanama leather is a refined, natural-looking leather. Wanama leather Boots by Dr Martens exudes a sense of luxury and sophistication, with a soft and supple feel that molds to the shape of your foot over time. Due to its versatile nature, styling these boots is no headache. They go well with both formal and casual attires.

High-quality leathers such as the Wanama Leather is made of thick leather. Due to which the break in period may require some time. If you wear them regularly for approximately 2-3 weeks, you’ll start to feel the difference. Check out these 1460 Wanama Leather Women's Ankle Boots by Dr Martens, perfect to elevate your look for any occasion.

Smooth Slice Leather

Launched as part of Dr Martens 60th anniversary tribute, Smooth Slice is described as original DM's leather that combines smooth texture with added character. For a more visually appealing look, the bottom color is different from the top, creating an eye-catching color contrast underneath. There are literally various ways you can dress them up. Whether you're into skinny jeans, mini-skirts, or tailored trousers paired with a crisp white shirt and a blazer, Smooth Slice Leather Boots by Dr. Martens can elevate any outfit.

The break-in period for DMs Smooth Slice Leather Boots typically ranges from 3 to 6 weeks. The longer break-in period is due to the nature of the high-quality leather used in these boots.

Vintage Smooth Leather

Vintage Smooth, a premium edition of the original Docs leather. It is basically a retro version of DMs signature smooth leather with subtle grained effect and contrast base color. These boots pairs well with denim, leather jackets, and other classic pieces.

 

Softy T Leather

Crafted using high-quality full-grain leather, Softy T Leather is lightweight with a soft and supple feel. You can pair DMs Softy T Leather boots with your favorite jeans and a cozy sweater for a relaxed yet stylish look.

The break-in period for Dr Martens Softy T Leather Boots is minimal due to its lightweight and supple nature. These shoes are designed to provide immediate comfort without the need for an extensive break-in period.

Backhand Leather

Backhand leather is a full-grain leather that’s durable and soft to the touch. This leather type offers a luxurious feel and a high level of comfort, making it a popular choice. For styling, you can opt for a leather jacket and skinny pants to create an edgy ensemble with Docs Backhand Leather boots. Or, if you have these boots in a light color with a print like the ones offered by Dr Martens, you can pair them with a flowy dress for a cute and elegant look.

Due to the soft and supple nature of this leather type, the break-in period is typically shorter compared to stiffer leathers.

Leo Leather

Leo is a tough, tumbled leather with a slight sheen. This leather exudes premium craftsmanship and durability, making it ideal for high-quality footwear. Leo Leather Boots by Dr Martens can be dressed with both casual and formal attire, making it a versatile option for any occasion.

Due to the tough nature of this leather, break in period for Leo Leather boots by Dr martens typically ranges for 2-4 weeks of regular wear. To soften the leather, we recommend using a branded leather conditioner.

Embossed Leather

Embossed Leather features patterns or textures pressed into the surface of the leather. It is created by pressing designs onto the leather surface. The embossed patterns in Dr. Martens footwear can be found in Smooth and Arcadia leather finishes among others. Embossed Leather Boots by Dr Martens pairs well with both casual and dressy outfits.

The break-in period for embossed leather can vary depending on the specific style and the depth of the embossing.

Dublin Leather

Dublin is a rich, full grain leather developed by Horween (famous Chicago-based tannery), known for its rustic appearance and rich blend of natural waxes. Dublin Leather is prized for its ability to age gracefully, making it suitable for products that improve in appearance over time.

Known for its durability and robust nature, Dublin Leather have a moderate break-in period due to its sturdy characteristics. To ease the break-in process, we recommend using leather conditioner. It helps soften the leather and make the transition to comfort smoother.

Element Leather

Element is a split leather known for being tough and having a special embossed pattern. It has a cool geometric design that makes the footwear look different and more attractive. You can dress them up with baggy pants and a plain t-shirt for a casual and cool look.

Given the durability of Element leather, the break-in period for these boots may be moderate. The sturdy nature of Element leather implies that it could take some time to soften and mold to the shape of your foot.

The breaking-in process for all of these leathers is the same; all you need to do is wear them with thick socks and walk around to help the leather mold to your feet. Or, depending on the leather type you can also use leather conditioner to soften the leather. If you have any doubts about the type of leather, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Video Credit @BBC

Answers to some of your popular questions

What's the difference between Nappa and smooth Dr. Martens?

Nappa leather and smooth leather Dr. Martens both offer a polished appearance, but they differ in texture and feel. Smooth leather has a uniform surface without much texture, offering a classic look with a bit of shine. On the other hand, Nappa leather is known for its soft, supple texture, often feeling smoother and more luxurious to the touch compared to traditional smooth leather. While smooth leather is durable and offers a sleek appearance, Nappa leather prioritizes comfort without compromising on style.

What is the difference between patent leather and smooth leather?

The main difference between patent leather and smooth leather lies in their finish and appearance. Smooth leather has a matte or slightly shiny finish, depending on the type of treatment applied, and its surface typically lacks the high gloss of patent leather. Patent leather, on the other hand, has a highly reflective, glossy finish that gives it a sleek and polished look. While smooth leather offers a more traditional and versatile aesthetic, patent leather is often chosen for its bold and eye-catching appearance, making it ideal for special occasions or fashion-forward outfits.

Is Nappa leather better than premium leather?

The superiority of Nappa leather over other types of premium leather depends on personal preference and intended use. Nappa leather is highly regarded for its softness and comfort, making it a popular choice for those prioritizing luxury and ease of wear. However, other premium leather options, such as full-grain or vegetable-tanned leather, may offer different benefits such as enhanced durability, natural patina development, or unique texture. Ultimately, the best leather type for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Is Nappa leather better than synthetic leather?

The comparison between Nappa leather and synthetic leather ultimately comes down to factors such as durability, comfort, and environmental impact. Nappa leather, being a natural material, offers superior breathability, softness, and durability compared to synthetic leather. Additionally, Nappa leather tends to develop a rich patina over time, adding to its character and charm. However, synthetic leather may have advantages such as being more affordable, easier to clean, and cruelty-free. Ultimately, the choice between Nappa leather and synthetic leather depends on your priorities and values.

How to break in a new pair of Dr. Martens?

Breaking in a new pair of Dr. Martens boots can be a process, but it's well worth the effort for the comfort and longevity of your footwear. To break in your new Dr. Martens boots:

  • Wear thick socks for cushioning.
  • Start with short wear periods, gradually increasing.
  • Flex the boots to loosen the leather.
  • Use a leather conditioner.
  • Walk around your house to mold them to your feet.
  • Be patient; breaking them in takes time. Allow your boots to gradually conform to the shape of your feet. Avoid rushing the process to prevent discomfort or damage to the leather.
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