Vegan Doc Martens vs Regular: The Differences You Need to Know

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Doc Martens has been serving boot enthusiasts with their leather boots for over half a century. Over time, the rise of animal and environment activist groups make DMs realize that they should go for something sustainable, eco-friendly, and, most importantly, vegan.  

That being said, back in 2011 Doc Martens released their first ever vegan footwear collection for their vegan customers. Even after 11 years, people debate on vegan Doc Martens vs regular. They still need to know about the differences since the number of vegan people in the last few years is increasing drastically. 

Worry not, today I’m here to show you a comparison between vegan and regular Doc Martens. So without any delay, let’s jump in. 

Vegan Doc Martens vs Regular: What are the Differences?

If you ask me the differences between regular and vegan Docs, I’d definitely say it’s the material. Apart from that, the comfort, durability, breathability, and other features are more or less the same in vegan Docs, just like the leather one. Now I’ll talk about it thoroughly below, stay with me.    


When it comes to producing regular leather Docs, they use mostly bovine leather. Sometimes they use sheepskin and wool too. However, in regular Docs, you won’t find any exotic skins. 

On the other side, vegan Docs are mostly made from polyurethane mixture which is known as non-leather synthetic material.

The best part is this material is far better than the PVS and less toxic. Also, this leather substitute is tough yet easy to wear and feels soft and flexible on your feet. 


Doc Martens are not comfortable initially whether it’s regular or vegan boots. However, once your pair of Docs breaks in you’ll find it insanely comfortable. If you need to know how to break in your leather Docs, you should check this out.

Anyways, both vegan and regular Docs are comfortable once they pass their initial break-in period which is around 4 to 6 weeks. However, vegan Docs don’t take long and are easier to break in. 

The truth is vegan Docs provide better comfort than regular ones. They don’t cause that much blister compared to the traditional Docs and are easy to walk in.

The reason behind this is the synthetic material used in vegan Docs. Trust me, they’re extremely comfortable, soft, flexible, and easy to break in. 

Most importantly, vegan Docs have better breathability than regular Docs. You can wear them outdoors or use them as work boots. If you’re looking for breathability so that you can wear your boots for longer, definitely vegan Docs are top on the list than traditional Docs. 

Moreover, you’ll find the AirWair soles in both regular and vegan Doc Martens boots. This sole is springy and very comfortable to walk in. Besides, you’ll get adequate arch support while walking.  


Doc martens are famous for their durability. They last at least 20 years and practically they’re indestructible. Yes, this durability you’ll get both in regular and traditional docs.

In fact, vegan Docs are more durable than regular Docs because of using synthetic non-leather material. Also, they’re waterproof due to the heat sealing while making them. 

The best part is the synthetic materials in vegan Docs don’t really absorb water or get wet like the leather ones. Besides, the material is so slippery that water or other liquid can’t be able to stay for a second.

So, whether it’s rain or any other tough condition, you can wear your vegan Docs without any distress. In fact, they’re better than the regular Docs in this case. 


  1. Are vegan Docs as good as leather?

Yes, vegan Docs are as good as leather. In fact, vegan Docs are better than leather Docs when it comes to comfort, breathability and durability.

  1. Are vegan docs easier to break in?

Vegan Docs are made of synthetic materials which make them easier to break in. Leather Docs take at least 4-6 weeks to break in whereas vegan Docs take less long than that and obviously, easier to break in.

  1. Do Dr. Martens hurt at first?

Yes, Dr. Martens can hurt your feet and are not comfortable before they break in. They can also cause blisters on your feet. I’d suggest you break in your Docs before you wear them for a long distance.

  1. Do vegan leather last long?

Doc Martens are famous for their longevity. Whether you purchase a regular or vegan Doc, they’ll last at least 20 years if you maintain your boots well.

  1. How do you look after vegan leather?

Looking after vegan leather isn’t a tough task. All you need to do is keep your vegan Docs away from excessive heat. Apply baby oil or leather conditioner on your boots once in 6 months or sooner if needed. 

Final Thoughts

Since the number of vegan people is increasing day by day, Doc Martens took a revolutionary step to promote vegan leather products besides their traditional products.

People may feel confused between vegan and regular Doc Martens, which one they buy, which one is durable, which one is comfortable, and so on.

Throughout this post, I’ve tried to show you the differences between vegan Docs and regular Docs. Also, I’ve also talked about what are the similarities between them.

I don’t know whether you’re a vegan or not, but trust me, vegan Docs are as good as regular Doc Martens in terms of comfort, durability, and price. 

So, without any delay, get your favorite pair of Docs and let me know whether you chose a vegan or a regular Doc Martens.


Richard Nelson

Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. From an early age, leather boots have been a passion for him. So, he thought why not share his knowledge with the rest of the world? 

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