When you search for how to take care of Dr Martens, you’re likely looking for quick, easy-to-follow advice to keep your beloved boots in top condition. Here’s a straightforward approach:

  • Clean regularly with a damp cloth to remove dirt.
  • Condition with Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam to nourish the leather.
  • Protect from water and stains with a suitable spray.
  • Polish to maintain their iconic shine and color.
  • Store properly in a cool, dry place.

These simple steps ensure your Dr. Martens remain durable, stylish, and comfortable for years to come.

Dr. Martens boots embody a rich history of comfort, durability, and unmistakable style since their introduction in the 1960s. Designed initially for workers, they quickly became a symbol of self-expression and rebellion among youth cultures. Today, Dr. Martens are celebrated not just for their iconic design but also for their exceptional durability and versatility. As a shoe enthusiast, you know that quality footwear is an investment. Maintaining your Dr. Martens not only extends their life but also honors their storied past and what they represent. Whether you’re aiming to keep your Dr. Martens in pristine condition or want to ensure they age gracefully, understanding how to care for them properly is essential.

Infographic: Simple Steps to Care for Your Dr Martens - how to take care of dr martens infographic pillar-4-steps

The key to extending the life of your favorite boots lies in regular care and maintenance. Let’s dive deeper into the comprehensive care techniques that will keep your Dr. Martens looking as good as new.

The Importance of Regular Care

Longevity and Appearance are two pillars that uphold the value of your Dr. Martens. These aren’t just shoes; they’re investments in your style and comfort. That’s why understanding how to take care of Dr Martens is crucial.

Longevity: More Than Just Shoes

Dr. Martens are known for their robustness. However, without regular care, even the sturdiest boots can succumb to wear and tear. It’s like owning a car; you wouldn’t drive thousands of miles without an oil change, right? Similarly, your Docs need regular maintenance to ensure they last as long as possible. Regular cleaning, conditioning, and proper storage can dramatically extend the life of your boots. A well-maintained pair of Dr. Martens can last for years, becoming more comfortable and personalized with age.

Appearance: Keep Them Looking Sharp

The unique style of Dr. Martens is unmistakable. Whether it’s the classic 1460 boot or a sleek 1461 shoe, the look of your Docs is a statement. But scuffs, stains, and creases can detract from their distinctive appeal. Regular care not only keeps your Docs comfortable but also ensures they look their best. By cleaning, polishing, and protecting your boots, you’re preserving the iconic appearance that makes Dr. Martens stand out.

Regular Care Steps:
1. Cleaning: Remove dirt and grime after each wear with a damp cloth.
2. Conditioning: Use products like Wonder Balsam to keep the leather soft and supple.
3. Protecting: Apply Ultra Protector Spray to guard against water and stains.
4. Storing: Keep your Docs in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

By integrating these steps into your routine, you’re not just taking care of your shoes; you’re ensuring that your Dr. Martens remain a key part of your wardrobe for years to come. Plus, regular maintenance helps retain the boot’s value, both financially and sentimentally.

In the next section, we’ll explore the initial steps you should take with new Dr. Martens to set the stage for a long-lasting relationship with your boots.

Initial Steps for New Dr Martens

Getting a new pair of Dr. Martens is exciting! These boots are not just footwear; they’re a statement of style and durability. But before you start showing them off, there are a few initial steps you should take to ensure they last as long as possible. Let’s dive into groundwork, newspaper, and cleaning.


Right out of the box, Dr. Martens look and feel sturdy. However, they do require a bit of groundwork to ensure they mold to your feet perfectly and remain comfortable over time.

  • Break Them In: Wear your new Docs around the house for short periods. Start with an hour a day, gradually increasing the time. This process helps to soften the leather and prevent blisters.

  • Protective Spray: Even before you step outside, spray your boots with a protective spray. This helps to create a barrier against water and dirt.


Why newspaper? It’s not just for reading! In the early days of breaking in your boots, they might feel stiff and uncomfortable. Here’s a little trick:

  • Stuffing: After each wear, stuff your boots with crumpled newspaper. This helps the boots to retain their shape and also absorbs any moisture from your feet. Moisture can make the leather stiff, so keeping it at bay is crucial.


Cleaning might not be the first thing on your mind when you get new boots, but it’s an essential step in the care process.

  • Wipe Down: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down your boots. This removes any dust or dirt that might have settled on them during manufacturing or shipping.

  • Dry Properly: Never dry your Dr. Martens near a radiator or in direct sunlight. Let them air dry naturally. Direct heat can warp the leather and affect the fitting.

  • Conditioning: Apply a leather conditioner, like Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam, to keep the leather soft and supple. This step is crucial for preventing cracks and maintaining the boot’s overall health.

These initial steps are simple but vital for how to take care of Dr Martens. By following them, you’re setting up your boots for a long and stylish life. The effort you put into caring for your Docs is directly proportional to the years of service they’ll give you. In the next section, we’ll delve into more detailed cleaning and maintenance techniques to keep your Dr. Martens in tip-top shape.

Cleaning and Maintenance Techniques

Taking care of your Dr. Martens isn’t just about keeping them clean; it’s about maintaining their structure, appearance, and the unique comfort they provide. Let’s break down the essential steps to ensure your Docs stay in prime condition.

Remove Dirt

First things first, remove any dirt. This step is crucial and should be done gently to avoid damaging the leather or fabric. Use a soft brush or a damp cloth to wipe away loose dirt and grime. For tougher mud stains, a little bit of soapy water can do wonders, but remember to dry your boots thoroughly afterward.

Apply Polish

Next, apply polish specifically designed for Dr. Martens. These boots are unique; using the wrong polish can harm them. Stick to wax-based polishes for smooth leather. Apply a small amount using a clean, soft cloth or a brush, ensuring you cover the entire surface evenly.

Buff to Shine

After the polish has dried (give it about 10-20 minutes), buff your boots to a shine. This step requires a bit of elbow grease. Using a soft, lint-free cloth or a horsehair brush, buff the surface in circular motions until you achieve the desired level of shine. This not only makes your boots look great but also adds a layer of protection.

Finishing Touches

For the finishing touches, focus on the specific needs of your Dr. Martens. If they’re made of suede, use a suede brush to gently lift the nap and remove any lingering dirt. For patent leather, a specialized Patent Cleaner can bring back the glossy shine without damaging the material.

Ultra Protector Spray

The Ultra Protector Spray is your best friend when it comes to protecting your Docs from water, stains, and general wear and tear. Spray it evenly over the surface from a distance of about a foot, let it dry, and you’re good to go. This spray is particularly useful for those living in unpredictable climates.

Wonder Balsam

Wonder Balsam is a miracle worker for worn-out boots. It’s a blend of natural and synthetic waxes designed to nourish and rejuvenate leather without polishing. Apply it with the sponge provided, working it into the leather. It’s an excellent way to keep your boots soft, supple, and comfortable.

Patent Cleaner

For those shiny moments, Patent Cleaner can help maintain the brilliance of patent leather Docs. It’s formulated to clean and restore the gloss while protecting the leather from cracking and fading. Apply it with a soft cloth, gently rubbing it in for a brilliant finish.

Suede Care

Suede and nubuck require a bit more tenderness. Use a soft brush designed for suede to remove dirt and maintain the texture. For deeper cleaning, specialized suede cleaners are available that won’t damage the delicate surface.

Dr. Martens Cleaning Kit - how to take care of dr martens

By following these simple yet effective cleaning and maintenance techniques, you’re not just cleaning your Dr. Martens; you’re preserving the stories they carry. Each step ensures that your boots will be ready for whatever adventures lie ahead, keeping them looking as bold and iconic as the day you got them. A little care goes a long way in extending the life and look of your Docs.

In the next section, we’ll explore how to waterproof and protect your Dr. Martens, ensuring they’re ready for any weather.

Waterproofing and Protecting Your Dr Martens

When it comes to how to take care of Dr Martens, waterproofing and protection are key steps that can’t be overlooked. Dr. Martens are known for their durability, but like any prized possession, they need a helping hand to tackle the elements. Let’s dive into how you can keep your Docs in tip-top shape, rain or shine.

Water Resistance

First off, it’s important to understand that while Dr. Martens are built tough, they’re not invincible. Their natural leather construction offers a basic level of water resistance, but prolonged exposure to water can still lead to damage. This is where waterproofing comes into play.

Waterproofing Necessity

Think of waterproofing as an invisible shield for your Docs. It helps to repel water, keeping the leather dry and preventing damage such as warping or staining. If you’re someone who finds themselves caught in the rain often or you simply want to prepare your boots for any scenario, waterproofing is a must.

Ultra Protector Spray

One of the most effective tools in your shoe care kit should be the Ultra Protector Spray. This product is specially designed to add an extra layer of protection to your Dr. Martens. It works by creating a barrier that repels liquids, dirt, and even oil, making it easier to keep your Docs clean and dry.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Clean Your Docs: Make sure your boots or shoes are free from any dirt or dust. A clean surface ensures the spray can bond properly.
  2. Apply the Spray: Hold the Ultra Protector Spray about a foot away from your Docs and spray evenly. Avoid soaking the leather; a light coat will do.
  3. Let Them Dry: Give your Docs some time to dry. This usually takes a few hours, but it’s worth the wait for the added protection.

Repeat this process monthly, or more frequently if you’re regularly braving wet conditions. It’s a simple step that goes a long way in preserving the life of your Dr. Martens.

Taking care of your Docs isn’t just about keeping them looking good — it’s about maintaining their integrity and functionality. With the right care, including regular cleaning, conditioning, and waterproofing, your Dr. Martens can continue to be your go-to footwear for years to come.

In the next section, we’ll tackle some common care questions to help you navigate Dr. Martens maintenance with ease.

Addressing Common Care Questions

How to Make Dr Martens Last Longer

Water resistance and protection play crucial roles in extending the life of your Dr. Martens. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cleaning: Regularly remove dirt and dust with a soft brush or cloth. For tougher stains, use a mild soap and water solution, then dry them away from direct heat.
  • Protection: Apply a leather protector like Dr. Martens Ultra Protector Spray to shield against water and stains. For leather boots, Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam nourishes the leather, keeping it soft and supple.
  • Alternate wearing: Giving your Docs a break between wears allows them to air out and reduces wear and tear.

Do Dr Martens Need to be Waterproofed?

Depending on your environment, waterproofing might be necessary.

  • Light conditions: If you’re in a mostly dry area with occasional rain, regular use of a leather protector spray should suffice.
  • Heavy conditions: In wetter climates, a more intensive waterproofing product might be needed to prevent leather damage.
  • Leather damage: Water can cause leather to warp, stain, or crack if not properly protected.

How Long Do Doc Martens Usually Last?

Minimum years: With proper care, Dr. Martens can last from five to twenty years, sometimes even longer.

Factors affecting longevity:

  • Frequency of wear: The more often you wear them, the quicker they may wear out, though alternating pairs can help.
  • Care routine: Regular cleaning, conditioning, and waterproofing significantly extend their lifespan.
  • Storage: Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent drying and cracking of the leather.

By addressing these common care questions, you can ensure your Dr. Martens remain in top condition, embodying durability and style for years to come. A little effort goes a long way in preserving the life of your beloved Docs.

Advanced Care Tips

Taking care of your Dr. Martens isn’t just about reacting to wear and tear; it’s about preventative measures and consistent upkeep. Let’s dive into some advanced care tips that keep your Docs looking their best.


First up, re-lacing. It might seem simple, but fresh laces can breathe new life into your boots. Over time, laces can become frayed, dirty, and lose their color. Replacing them not only improves the appearance of your Docs but also ensures the best fit and support. Consider experimenting with different colors or styles of laces to switch up your look.

Spraying Technique

Next, let’s talk about the spraying technique. Using a Ultra Protector Spray is key for guarding against water and stains. Hold the can about a foot away from the boots and spray in a steady, even motion to avoid saturating any one area. This step is crucial for maintaining the water resistance of your Docs. A light coat will do; we’re not trying to soak them.

Monthly Care

Monthly care is your routine check-up. It’s about taking a moment every month to clean, condition, and protect your boots. This includes wiping away any dirt or grime, applying a leather conditioner like Wonder Balsam, and finishing with a protective spray. This regular maintenance keeps the leather supple, prevents cracks, and extends the life of your Docs.

Leather Conditioner

Speaking of leather conditioner, it’s an essential part of your care kit. Leather, being a natural material, needs moisture to prevent drying out and cracking. Products like Wonder Balsam nourish the leather without needing to polish afterward. Work the conditioner into the leather with a soft cloth, covering all areas evenly. This step not only keeps the leather healthy but also enhances its natural resilience against wear.

Alternate Wearing

Lastly, alternate wearing. It might be tempting to wear your favorite pair of Docs every day, but giving them a break can significantly extend their lifespan. Alternating between pairs allows the leather to rest and breathe between wears, reducing the buildup of moisture and wear patterns. This simple practice can make a huge difference in how long your boots last.

By integrating these advanced care tips into your routine, you’re not just taking care of your Dr. Martens; you’re investing in their longevity. The more love and attention you give your Docs, the longer they’ll be a staple in your wardrobe.


We’ve walked through the journey of how to take care of Dr Martens, exploring everything from the initial steps to advanced care techniques. Now, let’s wrap up by shining a light on NuShoe, the importance of sustainability, and the expertise in shoe renewal that can further extend the life of your beloved Docs.

NuShoe specializes in shoe renewal and repair, offering a lifeline for your Dr. Martens when they’re in need of some serious TLC. They’re not just about fixing what’s broken; they’re about breathing new life into every pair, ensuring your boots continue to walk the walk for years to come. With services like re-soleing and leather conditioning, NuShoe stands as a testament to the durability and longevity that Dr. Martens can achieve with the right care.

Sustainability is at the heart of caring for your Dr. Martens. Where fast fashion dominates, choosing to repair and renew rather than replace is a powerful statement. It’s about reducing waste and valuing craftsmanship. Each time you opt for a service like NuShoe’s, you’re not just saving a pair of boots; you’re contributing to a more sustainable future. This approach aligns perfectly with the ethos of Dr. Martens, a brand that’s always been about more than just footwear; it’s about making a mark, standing for something.

Lastly, the expertise in shoe renewal that companies like NuShoe bring to the table cannot be overstated. With years of experience and a deep understanding of what makes each pair of Dr. Martens unique, these craftsmen and women are the unsung heroes of the footwear world. They know that a well-loved boot tells a story, and their work ensures that story doesn’t end prematurely.

In closing, taking care of your Dr. Martens is a journey, one that involves regular maintenance, understanding the needs of your boots, and knowing when to seek out the experts. By valuing sustainability and leveraging the expertise of shoe renewal professionals, you’re ensuring that your Docs remain by your side, ready for whatever comes your way. Here’s to many more years of iconic style and unmatched durability, with every step telling a story of care and commitment.