Guest Bloke Shoe Blog Post – Doc Martens: For Life. An Early Review.

After much soul searching, I’ve bought a new pair of black shoes. This was a big deal for me, partly because I so badly resent buying work clothes, but also because the last black shoes I bought lasted 6years, so I wanted to get it right.

This is something of a departure from my normal blogging but I  am starting to develop a fetish for these shoes.

Design Brief

I’m an engineer first and a public servant second and I was in the market for work shoes. They pretty much had to be black, because I have to, begrudgingly, wear a suit some times. I also wanted them to last for a long time, mostly because I despise shopping so thoroughly.

Enter Doc Marten’s: For Life

Now this was an idea I could get behind.

Doc’s do a range of ‘For Life’ shoes’ they use a higher quality leather, better, welded construction and (allegedly) better shoe laces. But, beyond all this they guarantee to repair or replace them FOREVER, for the meagre premium of about $50 US.

The range is limited to the ‘School Shoes’ Docs and the classic 8-hole boot, in black and brown.

I, of course, bought the 8-hole boots.

The Author, loitering moodily around the kitchen.

Field Trials

I’ve had these for a few months now, and have worn them literally every day. Straight out of the box the leather is beautiful and supple, quite different to their normal leather which is quite stiff and blister inducing in the early days.

No one is importing them into Australia, and my local shop were too weak to even consider getting a pair in for me. Fine, it was cheaper to buy them from the US and fly them over than buying the regular Docs anyway. This meant a tiny bit of a gamble on the sizing though. I tried on a pair of the normal 8-holes in my local and got the size, then ordered them, figuring they’d be about the same.

Not quite. When ever I’ve bought boots in the past (mostly for hiking) length has been the most important factor, and yes, the length of these is spot on. But, it seems that they are higher over the top of the foot, so the perfect length boot was really sloppy; bit of a problem. I fiddled around with different inner soles and thick socks, which has got the fit right now. Also, previous experience in Canberra suggests that the absurd dry weather shrinks leather boots; my Blundstones have become oddly figure hugging since we arrived here. So I think they’ll get there.

I haven’t had any dramas breaking them in, the soft leather meant no pressure points.

The laces though are terrible. I’ve broken both of the original laces already and the second pair (which came free) is already looking shonky. They’ve used a waxed cotton, which kind of suits the ‘feel‘ of the boots, but it’s a terrible material choice. Boot laces should be nylon. This is not negotiable.

Overall though, I’m really happy with them. People have stopped arguing with me in meetings, scared by my short hair cut and Bovver Boy Boots. This is useful in the APS I tell you. They’re smart enough to wear in the office, cool enough for the pub later and would pair nicely with some leather pants, should the need ever arise.


19 thoughts on “Guest Bloke Shoe Blog Post – Doc Martens: For Life. An Early Review.

  1. Thanks for the comments!

    I didn’t talk much about comfort I guess; they are super comfy, particularly with 3 inner soles in them.

    Strongly recommend the shoes, but time will be the big test with them; I could have some shenanigans having the warranty honoured internationally, but I’m pretty stubborn so I’m happy to pursue it.

    And rest assured, if they are ever teamed with leather pants, or chaps for that matter, there will be pics.


  2. Thanks for your nice review, which convinced me to try a pair of Dr. Marten’s For Life. I’ve had a great deal of trouble getting proper fit in many other brands of boot, including regular Dr. Marten’s, but I LOVE these boots.

    The leather is supersoft latigo, also very water repelling, and they fit like a glove right out of the box. I’m on my feet most of the day and walk a lot on hard surfaces; I went for a 6 mile hike on pavement the second day I had them and the boots felt perfect. I hope they last as well as they fit!

    • Hi CT – welcome to Law and Shoes. EB is a big fan of Docs and told me off publicly for dismissing them as ‘uninteresting’. Needless to say, I am eating humble pie now. Oh and still looking for a pair of red patent leather ones on eBay

  3. funny! i was just thinking about how much i want a pair of docs. i tried on a pair of doc knockoffs at kmart that were great (that look like the see by chloe pair with the studs), but i would love a pair of old-school docs!

  4. I’ve been trying to find a lasting pair of leather shoes myself. But since I’m a girl and work requires us to dress in heels, I can’t afford an expensive pair to last me a good 5 years. The last expensive pair i bought still wore out on me, so any tips guys? Dr Martin doesn’t have heels do they?

  5. Just got a pair of these myself. I had to send back a regular pair of 1460 boots because the finish started peeling at 2 months. The leather on these is indeed different. Not as glossy or stiff. Feels broken in already! Super comfy. Buy a size smaller than you normally wear in other brand shoes. They run big.

    • Welcome to Law and Shoes Cane. The first pair of boots that I ever longed for were a pair of burgundy Doc Marten boots that my school friend had nicked off her brother. I have never yet managed to find a pair like that and to this day have no Docs in my collection. This must be rectified.

  6. Well, I am officially on pair number 6! Number 4 had the finish start to fail. Number 6 popped 2 eyelets the second day. Number 5 had the soles start to separate after 4 months. Crossing my fingers for better luck on number 6. Every pair has felt completely different. The leather on number 6 is extremely dull and has almost no sheen at all. Number 4 was shiny and number 5 not as much. Poor quality control all around. To their credit though they didn’t charge me the replacement fee on any of the pairs so far.

    • Good customer service is good to hear about.

      Wonder what is happening in the Dr Marten Version Control Laboratory…

      Thanks for stopping by Cane – lovely to meet you here on Lawandshoes.

  7. I can’t find any reviews on the Smooth black boots! lol

    I’m worried about the fit, I’m a 10 US, and two pair of Docs, MIE and MIC have fit me fine… I have tried the US 9 and they fit a bit tight… so should I get a 10 and have room, or a 9 and fit just right?

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