Dr. Martens 1460 Review: Is This Icon Actually Worth Buying?

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 
Dr Martens Review Doc Martens 1460 on blank background

We’ve never really stopped seeing Dr. Martens out and about. From the punk scene in the 70s to grunge in the 90s to Gen Z trendsetters on social media today, few boot styles have been recycled in so many different ways.

But why have they stood the test of time? Are they worth the hype? We’re going to scrutinize that question here. In addition to its fabled look and design, we’ll consider the quality, construction, and fit.

By the end, you’ll know whether or not to finally pick up that pair of 1460s.

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Dr. Martens 1460

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Bottom line: The Dr. Martens 1460 is consistently popular and instantly recognizable. Though it’s a combat-style boot, it lacks a lot of practical and rugged qualities including strong leather, quality stitching, and a steel shank. Nonetheless, its shiny upper, yellow sole stitching, and transparent outsole have made it an iconic fashion staple.

Ratings:

At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Design At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Quality of Materials At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Craftsmanship At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Fit & Sizing At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Value for Money At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon

Pros:

  • The trademark air-padded insoles are soft, comfortable, and impressively shock-absorbant
  • The oil-resistant rubber outsoles are famously transparent, and provide soft but sturdy support that allows you to comfortably stand for long periods of time
  • It comes in several colors and designs, providing a level of style customization
  • It’s an iconic shoe with a long and interesting history

Cons:

  • Wide and half sizes aren’t available
  • The leather is stiff and thin
  • It’s mostly single-stitched and lacks durability and longevity
  • Because of its bold style, these boots aren’t especially versatile

The Dr. Martens 1460 is a peculiar boot, to say the least.

It’s not often that a shoe style popularized by 40-something housewives becomes a symbol for punk rebellion. Regardless of how you feel about them, the 1460s have been a cultural staple for decades.

Trend lovers who haven’t yet experimented with a pair of Dr. Martens have definitely considered doing so. And since the name recognition is undeniable, I’m sure many of you more classic boot men have also wondered what the deal with the 1460s is.

After running around town in these fan-favorite shoes, I can confidently say that they’re not for every guy. Read on to get my full thoughts on the Dr. Marten 1460s.

Dr. Martens 1460 Overview

Dr Martens 1460 model on leaves 1

Though I’m sure Dr. Martens would rather forget, the 1460s were designed by Klaus Martens, a doctor for the German Nazi Army. His main focus was shock absorption, resulting in a very comfortable but unfashionable shoe.

Ever rebellious, the British punk scene took to these. When the British punk scene became mainstream cool, so did the Dr. Martens 1460s.

Today, they’re still a comfortable boot option. The reputation of that shiny upper and see-through sole, however, has gone from ugly to ironic to fashion-forward.

Since they’re definitely not the most expensive boot on the market, I see all types of guys experimenting with this shoe. It comes in literally every color under the sun, including some unconventional ones like mint green, gold, leopard, pink leopard, and much more.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Dr. Martens 1460 Boot

Dr Martens 1460 model sitting on wall 2

What you should consider before buying depends on whether you have more practical priorities or more style-focused priorities. Naturally, anyone who falls in the middle of the spectrum can play too. 

On the function side, these are uniquely comfortable. It’s not a sophisticated comfort, which I’ll go more in-depth on in the Sole and Fit and Sizing sections, but the soft insole is immediately pleasant to walk and stand in.

On top of that, the rubber outsole is soft, but not too soft. For a fashion boot, it has decent water-resistance as long as immersion doesn’t reach the lacing.

On the style side, if you don’t know whether or not you’re a 1460 kind of guy, keep in mind that they come in many variations. While they lack the versatility to dip into the professional and formal realms, they can be styled in a lot of different trendy informal ways, from camp-collar casual, to streetwear chic, to fashion-forward.

The 1460s aren’t just for punk and industrial styles anymore. Regardless, keep in mind that they will always have that brand-recognition-factor for better or for worse.

Dr. Martens 1460

The Dr. Martens 1460 is consistently popular and instantly recognizable. Though it’s a combat-style boot, it lacks a lot of practical and rugged qualities including strong leather, quality stitching, and a steel shank. Nonetheless, its shiny upper, yellow sole stitching, and transparent outsole have made it an iconic fashion staple.

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Doc Martens 1460 Review

First Impression

Dr Martens 1460 Indoor white background6

When I look at Dr. Martens 1460s, I think about 90s grunge and the hold-overs in high school who avoided pop music’s early-aughts comeback. Not especially grungy (or trendy) myself, I thought trying out 1460s would be a good opportunity to have some fun. 

I went for a blue pair instead of the classic black. The yellow sole stitching is an instantly recognizable feature of these boots, and I like how blue and yellow complement each other. In real life, I find that the shade is somewhere in between a dark denim and dark violet.

My sincere first impression is that I didn’t like how shiny and corrected the leather is. Personally, I like some character in my leather, and I thought it looked like it was made using molded chemicals. 

That being the case, the boot itself doesn’t lack character. The leather style, contrast stitching, and transparent outsole are super distinct, and obviously iconic.

Dr Martens 1460 model on steps 4

These boots feature an all-punched eyelet lacing system, all the way up to the ankle. Between that and the stiff leather, getting my feet in and out of the shoes were more tiresome than I’d like. 

Maybe it’s because I received them in the midst of boat shoe season and I was out of practice. But, other combat boots, like the Thursday Explorer, have speed hooks at the top, and I prefer that when it comes to ankle-highs.

One big pro is that they’re immediately comfortable. I find that sometimes even when a non-broken boot starts out comfortable like this, it just takes a few minutes of standing around for the soreness to catch up. Not with the 1460s. They’re actually a fantastic shoe for anyone who needs to stand up all day.

Leather Quality and Care

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The leather is stiff and thin and feels like plastic. Some reviewers mention that it’s full-grain, though the official website simply describes it as 100% leather. Either way, it confuses me that a brand would use higher-quality material just to ultra-correct it so that it looks, feels, and sounds like plastic.

That being the case, fans of the 1460s know this to be the case. The Dr. Martens website even describes them as “famously stiff.” For what it’s worth, they’re not meant to look sophisticated. They’re meant to look fun, and I’ll 100% give them that.

They come in every single color imaginable. There’s even a Union Jack version, a hat-tip to the boot’s British punk history.

Based on its thin leather, single-stitching, and intel I’ve gathered, these guys won’t last very long. They’ll wear through after a year of consistent use, or two years if you’re delicate. The patent leather or vegan leather versions will have a shorter lifespan. 

Dr Martens 1460 model on stone floor

1460s are over seven inches tall, so if you’re not wearing tall socks, that thin plastic-like lip will jab at your shins. During my first outing in them, I wore shorter socks and couldn’t make it one block from my house without having to go back home to swap them out.

Cleaning these shoes is easy because they’re non porous. It’s literally like cleaning plastic. Just use a washcloth moistened with soapy water, then go over them again with a dry cloth.

Dr. Martens has their own wax made of synthetic and natural material. It takes care of the leather without polishing it, which is ideal since these boots are already so shiny. 

Sole

Dr Martens 1460 model on metal floor back

These boots are built with Goodyear welting, which is typically used so that shoes can easily be resoled and kept alive forever. However, the outsole is melt-infused to the rubber welt, which means it absolutely won’t separate from the midsole.

That makes these excellent for water resistance, but defeats the practical purpose of the Goodyear welt. It would cost just as much to resole these shoes as it does to buy brand new ones. Practicality aside, that yellow stitching is the hallmark of the 1460’s trademark style.

Superior shock absorption is one of the 1460’s biggest strengths. They were originally designed for comfort, and feature air-padded soles and oil-resistant rubber outsoles that are sturdy but soft. 

Dr Martens 1460 soles

They’re easy to walk in, and even more comfortable to stand in. I could probably stand in these all day. If you have a job that has you standing for hours, and has a relaxed dress code, go for the 1460s.

One setback is that the air-pads make these boots squeaky indoors. It’s on and off, but pretty consistent. Right when you think they’re done squeaking, it starts back up again.

Fit and Sizing

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The 1460s run just a tad large, but not so much so that my feet were sliding around in the boots. They don’t offer half sizes, so definitely go for a size 11 if you’re an 11 and a half, and they only come in the standard D width, which is a medium for men.

There are also zero ergonomic qualities to these shoes. I absolutely don’t feel the soles contouring to my feet, which isn’t a big deal since it’s so soft. Other than being generally comfortable, there’s nothing sophisticated about this very generic fit.

Break-in Period

Dr Martens 1460 model on steps 8

I’d call this a standard break-in, at least in the comfort department. My pinky toe felt a bit sore after the first week, but other than that, I found these boots perfectly easy to walk in pretty immediately.

I hear that Dr. Martens are difficult to break in, which just isn’t my experience. My theory is that the leather stays pretty stiff for a while, so this must be what people refer to.

The leather on my pair has hardly softened in the two weeks I’ve been wearing them. The air-padded soles are so soft though, that the leather quality isn’t at all punishing on my feet. It does make the shoe a pain to take on and off, but not to walk in.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

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These polarizing boots have two camps of reviewers.

Those who dislike the 1460 point to its lack of a shank, its “tacky” plasticky leather, and its inability to be resoled. Classic guys prefer a more supple, masculine look in a combat boot. Meanwhile, technical traditionalists think that proper boots need a shank to provide essential structure.

Members of the 1460 fanclub point out that these boots were never meant to provide exceptional structure anyway. They love the iconic look and the wide array of colors and designs offered.

While everyone can agree that its fit is generic and its lifespan is short, guys who love the style and brand don’t really care about that much. It’s a fashion boot, and some guys will suffer for fashion.

Dr. Martens 1460 Alternatives

Thursday Explorer

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The Thursday Explorer, like the 1460s, is a fashioned up version of traditional combat boots. Unlike the 1460s, which go a fun and trendy route, the Explorers go in a more sophisticated direction.

Its combination memory foam insoles and Vibram outsoles provide an equally comfortable and shock-absorbent experience as the Dr. Martens. The memory foam is more high tech though, since it accommodates to the contours of your feet. 

The Explorers are about $100 more, but they’ll last you a good five years instead of just one, so the Thursdays win when it comes to value proposition. 

Price aside, there’s only two reasons I can imagine any guy choosing the 1460s over the Thursday Explorers:

A.You care more about the Dr. Martens brand and what that stands for, which is 100% reasonable, or 

B. You simply have a more irreverent and playful personal style.

Beckett Simonon Lopez

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Like the 1460s, the Beckett Simonon Lopez is a service boot style shoe with a leather construction and an all-punched eyelet lacing system. They also both have stylish accents, though the Lopez’s are more understated. The stacked strata-designed heel and outsole, for example, gives them a unique and dressy touch.

The Lopez boots are more refined, both in style, build, and function. The full-grain leather uppers will wear in before wearing out, and last you much longer than the Dr. Martens. They’re also Blake stitched, which means they’re worth resoling when the time comes, unlike the 1460s.

While they don’t have as large a color selection, they at least come in five classy shades, two more than the Thursdays. If you’re looking for combat boot style shoes that you can wear professionally, the Becket Simonons are definitely more versatile than the 1460s. 

My Overall Thoughts on the Dr. Martens 1460

What I Like

  • The 1460s are a cultural staple backed by lore and history.

  • The wide range of color variations and patterns offer men the opportunity to have fun and experiment. 

  • The shiny leather, yellow stitching, and transparent sole is an eye-catching combination.

  • The soft insole and rubber outsole provides immediate comfort.

What I Don’t Like

  • The leather looks cheap and thin, with a plastic-like aesthetic.

  • The high ankles and the punched eyelet lacing system is an inconvenient combination, making putting them on and taking them off time-consuming. 

  • The single-stitch construction lacks durability, providing a one or two year lifespan at most.

  • The trendy and casual style is impossible to wear in all professional and formal occasions, and most smart casual situations.

Who is the Dr. Martens 1460 for?

The Dr. Martens 1460 is for guys who like to experiment with their casual and streetwear styles. If you like bold, less traditional looks, and want a style of shoe that comes in endless colors and patterns, the 1460 selection catalog is the perfect playground for you. If you feel a connection to the history of the shoe and what it stands for, then you should also go for it too. The Dr. Martens fan club is a big one, and they’re always accepting new members.

The Verdict

When I first received my Dr. Martens 1460s, I found myself trying to wear them like I wear anything else in my wardrobe, and that didn’t work because it doesn’t go with anything else I ownw. Big takeaway: you’ll only enjoy these boots if you treat them for what they are. 

They won’t last you very long, so don’t go for them if you want high-value everyday boots. They’re not durable, so look elsewhere if you need hiking boots. I mention earlier that they’re good shoes to have fun with, and I fully stand by that. 

They’re recognizable, come in many variations, and are comfortable. For trendier fashion guys, I see the appeal. They’re not awful boots functionally, and they have all that history going for them. Ultimately, there’s no combat boot like the 1460s, and that’s why they’re icons.

Dr. Martens 1460

The Dr. Martens 1460 is consistently popular and instantly recognizable. Though it’s a combat-style boot, it lacks a lot of practical and rugged qualities including strong leather, quality stitching, and a steel shank. Nonetheless, its shiny upper, yellow sole stitching, and transparent outsole have made it an iconic fashion staple.

Check Best Price on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

For an even closer look, check out the video review we did of the 1460s on the BootSpy YouTube channel:

FAQs

Are Doc Martens Worth It?

If you love the style and the brand, their comparatively low price is worth it. If you’re looking for a well-structured and practical combat boot, it’s best to invest elsewhere.

How Should Doc Martens Fit?

They run a little large. Those with half sizes should size down, while those with full sizes can stick to their regular number. They should fit snugly around your instep, with enough room so you can flex your foot forward comfortably.

Are Doc Martens Comfortable?

Thanks to their air-padded insoles and rubber outsoles, Dr. Martens 1460s are exceptionally comfortable.

3 Things Every Boot Wearer Should Own

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