9 Knock Off Doc Martens That Are Actually Worth a Look in 2021

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

If you’re looking for knock off Doc Martens, you’re in the right place.

Whether you want lower prices, higher quality, or slight design modifications, these nine alternatives are your best bet.

Best Overall
  • Closely resembles the Dr. Martens 1460, including a contrast stitching, without legal infringement
  • Added side zipper makes it easier to take on and off than the 1460
  • The anti-slip outsole provides good traction, even in wet conditions
Best on a Budget
  • An aesthetic combination of different models of Docs, resulting in a refined and versatile look
  • Fun design touches like the layered outsole and red contrast stitching add a subtle playfulness
  • The back collar is soft and comfortable around your ankle
Most Color Options
  • Four unique color options provide a level of customization and collectibility
  • Very water resistant
  • Easy lacing and moderate ankle hole make this shoe easy to take on and off
Most Rugged Looking
  • Tough vintage biker look combined with a slim shape looks masculine yet fashionable
  • Distinct and stylish stacked heel and layered outsole
  • Doesn’t need breaking in like a real leather biker boot does
Most Comfortable
  • Premium latex foam insole for long-lasting support, comfort, and shock absorption
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Upper is made partly with a durable full-grain leather
Best Tall Boot
  • Similar look to the 1914 Tall Boot, but with genuine military functions and durability
  • Provides ease of movement once broken in
  • Treaded rubber outsole provides excellent traction
Upgrade Option
  • Versatile and stylish thanks to its modern close-to-body silhouette
  • Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient Leather ensures a lifespan anywhere from double to five times that of a 1460
  • Cork midsole forms to your foot, offering comfort and shock-absorbance
Best Value for Money
  • For the same price as the 1460, this boot has higher quality leather and is popular in exclusive high fashion
  • Can be dressed casually and formally
  • Rubber sole provides effective traction
Best Jadons Alternative
  • Sports the same chunky sole and overall shape as the Dr. Martens Jadon
  • There’s zero branding on this monochrome boot, for a clean and simple look
  • Comfortable and easy to walk in despite the platform outsole

I say this without judgment since I’m guilty of it too.

People throw the word “icon” around pretty easily these days.

It’s safe to say that Dr. Martens is an undeniable icon of the fashion industry though.

This is especially so of the recognizable 1460 boot. What shoe can claim love from groups as disparate as 70s British punks and 40-something housewives?

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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Meanwhile, their Jadon, which isn’t even made of real leather, costs over $200 since it’s so popular among modern trendsetters.

As with any name brand, there are several reasons to go for designer substitutes. We’ve got the nine best Dr. Martens alternatives right here.

First, let’s go over how we came up with our list and why it might be a good idea for you not to go the Dr. Martens route.

How Did We Come Up With Our List?

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Through hours of extensive research and our own experience wearing several alternatives as well as actual Dr. Martens, we chose nine boots, each with its distinct strength.

Dr. Martens has a pretty tight hold on some of their most popular designs. In fact, as of February, 2021, they legally own the yellow contrast stitch, barring other brands from using it. It’s difficult to find substitutes that sport all of the brand’s iconic features in one place, though our best overall pick gets pretty close without breaking any laws.

There are many reasons that you might, or should, be looking for alternatives. Perhaps you love the look, but not the price. Or you might want a similar boot style with more durability. 

Maybe you’re just looking for something aesthetically close to Docs, with slight modifications. 

The 1460 isn’t worth resoling by any means because the outsole is melt-infused to the rubber welt. It costs just as much to buy a new pair as it would to resole an old pair. 

All of these things have been considered in producing this list.

Nine Worthy Off Brand Doc Martens

Best Overall: ICHIGO Ankle Boots

1.
ICHIGO Ankle Boots

While Dr. Martens has a tight grip on the 1460’s design, this ICHIGO Ankle Boot is as close as it gets without having to go to a knock-off alley at your nearest big city. It checks all of the aesthetic boxes and at a much cheaper price.

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For a quarter of the price of Dr. Marten 1460s, ICHIGO Ankle Boots serve up the exact same silhouette, eight eyelet pairs, and that plasticky looking upper. It even sports a contrast stitch around the outsole, be it a perfectly legal white thread instead of the patented yellow.

A big difference here is that the ICHIGO’s upper is fake leather, as opposed to overcorrected real leather. Not only does this give a similar aesthetic at a cheaper price, it also makes the boot spill-resistant and easy to clean.

I love that it has a side zipper. One of my biggest gripes with the 1460 is how long it takes to get it on and off because of the thin, fitted ankle. With the ICHIGO boot, you’ll almost never have to tie and untie the laces ever again. 

This guy is 100% a fashion boot, but the outsole is pretty tough. Don’t use this shoe as an actual tactical boot, but the rubber sole is effectively anti-slip and durable.

One caveat here is that ICHIGO categorizes this boot as a women’s shoe, which means you’ll size 1.5 up from your actual number. This is no big deal, since the 1460 design is perfectly unisex as well. However, men with especially large feet won’t always find their size available.

What I Like

  • The design language is as close to the Dr. Martens 1460 without being a black market knockoff. It boasts the exact silhouette, eight metal eyelets, and the same leather look.

  • An added side zipper makes it easy to slip in and out of without untying the shoe everytime.

  • The anti-slip outsole provides good traction, even in wet conditions.

  • Its white contrast stitching is a clever hat-tip to the 1460’s yellow stitching.

What I Don’t Like

  • Since it’s technically a woman’s shoe, the largest sizes aren’t always available.

  • The insole is thin, cheap, and uncomfortable, though easily replaceable. 

What Other Reviewers Say

First off, plenty of men use the ICHIGO boot as a 1460 alternative. Male reviewers mention it fits true to size, again, as long as you’re sizing 1.5 up to make up the gender difference. 

Pretty much no reviewer likes the foam insert. Most point out the importance of finding the right insoles to get the right comfort and support from this boot.

Understandably at this price point, many draw attention to its relatively short life span. The rubber insole is sturdy enough, but the upper will start to wear after a year of regular use. Most reviewers are accepting of this, one even mentioning that he’d feel he got his money’s worth even if they fell apart after five months since it’s so cheap. 

The Verdict

While Dr. Martens has a tight grip on the 1460’s design, this ICHIGO Ankle Boot is as close as it gets without having to go to a knock-off alley at your nearest big city. It checks all of the aesthetic boxes and at a much cheaper price.

Best Overall
ICHIGO Ankle Boots

While Dr. Martens has a tight grip on the 1460’s design, this ICHIGO Ankle Boot is as close as it gets without having to go to a knock-off alley at your nearest big city. It checks all of the aesthetic boxes and at a much cheaper price.

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Best on a Budget: Vostey Black Motorcycle Boot

2.
Vostey Motorcycle Boot

The Vostey Motorcycle Boot is for two types of shoppers: Those with a $30-$40 budget, and those who prefer a more toned down level of quirk than Dr. Martens combat boots typically offer. The shape is definitely refined, but the fake leather and little design details ensure that this Vostey is a fashion boot to have fun with.

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The Vostey Motorcycle Boot is several price points below any Dr. Martens shoe. It’s also more sophisticated looking, but doesn’t fully forego the quirks people love about Dr. Martens. Visually, it’s a combination of the 1460, the 939 Ben Chukka, and the Cabrillo Chukka.

Like the ICHIGO, this cost-cutting choice ironically makes it look similar to the heavily treated real leather on a 1460. 

The small red contrast stitch on the upper and the layered outsole add a playful characteristic, subtle enough that it doesn’t clash with the clean silhouette. The bottom outsole even features texturing that makes it look almost wood-like.

What I Like

  • This boot sports a more refined, less clunky shape than most Dr. Martens, for a much cheaper price.

  • The speed hooks make lacing much easier compared to any Dr. Martens combat boot.

  • Design touches like the layered outsole and red contrast stitch add fun pops of color without compromising the overall clean look.

  • The back collar is constructed with a soft fabric that’s especially comfortable around your ankle.

What I Don’t Like

  • The upper is cheap plastic, which provides an aesthetic that some Dr. Martens fans like, but it won’t last you more than a year of heavy use.

What Other Reviewers Say

Similar to the ICHIGO, many reviewers opt for new inserts for the Vostey. This isn’t a shock, since insoles are a popular shortcut for budget shoes. Of course, people love the fun style at a cheap price. There are a few complaints about how plasticky the “leather” looks, but if you’re a 1460 fan, this won’t bother you.

The side zipper is wholly ineffective. Reviewers mention that it opens the ankle hole up a bit, but doesn’t lend itself to slipping them on and off without undoing and retying the laces.

The Verdict

The Vostey Motorcycle Boot is for two types of shoppers: Those with a $30-$40 budget, and those who prefer a more toned down level of quirk than Dr. Martens combat boots typically offer. The shape is definitely refined, but the fake leather and little design details ensure that this Vostey is a fashion boot to have fun with.

Best on a Budget
Vostey Motorcycle Boot

The Vostey Motorcycle Boot is for two types of shoppers: Those with a $30-$40 budget, and those who prefer a more toned down level of quirk than Dr. Martens combat boots typically offer. The shape is definitely refined, but the fake leather and little design details ensure that this Vostey is a fashion boot to have fun with.

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Most Color Options: Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boots

3.
Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boots

If you’re looking to start a collection of different colored 1460 lookalikes for the price of just one pair of Dr. Martens, the Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boot is for you. It’s a functionally effective rain boot that’s stylish and affordable.

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If you love that Dr. Martens combat boots come in several colors, the Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boot may be the alternative for you. It doesn’t come in endless shades, but for around $40, you can choose from four colorways. 

There’s a crimson-hued burgundy option, an “olive black” variation that’s really an earthy green, and a dark navy. There’s also a classic and neutral black boot, which is fully monochrome.

It’s obviously a budget alternative to the 1460s, but it’s a rain boot so water resistance is one of its main functional strengths. It’s infused with service boot qualities, but it’s definitely not a combat boot. It’s made of rubber, after all.

What I Like

  • The four unique color options provide a level of customization. Combine this with its cheap price, and it also adds a level of collectibility.

  • As a rain boot, this rubber shoe is easy to maintain and exceedingly water resistant, even in heavy rain and in the face of splashes.

  • The easy lacing and moderate ankle hole make this shoe easy to take on and off.

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s zero attempt at an insole with these boots. You’ll definitely need to buy inserts, and even then, it’s not meant for all day wear.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers on Amazon praise the Amoji for being a rubber rain boot that looks like a “normal boot.” They’re referring to the fact that it isn’t a one-piece duck boot, and has lacing and a lip. Another big pro that people point out is how easy it is to clean since it doesn’t retain dirt or stains.

It’s so water resistant, many even mention that they use it at the pool deck or while showering at their local gym or health club.

The Verdict

If you’re looking to start a collection of different colored 1460 lookalikes for the price of just one pair of Dr. Martens, the Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boot is for you. It’s a functionally effective rain boot that’s stylish and affordable.

Most Color Options
Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boots

If you’re looking to start a collection of different colored 1460 lookalikes for the price of just one pair of Dr. Martens, the Amoji Lace-Up Rain Boot is for you. It’s a functionally effective rain boot that’s stylish and affordable.

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Most Rugged Looking: Bruno Marc Military Boots

4.
Bruno Marc Military Boots

The Bruno Marc Military Boot combines a hardcore biker style with a sleek shape and stylish, almost dressy heel. The result is a boot that looks robust, but is fashionable enough to pair with fitted upscale jeans.

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Neither the 1460 nor 1490 are particularly tough-looking, regardless of which of their countless variations you’re looking at. Go for the Bruno Marc Military Boot if you’re looking for a fashion shoe that’s a tad more intimidating. It looks like a hardcore biker boot, but way more stylish and comfortable.

The Bruno Marc Military boasts a multi-section vintage style. It’s adorned with heavy-duty metal accents throughout, including zippers on both sides of the upper and a buckle on the outside. You don’t want to be kicked by this boot. 

As another pleather offering, the upper is definitely shiny. However, far from a plasticky smooth aesthetic, a grain-like texture is added to the material. Visually, this matches the boot’s industrial armor-like look.

Regardless, the shape sits close to the foot, while the stacked heel adds a touch of stylish contrast. 

What I Like

  • The vintage motorcycle style looks rugged, but the slim silhouette adds a fashion-forward quality that doesn’t take away from the masculine design. 

  • The stacked heel and layered outsole is stylish and distinct. 

  • It’s immediately comfortable and doesn’t need breaking in like a real leather biker boot does. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The sizing is ineffective on two accounts. It’s a whole size too large, and it runs really narrow. Men with slightly wider feet can try sizing up. If this leaves too much room length-wise, try adding insoles.

What Other Reviewers Say

This popular boot has an extremely dedicated fanbase, and makes almost every Dr. Martens substitute roundup. Many love that Bruno Marc offers a slim motorcycle boot, instead of the typically humongous ones.

Reviewers warn that this shoe is tough-looking, not actually tough. People who use it for motorcycle riding deplete its lifespan significantly. According to several accounts, wearing them everyday in non high-impact situations will give you a good year.

Also, reviewers note that while the inside zippers are functional, the outside zippers are just there for looks.

The Verdict

The Bruno Marc Military Boot combines a hardcore biker style with a sleek shape and stylish, almost dressy heel. The result is a boot that looks robust, but is fashionable enough to pair with fitted upscale jeans.

Most Rugged Looking
Bruno Marc Military Boots

The Bruno Marc Military Boot combines a hardcore biker style with a sleek shape and stylish, almost dressy heel. The result is a boot that looks robust, but is fashionable enough to pair with fitted upscale jeans.

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Most Comfortable: Duke’s Austin Leather Boot

5.
Duke’s Austin Leather Boot

The 1460 is known for being an easy shoe to stand in all day. They’re not as great to walk in all day, especially right out of the box. Comfort-wise, the Duke’s Austin Boot succeeds on both fronts that the 1460 falls short.

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The Duke’s Austin Leather Boot sits somewhere between true leather boot and fashion boot. The last is a well-oiled full-grain leather, the tongue is suede, and the rest of the upper is synthetic leather.  

Still, it’s a step up from a $50 pleather shoe. It’s not triple-stitched anywhere, except for where the shaft is attached to the front. The overall approach here is that Duke’s is economical, but shells out where it counts most.

The Austin is comfortable right out of the box, and built for all-day wear. The insole is well cushioned, made from premium and breathable latex foam, which is great for shock absorption. To fight odors, there’s a full-grain leather cover over this cushioning.

What I Like

  • The upper is made partly with a durable and well-oiled full-grain leather. 

  • The cushion insole is a premium latex foam for long-lasting support, comfort, and effective shock absorption. 

  • Since it’s partly synthetic, this shoe is lightweight and breathable. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The description claims it’s built with a full welt, which seems to imply it’s stitched on. It’s definitely glued on.

What Other Reviewers Say

Many Amazon reviewers agree that this boot is comfortable right out of the box. Many who live in hot environments point out how this is an excellent shoe for warm days. The full-grain leather portion of the upper isn’t that thick, and the fake leather portion is obviously lighter than real leather.

Some reviewers feel the description is misleading. It claims it’s a full-grain leather boot, which is only half true. It claims it’s built with a full leather welt, which it may be, but the sole is not stitched to the upper, but glued on. Fortunately, you’re reading this review and know what you’re getting if you do opt for the Duke’s.

The Verdict

The 1460 is known for being an easy shoe to stand in all day. They’re not as great to walk in all day, especially right out of the box. Comfort-wise, the Duke’s Austin Boot succeeds on both fronts that the 1460 falls short.

Most Comfortable
Duke’s Austin Leather Boot

The 1460 is known for being an easy shoe to stand in all day. They’re not as great to walk in all day, especially right out of the box. Comfort-wise, the Duke’s Austin Boot succeeds on both fronts that the 1460 falls short.

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Best Tall Boot: Bates Paratrooper Boot

6.
Bates Paratrooper Boot

Though they have the exact same shape and design, the Bates Paratrooper Boot leans harder into function, while the 1914s, and Dr. Marten boots like it, lean more into the fashion side. However, for about the same price, the Bates shoe has a better balance of aesthetics and practicality.

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The Bates Paratrooper Boot has a lot in common with the Dr. Martens 1914, but is a lot more practical and functional. This is unsurprising, since Bates’ main audience is the military and police forces. 

First off, there’s more sections on the patent leather upper, providing a more modular pliability once it’s broken in. The 1914 doesn’t have as many built-in bend points. 

Second, the side zipper allows for easy on and off, and even has a two-button flap on the collar that covers and secures the zipper.

And since it’s a real-deal paratrooper boot, its rubber outsole is truly high-performance. Many reviewers who use this boot professionally attest to this.

What I Like

  • Unlike the 1914, this is a genuine army jump boot, built for long-lasting durability, ease of movement, and functionality.

  • The side zipper provides you with a quick way to get this boot on and off, while the two-button top flap ensures the zip is secure.

  • The treaded rubber outsole provides excellent traction.

What I Don’t Like

  • The break-in period is substantial, both in length of time and level of pressure.

What Other Reviewers Say

Several reviews are filled with tips on how to make the break-in period easier for you. Many suggest oiling them in the evening, then walking around in them the following morning, and continuing to do this until they’re broken in.

Reviewers who use this boot professionally rave over the rubber outsole. One even mentions that he securely and steadily walked over a damp, downed chain-linked fence, uphill.

Bates is known for their customer service, and several reviewers attest to this. There are plenty of examples in reviews that mention a broken snap or a torn flap, and how they simply sent the boots back to the company with a letter of request. Bates will always fix the issue and send it back. 

The Verdict

Though they have the exact same shape and design, the Bates Paratrooper Boot leans harder into function, while the 1914s, and Dr. Marten boots like it, lean more into the fashion side. However, for about the same price, the Bates shoe has a better balance of aesthetics and practicality.

Best Tall Boot
Bates Paratrooper Boot

Though they have the exact same shape and design, the Bates Paratrooper Boot leans harder into function, while the 1914s, and Dr. Marten boots like it, lean more into the fashion side. However, for about the same price, the Bates shoe has a better balance of aesthetics and practicality.

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Upgrade Option: Thursday Explorer

The Thursday Explorer is a stylish combat boot meant for everyday use. It’s a lot more sophisticated than Dr. Martens combat boots and definitely more versatile because of it. 

The 1460 and the Explorer are both comfortable and shock absorbent, but Thursday offers more nuanced comfort technology. In addition to the bendy Vibram outsole, the cork-bed midsole relieves pressure and accommodates the exact contours of your foot.

The Explorers are about $100 more, but Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient Leather is durable and gives you a good five-year lifespan versus the 1460s one to two. The textured and less corrected look also has more character.

What I Like

  • With a thin and refined silhouette, this boot offers both versatility and style.

  • Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient Leather ensures a lifespan anywhere from double to five times that of a typical Dr. Martens combat boot.

  • The Vibram outsole is flexible and the cork midsole forms to your foot, offering comfort and shock-absorbance.

What I Don’t Like

  • This boot runs a bit narrow, and wide sizes aren’t available. Thursday recommends sizing up if you have wide feet.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love the style, durability and comfort of this boot.

There are some complaints about the lack of wide sizes. Some mention that they might seem tight at first because of how they come laced. You’ll have to navigate the lacing system to ensure you get the perfect level of fit for you.
Many reviewers mention that this shoe needs speed hooks and I agree.

The Verdict

If you prefer a less trendy and less irreverent combat boot that will last a lot longer than Dr. Martens, go for the Thursday Explorer. There may be a $100 premium, but the superior comfort, durability, and versatility make this an overall objectively higher quality boot.


Best Value for Money: WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro

8.
WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro

While Dr. Martens fashion appeal is more widespread, the WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro is for the chic in-the-know fashion guy. And even if that’s not important to you, it’s a more practical, versatile, and classy option.

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The Portuguese-made WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro can be found for the same price as the 1460, but it’s truly so much better. It’s sleeker, less clunky, and more elegant. It may not be as immediately distinct as a Dr. Martens shoe, but you get a less for-the-masses fashion industry-approval.

Unlike most combat boot-inspired shoes, the black-soled version of this boot can be dressed up pretty easily. This makes it the most versatile shoe on the list. It’s made of a slick black calf leather, but still sports a grippy rubber outsole. The white contrast sole version is a little bolder than the all-black, but can still be dressed up. It would just be more fashion-forward and less traditional.

And not to keep knocking Dr. Martens on this topic, but the Montoro has a back zipper making it easy to take on and off.

What I Like

  • Boasts a sleek, elegant, and fashionable style that can be dressed up or down.

  • It’s the same price as most Dr. Martens, with nicer leather and a more versatile look.

  • It includes functional qualities, including a rubber sole for traction and back zipper for convenience. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Like James Stewart’s Tissot watch, this fashion treasure can be pretty elusive. Amazon, The RealReal, and eBay are good places to go hunting if you aren’t in Paris, Milan, or Madison Avenue. It occasionally ends up at big box stores too.

What Other Reviewers Say

There’s an almost need-to-know quality about this shoe, so most of the reviews come from those good old-fashioned high-fashion industry editors and, to be frank, gatekeepers. 

They love the streamlined look of the shoe and how it combines qualities of combat boots with Derby shoes. They also praise the softness, fine grain, and durability of the calfskin upper. While functionality isn’t always the main priority in fashion industry circles, reviewers welcome the grippy outsole and back zipper since it doesn’t get in the way of the simple and clean design.

The Verdict

While Dr. Martens fashion appeal is more widespread, the WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro is for the chic in-the-know fashion guy. And even if that’s not important to you, it’s a more practical, versatile, and classy option.

Best Value for Money: WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro
WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro

While Dr. Martens fashion appeal is more widespread, the WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie Montoro is for the chic in-the-know fashion guy. And even if that’s not important to you, it’s a more practical, versatile, and classy option.

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Best Jadons Alternative: Steve Madden Bettyy

9.
Steve Madden Bettyy

The Steve Madden Bettyy is for you if you love the look of the Jadon, but not the price.. It’s also for you if you love that hardcore thick outsole style, but would rather sport it without any brand recognition.

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The Jadon is Dr. Martens’ other best seller, and the Steve Madden Bettyy is the most worthy pinchitter. The main differences are its black, opaque outsole, lack of contrast stitching, and black eyelets. 

It also has absolutely no branding on it and is completely monochrome. So while this huge shoe is hardly subtle, it’s still more subtle than the Jadon. 

On the function front, this shoe is extremely sturdy since the outsole is so solid, so don’t let the height scare you. Unlike the 1460, the Jadon does have a side zipper, and so does this Steve Madden, making it easy to take on and off.

Like the ICHIGO, Steve Madden categorizes the Bettyy as a ladies shoe, so you’ll size up 1.5.

What I Like

  • This boot closely resembles the Jadon, from the chunky sole to the exact shape and lacing.

  • There’s zero branding on this monochrome boot, for a clean and simple look.

  • Despite its gigantic outsole, this boot is surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Similar to the ICHIGO, this boot is technically a woman’s shoe, so men’s sizes above 10 aren’t always available.

  • As a fashion boot at a much lower price point than Dr. Martens, this will last you a year of regular use at most.

What Other Reviewers Say

Since this boot sports such a particular style, it gets a particular audience. Reviewers include guys and ladies who love punk, goth, or techno styles, or those who like to incorporate bold pieces into their streetwear.

They all agree that this is a great low-priced alternative to the Jadon. Non-conformists love the lack of branding.

The Verdict

The Steve Madden Bettyy is for you if you love the look of the Jadon, but not the price.. It’s also for you if you love that hardcore thick outsole style, but would rather sport it without any brand recognition.

Key Things to Consider When Buying Doc Martens Dupes

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Here are some things to consider and decide on when buying off brand Docs. 

  • Budget: If you’re looking for a cheaper lookalike, keep in mind how much you’re willing to pay and what you’ll compromise. For example, the ICHIGO is a quarter the price of a 1460, but the fake leather isn’t as durable.
  • Quality vs. Aesthetic: Relatedly, the ICHIGO and the Amoji look more like Dr. Martens, but are more cheaply made. The Thursday and the Montoro are of much higher quality, but aren’t as aesthetically close as the ICHIGO and Amoji are. Not a lot of higher end boot makers are in it to knock off other designs, so decide where you fall in this range.
  • How Similar: Accept the fact that, as mentioned, Dr. Martens isn’t generous with their designs. You won’t get every iconic design feature in one shoe. Decide what qualities you like most about the brand, and choose your alternative based on that.

Alternative Doctors

If you’re looking for a 1460 clone that doesn’t break any laws, ICHIGO has you covered.

Best Overall
ICHIGO Ankle Boots

While Dr. Martens has a tight grip on the 1460’s design, this ICHIGO Ankle Boot is as close as it gets without having to go to a knock-off alley at your nearest big city. It checks all of the aesthetic boxes and at a much cheaper price.

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Unless you want more colors, in which case, look to the AMOJI rain boot variations for that.

Don’t want to spend more than $35? Go for the affordable Vostey Motorcycle Boot

Best on a Budget
Vostey Motorcycle Boot

The Vostey Motorcycle Boot is for two types of shoppers: Those with a $30-$40 budget, and those who prefer a more toned down level of quirk than Dr. Martens combat boots typically offer. The shape is definitely refined, but the fake leather and little design details ensure that this Vostey is a fashion boot to have fun with.

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Meanwhile, the Bruno Marc is tough and rugged looking, while the Bates Paratrooper is tough in function and build.

On the other end of the spectrum, Duke’s Austin Boot’s soft insole provides all-day comfort.

The Thursday Explorer and the WANT Montero are both fashionable and well-made. And if you want the Dr. Martens Jadons but not at the Jadons price-point, the Steve Madden Bettyy is nigh identical.

FAQs

Did Doc Martens used to be cheap?

Yes. Doc Martens were under $3 a pair in 1960, which for today’s standards would still be about $28.

Why do Doc Martens have yellow stitching?

They add the yellow stitching as a way to distinguish their brand. Today, it’s a proprietary design that other brands are barred from using.

How can you tell if Doc Martens are fake?

There are three ways. If they don’t have air-cushioned insoles, they’re fake. Illegal knock-offs often only care about aesthetics. Second, check for any branding errors. Finally look inside the shoe to see if there’s branding on the interior. Most knock-off manufacturers only care how it looks on the outside.

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