Many people wonder ‘are Doc Martens waterproof?’ when looking to buy or style a pair of these timelessly cool boots. In this complete guide I’ll be covering which Doc Martens styles are waterproof and which aren’t, as well as how Doc Martens hold up in snow and rain.
I’ve also included pictures of a WATERPROOF TEST I ran with my own pair of Doc Martens (highlighted in yellow midway through the article).
I have been wearing Doc Martens myself for over 10 years I’ll be giving my personal review of how well Doc Martens fare when exposed to water, and relaying all of the info I have, so you don’t have to wear them yourself to find out!
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Are Doc Martens Waterproof?
Doc Martens are not waterproof as they are made from leather, a naturally porous material. The leather can be protected from water with wax or a waterproofing spray which will create some good water resistance, but not full waterproofing.
Doc Martens are however water resilient, and can withstand light rain. The leather used to make the boots is treated, which means it will protect your feet from the wet and the cold, however some water may still get through the boot via the seams.
Read on for tips on wearing Docs in the RAIN and SNOW (and a waterproofing TEST)!
There are plenty of waterproof sprays, waxes and other substances which will increase the water resistance of your boots. With the additional help of these products many reddit users and customers report having dry feet, when walking in the rain and even through snow. I myself use waterproofing products on my Docs and find walking in bad weather to be no problem at all.
If you have applied additional waterproofing to your Doc martens you should be able to wear your Doc Martens in the rain for one hour or more. If you have not applied waterproofing products to your Doc Martens then you should only wear them in the rain for 15 – 20 minutes maximum.
These boots are incredibly durable and can withstand bad weather. With the help of additional waterproofing they will last you years, through bad winters and stormy weather. Docs can tolerate rain for a limited amount of time, however in the case of severe rain and storms some water may get inside the boots. They can handle a light downpour, but should never be submerged in water. Avoid deep puddles and wading into shallow bodies of water, and definitely don’t swim in these boots!
I have a pair of vintage original Doc Martens that I bought 15 years ago from a vintage store and they are still going strong. I have worn them in all kind of conditions, including stormy weather and snow, and they have always kept my feet dry. I’ve used waterproof spray, dubbin and wax on my Doc Martens over the years.
Here is a picture of them, after withstanding 15 years of me wearing them year round (in rainy weather!):
As you can see they still look great, despite a little creasing in the leather. The seams are still intact and so is the inner and outer sole. This is after years of walking in the rain!
Waterproof Review Test
I wanted to run a waterproof test on my Doc Martens boots to show you exactly how they fare when wet. I decided to stuff my boots with paper towel and run them underneath the water in my shower.
After placing my boots in my bath tub I used the shower attachment to lightly drizzle cold water over the boots to mimic a light rain. I didn’t put the shower on fully, just enough to create a rain-like effect for 5 minutes.
After wetting the boots sufficiently I turned off the water and waited for 3 minutes.
After the time was up I removed the paper towel from inside the boots and checked whether it was damp, to see if any water had seeped through the leather and into the boots. The towel had been stuffed right down inside the boot to the toes.
The paper towel came out completely dry!
This shows how Doc Martens are water resistant to a light drizzling rain for short periods of time. If the shower had been on fully and if they had been exposed to the water for longer than 5 minutes they may have become damp on the inside.
It’s best to avoid submerging them in water, or heading out into severe rain for long periods of time. Light rain however is fine!
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Next let’s answer some more specific FAQs…
Can You Wear Doc Martens in The Rain?
You can wear Doc Martens in the rain for 15 – 20 minutes if they have not been waterproofed. If they have been waterproofed with products such as wax, dubbin or a waterproof spray you can wear Doc Martens in the rain for one hour or more.
Doc Martens can withstand rainy weather, however some water may seep into the boots in heavy rain. Avoid puddles and make sure you waterproof your boots, paying special attention to the seams.
Are Doc Martens Good For Snow?
Doc Martens are good for snow if worn for a short period of time (20 minutes or so). Light snow won’t be a problem for these durable boots, however heavy snow that sticks to the boots may cause an issue. If the heavy snow melts some water may seep into the boots. It’s best to treat your Docs with waterproofing products to help combat this.
Read on for my quick guide on waterproofing Doc Martens, including some recommended products.
Heavy snow that’s deep enough to cover your boots will end up damaging your boots after prolonged periods of time (a couple of hours of exposure). This is because Doc Martens are made with leather, with is a naturally porous material that isn’t 100% waterproof. Melting snow may seep through the seams of the boots, damaging the insole and causing discomfort.
You can wear Doc Martens in the snow if the snow is light (Doc Martens are not suitable for heavy snow storms as they are not fully waterproof).
Light snow that can be brushed off is fine. If you are wanting to wear your Docs in the snow you should switch out the laces for a waterproof set and pick up a good waterproofing product to help protect your boots.
How to Waterproof Doc Martens
Waterproofing Doc Martens is super easy, and will help your boots last longer in rainy and snowy weather.
The best way to waterproof Doc Martens is to use a waterproofing spray, a wax or Wonder Balsam on the boots. Allow the product to dry and add additional layers if needed.
Here is a breakdown of how to use each waterproofing product on your Doc martens, including my top picks to purchase.
Using Wonder Balsam on your Doc martens is a great way to waterproof and condition your boots. Wonder Balsam contains a mixture of natural and synthetic waxes that nourish and protect leather.
Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam is a product formulated for use with your Docs, to give them an extra waterproofed layer. They also make an ultra protector spray that helps waterproof against rain and dirt. The two are sold as part of a kit that you can buy here:
Dr. Martens Shoe Accessory Kit, Black – SHOP HERE
The above kit is intended for black Doc Martens, so keep this in mind.
How to apply Wonder Balsam to Doc Martens boots:
- First thoroughly clean your Doc Martens until the outside of the boots are spotless and dry.
- Then apply the Wonder Balsam with a sponge all over the outside of your boots, including the seams. Just put enough on to create a thin layer – you don’t need to apply it too thickly.
- Allow to absorb for five minutes.
- Wipe off any excess and you are done.
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Using a boot wax is a traditional way of waterproofing leather boots. I find it best to use a natural boot wax such as a beeswax formula, as it provides heavy duty protection and has been tried and tested for centuries.
Wax doesn’t contain any dyes, so won’t stain your boots and it provides a long-lasting waterproof seal when dried. It also hydrates the leather by sealing in moisture, but protecting the outside from water and stains.
I recommend a 100% natural leather waterproofing wax, as it gets the job done right.
This boot wax by Otter Wax is a great product, that fits all my the above criteria:
Otter Wax Boot Wax | All-Natural Leather Waterproofer | Made in USA – SHOP HERE
It’s got some great reviews, with customers saying it helps their boots withstand heavy downpours.
How to waterproof Doc Martens with wax:
- Apply the wax to your Docs with a cloth until the outside is covered.
- Don’t apply too much – you don’t want a thick gooey layer over your boots.
- Work it all over and into the seams then allow to dry for 10 minutes.
Using a waterproof spray on your Doc Martens is an easy way to waterproof your boots.
I do find however that wax or Wonder Balsam tends to work better than a waterproofing spray. Wax is harder to rub off and will create a longer lasting barrier, but a waterproofing spray is good in a pinch.
You can purchase waterproofing sprays online or in shoe stores. They are usually inexpensive ( I use mine on everything, as you can see in the below image).
Here’s how to water proof your Doc Martens with a waterproof spray:
- First clean your Docs until they are free of dirt and grime. Allow them to dry fully.
- Next spray your Docs with a waterproofing spray liberally, making sure you focus on the seams.
- Allow the spray to dry and your Docs are done.
Next let’s take a look at individual Doc Martens shoes and boots, and which are waterproof…
Doc Martens Styles – Waterproof Guide
There are so many styles of Doc Martens, and each have differing levels of water resilience. I’m going to cover the popular styles that are most frequently asked about, to discuss which are waterproof and which aren’t.
Are Jadon Doc Martens waterproof?
Jadon Doc Martens are not 100% waterproof as they are made from leather, which isn’t a naturally waterproof material. Using products such as wax and waterproofing spray will help increase the Jadon Doc Martens boot’s resistance to water.
My Jadons are made with pisa leather, which is softer than the standard leather Docs are usually made with. It lets in water a little more easily. They would fare better if made with the patent leather, as the water would slide off more easily. For this reason I tend to avoid wearing my Jadons in the rain.
Are Doc Martens Mary Janes waterproof?
Doc Martens Mary Janes are not completely waterproof, as they are made with real leather. The vegan Mary Janes are a better option for those who wish to wear them in wetter climates.
The Mary Janes design doesn’t lend itself well to waterproofing as the top of the foot is already exposed. For this reason I personally avoid wearing my own pair on rainy days.
Are vegan Doc Martens waterproof?
Vegan Doc Martens are waterproof as they are made from waterproof synthetic material that can withstand heavy rain.
Vegan Docs are super hardy and can withstand severe rain, making them an excellent choice if you are looking for some waterproof Docs.
They’re completely cruelty free and have a leather-like finish that is actually waterproof. As they are made from synthetic material they are actually heat sealed together making the seams and soles watertight, whereas the leather Docs are stuck together with adhesive which isn’t a tight seal, and the leather isn’t waterproof. The Vegan boots are heat sealed at 700°C and then reinforced with the Dr. Martens welt stich. Talk about durable!
Shop the vegan Doc Martens range on drmartens.com.
The vegan Docs upper is 100% synthetic and the inner is 100% textile. The material meets the Dr. Martens quality standards and are just as tough as their leather counterpart.
The 100% PVC sole of the vegan Doc Martens is also slip proof due to the pattern underneath, which makes them great for walking in the rain and on slippery surfaces. They are also a great option for snowy weather. If heavy snow melts onto these boots they’ll be just fine and stay waterproof.
They are also super easy to clean due to the synthetic material being wipeable. They are also much easier to break in then leather Docs, as the synthetic material is softer and mould to you feet much more quickly.
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Are leather Doc Martens waterproof?
Leather Doc Martens are not waterproof, as leather is a naturally porous material. Doc Martens are water resistant once treated with water proofing products, however they are never 100% fully waterproof.
If left untreated leather Docs will be okay in the rain for a short amount of time (15-20 minutes or so). After that the rain may start to seep through the leather making your feet wet. It may become uncomfortable and you’ll need to dry out the Docs.
Earlier in this article I ran a waterproofing test, to show how Docs hold up in light rain. They’ll be fine in a light drizzle, but during severe rain they may become soggy.
If the Docs have been treated with a waterproofing product they should be able to resist the rain for much longer, however they will never be 100% waterproof.
Try using a wax, a waterproofing spray or wonder balsam on your Docs to give them an extra layer of protection against the rain.
Are Doc Martens sandals waterproof?
Doc Martens sandals are not waterproof as the design does not fully cover the feet. The straps of the vegan sandals will be resistant to water, whereas the straps of the leather sandals are porous and will absorb water.
If you aren’t worried about your feet getting wet through the straps of the sandals and instead you’re wondering if the rain will damage the sandals themselves then opt for vegan Doc Martens sandals.
They are much softer on the feet than the leather versions as the synthetic material is easier to break in.
Are Doc Martens Chelsea Boots waterproof?
Doc Martens Chelsea Boots are not waterproof as they are made from leather, which is naturally porous and may absorb water. Water may also seep into the boots through the seams.
The Doc Martens Chelsea Boots will be fine to wear in a light rain, but you should avoid walking in severe rain or else you’ll end up with soggy socks.
The vegan Chelsea boots are waterproof however, as they are made with a waterproof synthetic material. They’re just as sturdy as their leather counterparts, but no water will seep through their seams, which are heat sealed shut.
They are easier to break in also, and are simple to clean.
Are Doc Martens 1460 waterproof?
Doc Martens 1460 boots are not waterproof as they are made from leather which is bound together with adhesive. Leather is not a 100% fully waterproof material and may become soggy after prolonged exposure to water. Water may also seep through the adhesive.
If you are looking for a waterproof pair of 1460 boot check out the Doc Martens vegan range. Their vegan 1460 boots are 100% waterproof as they are made with a synthetic material that’s heat sealed together at the seams.
They look just as good as the leather versions and they are more comfortable on the heels.
Can Doc Martens get wet?
Doc Martens can get wet, however they should never be submerged in water (such as a deep puddle) as they are not fully waterproof. Doc Martens can handle a light shower as they are water resilient, however water may seep through the seams if they are worn during severe rain. It’s best to treat them with waterproofing products to further increase their water resilience.
Thank you for reading this ‘Are Doc Martens Waterproof?’ guide – I hope you feel confident to purchase a pair of Docs with this information in mind.
If you already own a pair of Docs and are looking to waterproof them with a product like a spray or wax, I hope the above guide to waterproofing Docs was helpful also.
For more Doc Martens content, check out…
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).