Most often known as Doc Martens, Dr. Martens boots are manufactured by the same British company that created the distinctive, hard-working boots in 1901. Although strong and sturdy enough for hard work, the industrial-style boots have appealed to various youth cultures in Europe and the United States since the late 1950s. Leather boots may become dry, worn and tired over time, but if you treat your Doc Martens with care, they will serve you well for many years.
Wipe the boots with a soft, damp cloth after each wearing to remove dirt, grit and sand that may deteriorate and dry the leather.
Clean your boots thoroughly every three months, or more often if the boots are wet or badly soiled. Remove the laces. Moisten a damp cloth or sponge with the leather cleaner of your choice, then wipe the boots briskly to work up a lather. Clean seams and around grommets with a soft toothbrush. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove the lather.
Allow the shoes to dry in a dry, well-ventilated place for at least two days.
Condition the boots with a high-quality leather conditioner after they have air-dried thoroughly. Work the conditioner into the leather with your hands or a soft cloth. Allow the conditioner to sit for five minutes, then wipe the boots with a clean cloth. Let the boots dry overnight before wearing.
Wipe the leather laces with a damp cloth if they're soiled. Allow the laces to dry before returning them to your Doc Martens.
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- Always allow wet leather boots to dry naturally. Avoid bright sunlight or direct heat, which may dry and crack the leather.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.