How to Protect Your Dr Martens

Dr. Martens are a line of boots and shoes made by the shoe company of the same name. Originally founded in the United Kingdom, the company has an established reputation for making boots and shoes that are durable, stylish and dependable. All Dr. Martens are made with real leather; you need to maintain and protect your footwear to keep the leather soft, flexible and protected from the elements.

Remove the laces. Wipe down the Dr. Martens with a damp cloth to remove dirt and grime. Allow the shoes or boots to air dry.

Open the leather cleaner/conditioner jar. Rub around the tip of a rag in until a small section of the rag is coated.

Rub the cleaner/conditioner with the rag all over the leather surfaces of the footwear. Recoat the rag with the cleaner/conditioner as needed. Massage it into the leather with the rag until no residue remains. Be sure to get every section of the leather.

Place the shoes or boots on an old towel or newspapers to air dry.

Allow your Dr. Martens to fully dry before wearing them.


Some people also use waterproofing sprays on Dr. Martens to add a layer of additional water protection. Note that some leather waterproofing sprays may discolour some leather colours and applying this additional spray is optional. Never apply the cleaner/conditioner and waterproof spray at the same time; allow time for each to fully dry before using the other.


Do not place the boots or shoes near a heat source to dry as the heat can cause cracking and deformation of the leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather cleaner/conditioner (such as Dr. Marten's Wonder Balsam)
  • Damp towel or rag
  • Dry rag or cloth
  • Dry towel or newspaper
  • Waterproofing leather shoe spray (optional)
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About the Author

Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.