When Doc Martens shoes and boots were first manufactured in England in the 1950s, they were made by hand and were only available to high-end customers. In 1989, a New Zealand company called Accent Group Ltd. was granted the license to produce Doc Martens for sale in New Zealand.
The Dr. Martens company almost went bankrupt in 2003, forcing it to close many of its shops and factories and move all production to China and Thailand in 2004, where production costs are lower.
Since then, the brand has bounced back financially, expanded its operations, and become one of the most recognizable, successful, and fast-growing British companies.
So, where are Doc Martens made today?
Doc Martens are made in six countries: the UK, China, Vietnam, Laos, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Today only one percent of Doc Martens are made in England. Most are produced in Asia.
If you’ve been wondering where Doc Martens are made and how to distinguish a fake from the real, you’re in luck! In this article, I will answer all your burning questions.
Can you still buy Doc Martens Made In England?
Yes! The company still makes footwear in the original factory—these shoes are grouped in an exclusive category on the Dr. Martens website.
These shoes’ soles and insoles are imprinted with “Made in England” logos. They might be priced slightly higher, but their quality and craftsmanship are unrivaled.
Northamptonshire has been making boots since the 17th century, earning it a reputation as a boot-making capital.
The Dr. Martens factory in Cobbs Lane, Northamptonshire—the original home of all Doc Martens “Made in England” shoes and boots—has been operating for over 115 years.
Over 100,000 pairs of Doc Martens are produced at this single factory each year. In addition to the wide variety of styles available at the factory’s store, factory seconds and discontinued stock can often be bought at steep discounts, sometimes up to 70% off!
But if you do not live in the southern/central United Kingdom or plan to go on vacation there, it is easy to order MIE Doc Martens online or buy them from authorized brick-and-mortar retailers. Make sure you look for the exclusive “Made In England” label on the shoe’s outsole, insole, and tongue.
The “Made in England” limited edition collection of Dr. Martens shoes, boots, and sandals consists of three different types of products: vintage styles from the 1960s; seasonal styles that change every year; and collaborations with other brands, artists, and fashion designers.
When you’re shopping for Dr. Martens shoes and boots, be sure to check out the following places. They have a wide variety of DMs and charge fair prices!
How are the “Made In England” Doc Martens different?
Although Dr. Martens’ representatives claim that all of their brand’s merchandise is created using the same method, customers have noticed subtle differences between MIE Doc Martens and other collections.
These are the main differences:
- “Made in England” DMs have felt midsoles that conform quickly to the shape of your feet. In comparison, other Doc Martens have foam insoles that aren’t as good.
- The welts used in MIE Docs are stronger and firmly attached to the soles.
- MIE Docs are harder to break in.
- Doc Martens manufactured in England are composed of higher-grade, more resilient leather.
- MIE Doc Martens boots don’t come with collars.
- MIE Docs are available in a fewer range of colors.
Apparently, there are several differences in the quality of Doc Martens made in England and those made in Asia. The British boots cost $50 to $80 more than their Asian equivalents, and according to informed customers and reviewers, they are more durable and comfortable.
These boots are made of sturdier leather and will take a bit longer to feel comfortable on your feet, but once you break them in, they will seem like they were made just for you. They’ll probably last longer than cheaper boots, but it’s up to you to decide if that makes them worth the additional cost.
Apart from the usage of supposedly more refined materials, the differences between a pair of MIE Doc Martens and a non-MIE pair are aesthetic—and perhaps emotional. The absence of top collars in English-made Doc Martens, combined with their limited color range and small batch fabrication, all help to recreate the vintage feel that consumers can’t get enough of.
How to tell if your Doc Martens are fake?
As a result of the overwhelming popularity of Dr. Martens, some opportunistic retailers have tried to capitalize on the success of the brand by marketing fake, low-quality imitations as the real deal.
AirWair International Ltd. and others served the copycats cease-and-desist letters, citing confusion among customers and an attempt to profit from selling shoes of dubious quality that deliberately imitated popular Doc Martens designs.
Unfortunately, fake Doc Martens (should they even be called Doc Martens?) are still going strong.
Authentic Doc Martens have unique design features that distinguish them from knock-offs. If you suspect your Doc Martens are knockoffs, here’s how to tell the difference.
- There’s a signature stamp and a cross embossed on the sole of every genuine Dr. Martens shoe.
- Knock-off DMs often have misspelled Dr. Martens logos on their insoles.
- The sole of a real Doc Martens is stitched with a characteristic yellow thread and has an AirWair loop attached to its rear heel.
- Check the insoles of your DMs. If they feel air-cushioned and “bouncy,” the DMs are authentic.
- Always check the tongues of your shoes for a label with information such as shoe size, the brand name, and where it was made.
- Every new pair of Doc Martens has an inspection sticker affixed to it, verifying that the boots meet quality standards.
Original Doc Martens are also heavier than fake ones because of their durable, high-quality construction. Their soles are thicker, less flexible, and more resistant to ripping and tearing.
If you want to be sure that the Dr. Martens you’re buying are authentic, purchase them directly from the Dr. Martens website, an official store, or Dr. Martens’s e-shop on Amazon.
Are Doc Martens made in China?
According to Dr. Martens’ official reports, 32% of the company’s products are made in China. Consequently, over one-third of its 11 million pairs of shoes and boots produced per year originate in China.
39% of DMs are produced in Vietnam, 12% in Thailand, another 12% in Laos, 4% in Bangladesh, and the remaining 1% are still made in the mother Cobbs Lane factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire, England.
Since 2004, Dr. Martens has outsourced a large crop of manufacturing to Asia in order to take advantage of cheaper labor and efficiency. Currently, 13 Doc Martens plants sit in various countries across the continent.
The company would be unable to cover its costs and meet the market’s demand if it were to limit production to the UK. It would be nearly impossible for them to set up factories and purchase the raw materials for such a large quantity of boots and shoes per year.
The Doc Martens brand is renowned for quality, so it makes sense that a lion portion of its products are manufactured in China and other eastern countries.
Some might think this makes the brand less authentic than it used to be, but it’s important to remember that change is inevitable. There’s nothing wrong with a company evolving as long as its integrity remains intact!
Are Doc Martens made in Vietnam real?
Yes, they are! The company assures customers that Vietnam-made Doc Martens meet the same quality standards as those made in England.
As we have already established, Asian-made DMs slightly differ from the British versions. However, some customers prefer the Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese versions of the brand’s shoes to their British counterparts.
It’s important to remember that Doc Martens are made by humans, and humans make mistakes.
The amazing thing about getting DMs online is that you can return them hassle-free if they have any manufacturing flaws, as long as you haven’t dirtied or worn them outside.
All told, Doc Martens made in Asia are a decent, affordable choice. Obviously, opinions vary; some like them, and some don’t. But most agree that they are well-made, comfortable, and stylish boots that will last a long time if you take good care of them.