What makes a good pair of shoes? More precisely, what makes a good pair of boots? Is it quality? Fit? Comfort?
It would be difficult to attribute it to just one single factor, because everyone has a different opinion on the matter, and that is completely understandable and reasonable.
After all, no two feet are alike, not even the feet on the same person are alike, further complicating the whole ordeal.
However, we are not here to delve into such deep matters, because we may never reach a conclusion and may step on toes (hah!) without intending to do so.
Therefore, let us just look at what we can help you with, and that is providing good options to choose from.
We are focusing on Chelsea boots today because they are quite versatile and go with a variety of outfits and styles.
For that reason, we chose Dr. Martens and Blundstone, two popular brands when it comes to shoes in general, and boots in particular.
So let’s get on with it!
- 1. Dr. Martens: History of the Brand
- 2. Dr. Martens’ Products and Manufacture
- 3. Frequently Asked Questions on the Dr. Martens
- 4. Dr. Martens’ Popular Designs
- 5. Are Dr. Martens Boots Worth the Price?
- 6. Blundstone: History of the Brand
- 7. Blundstone’s Products and Manufacture
- 8. Frequently Asked Questions on the Blundstone
- 9. Blundstone’s Popular Designs
- 10. Are Blundstone Boots Worth the Price?
- 11. Which Brand is Better: Dr. Martens or Blundstone?
1. Dr. Martens: History of the Brand
A brand that is renowned for its distinctive style of shoes, Dr. Martens was officially established in 1947, while the story dates back to 1901, to the Griggs family’s footwear company that specialized in the production of quality boots in Wollaston, Northamptonshire in England.
The actual Dr. Martens boot, and the brand, were named after Dr. Märtens himself, a German doctor that came up with the idea of an air-padded sole to provide cushioning and support to aching feet. In his case, to ease the discomfort of an injured ankle.
Dr. Märtens teamed up with his friend, Dr. Herbert Funck, a mechanical engineer that took to the idea of this innovative sole and thus, they set up their business.
They mainly gained popularity locally, catering primarily to housewives and older women.
In 1959, they decided to go international and this is when they were approached by the Griggs company, which went on to acquire an executive license on the design and altered it to provide a better fit and distinctive features, such as the yellow welt stitch.
Thus, the original 1460 Dr. Martens boot was created, under the brand’s title of AirWair.
Very popular amongst punk, grunge, metal and other similar subgroups, Dr. Martens continued to grow until the early 2000s.
At the time, sales declined to the point of near bankruptcy, but redesigning efforts proved fruitful by 2007, and then by its 50th anniversary in 2010, the brand was once again popular and with additional styles and quality that has stood the test of time.
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2. Dr. Martens’ Products and Manufacture
Image: Label Dr. Martens Boots – Pascal 1460
While technology and science have advanced immensely and shoes of synthetic materials have come a long way as a result, the genuine leather is still one of the top materials.
Be it comfort, quality, durability or versatility, real leather remains one of the best materials for shoes.
Dr. Martens shoes are primarily made of genuine leather, too, along with canvas in more recent and alternative styles. With that being said, quality materials require top-notch craftsmanship and Dr. Martens excels in this regard.
The shoes are renowned for their impressive durability and overall manufacturing quality. However, a quality shoe does not necessarily equal a comfortable shoe. Dr. Martens shoes have this aspect well-covered, as well.
Regarded to be some of the most comfortable shoes that you can buy on the market, mainly thanks to the air-cushioned soles courtesy of the AirWair technology, they often make it in the top lists of best footwear to buy.
3. Frequently Asked Questions on Dr. Martens
Where are Dr. Martens Boots Made?
While originally made in England, nowadays the majority of the manufacturing takes place in Asia, with a few designs still produced in England, under the “Vintage” collection.
How do Dr. Martens Boots Fit? Are They True to Size?
Overall, the designs tend to fit true to size, with some designs running a bit large.
This may not be too much of an issue considering that they are boots after all and will take a while to adjust to the feet, but you might want to consider that they will eventually loosen as leather tends to do.
Opting for one size larger may be useful if you prefer wearing thick socks and if you would rather not deal with the time it takes shoes to be broken in.
Otherwise, ordering true to size is your best bet. However, keep an eye out for manufacturing origin as there have been reports of designs made in Asia running slightly small.
Are Dr. Martens Boots Waterproof?
While not all leather shoes are by default waterproof, most of them can withstand light rain. In the case of Dr. Martens boots, their water-resistance varies by design.
Overall, they are mildly resistant to water, but not actually waterproof. However, the brand does include a waterproof range of designs.
Are Dr. Martens Boots Good for Wide Feet?
Yes since they tend to run big, they are suitable for wider feet. In general, leather shoes are a good option for wide feet due to their ability to be broken in and adjust over time.
Of course, this will vary by design, but round-toe Chelsea boots are very suitable for wide feet.
Are Dr. Martens Boots Good for Walking and Hiking?
As regards walking and the other activities, Dr. Martens boots are quite comfortable overall, but after breaking them in, which can take time.
They are comfortable for everyday walking, but hiking requires specific shoes. Dr. Martens does provide a couple of hiking options, but in general, the designs are not intended for hiking.
Are Dr. Martens Boots Good for Snow?
It depends, unless they are waterproof, then no.
Are Dr. Martens Boots Good for Winter?
Yes, boots are a shoe for colder weather, so with the right pair of socks or the right design, they can be worn during winter without issue.
4. Dr. Martens’ Popular Designs
Dr. Martens Chelsea Boots – 2976
The first of the two Chelsea boots we have picked is the 2976 Women’s Chelsea Boot design, a boot featuring all the distinctive markings of the classic Dr. Martens style.
Made of Nappa leather that easily adjusts to the shape of the foot and with a smooth texture on the upper that comes in both matte and shinier options, this is a comfortable design suitable for many styles.
Dr. Martens Rometty Platform Chealsea Boots
Those who enjoy a more avant-garde style will love the stacked-platform Rometty Fashion Boot, a redesign inspired by the classic Chelsea boot of Dr. Martens.
It comes with a 1.5-inch tall platform and it is made of Burnished Wyoming leather characterized by an oily and slightly grainy texture.
It also features the Dr. Martens iconic yellow stitching, heel loop and air-cushioned soles.
5. Are Dr. Martens Boots Worth the Price?
First, these boots are not cheap. Some of the options cost upwards of 200 USD, a price not easily afforded by just anyone.
Are they worth it though? We would have to say yes, considering the quality and durability.
6. Blundstone: History of the Brand
Established in 1870 in Tasmania, Blundstone is an Australian brand comprising a group of companies.
They have a well-established reputation for high quality boots and take pride in their commitment to sustainable means of sourcing and manufacturing.
In 2011, the brand became party to the Australian Packaging Covenant and has for years now utilized recycled and recyclable materials from renewable sources in their manufacturing process.
Their boots are under two brands – John Bull that currently sells primarily in New Zealand, and Blundstone, the globally renowned brand that in 2011 resulted to be “Australia’s best-known, most-loved and most-worn boot brand”.
A family business dating back to the 1840s, Blundstone remains a brand founded in family values and continues to operate in Tasmania, with its modern facilities established in both Australia and New Zealand.
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7. Blundstone’s Products and Manufacture
As we said previously, while other materials, including faux leather, have come a long way over the years, leather is and, as it seems, will continue to be one of the materials of quality footwear.
Such is the case with Blundstone boots, which are made of high quality leather and solid craftsmanship.
The brand is so committed to ensuring quality that despite their leather boots being manufactured abroad, the personnel is employed by Blundstone themselves for the purpose of complying with their strict standards of manufacture.
As a result, the brand is a Quality Endorsed Company to ISO9001.
The designs of their boots are made with protection and comfort in mind, as evident in their work boots that protect against piercing and sharp materials, chemicals and high temperatures.
Their products range in functionality and performance, some being more suitable for harsh and dangerous circumstances, while others are made to be lightweight, breathable, all sharing the aim of comfort and cushioning.
8. Frequently Asked Questions on Blundstone
Where are Blundstone Boots Made?
The brand’s manufacturing takes place primarily in Asian countries, namely in Thailand, Vietnam, China and India, as well as in Mexico. Their gumboots are made in Hobart, Tasmania, where the headquarters are located.
How do Blundstone Boots Fit? Are They True to Size?
In general, their boots tend to fit true to size, leaning slightly towards loose.
They will stretch a bit with each wear due to the leather, and the brand also provides half sizes, which are quite useful for those who cannot find the right fit with standard sizes.
Because the brand manufactures products in several continents and markets them globally, it is necessary to watch out for the sizing label, whether it is UK, EU, US or AU, as there are differences.
Are Blundstone Boots Waterproof?
It depends. While all of the boots are made of waterproof leather that also allows the foot to breathe, they are highly water-resistant at most, not necessarily fully waterproof.
However, the brand does include a completely waterproof line, namely the Blundstone Winter boots that feature several styles.
As with all winter boots made of leather, proper maintenance is key.
Are Blundstone Boots Good for Walking?
Yes, Blundstone boots are very comfortable to walk in, normal walking that is. Don’t participate in marathons in winter boots, just saying.
Are Blundstone Boots Good for Hiking?
The brand’s designs are comfortable to take on short and easy hikes thanks to their shock-absorbing soles.
Are Blundstone Boots Good for Snow and Winter?
The answer is once again yes.
They are primarily winter boots and due to their water-resistance for the most part, they can be worn in snowy weather, provided you are not dashing through snow. That requires waterproof shoes by all means.
Are Blundstone Boots Good for Wide Feet?
Yes. They are also suitable for wide feet thanks to the half sizes, which, according to the brand’s size guide, is the way to go if you have the right fit length-wise, but require a wider shoe.
9. Blundstone’s Popular Designs
Blundstone Chelsea Boots – 550
The Chelsea 550 boot comes with the signature double loops on the heel and front. It is made of a leather upper and lining, while its soles are synthetic.
It comes with the Shock Protection System to reduce stress and shock on the lower parts of the body.
In addition, it also features the PORON® XRD™ padding at heel, “the world’s most advanced microcellular shock-absorbing protection for underfoot comfort” according to the brand.
Blundstone Chelsea Boots – 1352
The second design is the beautiful 1352 Chelsea Boot for women. This boot is made of Shiraz premium leather that is water-resistant and a muted, matte look that goes perfectly with numerous different styles.
It features the double loops and the classic brogue details. The lining is also made of leather, while the outsole is TPU.
It is also made with the SPS Max Comfort system that provides shock absorption.
10. Are Blundstones Boots Worth the Price?
Yes. The brand is distinguished for its quality and highly comfortable designs, which last for a long time and are worth the cost.
11. Which Brand is Better: Dr. Martens or Blundstone?
We will focus on Chelsea boots made by both brands in this section.
In general, Dr. Martens provides a wide range of options that are suitable for different styles, outfits and preferences.
However, the lack of half sizes can pose an issue for women who prefer a wider shoe. They also take a while to break in, which is another thing to consider.
Price-wise, they are not the most affordable, but they are slightly less costly than the Blundstone designs overall.
In regards to quality, there is not much to say here as they are both very well-made boots and you cannot go wrong with either if its durability you are after.
Therefore, it comes down to preference in style and purpose.
As always, do your own research first and foremost, particularly in regards to sizing and breaking them in, as these are two very important aspects.
For comfortable and protective boots we would go with Blundstone.
The designs are also slightly more versatile in our opinion, as they can be worn in longer walks and hikes and are more weather-resistant overall. The half sizes are also an added plus.
For a wide range of style and longevity, we would have to say both, but we are slightly keener on Dr. Martens designs in regards to style as the options are more diverse, catering to a variety of preferences.