By Rehan Iqbal
While one may assume that all “work boots” are non slip, this is not the fact. The same is true if you assume that all “work boots” have steel toes. But before we jump into answering the question as to whether are Doc Martens are non slip? Yes, the 6 boot styles mentioed below are non slip. But not all the styles check that box. Let’s understand what non slip actually means.
Non Slip Verses Slip-Resistant
When one is shopping for boots for a new job one may hear that the footwear needs to be non slip or slip resistant. In actually, both these phrases mean the same when it comes to the work boot industry. Another point to keep in mind is that just because a brand is known for producing non slip or slip resistant boots does not mean that all the models produced by that brand have non slip soles. This is the case with Doc Martens.
While Doc Martens are constantly creating new models of boots, the time tested favorites are the models 1460, 2976, 1461, Maltby, Polley and Iowa. At this point, you may be asking yourself why these models are so popular. To answer this question, let’s take a look at some features beyond the non slip sole.
Beyond Doc Martens Sole
Having a work boot with a non slip sole is very important for certain occupations but so is comfort. All non slip Doc Martens footwear are crafted using premium leather and seamless stitching. Why does this matter? Well, using the best materials to make work boots allows the boots to last longer. Putting together the boots in a way that allows the stitching to be seamless means that chances are you will not develop blisters on your feet while wearing the work boots.
Another unique characteristic of the Doc Martens boots is their ability to breathe. Nothing is as uncomfortable as working long hours with sweating feet, which can cause foot odor and fungal problems. All Doc Martens' are designed to keep your feet dry regardless of your work environment.
Sole of the Doc Martens Non Slip Work Boots
Yes, when it comes to slip resistant footwear there are other options. Some of these simply include grooves in the sole of the boot. As technology has improved, so has the ability of creating a non slip sole that is more than grooves on the bottom of the work boot. This is where Doc Martens non slip work boots are different from the rest.
Patented GripTrax Sole
Doc Martens non slip boots utilize a patented sole referred to as GripTrax. What this means is that no other company can use the same technology that this brand has developed. Simply looking at the boots, you will notice that the sole of each boot is extremely thick and chunky. While having a thick sole for slip-resistant work boots is a common trait, Doc Martens work boot soles hold some secrets in those thick soles.
What is the secret that the soles hide? It is a thread that is inside the GripTrax system that is thicker compared to other brands that use a thread technology for traction. This “thread” technology is also designed to repel skippering agents, which can cause loss of traction. GripTrax technology not only improves the traction on the sole but also is fat resistant while keeping the sole’s abrasive properties. All of these factors improve slip résistance.
When it comes to non slip soles, a key factor to whether you will enjoy wearing the work boots or not is sole comfort. The GripTrax system that Doc Martens have invented does make the soles of these work boots thicker, which can mean discomfort but not in this case. Not only does the GripTrax system hides a thick thread but also has AirWir. Now I know you are wondering what AirWair is so let’s take a moment to explain the system.
The AirWair system consists of thousands of small bubbles that are located in that thick sole. As you walk and stand in the Doc Martens boots, these little bubbles support your feet when pressure is applied, which includes activities such as walking and standing. While the AirWair system does improve comfort, it also improves the non slip ability of the sole since the feet are not fatigued.
Wedge Design of Doc Martens Non Slip Work Boots
As stated earlier, there are three favorite models of non slip Doc Martens work boots. There are numerous reasons for this as we have discussed but one design element that we have not discussed is the wedge design. While all the models of Doc Martens are known for their longevity and craftsmanship, you will notice a difference between Doc Martens models that are not non slip and those marketed as non slip.
Where is the difference? Well, it occurs at the heel. The non slip Doc Martens wedge design is flatter in shape compared to the models that are not slip resistant. Why is this important? The fact is that slip resistance is improved if the heel of the work boot remains parallel to the ground at all times.
Are Doc Martens Work Boots Non Slip?
To come back to the question at hand, the answer is yes and no. First, not all models of Doc Martens have the patented technology of GripTrax, which is what makes them non slip. If you need a pair of non slip work boots and want to purchase only Doc Martens then you have 6 choices. These include models Maltby, Polley, Iowa, 1461, 1460, and 2976.
While these models have been on the market for awhile with their patented technology, keep in mind that Doc Martens are constantly improving on this work boot design. In doing so, these models are not the same ones that your dad wore. They are still the workhorses of work boots but better. A point to keep in mind though is that things do not last forever. While Doc Martens non slip boots do use a patented technology that sets them apart, the non slip models do not last forever and will need to be replaced as they wear out.
Doc Martens Non Slip Styles
Q. What are the alternatives to Doc Martens if you need a cheaper non-slip shoe?
Depending on the shoe you choose, Doc Martens can cost anywhere from $100 to $200. If this is out of your price range, or if you’d simply like to save some money, there are some cheaper options out there.
Q. Are Doc Martens Non-Slip shoes ASTM certified?
Not every Doc Marten shoe is ASTM certified. However, their work boots are. Work boots have to have ASTM certifications in order to be advertised as work boots. This means they must pass slip-resistant standards and be resistant to certain levels of electrical hazards, slippery materials, and temperature changes.
They also have a protected toe, proper traction, and arch support. Keep in mind that only the work boots or Doc Martens Safety boots are ASTM certified. The original Doc Martens Boots do not meet the same requirements. When searching for shoes, some websites like Zappos will allow you to filter your search results to only include ASTM certified shoes.
Q. Are Doc Martens Non-Slip shoes waterproof?
In general, Doc Martens shoes are not waterproof. The only shoes that are fully waterproof are some models in the 1460 ankle boots line. For example, the Iowa Waterproof Tract II work boots are waterproof and also meet ASTM certifications.
Other Doc Martens shoes can be worn in wet or rainy conditions for a short time, say, up to fifteen minutes, but longer exposure to water may damage the shoes and get your feet wet. Unless the shoes are specifically described as being waterproof, it is not recommended to expose them to water for long periods of time. However, if waterproofing is important to you, you can buy a waterproofing spray to make your regular Doc Martens work boots water-resistant.
Q. Are Doc Martens Non-Slip shoes made from real leather?
Most Doc Martens shoes, including their non-slip shoes, are made from real leather. The company’s product line offers a few different kinds of leather across their various models, depending on the type of finish you would like. When looking for a good non-slip work boot, look for shoes that have rubber or synthetic outsoles, and leather material on the upper part of the shoe.
Rubber and synthetic soles are likely to offer better traction than leather soles. If you are looking for vegan or non-leather shoes, unfortunately you may be out of luck. As of right now, it appears that none of the Doc Martens work boots that meet ASTM certifications are also vegan. For a vegan, non-slip, ASTM-certified work boot, you may have better luck trying another brand.
Q. Are Doc Martens Non-Slip shoes heavy?
Because of the high quality materials used in Doc Martens shoes, they tend to be heavier than other budget brands. Leather is heavier than many synthetic alternatives, and boots are heavier than shoes simply because there’s more material there. The sole, too, is rather heavy because it is so thick.
However, they weigh less than safety work boots because they do not feature a steel toe cap. Generally, you can expect Doc Martens work boots to weigh in at over a pound per shoe. Doc Martens are designed with comfort in mind, however, so the weight should not feel like a hindrance, even after a long day of work.