Dr. Martens vs Clarks Boots: Which Is Better?

The Major difference between the typical Dr. Martens boots and Clarks boots line up revolve around aesthetics, stitching details, material, and usage. 

While Dr. Marten’s boot designs have an aggressive look and are made with materials that make them ideal for heavy-duty activities, Clarks’ boots seem to have a more casual approach.

Dr. Martens vs Clarks Boots

They won’t hold up as much as Dr. Martens in long-lasting durability. 

However, these are just a few of the other areas anyone looking to make the best decision between both brands has to pay attention to. 

For some certain seasons, such as Christmas, you may think of rewarding yourself with a nice pair of boots. 

Boots made by British brands Clarks and Dr. Martens will quickly come to mind because they will match your daily wear, either semi-formal or casual, and last long. 

But where do we draw the line? On what basis should we determine that Clarks’ boots are better of choice than Dr. Materns and vice versa? 

For this reason, I have placed both footwear side by side in this article for a constructive comparison to arrive at a final verdict on which is worth your investment. 

Why the need for this comparison? 

Both Dr. Martens and Clarks are unquestionably among British footwear’s most iconic names.

While boots made by the two brands have their obvious differences, it is easy to drive home a point that they contend in the area of quality and fan base. 

Boots made by these brands have rooted heritage in history and can easily blindfold anyone looking for the best option in the market. 

Everybody has different feet size and durability tastes. What works for you may not work for another in terms of the choice of boot you want to buy. 

Many reviews about which of these two brands are better are often opinionated based on empirical theory (personal experience). 

But on more rational thinking, you won’t go wrong choosing either Dr. Martens or Clarks’ boots.

The Major reason you’d want to first compare before shelling out cash on any of them is to know which of them will offer the best features and benefits you look out for in boots as per your usage and preference. 

For example, Clarks has been producing some of the UK’s finest boots for almost two centuries. 

Every season, the brand introduces exciting new silhouettes and designs into an ever-expanding collection that seamlessly combines much-loved classics with modern must-haves. 

Similarly, Dr. Martens established its reputation by creating robust, practical boots with comfort and durability in mind.

Clarks may have extended its production tentacles into other footwear types and undergone a significant revamp to meet with Dr. Martens.

Still, Dr. Martens as a brand is renowned for one thing it knows how to do best – making boots that are loved for their air-cushioned sole and welted construction. 

In the rest of this post, we will see how both brands measure up in boot construction and performance to determine which is worth your money at the end of the day, especially if you are conflicted between both brands. 

What are Dr. Martens boots’ pros and cons? 

We see different types of footwear in Dr. Martens shoe production line for both men and women. However, their popular design is 1460, the black boot with the iconic characteristic yellow stitching and a comfortable sole

Over the years, the band has transformed from simple working boots to representing self-expression among the British youth, especially in the 90s.

Anyone looking to invest in a pair of Dr. Martens shoes of any style should be ready to identify with the following pros and cons.

Pros of Dr. Martens boots

  • Affordable compared to similar boots from competing brands 
  • Super soft sole
  • Water-resistant
  • Their shoes, despite being rated as ideal work shoes for hostile environments, are also Casual as you can wear them with a t-shirt
  • Cultural icon

Cons of Dr. Martens boots

  • High shaft
  • Laces come undone easily
  • Hard to resolve
  • No shank
  • Not versatile
  • Some of their styles, especially 1460, have gotten remarks of being a little feminine for men’s footwear. This is debatable, th

What are Clarks boots’ pros and cons?

The argument of superiority favoring Clarks boots can only be judged with the famous Clarks iconic desert boot in view. 

It is the brand’s first of its kind, in the market for almost a century. 

Clarks Desert boots are loved for the richly oiled pull-up leather and the simplicity of construction.

They typically feature a delicate crepe sole that offers great Cushion. However, those who aren’t fans of Clarks will tell you that just because it’s a classic doesn’t mean it’s worth it.

So if you have your mind fixed on getting Clarks boots, you should be ready to face the following pros and cons:

Pros of Clarks boots:

  • Admirable pull-up leather in their boots.
  • It is reasonably priced compared to options in the market and considering the quality.
  • Simple, less complicated design and sticking details, unlike as seen in Dr. Martens design 
  • No-fuss construction for an iconic silhouette
  • All Clarks boot styles are excellent choices for elevating a casual wardrobe.
  • Versatile as it offers comfort like sneakers, but a little more sleek and stylish

Cons of Clarks boots:

  • Crepe soles are sensitive and won’t hold up for years like Dr. Martens would, especially if you use them daily. 
  • No shank, making it less ideal for flat-footed folks because it would give them extra pressure in the heel. 
  • Most Clarks boots will require an additional orthopedic insert to make them more comfortable.

What similarities do both brands share? 

While both shoes may have distinctive features, there are notable similarities that help us know where to reduce our focus upon which we will base our comparison. 

If you are looking to choose between Dr. Martens or Clarks desert boots, you won’t want to prioritize these features because you will find them in both brands:

Comfort-oriented footbed and interior

Clarks Boots is known for the Ortholite footbed, which offers an advanced propriety polyurethane formula with recycled rubber content.

In contrast, Dr. Martens boots consist of Dr. Martens’ signature air-cushioned rubber sole.

For Clarks, people like the unique open-cell structure of an Ortholite® high-performance footbed that offers long-lasting cushioning, breathability, and lightweight construction (not similar to most Dr. Martens).

Both shoes also help in moisture management.


Another notable similarity in both brands and the boots they make is the non-negotiable Slip-resistant feature enabled by the tread pattern underneath them. 

Many Clarks shoes have powerful slip-resistant rubber outsoles safe for the environment.

The same thing applies to many Dr. Martens Boots. The latter is recommended as a non-slip shoe for work environments.

True to size

Some boots brands are known to produce footwear with inconsistent foot sizing. Clarks and Dr. Martens are not among them.

Both brands understand that correctly fitting shoes are important no matter your age. 

Clarks and Dr. Martens also offer the option of whole and half sizes as they allow their buyers to check the men’s, women’s, and kids’ size guides to find your perfect fit.

Made from real leather

Most Clarks shoes are crafted from real leather, with Dr. Martens. Both brands are known for using high-quality materials to make their footwear.

However, Dr. Martens pairs are known for their smooth and stiff leather upper and the recognizable yellow stitching.

But, some styles like the 1460 Pascal are not stiff leather but a more textured, thinner, and softer leather, making it a slightly sleeker design and a dressier boot like Clarks boots.

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: The Comparison 

Due to the similarity that both boots of Dr martens and Clarks share, it becomes a little difficult to see beyond the surface the difference that sets both brands apart. 

To make a comprehensive comparison, we will have to look at other salient areas that many boot geeks do not discuss, but these features can make or Mar your experiences in any of these brands’ boots. 

I want to present my analyzed information based on the experiences of people who have used both boots. 

The result strikes a difference and might influence your decision-making just as it did with mine. 

Based on popular reviews and opinions from my fellow forum users across the major online communities, the experiences of users of both Dr. Martens boots and Clarks boots reflect these differences:

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: Height advantage

The line-up of Dr. Martens boots is higher than the Clarks desert boot and similar creations. In other words, there is a big difference in the height of both shoes.

This is not considered a downside on the side of Clarks because most of their boots made with premium leather have this contemporary rubber sole that delivers a slimline grip. 

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: Yellow stitching and aesthetics

Dr. Martens boots are known for their signature Yellow sticking details that run around their boots for aesthetic and durability purposes.

In contrast, Clarks’ boot does not have this appealing signature. Of course, there are uncovered stitching details in Clarks boots, but it isn’t as a signature or projected as an aesthetic feature. 

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: Versatility

Clark boots are designed with soles to make walking more comfortable, bouncy, and cozy.

While Dr. Martens is focused on these, it doesn’t measure up to that of Clarks’ boots. Dr martens focus more on ruggedness and durability for heavy-duty use and work environments.

Clarks boots can be considered more versatile than Dr. Martens boots. This is the former’s edge over the latter because you can wear it with most outfit ideas.

Wearing Dr. Martens boots with some outfits for some occasion can be a self-telling turn-off!

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: Waterproof

The Clarks desert boot indeed has C-SHELL technology that is 100% waterproof and breathable.

However, in the area of waterproof, it does not measure up like Dr. Martens. It is fair to say that Clarks boots are more water-resistant while Dr. Martens are the real thing for waterproof boots. 

If you have any Clarks boots, you will confess that you can’t go about standing in puddles or mud because you risk damaging them.

The company gives this caution on their website, unlike Dr. Martens, built as a boot that you can use in harsh water-exposed conditions due to the new vulcanized rubber equipped in mostly more contemporary productions.

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: Lacing 

Both boots are Lace-up inspired.

While we see an admirable lacing system in Clark’s boots innovation like the Clarkdale Lace boot, the available material for lacing in these boots is not the same as those used in Dr. Martens boots, where double-faced satin ribbon lace material is utilized. 

This is a major difference because the size, shape, and material of the laces in these different boots tell on the overall appearance, how easy to lace it would be, and ease of maintenance. 

In addition, there are more eyelets in Dr. Martens boots, meaning longer laces than the one in Clarks’ original boots.

Dr. Martens vs Clarks boots: Price

There is no doubt that Dr. Martens boots are expensive. There is a good reason for this, though – one is that they are iconic and stylish. But most importantly is the fact that they last longer and exude a rebellious and fashionable appeal. 

There isn’t a striking difference when compared with Clarks boots because Clarks boots are also pricey.

The high cost of Clarks boots than average boots is that most of them are made of leather, good quality, and more durable than suede/fabric material. 

However, Dr. Martens appears to be more costly than Clarks and most other pairs. 

The high price tag of most Dr. Martens shoes may not sound worthy enough to some folks who already have their minds on Clarks because the latter offers good performance for its price. 

For example, the brand has prioritized comfort when designing its sophisticated boots for women, men, and kids.

Their shoes are built with Ortholite cushioning, which helps reduce foot strain and absorbs impact, and they use sustainable, recycled materials.

Still, to many of us, expensive means better quality. So, it is easy for many to conclude that Doc Martens cost more than the average pair of boots, and so they should also last longer and perform better. 

Dr. Martens Vs Clarks boots – Which should I buy? 

All that we have seen in the above article drives home one main point regarding aborting Dr. Martens boots; they are perfect for almost any kind of work, whether it’s a warehouse job, office, or outdoor job.

This explains why Dr. Martens are popular among workers such as postmen, police officers, and factory workers than any other shoe brand.

Doc Martens appears to be a great boot option for those looking for boots with a cushioned sole system for long work hours without sacrificing the ruggedness needed for the activities involved. 

On the other hand, Clarks share a similar reputation but tilted to the casual side of things.

Of course, Long-lasting, functional and versatile are the few words that encompass the value of most Clarks boots.

Still, the footwear has a more classic appeal and is particularly popular among musicians, not workers. 

Especially speaking about the Desserts boots of Clarks, they are similar to chukka boots as they are made of reversed leather, ankle-high, with 2 or 3 eyelets. 

However, both shoes are sturdy, comfy, and well-fitting. 

Final Verdict

Based on these viewpoints, we can conclude on this note:

In this review, Doc Martens boots win the belt as the best boot to consider if you are looking for durable work shoes for hostile work environments and conditions. 

Even after you’ve broken them in, Doc Martens boots are not the best option for all-day walking on trails.

If you want to run away from the weight and reduced breathability of Doc Martens shoes, Clarks boots are a good option. 

Clarks boots should be considered when you want a versatile, functional, and casual boot that is flexible enough for most outfit ideas and comfort-wise as a proper hiking boot.

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