Dr. Marten Emmeline Review

9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6) + Users rating (9.4)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (9.6)/10

Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
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The Emmeline boots by Dr. Marten are a perfect fusion of fashion and function. Delivered as a  superior quality boot that doesn’t sacrifice style, they are a great choice for people wanting an ankle boot that is built to last but also very cute and trendy. With a sleeker look than original Dr. Marten boots, these boots still maintain the cult edginess that Dr. Martens boots are known for, but with a cleaner look that can be worn with a broader variety of outfits and looks. Unlike the classic Dr. Martens, the Emmeline boots have thinner soles without the signature bright yellow stitching, giving them a classier and more professional appeal perfect to wear with dresses, skirts, skinny jeans, and even office outfits. 

Buyers love the shorter height of these boots too, with only 5 eyelets, stating that they look much more feminine and fashionable than the combat style indicative of the classic Dr. Martens with 8 eyelets. But the Emmeline still delivers many of the same quality attributes as the original Dr. Marten boot. Fabricated with durability in mind, they are made with the same high-quality materials, feature the iconic ankle pull tab, and are available in some of the same great colors. As to be expected from Dr. Martens, the tough leather of these boots require a bit of time to break in. But as they do, the leather softly molds to the shape of your feet, giving you customized support all day long. Stride in quality style and comfort in the new Emmeline ankle boots by Dr. Marten.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Long Lasting Wear

Trendy Style

Quality Materials

Lightweight Construction

High Comfort After Break In


Need To Break In

Fit Large


The Emmeline boot delivers the same high levels of comfort in other Dr. Marten shoes, with enhanced wearability. The boots are crafted from 100% durable leather that can initially be stiff and require some wear before they are able to comfortably break-in. So many customers cautioned to allow for a break in period of one week on average. However, because their shaft is a shorter length, many buyers claimed that the amount of time needed to break in was much quicker than other Doc Marten boots. And some actually reported that they were immediately comfortable right out of the box without needing to break them in at all.

As the leather softens over time, it gently conforms to your feet resulting in a truly customized and comfortable feel. And since the width around the ankle can be adjusted with the laces, they are easy to wear with varying thicknesses of socks to cushion your ankle until the leather softens. In addition to the ease of breaking in, these boots offer a lightly cushioned leather and textile footbed for added comfort and support. Rounding out the inside of the boot, is a liner also crafted out of a soft mix of leather and fabric that feels cozy with or without socks. The insoles are removable, making them a great option for those wanting or needing to insert their own orthotics.


The Emmeline is available in three gorgeous colorways; light brown, traditional black, and cherry red. The cherry red gained the most praise among wearers for the unique high shine rub-off effect of the special Arcadia leather. Arcadia leather is specific to the Doc Marten brand and is crafted with two-tone leather featuring a lighter color underneath. It is designed to give the boots a distinctly vintage look. As the leather tarnishes with wear, the darker top coat polish subtly begins to reveal the lighter base color below that gives them a trendy distressed finish. Customers loved how the Cherry Red color appears to be a neutral colored boot, but allow just enough red to come through the top layer of polish to add subtle pops of color to provide a little extra edge to this boot. The black and brown are both soft polished finishes for an enhanced matte look.


As expected with any Dr. Marten shoe, these boots really are built to last. The high-end materials and quality construction give these shoes the durability they are so well known for. The high grade sustainably sourced leather is thick enough to protect your feet from the elements but soft enough to hug your feet in all the right ways. Meticulous stitching and reinforced seams make them incredibly sturdy. The lace-up system uses heavy-duty laces and brass eyelets for added strength. And as with all other Doc Martens, these are manufactured using the good-year welted process to ensure the strength of the outsole. This process ensures that the leather upper is melted right onto the sole of this boot to make the seam impenetrable. Your feet will stay dry and the boots will keep moving for years without any breakage. And to extend the life of the shoe more, buyers suggest using Wonder Balsam wax or shoe polish, to nourish, protect, and maintain the leather. That will also add a subtle bit of shine to the leather to keep them looking their best!


Many customers reported that the Emmeline boots fit them a bit on the larger side, especially since these boots are only available in whole sizes. For customers who usually wear shoes in a half-size, and are unsure about whether to go up or down in sizing, the majority of wearers recommend choosing a size down for the Emmeline boots. And a few customers described the toe box as narrow, especially for people with wider feet. With wear, however, the leather stretches out creating more room for the feet to move around in. Aside from those simple areas of concern, the boots received overall great reviews for having a comfortable fit especially after breaking them in.


Dr. Martens uses quality leather for their products, and the Emmeline is no different. But the same leather that is responsible for making these boots so durable, is the same leather that can also initially be very stiff. So customers caution to allow for a break in period of about a week on average. For the Emmeline boots specifically, the top of the boot was reported to be extra rigid because of the shorter shaft.

Some wearers found the leather to be particularly inflexible at the opening, creating discomfort and some blistering as the material sometimes rubbed into their skin. Wearing socks during their initial break-in period is a great way to avoid that discomfort until the leather softens and becomes pliable. And applying a waxy balm, like Wonder Balsam, to the interior of the leather shaft will aid in softening the leather as well. But once the boots have broken in, the Emmeline boots become much more supple and flexible, allowing them to move well with your feet for lasting comfort with every step.


These boots are carefully crafted from a combination of high-end materials. The soles are made out of 100% PVC that are heat sealed, trimmed for aesthetic, and textured for abrasion and slip resistance. The upper consists of high grade 100% thick sustainably sourced leather or soft suede to give your feet years of long-lasting wear and tear. The soft polished tanned leather comes in black or brown, the suede comes in black, and the cherry red is made with a high-shine arcadia leather that imparts a two-toned effect that customers really love. The inner lining is comprised of 55% leather and 45% textile fabric for a soft and relaxed inside atmosphere. The traditional lace-up system features sturdy brass eyelets to prevent tearing with thick cording laces. And the iconic branded pull tab is crafted from tough embroidered fabric to complete the Doc Marten look.


One of the most attractive and important aspects of any Dr. Marten boot is the outer sole. The air cushioned outsole offers cushy shock-absorbent protection for all-day comfort under your feet. The Emmeline boot features a slightly thinner outsole than other Doc Martens but does not compromise durability. Rather than just simply being glued together using toxic adhesives, these soles are fabricated using the good-year welted process. This technique uses heat to melt and then seal the upper and outer sole together, resulting in one solid sole that will not come apart. And the sticky textured 100% PVC sole is resistant to oils and fats, providing some serious grip and slip resistance even in the wettest conditions.


Crafted using heavy duty industrialized stitching, these boots will take your wear and tear for years to come. Unlike classic Dr. Marten boots, the Emmeline boots are crafted with minimized stitching to streamline the look of these boots in order for them to be more relevant within fashion culture. The triple threaded puritan stitch representative of the Doc brand is simplified to two stitches on these boots giving them less of a work boot vibe and more of a stylish appeal. These boots also do not feature the iconic bright yellow thread on the welt of the soles. This gives the boots a more neutral and dressy appearance that can be worn with a wider array of mainstream and trendy wardrobes.


The Dr. Marten Emmeline boots rank high in the world of high-end fashion boot wear. They look amazingly elegant with a slightly less bulky profile than other military-style combat boots in the Dr. Marten collections. The sleeker nature gives these booties a more professional yet cool aesthetic. And the ankle height provides versatile wearability. They have a similar silhouette to a chelsea boot, but with laces. So many buyers recommend styling the Emmeline boots just like you would style chelsea boots. They look great for a special occasion with a dress or skirt, dressed down for casual wear, or just for everyday easy going wear. They look awesome with pretty much anything you want to wear. And they can be worn with a variety of socks, leggings, and tights to compliment an individual’s creative expression. For practicality’s sake, they can be worn with thicker socks to keep your feet warm in colder months, and they can be worn without socks to keep the feet cool in the warmer months.


For those who love the look of Dr. Martens but don’t like how heavy they can be, the Emmeline boots are a great choice. Weighing only 1lb, these boots are a much more trimmed down version of the classic Docs that weigh 1lb 10oz or more. The shaft is only 5”, as opposed to 6.5” on classic Docs, which reduces their weight by using less heavy leather material for the upper part of the shoe. The stitching is more simplified which trims down a bit of weight as well. But the majority of weight minimization comes from the thinner sole that appeals to the more fashion-forward crowds. While the sole is still thick enough to provide shock absorption and comfortable support, the heel is half an inch thinner and the platform is a quarter inch thinner than the classic Docs. These boots pack all the Dr. Marten aesthetic but with a much lighter feeling to keep your feet happy and relaxed.

Bottom Line

Once again and without surprise Dr. Marten delivers a dynamite boot with the Emmeline, their refined version of the cult classic doc boots. They are great looking and great feeling boots that maintains the strong Doc Marten vibe with a more feminine silhouette and simplified construction. Versatile and fashion-forward, these ankle boots are easy to style for any trend-setting outfit. Buyers particularly loved the way they looked with skinny jeans and dresses the most, but they can be worn with just about anything and worn just about anywhere!

The durable leather will soften with wear and mold to your feet to give them just the right amount of security and space to keep you on your feet. The durable PVC outsole helps your feet stay grounded on any surface. The air cushioned sole adds support without the bulk. And their lightweight but supportive construction gives them a clean stylish look while also maintaining comfort. The Emmeline boots are a wonderful combination of edgy and elegant, making them a great choice for a pair of everyday statement boots!