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The Only Dr. Martens That Don't Require Blood Sacrifice To Break In

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I can vividly remember wearing my first pair of Dr. Martens to school, fresh out of the box. They were black patent leather lace-up boots, so stiff they squeaked as I walked up the stairs. But even with fuzzy slipper-socks underneath, my feet looked as though they'd seen combat by the time lunchtime rolled around.

Now, though, I consider myself a bit of an expert in Docs. A connoisseur, if you will. I didn't build up a collection of over a dozen pairs of boots by simply grinning through the pain for the sake of #fashion. What I realized eventually was: Not all Dr. Martens are built the same!

The game-changer happened when I bought my first pair of vegan Dr. Martens. I had originally opted for the style because it was the only material my color-obsession-of-the-moment came in—dark cherry red. They look exactly the same as the real leather ones, only, as I soon found out, they required no effort or bloodshed in order to break them in.

Lucky for Dr. Martens newbies, the vegan leather options have multiplied considerably since when I first started my collection. Rather than just doubles of their real leather colorways, there's now a whole lineup of chrome vegan boots ranging from a subtle gunmetal to the prettiest copper (there's even a platform style in my OG favorite color if you're feeling a little bit edgier).

While the price point of these boots can make the first-timer feel a bit hesitant, I should stress that my original cherry-red boots are still in incredible shape after traversing the NYC streets for four years (and the mean halls of high school for two years prior). That's six years of solid use, and they're not getting retired from my collection anytime soon.

In case you're really attached to real leather Dr. Martens (I know I haven't stopped buying them), here's a pro tip: Remove the inner sole while you're breaking them in, and it'll reduce the bloodshed by half. No, really.

Check out the ultra-cool chrome offerings, below, and head to the Dr. Martens site to peep all the vegan options, from Chelsea boots to wingtip shoes and more.

Dr. Martens, Vegan 1460 Metallic Chrome, $120, available at Dr. Martens.

Dr. Martens, Vegan 1460 Chrome in Oxblood, $120, available at Dr. Martens.

Dr. Martens, Vegan 1460 Chrome in Gunmetal, $120, available at Dr. Martens.

Dr. Martens, Vegan 1460 Chrome in Dark Purple, $120, available at Dr. Martens.

Dr. Martens, Vegan 1460 Metallic Chrome, $120, available at Dr. Martens.

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