From work wear, street fashion to high fashion, an expression of rebellion or a symbol of social revolution, Dr Martens boots have become part of sub-culture style.
How did this modest work-wear boot become a symbol of strength and power?Ask around, and almost everybody either has or used to have a pair, whether they called them Doc Martens, Docs, or DMs.
We have to re-wind and re-tell the story of the iconic boot through history..
The company, (so entwined with Britain and Britishness) actually has its origins in post-war Germany. In 1945, a 25-year-old soldier called Dr Klaus Maertens hurt his foot while skiing. He invented a special air-cushioned sole, later enlisted the help of an engineering friend, and went into production.
The boots' comfort made them particularly popular with older women, according to the company. At first, 80% of the sales were to women over the age of 40 who wore them for harsh outdoor work.
Fast-forward to 1960, when a British shoemaking firm - Griggs - saw the boot listed in a footwear catalogue. Griggs already had a reputation for producing sturdy and hardwearing boots and soon arranged an exclusive deal with the German company, making a few design tweaks along the way, such as modifying the heel and adding yellow stitching. Which created the iconic boot we know today!
The company still makes more than half of its revenues from the original 1460 boot and sister product the 1461 shoe. The numbers refer to the dates they were introduced - 1 April 1960 and 1961.
Jane Schaffer, senior lecturer in footwear and accessories at the University of Northampton, says the classic range has "become iconic".
"They transcend seasonal fashion. However, a popular trend in fashion over the past five seasons has seen a resurgence in 80s and 90s-informed designs and styling, which of course Dr Martens boots and shoes played an important part in."
The company also has a seasonal offering to help top up profits, which Mrs Schaffer says shows it "reacts to the zeitgeist, using new leathers and materials, colours, finishes, print motif and embroidery. There's a vegan range which has grown significantly, and they work with known designers on collaborations, which keeps things fresh.
Source Credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-45952572