Focus On: Dr Martens
Dr Martens boots were first introduced to this country over 50 years ago when Dr Klaus Maertens met the Griggs family of Northampton and agreed an investment to produce a boot with an air-cushioned sole together. He failed to secure funding in his native Germany but he remained determined to create his own boot having suffered a skiing accident which made it increasingly difficult for him to walk without discomfort.
After losing the first “e” from the name, Anglicizing it to Dr Martens, and by 1960 the first boots were being produced at the- now famous- Cobb’s Lane factory with a lethal mix of the German’s revolutionary technology and the Grigg’s expertise from half a century of shoe-making.
Since that day the shoes have become famous for their yellow stitching, and their refusal to follow trends or change their product in line with the latest fashion trends. It is this stubborn nature which has made the product appeal to a series of youthful tribes in British culture, all sharing the common desire to be different to what had gone before them.
The Who are just one of the bands linked to Dr Martens history
The boot was first popularized in British factories by workers who valued the robustness and comfort of its day-to-day wear. However it eventually became cool to dress in this fashion as “skinheads” picked it up, followed a few years later by Pete Townshend of The Who, when he wore them for gigs and in doing so became the working class hero come torch bearer for the brand.
Once this vibrant mark of culture had been stamped upon the Dr Martens boot the floodgates opened for interpretation from future generations and indeed the daring and rebellious spirit of the boots were embraced by future youth subcultures including: punks, hippies, mods and rockers.
The beauty is that there are no rules: boots are worn with the quarters flapping open, laced rigidly and precisely; scuffed or deliberately unpolished. People have painted them, put stickers on them, basically- each person can interpret them how they like.
For anybody who doesn’t understand the craft which goes into making a pair the video below should give a better idea.
Mainline’s Dr Martens Fit Guide
Which style will suit you best? The brands collection has begun to expand on the back of growth in recent years.
The DM 1460 should fit snuggly around the heel/ankle are and have a broad width down toward the toes, each pair should be capable of being laced comfotably to the top towards the mid point of your shin.
The tassle shoe is one of the newer silhouettes by DM having expanded their collection during the expansion in recent years. The shoe has a wide fit which has become a trademark of the brand is ideal for wearing without socks, with shorts, chinos or jeans.
A much more subtle Dr Martens shoe, this Lester model is a perfect option to blend into work wear or every day wear without a fuss. It has a much less exaggerated wide fit but maintains the comfort of an air sole.
The Dr Martens 1461’s are a direct alternative to the 1460 boots, providing an option for those who don’t want the bulky option of a boot while maintaining the fit and the unique upper construction.
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