The Good Dr Martens’ and His Alternative Brand of Footwear
Dr Martens’ shoes have had a long history since Klaus Märtens first had his skiing accident in the 1940s. After his accident, he found that walking in his army boots was hurting his foot even more. His standard German-issue army boots were uncomfortable; he stole leather from the cobbler’s shop and managed to fashion himself a pair of leather boots with strong ankle support and air-cushioned soles for greater comfort. The rest was history. His alternative footwear slipped quickly and easily into the mainstream.
Although it took a while for his boots to take off, Dr Martens soon found that his boots were growing in popularity because of their unique interpretation of boot design and the comfort of the padded-sole. As an alternative to more traditional footwear, Dr Martens’ boots became the common pair of boots for construction and factory workers, even policemen. By the dawning of punk and new wave, Dr Martens had gone to being the truly alternative choice. The footwear was then adopted by different fashion subcultures throughout the UK. If you had a pair, you were probably punk, hippy, goth or indie. But as fringe fashion became a template for more and more fashion houses, Dr Martens moved from being alternative to more mainstream than anyone had ever thought the boots would be.
All of a sudden, models were snapped wearing them; they became the stars of photo-shoots and quickly became a pop culture/fashion phenomenon. People from all walks of life were wearing the once alternative boots and the popularity created a resurgence in interest for the brand. In the UK alone, they began to manufacture different styles and colour of Dr Martens; they kept the same basic functions – the shape, the cushioned-sole – and they started to create more striking designs; there soon came a rainbow of colour options for the boots and any thought of them as alternative fashion footwear became a fond memory that was talked about on Sky One’s ‘I Love the..’. documentaries.
Doctor of Style and a Fashion Icon
The design of Dr Martens’ boots is very distinctive , which is a big reason why the boots are so en-vogue today. The tough leather used for the boots gives them a very long-life when it comes to everyday wear and tear. They’re also finished with a distinctive yellow stitching that is now synonymous with the brand; when you see stitching like that on a boot, you know it’s a Dr Martens’ original. There’s no mistaking when you see someone wearing a pair on the high street or on television.
Since Dr Martens was first adopted into alternative culture, the upright-shape, strong construction of the boots has intrigued people from all different corners. And although the footwear took at hit in the early 00s, they began manufacturing the boots in the UK again towards the back half of the decade. Since then, their popularity in the UK has begun booming again and they are playing to nostalgia by manufacturing them to the original specifications set down by Klaus himself.
Dr Martens is kicking back to life and putting its best foot forward.
Rocky Horrors is a UK based alternative clothing shop with premises in Sheffield. Rocky Horrors supply a wide range of alternative clothing, footwear and accessories for Goths, Punks, Bikers and Emo’s.