Dr Martens have been a mainstay in so many subcultures all over the globe for decades now, and we’re delighted to have the brand back on our roster this season.
Originating from Wollaston, in the Wellingborough area of Northhamptonshire, only a stones throw away from us, Dr Martens have gone on to become one of the most iconic footwear brands out there, and that is certainly no easy feat to achieve.
It all started with Klaus Marten, who was originally a doctor in the German Army during the Second World War. Whilst on leave, he injured his ankle skiing in the Alps and the standard-issue boots he owned weren’t all that comfortable on his injured foot, so he set about making some improvements, adding softer leather and air-padded sole that was made from old tyres.
After years of relative success in Germany selling these updated boots, the 1st of April 1960 came around and the infamous 8 eye boot was introduced in the United Kingdom, the rest is history and now the 8 eye boot is appropriately named the 1460. Exactly one year later, the 3 eye shoe profile, the 1461 was presented the world, and is now too just as infamous.
DM’s have since gone from strength to strength, and one aspect of the brand that has piqued our interest is the serious level of thought and detailing that goes into every collaboration that they create with other great brands. We’ve had the pleasure of having collabs such as the ones with Needles, Medicom and Pleasures to name just a few. And they have also just recently announced a collaboration with one our favourite brands, Suicoke, too.
Dr Martens hold a place in our heart because it’s a brand with core values, always embracing change, inclusivity and self expression. It’s no wonder that their silhouettes have become so synonymous with different, progressive subcultures over the years, they truly are a relic. Skinheads in the 60’s and 70’s, punks in the 70’s and 80’s and then grunge in the 90’s, the 1460 in particular has remained a constant throughout history, and has aided progression and rebelliousness.
Most of the current Docs range at Wellgosh hails from the Made In England range, wherein they are all made on the original machines at the OG factory/HQ in Wollaston. The finest leather, hand detailing and solid build quality, the Made In England range has persevered through the decades when some of the manufacturing for Docs was moved abroad, but the proof is in the pudding, these will last you a lifetime.
We’ve picked out some of our favourites in stock here at Wellgosh currently, including the Church Boot, otherwise known as the Monkey Boot, which is quite frankly one of the best boot silhouettes around, it’s so subtle, so different, but it just works. Rumour has it that Monkey Boots originally came from Czechoslovakia, and they were standard issue for their solders during the Second World War. The silhouette slowly and slowly reached it’s way across borders and become something of a must-have, it was then in the 70’’s that they really boomed - Dr Martens made them their own and have since reached back in to the archive, and the Monkey Boot is now a mainstay from Docs.
In the 1980s, Britain saw a lot of resentment towards the government, and so riots ensued - from the ashes of this turmoil saw the rise in youth culture in the streets and that’s when ‘tribes’ so to speak came about, with the likes of the psychobilly, grebo and scooter boys subcultures coming to be. At the time, it was very common for women to customise their boots, and the boys soon caught on, this spread like wildfire and before you knew it, American musicians were taking them back to the US with them, unknowingly starting the next step in the subculture chain.
Since then, the brand has gone on to innovate and create more models that are a showcase of self-expression, and one that our staff love is the Ghillie, it’s a classic 1461 base, but with a ghillie lacing system, and it was actually originally inspired from a pair found in a Japanese second hand store by the DM’s design team. It’s something a little different, with a slightly narrower it, but it looks pretty good if you ask us.
We could ramble on for hours and write an entire essay about Dr Martens, but we’d rather let the shoes do the talking. We hope you’ve enjoy our little take on what you could call a Dr Marten’s history lesson, I guess we just wanted to express why we’re such big fans of the brand, and wanted to show you some of our favourites.