Ever wanted to own a pair of Dr Martens but been too scared to because you just don’t know enough about the brand? Ever walked past our Dr Martens Vintage store or scrolled through our Dr Martens Instagram page but been a little nervous to engage with us? Do not fear because we are going to give you a beginner’s crash course filled with all the information you’ll need as a new buyer. In this blog, we’re going to cover the history of the brand, the core styles, telling the difference between fake and real docs, and lastly, we will answer those frequently asked questions.
The Origin of Dr Martens:
The history of Dr Martens is rich and exciting as they've been around for the past five decades. Starting in the 1940s, Dr Martens was started by Dr Klaus Maerten after he injured his foot when he was part of the army and it was because his boot was uncomfortable and stiff. Many of his friends felt the same way about their boots, so from his experiences, he wanted to create a boot of higher quality. Maertens and his friend, Dr Herbert Funck, developed the perfect worker’s boot in 1950. With its air-cushioned sole, the boots were extremely innovative but the competition was tough during this time and people just didn’t have the disposable income to purchase the boot.
In the late 1950s, a British shoe company R. Griggs Group LTD bought patent rights, adjusted the design of the heel, introduced the yellow stitched and trademarked the soles as Airways. The British company brought out the brothers and started distributing the boot in England. Not long after, the boot that was previously assigned to miners and the military were being branched out into a wider social context, such as the music world where the boots were being worn by musicians, punks and hippies. Today, Dr Martens is seen as a brand that allows its wearer to fully embrace the concept of self-expression and to wear them to their liking.
Dr Martens developed their signature boot in 1960 which they called the 1460 boot. The boot consists of the Dr Marten’s signature, air-cushioned rubber soles, a smooth and stiff leather upper and it’s recognisable yellow stitching. It’s most defining characteristic is the eight-eye design, making them tall enough that it will reach the lower half of your calf. The most recognizable of all the styles, they come in many different variations.
At the moment, we stock these sizes at our store at the Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town. The store opened towards the end of last year and we stock all old and new vintage, Dr Martens. We usually have a few sizes per a Doc, however, there are specific styles where the boot only comes in one size per style. The benefit of this means that you will be walking around in a one of a kind shoe.
The 8175 Dr Martens Vintage is a 6-eye boot not as short as the 1461three hole shoe and not as high as the 1460 boot. Coming in an array of colours and prints, an easy way to remember the 8175 is the unique stitching on the ankle.
The 1461 Dr Martens was the second shoe to be introduced by the brand. The same amount of attention to craftsmanship and small details are showcased in this iconic shoe. How you can remember this shoe is that it’s basically the little sister to 1460. This Doc could be a great shoe to wear in the summer because it only covers up to your ankles, leaving plenty of breathing space during those hot summer days. Although this Doc gives off school shoe vibes it is a mixture of chic meets fancy dress shoes as well, it would just depend on how you style your outfit.