Born April 1st, 1960, it’s been 56 years since the Dr. Martens 1460 Boot was launched – and it’s still as iconic as ever. We look back at Dr. Martens over the decades, from where it all began – the 1460 8 Eye Boot – to the present day, where styles got a little more experimental – think floral patterns, bold colours, and evolving shapes.
Dr. Martens, DMs, or Docs: whatever you call them, Dr. Martens are an instantly recognisable piece of footwear, known the world over for their meticulous design and rebellious, punk-rock image. Originally designed in Germany by an injured doctor for comfort and stability, the Dr. Martens boot design was finalised in the UK in the late 1950s, for release in 1960; the first Dr. Martens boots had eight eyelets, distinctive yellow stitching and came in an oxblood-red leather.
These original Dr. Martens were an instant hit with manual workers, postmen and policemen, and were hailed for their sturdy design and comfortable AirWair soles. In part thanks to the grunge movement, soon skinheads began donning the boots, with a special Dr. Martens song being sang on an episode of punk TV-show ‘The Young Ones’.
From 2000 onwards, Dr. Martens began to evolve; soon, boots were not their only style, with flat black shoes, sandals and lace-ups rapidly adding to their repertoire. An additional 8 eyelets were added to their original boots to create the 16 Eye Leather Boots – and also disappeared completely, with pull-on Chelsea boots making an appearance.
Still in practical, hard-wearing colours, Dr. Martens shoes continued to be predominantly worn by the older generations; in order to appeal to a wider market of consumer, in 2004, Dr. Martens began to target a younger market with brighter colours, bolder prints and wackier styles being produced.
56 years later, Dr. Martens are still a firm British favourite; we can’t wait to see where the brand will be in another 56.