Dr Martens: The craft of an iconic shoe

Craft & Design
Dr Martens: The craft of an iconic shoe

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Dr Martens: The craft of an iconic shoe, Steve writes –

On April 1, 1960 the first pair of Dr. Martens was produced by the Griggs factory in the village of Wollaston in central England. Eight eyelets, ox blood red with distinctive yellow stitching, the design was dubbed “1460” after the date of its creation. More than one hundred million pairs of Dr. Martens have been sold since that first pair was unveiled 50 years ago, although there are now some two hundred and fifty different models, from golden to fuscia, floral to custom patterned. To help celebrate reaching landmark Dr. Martens invited a few of us bloggers (including the lovely Disney Roller Girl, Dapper Kid, The Clothes Whisperer) up to their Wollaston factory to help cover the event. Over the next few days I will look at the brand’s anniversary campaign and share my favourite models for AW10 but for the benefit of brightening up your Monday evening, I want to offer you a little shoe and factory porn…

8 thoughts on “Dr Martens: The craft of an iconic shoe

  1. mothwingdust.livejournal.com says:

    it’s unfortunate that most Doc’s aren’t made in England anymore. once they shipped production over the Asia, the quality went WAY down. back in high school, i had a couple pairs of British Doc’s that last a good six years. i had two pairs of Asian-made Doc’s that barely lasted a year each (the soles have a tendency to fall off and the leather isn’t as good.) it’s nice to see Dr. Marten’s being made in the original factory again, even if it is on a limited basis. FWIW, i’ve been wearing GripFast boots the past few years, one of the last really cool boots to be made in England. granted, they’re about twice the price of Doc’s, but my current pair has lasted a good six years and they’re in great shape. i’d really go for a pair of the Wollaston Doc’s, though (14i Oxblood’s would be awesome!)

    here’s a couple hints on how to tell if a pair of Doc’s is made in England or Asia: the British boots will have “Made In England” stamped on the bottom, and “The Originals” on the insole. the Asian-made Doc’s either have “England” or nothing in its place on the sole, and usually don’t say “The Originals” on the insole.

    either way, great article! brought back fond memories of listening bands like Daisy Chainsaw, Catherine Wheel, etc!

    1. Simon says:

      Yep, I concur. I used to wear Docs all the time after living in the UK in the 90s (is that Covent garden shop still there?) and continued to buy them when I moved back to NZ. The last pair I bought were Asian not original UK ones and they are rubbish. They look the same but there is something different about them and they were never as comfortable. I never even broke them in properly.

  2. metis says:

    is how can those of us state side get a pair resoled with an original sole?

    1. mothwingdust.livejournal.com says:

      i talked to a friend of mine (who’s run the local Doc’s outlet here in Denver for over 20 years.) apparently, it’s not really possible to get Doc’s resoled in the US using original soles. he said that shoe repair shops can resole them, but they’re usually resoled with Vibram or other generic soles. his only other suggestion was to contact DM USA and see if you might be able to mail them to get resoled (however, it would be to England and would cost a LOT in shipping.) i tend to trust his advice, since he was one of the largest retailers of DM’s in the USA during their heyday in the 90’s (DM even had an artist paint a giant Doc Martens mural on the side of his building to show their gratitude, and the mural is still there to this day.)

      basically it’s not possible (and i’d be wary of anyone that said they had original soles available, since it seems DM doesn’t provide them to repair shops because they don’t want people counterfeiting their shoes.) sorry i couldn’t be more helpful.

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