Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Brief History of Doc Martens

Cherry Red and Black 14-hole Dr.Image via Wikipedia

A Brief History of Dr Martens Shoes by John Z Birch

Dr Martens shoes have remained popular for a number of decades and have become a relevant and vital piece of footwear for a number of different cultures and movements. These different sub-cultures saw Dr Martens as a way to identify who they were and to recognise those that were similar to them but how did this come to be?

A young German army doctor called Klaus Maertens created the initial design after he injured his ankle skiing. Dr Klaus Maertens had been skiing whilst on leave from fighting in World War II. He found that the boots and shoes he had made his feet hurt even more so he decided to fix this problem by creating his own shoe. He created a boot that had an air cushioned sole that provided comfort as well as absorbing some of the impact from walking and running. The boot also provided support for the ankle, which reduced the amount of body weight applied to the ankle.

Dr Maertens had trouble selling his footwear in Germany until an old University friend called Dr. Herbert Funck took an interest. Together they marketed and sold the shoes in Germany and became very successful with the shoes becoming a big hit among the female population. It wasn't long until they started marketing the shoes internationally and British shoe manufacturers the Griggs Group bought the rights to the patent and the first British Dr Martens shoes went on sale in 1960.

The British Dr Martens shoes were obviously named after their creator and as they entered the UK market they were marketed as having bouncing soles, filled with air and were given the AirWair tag they are now famous for. Dr Martens boots instantly became a hit with Skinheads and the UK Ska music scene and this later spread to Punk, New Wave and Grunge music, which helped to grow the footwear brand at home and abroad.

Dr Martens remained popular almost until the turn of the century when declining sales forced the company to move production to Thailand in order to reduce costs although the vintage range is still produced in the UK. You can now find them everywhere with Dr Martens shoes in Bath to a full range of boots, shoes and sandals in New York. The brand is now a well known name in homes across the globe.

If you are interested in buying Dr Martens Shoes then why not visit Mastershoe Sportshoe who have a wide range of Doc Martens footwear, both in their stores and online. They also sell a wide range of different footwear brands and skate shoes including Etnies Skate Shoes, DC Skate Shoes, Hush Puppies and El Naturalista.

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