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The Evolution of Dr. Martens

The Evolution of Dr. Martens Boots Through History

Discover the fascinating journey of one of the most beloved footwear brands - Dr. Martens! With a history spanning over 60 years, this extraordinary company has left an indelible mark on fashion and culture. Join us as we delve into the evolution of Dr. Martens through the ages.


British shoe manufacturer R. Griggs Group



In the Beginning - 1945

It all started in 1945 when Dr. Klaus Maertens devised an innovative air-cushioned sole to enhance comfort for his injured foot. Impressed by the prototype, Dr. Herbert Funk joined forces with Maertens, and in 1947, they began formal production, initially targeting towards older women. The turning point for Dr. Martens came in 1959 when they caught the attention of British shoe manufacturer R. Griggs Group Ltd. Inspired by the boots' comfort and unique features, the company acquired the rights to manufacture the footwear. The original design underwent some modifications, and on April 1, 1960, the first pair of Dr. Martens boots, named the "1460" after the date of their creation, hit the market. This boot boasted a distinctive two-tone grooved sole edge, Airwair black/yellow heel loops, yellow welted stitching, and eight eyelets, available in classic black or vibrant cherry red.


Dr Martens History 1460 Cherry Boot


From Function to Fashion

Initially designed for function rather than fashion, the original 1460 boot found its place among postmen and factory workers in the '60s, priced at a mere 2 euros per pair. However, its journey to global fame commenced when the legendary Pete Townshend from The Who sported them on stage, capturing the hearts of various sub-cultures.

The '70s marked a significant turning point, as Dr. Martens became a symbol of self-expression for British youth. Not only were they the standard choice for UK policemen, but they also made a bold appearance in Elton John's music video for the rock opera 'Tommy.' The '80s witnessed a wave of creativity, with people customizing their Dr. Martens with floral designs using paint pens, embroidery, and patches, embracing them as a unique form of self-expression. Goth and punk styles embraced Docs as a staple, propelling them further into the limelight when touring American musicians brought them back from the UK. This surge in popularity culminated in Dr. Martens' appearance on the runway at American designer Marc Jacobs' fashion show.


By the '90s, Dr. Martens had entrenched themselves in music festival culture and were favoured by Britpop icons like Blur, Pulp, and Oasis. The unmistakable cherry red 1460s became synonymous with the Britpop look. The boots continued to conquer the music scene, gaining a loyal following among nu-metal and emo fans.

Despite their enduring popularity, Dr. Martens faced financial difficulties in the early 2000s, leading to the closure of several factories. However, a revival came when the brand collaborated with various high-fashion designers, helping them reach a broader audience and regain their status as a fashion staple.


Top Styles

Over the years, Dr. Martens has offered an array of iconic styles that have become synonymous with the brand's identity.

  1. The Original 1460 Smooth Boot: Introduced on April 1, 1960, this timeless boot remains a favourite among Dr. Martens enthusiasts. Available in a range of colours and patterns, it has undergone minimal changes since its inception.

  2. The 1461 Smooth Leather Oxfords: Boasting a sleek low-top Oxford style design with fewer stitches than the 1460 boot and no stitching on the heel, these Oxfords were initially offered in black and oxblood, but now come in a massive variety of colours and patterns.

  3. The 2976 Chelsea Boot: Part of the lost archives collection, this boot has Victorian origins and features a smooth leather material with a signature elastic ankle gusset.

  4. The 8065 Mary Janes: Introduced in the 1980s, these unique shoes are renowned for their horseshoe buckles and adjustable T-bar fastening, ensuring a perfect fit. With classic Dr. Martens features like grooved edges, yellow stitching, and an air-cushioned sole, they exude timeless appeal.


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