Popularly known as Doc Martens, the proper name for this semi-industrial brand is Dr. Martens, officially founded in the United Kingdom in 1960. The original Dr. Martens boots jumped from a worker's necessity to a cultural icon in the 1960's, first born from the efforts of Dr Klaus Maertens in Munich, who developed a pair of boots with air-cushioned soles in 1947 after World War II. Dr Maertens and his friend Dr. Herbert Funck went into business together, adding discarded rubber to the soles in the design of Dr. Martens shoes for women. By 1959, the shoes and boots gained the attention of British shoe manufacturer R. Griggs Group Ltd., which bought the right to manufacture the line and refined some of the design elements, adding the signature yellow stitching and anglicizing the name.
What began as the shoe of choice among postal workers, factory workers and policemen found unexpected popularly among counter-culture teenagers in the 1960s and 1970's. A vegan-friendly line appeared in the 1990s with non-leather elements, but when the company moved production from England to China and Thailand in 2003, this line was suspended until the company began growing again in 2007. Today, this Vintage line of Dr. Martens sandals, Dr. Martens slip-ons shoes and Dr. Martens loafers as well as the iconic Dr. Martens boots are available alongside the leather varieties. As the company itself might say, Dr. Martens is not a brand; it is a way of thinking, a mode of expression, an opportunity to create your own brand and express your own identity.
Original Doc Marten laces in a variety of colors that up the ante.