WIG: Doc Martens

This week I want to take a closer look at one of my all-time favorite shoe brands, Dr. Martens. The shoe takes its name from Klaus Martens, a German doctor during WWII who created the shoe after a skiing injury to provide ankle support. The original boot had padded soles that were made from tires, whose interior air provided a softer landing for the foot. The first prototype of the shoes were sold in 1947 (interestingly, housewives accounted for 80% of the buyers, even though we don’t consider the boot to be particularly feminine today), but mainstream success didn’t come until the 1960s, when British shoe manufacturer Briggs bought the company, rebranded the boot under the anglicized Dr. Marten name, and premiered it on April Fool’s Day, 1960. The original color, which still the most iconic and popular, was the oxblood. Since then, the classic Doc has expanded into many different styles, but the yellow stitching around the sole of the boot, yellow accenting tab, and heavy but stylish profile still keeps the brand instantly recognizable. I think that all clothing designers could learn something from the design of the Doc: versatile, distinctive, and sleek.

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