Back in April 1960, in Munich, Germany, Dr. Klaus Maertens had a garage full of inventions, including a shoe sole made almost entirely of air. He took that idea to the Griggs family of Northhampton, England, which had a history of making quality work footwear, and together they created the 1460, eight-hole “Doc Marten” boot—a design classic. The postmen, factory workers and transport unions who had initially bought the boot by the thousands, were soon joined by British punks and skinheads, who used the book to define themselves as working-class outcasts.
Once the Sex Pistols and the Clash were seen stomping across gob-smeared stages worldwide in their Doc Martens, the boots became the anti-fashion symbol of post-hippie cool and punk’s rejection of fringe and flowers in favor of steel-toed boots and stovepipe trousers. Joe Strummer, Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, and Joey Ramone are just a few of the rock stars who lived in Doc Martens.
Today Dr. Martens has a huge line of shoes, ankle boots and even knee-high books for both men and women, available in everything from Oxblood red leather to patent vinyl, still sporting the cushiony sole that started it all.