Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dr. Martens

A pair of floral Dr Martens; to add a feminine touch to the hardy work boots and complement the soft focus of the background in comparison to the white daisies held in what appears to be an ink well next to the rare and elusive floral boots. They go for a pretty penny on eBay since they are one of the rarer prints of the English boots and are worn by models such as New Zealand model Zippora Seven. I like the contrast of the floral motif of the boots which seems to include flowers of every colour with the grain of the wood of the floor.
"Ever since 1st April 1960, When Dr. Martens boots first rolled off the production line and on to the feet of postmen, policemen and everyday workers, our reputation for durability has become footwear folklore. Over 100 million pairs later, our belief in making things to last is as strong as its ever been."

Part of the British boot companies success may be attributed to the hardy nature of the Dr Martens, as well as the variations in colour and design. There are docs available for children as well as adults and they come in just about every colour and pattern you can imagine. There's floral, metallic pink, purple, red, green, roses, pastel, cherry red, orange, black, brown, leopard print... every colour of the rainbow in every sheen and effect possible! The popular range of footwear has also dabbled in shades of suede in addition to the traditional leather. My favourite pair that I've seen have been a sweet ladybird motif. As well as boots, Dr Martens have created variations on the popular ballet flat, crafted high heeled boots and Mary Jane t-bars. Although I swore on my last day of high school I would move away from that kind of fashion, I love the Dr Martens t-bars. They'd go well with a lovely pair of frilly socks in maroon with white lace from American Apparel.

It's a bit hard to believe Dr Martens have been around for over half a century, but at the same time everyone seems to have subconsciously known them for your entire life. The boots have been etched into the background of history: when asked to think about punks in Germany or skinheads from England, my mind immediately leaps to images of sky-high mohawks of neon green coupled with tall, curb-stomping boots that look like they're stolen from the nearest local army base.

I love to see a good pair of Dr Martens and some tights with long ladders and sizable rips. That's when the real gritty character of the boots is unleashed and you achieve the punk look and make them look tough and domineering. When walking around in a pair of authentic docs you sort of clunk around clumsily and I personally think you'd have to be mad to wear them all the time- but I guess if you did then you'd have a mean sort of outer shell and get a sort of a reputation. Boots like those can build a reputation, brick by brick as it were and like my mother always says it's good to be tough-skinned and not let things get to you. Endure the real character-building incidents in your life and these shoes let you breeze through that sort of stuff with ease.

Within the last thirty years or so, Dr Martens have been worn by many different peoples with various kinds of personal styles. Although I may first associate the boots with grunge and punk, they have been become part of the hipster movement as well for lovers of vintage and unique clothing. At a store in Melbourne known as RetroStar I always loved pouring over the pairs of Dr Martens scalped and pilfered from Op Shops across suburban Victoria and collected to be resold at the pricey vintage palace. Pairs of black docs were plentiful, but the staff would change the laces on a few pairs and sometimes there would be a few different colours worn out after many years of faithful service and eagerly awaiting to be worn again for the next generation of artistic youths.

A pair of shiny, black Dr martens dressed up with shoe laces that seem reminiscent of Where's Wally picture books. I like the new lease on life the boots have been given: the flair of individuality as well as the pairing with a wild pair of striped socks rolled down the calves. There's a lot you can tell from a person's shoes. If you're a forensic investigator, it's how the person walks and any sorts of injuries they may be carrying. If you're a magazine editor it's the style, grace and elegance of the wearer as well as their attention to detail and quirk.

I wish all the docs pictured in the photograph above were in my room and not in some shop! It's a bit hard to tell from the film photograph and the sort of soft-focus and uneven flash but some of the pairs, particularly the green pair may even be suede, an elusive sub-species of the Dr Martens animal kingdom. I have a friend who loves velvet- I hope that she would be impressed by them.

I like the notion of

I am a bit dubious as to whether the see-through boots pictured above are authentic docs. The soles seem to have the same height and grip to them but the toes seem to be rounded a tad too much and also there is a suspicious circle motif near the eye holes of the boot that seem to imitate the trademark star symbol of Converse's Chuck Taylors

I adore the combination of Dr Martens boots in black, white frilly socks and the tights. I am a bit of a fan of tights with little effects such as a dotted pattern or hearts and I think that the tights and socks really soften the toughness the boots seem to radiate and give off. This is what I mean by their great versatility and the different sense of styles of people across all ages that wear them. I've seen teachers that are known geeks and self-proclaimed comic book lovers sport the boots as well as some of the more senior students who are self-assured in their sense of style and own physical presence. The boots have a fantastic reputation to them and I think that as more youths such as myself imitate and wear vintage clothing, it brings us closer to out elders who remember and first wore such legends as the Dr Martens boots.

I myself own a pair of the famed boots of folklore and urban legend: patent leather with an embossed floral motif bough from Myer in the city a year ago on Boxing Day. When I bought them I got more than I bargained for really, not just a pair of iconic shoes with punk attitude. They can sometimes have a human quality to them almost, specifically their rebelious nature to being worn all day and a bi-polar tendency. One day wearing them will be a walk in the park so to speak, all sunshine, kittens and rainbows stomping around San Diego Zoo exploring with not a care in the world and then the next it will be all blisters and limping agony dressed as Luigi the Italian plumber begging Mario to slow down during recess at school. Oh yes, I wear my Dr Martens with pride for many an occasion but sometimes they can not be as friendly for your feet as maybe you'd like to think.

Therefore, with their slight tendency of violence towards feet, the best thing to do is to arm yourself and wear a pair of thick, woolen socks when rocking out with your docs out. Do not gain confidence in the leather and think that it may have softened after the the cycle of nature and the seasons have 'may' have weakened them. At no times are you every truly safe- don't you see this is just what they want you to think and do?! Those devilish boots are tricky little buggers; they lull you into a sense of false security so they can give you nasty nipping blisters that take a fortnight to heel. No longer will they claim me as a prisoner of war. I advise you to be the same, but dear reader, do not be discouraged! They are good boots of strong and hardy leather and can survive many a scuffing and still have the same glimmer they always had. They can be found in Salvos, Vinnies and Op Shops or eBay so if you do seek them, the hunting grounds are wide. I wish you luck in your intrepid travels if you do intend to wear docs.


  1. Great post! I love docs too, I have quite a few pairs! I try to soften the look with socks and tights also.

    You find some fab images for your blog!! :D

  2. Make your own frilly socks :)

    I figured it out from these two sites, its a good use of ankle socks that I had loads of in my drawer! :) You can buy the lace on eBay quite cheap. Gathered lace is what you need. You can make them as frilly as you like. Have a look at my blog for some that I have made.

    Hope it helps :D

  3. What kind of docs do you have? :)