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Rat Race Blog

The Story Behind Dr Martens

By ratrace, Dec 13 2016 04:37PM

The Dr Martens boot has become a staple in British fashion, from skinheads in '69 to Suedeheads on the terraces. From Punks in the pubs, to Indies on Carnaby street. Dr Martens have left a big impression on fashion and history of British Subcultures throughout the decades. Lets go back and find out the story behind Dr Martens.


It all started in 1945, when Klaus Märten a German doctor in world war two injured his ankle on a skiing trip, while on leave, in the alps. He found that wearing his standard issue military boots were too uncomfortable to wear on his injured foot. Therefore he added some improvements to them including a soft leather finish and air padded soles made from car tires. After The War he bought leather from a cobblers and began to make the boots we all know now and started to sell them, which became popular with housewives in the 50s.





The first Dr Martens boots in Britain came out on 1 April 1960 known as style 1460 and still in production today, with an eight-eyelet oxblood coloured smooth leather design. Dr Martens boots were made in their Cobbs Lane factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire which is still operating today. The boots were popular among workers such as postmen, police officers and factory workers.

During 69 and into the 70s the skinheads adopted DMs and incorporated it into their young working class, No surrender British look, and it looked good! The Skinhead look was all about embracing the Working Class look and life. It also focused on traditional British elements like Crombies and braces, topped off with a pair of Dr Marten boots and the style was hard, Sharp and New to the Streets of Britain.



Suedeheads would go on to carry Dr Martens into fashion throughout the 70s. Skip forward today and they have become a staple on many different subcultures fashion through the years and even today have a place on the streets.

So there you have it, now you know where Dr Martens really came from, tell your friends and family what you have learned so we can all respect and know exactly where the biggest brand in boots if not British subculture fashion really started. And here at Rat Race we are proud to stock and supply to all the skins, suedes and indies this iconic Brand.


- Written by Ryan Bond of Rat Race Margate



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