The Dr Martens story

People of a certain age will remember the late sixties and seventies when Dr Martens were the footwear of choice of the skinheads and then the punks. These great boots became known as symbols of violence and hatred as they were adopted by football hooligans and neo-Nazis.

This was a totally unfair image for footwear that was first made over a hundred years ago in 1901. This was when the business was started by the Griggs family in Nottingham and the factory that opened then is still going strong today. The first Dr Marten boots produced were of the style that everyone recognises. They were called the 1460 and were the eight eyelet leather boots.

A certain Pete Townshend of the rock group The Who took a liking to them and soon they were a must-have fashion item. These 1460 boots are still being made to this day. Other styles became available over the years and the boots, with their ‘airwair’ soles were the epitome of comfort and style. Girls, too, adopted the boots whether in the lace-up style or the jodhpur style.

The success story is continuing for Dr Martens and this is a mark of their enduring quality that, even during a recession, footwear that can cost up to £200 a pair still manages to create record sales. There was a rise in sales of an incredible 230 percent last year.

The company announced in March that profits were £22 million which makes it the eighth fastest-growing private company in the UK. So, despite some negative publicity along the way, it seems that Dr Martens are another great success story for Great Britain

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