Doc Martens: 50 Years of Butt-Kicking Style

Dr. Martens: 50 Years of Fashion
BEN STANSALL / AFP / Getty Images

Ain't No April Fool
While Dr. Martens are known as a distinctly British boot, the original doctor was German. Dr. Klaus Maertens invented the shoe's signature air-cushioned sole with the hope of improving Germany's standard-issue WW II army boot. Maertens sold his patent to a British shoe manufacturer in 1959. One year later, on April 1, 1960, after the addition the classic yellow stitching and trademark AirWair tag to the back of the boot, the first pair of Dr. Martens hit High Street. The cherry-red, eight-eyelet boot became a fast favorite of blue collar Brits, adorning the feet of factory workers, postmen and police officers.

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