The Doc Martens Phenomena


Sam Canizales, Writer

Dr. Martens have been a staple among an assortment of different groups for over 80 years. They have represented varying subcultures, but the overall theme was the rejection of the mainstream. More recently they have become a fashion staple over the past 5 years. With this rise in widespread popularity Dr. Martens still gives the appearance of an alternate approach to fashion while losing their meaning in subcultures.  

The shoes thrived in so many spaces because they had a classic silhouette and functionality. Dr. Martens not only carries the classic black boot, but they also have a variety of cuts, styles, and colors that provide more specific options for different people. Still, each has a version of Dr. Martens classic “Air Wair” rubber soles and iconic stitching on the outside. 

Until recently they were a mark of subcultures like punk, grunge, or rock. Though these subcultures have evolved and Dr. Martens have made their way into the mainstream. The shoes were a mark of separating from the norm. They still are to an extent. For some a way of adding a flair of personality and style to an outfit. 

“I just think they’re so cool. They match with literally every single outfit. They’re also shoes that no one else has.” said a local high school senior. 

Though the statement that “nobody else has them” is not necessarily true in a lot of places it is true for the school that this student attends. The shoes allow them to distinguish themselves, while also being a staple shoe that matches a variety of clothes. 

For people who are more entrenched in their subcultures they place less value in the distinguishing aspect, rather view them as comfortable shoes that they simply enjoy wearing. Dr. Martens are not a statement but just a good shoe. 

“Honestly I mostly wear them because of how they look and, compared to my other shoes, they’re the most comfortable.” Said another local student. 

These shoes have held different meanings and significance over time and will continue to change in significance. Currently they are losing their place in counter culture and gaining a place as a classic item of clothing that is both durable and versatile.