The Dr. Martens story started in 1945 post-war Munich, as 25-year-old soldier Dr. Klaus Maertens was struggling with the pain of a broken foot. Using a bit of ingenuity he fashioned a unique air-cushioned sole that was much more forgiving than the traditional hard leather soles most shoes used. Maertens made a prototype of the shoe with an old cobbler's last needle and showed it to his ol’ mate Dr. Herbert Funk, a mechanical engineer. The pair went into business salvaging disused military supplies to make their unique boots. By 1959 the two entrepreneurs had grown into a booming business! Mainly selling them to women, they decided it was time to advertise in overseas magazines as this revolutionary Air Wair technology. Today, Dr Martens boots and shoes are known around the world.
The Griggs Company, a shoe making company in England saw the Air Wair and acquired an exclusive license for the manufacturing of this shoe. They made a few little changes and made the upper part a bulbous leather, a distinctive yellow welt stitch, and a unique sole pattern, completed by the black and yellow heel loop featuring the brand name “Air Wair” and slogan “With Bouncing Soles.” This gave birth to the most iconic Dr. Martens boots of all time, the 1460 8 Eye Lace Up Boot.
The 1460 became the cultural symbol of Britain’s working class. Everybody from the factory workers to the postman wore Dr. Martens boots. Leader of the prominent rock band The Who, Pete Townshend, was the first of many high profile individuals to don the iconic 1460 Boots stamping the brand in history books as the sub-culture essential. Without music, Dr. Martens would have remained a workwear boot brand.
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