- Monumental Magazine
Doc is Due for a Checkup
By: Caroline Pecora
Dr. Martens have been around for generations. Young adults of the 1940s purchased the original boots, watched their children get their first pair in the 70s and 80s, and now see their grandchildren rocking the classic black boots too.
While the brand has remained relevant, its popularity has come and gone in waves. Gen X was shocked to see their Gen Z children asking for a pair on their birthdays or at the top of their list on holidays. While shocking, the confidence boost was appreciated as parents broke out their pair from 1989 to prove they were once cool too.
The brand has held consistent success for a few years now, but we're all wondering—are they about to head back into hibernation soon? The case could be made either way.
On one hand, the boots often feel too overworn and mismatched to maintain a presence. It’s not uncommon to find them accompanying black leggings and sweatshirts. They seem to have lost what makes them exceptional when featured with basic outfits.
Yet maybe this is what will keep them at the top. People appreciate having a shoe they can wear with anything - that’s why brands like Converse have been a closet staple for decades. Dr. Martens fails to grow boring but stays true to their original products. The company continues to release fresh styles of the classics as well as brand-new shoes. They have something for anyone and at any moment.
Rather than dying out, maybe Dr. Martens is transitioning from an indie fashion brand to everyday shoes. They promote inclusivity as opposed to exclusivity and create products that can last a lifetime.
So, have people gotten tired of breaking in their leather shoes for weeks, or is the versatility too good to give up?
Personally, I’m willing to endure the blisters in exchange for lasting footwear. I just purchased my second pair of Dr. Martens - now I can choose between the classic 1460 boots or the 8053 platform shoes. Either option spruces up almost any outfit for various occasions.
Dr. Martens is too iconic to fade away completely. However, it’s no lie that its popularity rises and falls. At this peak, the label seems to be rebranding itself for a new diverse crowd.
Following the company’s history, a downfall followed by a resurgence is expected to happen eventually, but it’s hard to predict when. Until then, my leather boots and platform shoes will remain at the front of my closet. Although I am excited for the day in the far future when I can pull out my old Dr. Martens to prove to the next generation I was a cool kid too.