Do Dr. Martens hold true to their high reviews?

Sabrina Girardi , Staff Writer

The popular shoe, the stiletto, means a dagger. These “daggers” are worn as a weapon of style by fashion icons on the runway. There are many other genres of shoes that design fashion industries, like heels, flats, platforms or heelys– a genre of their own. Shoe brands across the world attempt to be the shoes you choose to step in bubble gum with. This includes the popular shoe brand, Dr. Martens. Starting off, Dr. Martens was known for its consistent production of durable work boots in the early 1900s. “The Griggs Company” was the beginning of the once popular work and utility boot to  the now popular fashion shoe brand, Dr. Martens.

Through the mid 1900’s, The Griggs family kept the company growing, creating unique shoes, not only work boots, and appealed to a broader audience. By 1960, the Griggs company had their slogan “With Bouncing Souls” etched in a yellow heel loop, released with the eight-holed boot that we all adore. They then changed their name to “Dr. Martens” and began their legacy.

From then on, Dr. Martens evolved into the out-of-the-box style shoe brand that gives a variety of people the opportunity to find a shoe that expresses the style they want.

Though Dr. Martens have been a dependable brand from the beginning, their sales and popularity have boomed in recent years. According to Dr. Martens official website, in the 2000s there was a huge decline in their sales, almost diminishing the brand completely. But in 2007, they became popular again. By 2010, their 50th anniversary, they were creating individual designs and selling more shoes than ever. Marking their 60th anniversary in 2020, they now sell 11 million pairs of shoes per year, according to The New York Post, and are worth $5 billion as a company. But what led to this huge boom in popularity?

Dr. Martens are known for their durability. In their beginnings, the durable, long lasting sole attracted many people in the working field who needed a resilient  boot, and Dr. Martens were considered reliable. Megan Hotchkiss, a Junior at Milford, who owns three pairs of Dr. Martens explained that, “They are one of the best quality shoes.” The leather, quality shoes that Dr. Martens produce differ from many other brands– the shoes stand the test of time. Most of their shoes offer waterproof leather, with strong stitching and the steel shank that provides extreme support to keep the shoe in good shape. Hotchkiss also said that “…my aunt has had hers for over 20 years,” clearly showing their long lasting quality.

Aubrey Snavley, another Junior at Milford, said that she got her first pair her freshman year. “They are great quality and I still wear the same ones I purchased as a freshman, often.”

This level of quality heightened prices charged for a pair of Dr. Martens. Some say their pricing is too high. The average pair of Dr. Martens costs anywhere from 150-200 dollars, a high price for anyone looking for a shoe. Aubrey mentioned this, acknowledging “…they are very pricey and Docs are not the only boot of its kind”, Dr. Martens popularly being called “Docs” as Aubrey refers. Considering this is a high price for even a high quality shoe, other competitors may offer this quality shoe for cheaper, so Dr. Martens have to have other attributing factors– such as style.

Another draw in recent years for Dr. Martens popularity is their uniqueness and eye for style. Even though they began as a simple work shoe brand, they have expanded their brand to obtain a statement style they are now known for. Abbi Gabli, a Junior at Milford, said that she got her first pair this past Christmas, and felt “… they seemed to be a shoe that elevated any outfit.” Dr. Martens works to touch several different types of interests and styles.

They collaborate with many artists under their “Artist Series” to create even more unique shoes, and connect with more targeted audiences. One artist, the “Artist Series” brings attention to artists and famous works not everyone knows, and spreads art with shoes, unlike any other brand. Hotchkiss also brought up how, “they are a great shoe that can be versatile and worn with many different outfits and styles.” Snavely also stated something similar, saying “They match almost every outfit and give some extra style and edge.” Dr. Martens has obtained a clear knack for their style and versatility in shoes, giving many people a reasonable excuse to pay higher prices on their shoes.

Overall, Dr. Martens offer what many other brands cannot, and are and have been an extremely well-known, quality shoe brand., “I would recommend them to others because they are a timeless shoe and have been ‘trendy’ for years,” Hotchkiss said. Though they are on the higher end of shoe pricing, they will last years longer than a cheaper shoe. If you can afford them, they are worth the investment and can add to your style.