Dr. Martens 1460 Originals Union Jack Boot
Last updated date: September 17, 2020
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We looked at the top Dr. Martens Boots and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Dr. Martens Boot you should buy.
Editor's Note October 27, 2020:
Checkout The Best Dr. Martens Boots for a detailed review of all the top dr. martens boots.
In our analysis of 10 expert reviews, the Dr. Martens Dr. Martens 1460 Originals Union Jack Boot placed 12th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Dr. Martens is the stuff of legends. It all began near Munich, Germany in 1945 when Dr. Klaus Maertens injured his foot in a skiing accident in the Bavarian Alps. To make walking easier during the healing process, he designed a shoe with an air-cushioned sole. Using old rubber tires, he constructed soles that had air trapped within closed compartments. He showed his prototype to his engineer/inventor friend, Dr. Herbert Funck, and together they decided to develop and produce the shoes. Not only did the shoe solve the doctor's immediate problem, but it also started to sell well in Germany. By 1959 the two decided that they needed a company to produce and distribute the shoes, then called Dr. Maertens, in other parts of the world. At first, many manufacturers rejected the concept of an air cushioned sole as a short-lived gimmick. However, the R. Griggs Group, located in the village of Wollaston in England, decided to go along with the idea by creating the first work boot with the revolutionary sole. On the first of April 1960, the first cherry red eight-eyelet work boot was produced and named 1460. To sell the brand name better in England, the name was anglicized to Dr. Martens. The range was branded AirWair and the rest is history.
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An Overview On Dr. Martens Boots
Mention most any popular shoe brand, and you usually have a clear picture of the person who might be wearing it. For Ugg boots, that would be image-conscious mallrats. Picture a pair of Birkenstocks, and you can see the legs of a laid-back modern hippie just above them. And Doc Martens? For generations now, a sturdy pair of Docs have been the standard uniform for punks, rockers and artists of both genders.
But their real appeal goes far beyond fashion. Doc Martens’ iconic black 1460 model boot is just as well known for its durability. With their bouncy “Air Wear” soles and thick leather material, you can expect a good set of Docs to last for years or even decades if cared for properly. And thanks to their timeless looks, they’ll be just as fashionable at the end of their run as the day you bought them.
The boots were invented in the 1940s by their namesake, a German army doctor called Klaus Märtens. He decided to make some improvements to his uncomfortable government-issued boots by adding rubber from car tires for padding, and it didn’t take long for a company to form. Oddly enough, it was German housewives who made up the bulk of Märtens’ clientele in the 1950s.
Today, those bouncy soles are still the main selling point for Doc Martens footwear, though the company sells more than just the popular 1460 boot. You can find decorative calf-length boots, Oxford shoes and even sandals that all sport the distinctive “Air Wear” bottoms. The boots and shoes have traditionally been made in the UK, but since 2003 production has largely shifted to Thailand. If you’re looking for that classic craftsmanship, you can still pay more for authentic “Made in England” versions of the boot that are created at the lone remaining English factory in Wollaston.
Undeniably, Dr. Martens’ 1460 boots are the most popular, but as anyone who’s owned a pair can tell you, you have to earn that comfort. Docs are notorious for their need to be broken in, a process that can take a few days or even a week or so to complete. After wearing them around tentatively for long enough, the leather should adjust to your feet, and some types of leather will take longer than others.
The standard “smooth” leather is the default material for most Doc Martens, and it tends to be the stiffest. And while that can make it harder to break in, that investment will pay off dividends in durability.
Patent Lamper is a fine-grain leather that isn’t quite as stiff and will be much easier to break in. It generally has the same polished look as the standard smooth leather, but may scuff easier. Arcadia leather has a similar feel, but is actually designed to tarnish a bit over time, somewhat like faded jeans.
Nappa or Virginia leather is most often found in the more fashion-forward boots in the Doc Martens line. These leathers are the most pliable and therefore the easiest to break in. The material is thinner and somewhat less durable than on standard Docs, but you can still expect it to outlast most boots on the market.
The Dr. Martens Boot Buying Guide
So you’ve got your new pair of Doc Martens! As tempted as you might be, don’t make the rookie mistake of lacing them on and going out dancing just yet. They need to be broken in, and the best way to do that is slowly. Wear them for short periods of time at first, maybe just walking around the house or out to the mailbox. You’ll definitely want to wear some thick socks at first — maybe even an extra layer if the fit allows. Pad any uncomfortable areas with bandages if they rub against your skin more than others, and stick with the process. In a few days, the snug feel and durability of the boot will all be worth it.
If you want an extra dose of waterproofing, periodically polish your boots. Doc Martens does sell its own “wonder balsam” that’s designed to hydrate the leather and provide an extra layer of protection from moisture. It also softens the leather, making it a bit easier to break in.
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