I love docs, I don't care if they are in or out of style, for me there is just some sort of allure about the Dr marten boot. I only like the boots, not the ones with heels or the shoes and sandals and other styles DM has started producing. I have two pairs, the original 8 hole cherry reds called 1460's because they were produced for the first time in the UK on 1 April 1960. My second pair which I totally love and adore are black 18 hole boots with metal eyelets like you find on ice-skating boots.
Out of all the shoes in the world I think it's safe to say that docs probably have the most interesting and layered history, mainly because they've been so closely associated with major underground youth subcultures giving them a unique social and cultural dimension. Because this is a visual blog, I'm not gonna go into their whole history and background, I'll just take a look at the main style movements associated with docs.
Docs started out as a "medical" boot providing comfort and ankle support, and in the sixties were worn in the UK mainly by working people like policemen, postmen and factory workers. In the late sixties docs were adopted as the "uniform" of the original skinhead subculture. Their whole style was uncompromisingly working class - a reactionary statement against the flamboyant hippie culture and the high fashion of Carnaby Street London.
In the mid 1970's docs became a trademark of the punk subculture.
In the early 90's docs emerged once more as part of the style of the Seattle grunge scene. This editorial from US Vogue December 1992 features designs by Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis. It was the collection that helped launch his career, and taking his inspiration from Seattle grunge was to my knowledge one of the few instances where fashion filtered upwards from the street onto the catwalk instead of the other way around. This was also when docs first started to move out of the underground into mainstream fashion.