If you’re thinking of buying a pair of Dr. Martens and have been wondering what all the hype is about, read on. This article will tell you all you need to know about why are Doc Martens so expensive and whether or not they’re worth it.
Doc Martens boots are expensive because they are durable, comfortable, made with high-quality materials, and can be styled to fit any look. These boots also have a history, beginning as a symbol of rebellion and becoming an icon of the 1960s counterculture movement.
When you buy a pair of Martens, you’re getting more than just a great-looking shoe. You’re partaking of the quality and durability of a brand that’s been around for over 60 years, as well as its sturdy leather (or vegan alternative) and its attitude—all wrapped up with a history lesson in every step.
Let’s take a closer look at these famous boots from the UK— and what they offer in terms of craftsmanship and value.
How are Doc Martens made?
The first pair of Doc Martens made in England were produced in a factory in Cobbs Lane, Wollaston, Hampshire. Currently, this factory churns out 100,000 pairs of shoes and boots per year, accounting for 1% of the brand’s annual production volume.
99% of Doc Martens are brought to life outside England, in Asian countries. Despite the seemingly long distance between the vine and the branches, there’s a visible, undeniable uniformity in the quality and standards of Doc Martens. Representatives of the firm attested that the “recipe” for all Doc Martens products is one and the same.
The first step in producing a pair of Docs is to place their PVC soles in an injection molding machine. The leather is then inspected, cut into pieces with hydraulic presses, and tested to ensure that it is the right thickness before being embossed with the brand’s logo.
Dr. Martens 1460 Boots
Sewing machines are used to stitch the pieces of each boot together. However, this process also demands caution and painstaking care. Once the details have been stitched together, eyelets for laces are punched in, and a toe puff is introduced with a hot press.
Finally, a mold is used to give the boot its size and shape. Any excess leather is cut off, and then yellow thread is used to stitch a PVC welt to the bottom of the shoe. The welt and sole are melted together using hot blades and rollers for a permanent bond.
After a bit of cleaning and trimming, our Doc Martens are ready for inspection. Yes—every pair of Doc Martens is inspected to ensure they meet the brand’s high standards!
Doc Martens 1461 Women’s Shoes
The Price of an Icon
Dr. Martens shoes were invented in post World War II Germany by Dr. Klaus Märtens, a German ex-soldier. In 1990, Klaus’s company was acquired by R. Griggs, who moved production to England and named the brand after its founder. As of the time of writing this article, Doc Martens is an international fashion label selling more than 10 million pairs of shoes each year in over 60 countries worldwide.
In the 1960s, Doc Martens cost only £2 a pair. Adjusted for inflation, that would be £50 today. But if you prefer the original, made-in-England vintage design, it will cost you a whopping £190!
While this price increase may seem steep, it is only natural, given that this brand has conquered the world of fashion-from Milan to Hollywood and everywhere in between!
Doc Martens 2976 Chelsea Boot
Sure enough, Doc Martens were first adopted by the punk movement and the skinhead subculture. They would later be worn by rock musicians, who helped spread their popularity among British youth. Today, Doc Martens are still brandished by young people who want to express non-conformist attitudes.
An interesting question presents itself: How did a symbol of the working-class revolution end up costing so much? The answer is obvious: Capitalism. Yesterday’s poison becomes tomorrow’s meat.
Well, Dr. Martens made its meat alright but came close to losing sight of it in 2003; hats off to bankruptcy. Sales spiraled downwards, factories shut their doors, employees were fired, and production was moved to Asia. Somehow, the firm scaled through these losses half-scathed and was eventually sold to Permira (a private equity company) for £300m in 2013.
Of course, Permira, like all large investment companies, aimed to make a profit. As the ‘Docs’ already had their legacy and prestige, their acquisitors could cash in on the free market mechanism and charge whatever they wanted without losing customers.
After all, the shoe and clothing industry is fraught with stiff competition. The least you can do is deploy the best materials for production and offset the costs through high prices.
On top of this, you must devise an actionable marketing strategy, remain aware of the latest fashion trends, keep a pulse on social media and influencers, design new types of shoes and accessories, etc.
Dr. Martens 1460 Vonda Softy T Fashion Boot
Are Doc Martens worth their money?
You’ll have to take our word for it when we say these boots are worth every penny. Shoes are an important part of any outfit, and cheap ones can make your feet hurt. Dr. Martens may feel a little stiff at first, but they’ll grow to fit your feet perfectly after a few weeks of regular wear. Whatever your plans—from walking to going to work to dancing around in pubs or concerts—your feet will be well looked after in Docs.
DMs are durable, and some customers claim they can last up to twenty years! There have been a few reports that Dr. Martens made in Asia are of lower quality than those made in the UK, but these seem to be the exception. If you properly care for them and don’t do anything crazy like throw them against a wall or run them over with a car, they should efficiently serve you for long.
And don’t worry if you can see scratches or scuffs on your boots after years of use; they’ll just look more authentic with time!
Dr. Martens boots have a versatile pattern that fits many different clothing styles. They can be worn by punks, rockers, and goths, as well as anyone else who wants to add a bit of edge to their look. These boots are so cool that they look great with a wedding dress!
Popular Doc Martens Styles
The 1460 Boot
The Doc Martens 1460 boot (compare pricing: Amazon Vs. Dr. Martens official website) is the original Doc Martens boot and was initially made for workers 60 years ago. It is named after the date it first went on sale, 1st April 1960.
The boot is still one of the best sellers worldwide. New generations of customers have come and gone, but the boot remains unchanged.
The 1461 Shoe
Doc Martens 1461 3-eyelet boots (compare pricing: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens Official Website) are stylish and durable shoes that maintain the brand’s original look, which has been perfect for goth and hipster fashion cultures since their release in 1961.
The 2976 Chelsea Boot
Now celebrating its 171st anniversary, each 2976 boot (check pricing: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens official website) has a polished look with original vintage-inspired details and an ultra-soft anti-fatigue footbed that molds to the shape of your feet. Crafted from the finest leather, it features a classic silhouette that gives this shoe its enduring appeal.
The 1914 Boot
Unlike other Doc Martens, the 1914’s simple design (compare price: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens official website) is elevated by colorful stitching. When it came to this boot, the company challenged its designers to combine tradition and modernity to create a product that appealed to every type of lifestyle and personality. Enter: 1914 Docs.
The 1490 Boot
The Doc Martens 1490 Boot (check pricing: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens website) is the epitome of classic cool, featuring a slender leather upper and taller collar. This boot is the perfect statement piece for any wardrobe—the iconic silhouette is sure to bring out your inner rebel!
The 101 Boot
Doc Martens Vegan 101 boot (check pricing: Amazon vs. Dr. Martens Official website) was first designed for the police and factory workers but quickly became popular among punks because it allowed them to outrun the police!
The 3989 Brogue
Doc Martens 3898 shoes, with their low heels and five eyelets, are the go-to for anyone who wants to stand out from the crowd. These unisex, all-British shoe blend class with attitude.