Testing out modes of writing again, this was under the header lifestyle writing.
“I’ve been planning my next pair of shoes. I’ve been thinking about it and there is no way I can continue to wear my current shoes.” My friend Claire is talking to me in breathless tones again. I’m sat opposite her sipping Rose from a short wine glass. The only thing I’m planning is my next sentence. “Doc Marten’s!” Claire proclaims, “I need a pair, it’s so obvious.” I look at her for a second. She seems serious.
Doc Martens are the Rottweiler of the shoe world. They bite. Literally the toughest shoe around, they come with a lifetime guarantee. Having been on the scene since the 1960s, the boot was popular with skinheads and became a byword for subculture. Something a contemporary audience may be familiar with from films such as ‘This is England’ (2006) by British director Shane Meadow, and the subsequent channel 4 spin off, ‘This is England 1986’. Following the life’s of a group of skinheads in 1983, most of the cast wear DM’s. They’re not pretty, they’re tough.
But my friend Claire isn’t a skinhead. All she wants is a day shoe, but a day shoe with attitude. She isn’t the only one. Making an appearance at New York Fashion Week 2010 the shoe was voted, the 'best counter-cultural footwear of the decade'. They might be on the catwalk but they aren’t there without a scream.
Perhaps DMs are the practical girls nod to fashion, the new kitten heels of the shoe world. Spokesperson for the brand Josephine Hickin said, “They have simultaneously represented both fashion and anti-fashion.” Suggesting that their appearance on the catwalk is more to do with what the shoe represents, rather than their aesthetic value. You put DM’s on to show fighting spirit. Or you used to anyway, then Doc Marten do something strange like team up with Hello Kitty to design a special range of boots. One pair is white with a red faux velvet bow. I think they were missing the point.
What you wear on your feet defines the way you live. Doc Martens are safe, all weather, multiple activity shoes. They aren’t messing around. They’re probably going to be on the shelves, and if you own a pair, in your cupboard for the next 50 years because we trust them. The heel isn’t going to break when you dash for the tube, they’re not going to leak with a sudden downpour of rain. They’re just going to be there, through and through, living it out with you, shoe on foot.