The Doc is in (again)04.7.09   |   Posted in: Fashion   |   By: Laurel Dailey
Tags: Doc Martens, The Nineties
Docs were my mainstay shoe as soon as I was old enough to know what grunge was (subsequently, shortly after its demise I’m sure), but in true suburban fashion, I was never brave enough to lace those puppies halfway up my calves. Instead, I tromped around in the basic brown oxford – to this day the most comfortable shoe I have ever owned – eventually jumping on the black Mary Jane craze as a sophomore.
In the summertime, I’d purchase a new Doc sandal each year and wear it – literally – to death. Except ‘death’ in Doc terms never meant the eventual decay of the shoe itself because hello, how else do you think I convinced my parents to spring for $100 sandals? They were indestructible, wore interminably, and never, ever, ever disintegrated the way most shoes do. But when they became ratty and smelly (such were the long summers spent in the harsh gaze of an Oregon sun), it was time to lace up those trusty oxfords again for the school year.
The soles were heavy and scraped against the asphalt when you walked – that, and the ‘clink-clink’ sound of buckle against buckle was the calling card of the average middle-class Doc girl. She was an inexorable dilution of an underground trend; princess of the suburbs, feral child of the Alternative revolution. She was neither alternative nor grungy. But she loved her Docs.
It’s been awhile since I’ve worn a pair of Dr. Martens, but here they find themselves once again thrust into cultural ubiquity. The shoe that grew up with me in Jr. High and High School has, surprisingly, now grown with me into adulthood. The shapes are more sophisticated, the splash of colors and introduction of novel textures an on-trend nod to their second coming in fashionable youthquakes both here and across the pond. I’m personally digging the ditzy floral print boots and the strappy sandals.
Now that I’m free from the ruling regime of my parents’ wallet, the only person I have to convince to score a pair of shoes that I’ll inevitably wear to death is myself.