Monday, 7 June 2010

The only thing that unites us.


Surprisingly for something that is considered a cornerstone of British life, the first "Bovver Boots" were actually first put together by a German. Dr. Martens built his first pair of orthopaedic boots as a result of injuring his feet in a ski-accident. In partnership with a Dr. Funke, they produced the boot design from war-surplus Luftwaffe rubber, and the boot literally took off, becoming the footware of choice for middle-aged german women. (!!)


In 1959 the company was bought lock, stock and barrel by the British footwear company R. Griggs and co. and after a redesign to remove some of the more Teutonic aspects, the boot was launched on an unsuspecting British Public on April 1st 1960, and quickly became popular for their ruggedness, and for the fact that they protected sensitive little toes from heavy punishment, such as being repeatedly hammered into someone's groin.



Mr. Sayle notwithstanding, recent enquiries as to the availability of Doc Martens in Cologne have resulted in a bit of a dead end. There used to be a shop down in Ehrenstrasse ("Trendy Street" as I call it) which specialised in "Yoof" Culture clothing, and imported Docs amongst other Mod and Skinhead items. Unfortunately, last time I looked, they'd closed, doubtless squeezed out by the High-st. fashion shops more prepared to pay higher rent.

I did think that perhaps the "Arbeitskleidung" shops around the Altermarkt might stock them, but I haven't been able to check. Websearches reveal "britishempire.de" as a webshop, but shoes aren't something I'd buy without trying them on first. Zalando is beneath my contempt.

Any pointers locally, bootboys?