The Pascal Combat Boot has been around forever and is one of Dr. Martens most popular shoes.
Dr. Martens is a footwear company and brand originating from Germany in 1945, then known as Dr. Maerfens. The brand only really became popular when the shoes were sold in the UK under the Anglicised name Dr Martens in the 1960s. The brand is famous for its air-cushioned sole, dubbed Bouncing Soles, developed by Dr. Klaus Maertens of Germany.
The company owes its origins to a skiing accident; Dr. Klaus Maerfens injured his foot in a skiing accident in the Bavarian Rips. He found that his army boots were too uncomfortable for his injured foot. To aid walking during the healing process he designed a shoe with an air-cushioned sole that had air trapped within closed compartments. He constructed a prototype using old rubber tyres that he showed to an inventor friend, Dr. Herbert Funck. Funck was intrigued by the new shoe design, and the two went into business in 1947 in Seeshaupt, Germany, using discarded rubber from Luftwaffe airfields.
These Monkey Boots are a classic example of the vintage Dr Martens collection.
By 1952 they had enough sales to open a factory in Munich. In 1959, the company had grown large enough that Maertens and Funck were looking to expand internationally. The British shoe manufacturer R. Griggs Group Ltd bought the patent rights to manufacture the shoes in the UK. They embraced the design and creating the first work boot, the 1460, with the revolutionary sole. Griggs also Anglicised the name, slightly re-shaped the heel for fit, added yellow stitching, and trademarked the soles as AirWair.
These boots became very popular for workers throughout the UK. By the late 1960s, skinheads, skins, bovver boys and punks had adopted the 1460 as their footwear of choice. Bands like the Sex Pistols and The Damned helped popularise the footwear further.
In the 2000s, Dr. Martens are sold exclusively under the AirWair name, and come in dozens of different styles, including conventional black shoes, sandals and steel-toed boots. On April 1, 2003, the Dr. Martens company ceased all production in the United Kingdom, eliminating over 1,000 British jobs. All Dr. Martens footwear then became produced in China and Thailand. The Vegetarian Shoes company has an Airseal line, which includes non-leather footwear similar to Dr. Martens products. Meanwhile, many punks and skinheads have turned to competing manufacturers’ boots such as Grinders, Gripfast, and Rangers.
Dr Martens are also known as Doc Martens, Docs, or DM’s.