By Dave Barton
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The resurgence of the dirty, grungy ’90s look of these past couple of years brought at least one positive thing: the mainstream revival of Dr. Martens. While most of us got rid of the 20-hole Docs from our now-hilarious angsty youth, gals are pairing the tough boots with pretty much identical outfits from the first time around, choosing to contrast Docs against the pretty, femme and floral.
With its famous air-cushioned sole, Dr. Martens were designed by German inventor Klaus Maertens with the specific goal of providing support and comfort for a broken foot—so you know they’re as comfortable as it gets—and initially began as the workingman’s boot. Eventually, the footwear was taken up by skinheads, punk rockers, New Wave kids and others. And a subculture darling was born.
Dr. Martens is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its now iconic boot with another iconic company—and personal favorite—celebrating a golden anniversary: Sanrio.
It’s another play on contrast that the shoe company does so well, pairing cutesy Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, Chococat and friends with the clunky, hard-soled, durable footwear. The Sanrio X Dr. Martens collaboration includes three eight-eye boots. One is a fun homage to the mouthless cat herself, outfitted in stark white and finished with a basic blue sole. A red bow tops it all off. (This design is also available in a hot pink-and-black version.) Another is a throwback to those old-school Sanrio gift bags you longtime fans may remember: It’s a jumbled pastel collage of all the Sanrio faves, from My Melody to the now lesser-known Patty & Jimmy.
All three designs are also available in Mary Jane styles, and each shoe will include some special Sanrio X Dr. Martens packaging.
“Hello Kitty adds a playful side to the tough, durable and timeless 1460 boot, and Dr. Martens brings an edge to the beloved animated icon,” says Kimberly Barta, vice president of marketing for Dr. Martens.
As usual with Docs, the designs aren’t for the conservatively dressed—they’re youthful and loud. Also? Despite being the chosen footwear of many subcultures, the shoes still carry a not-so-cheap price tag: The line ranges from $120 to $165 . . . but hey, it’s also bound to be a collector’s item.