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A little in love with a shoe

Until recently I thought I had nothing in common with veteran politician Tony Benn (except for once being in the same building in the 1990s). But now I discover I do. We both are rather fond of Doctor Marten's shoes.

They have three things going for them. They're very comfortable and hardwearing. It's no surprise that a lot of policepersons wear them to pound the beat. Secondly, they're safely dangerous. You know what I mean - like theme park rides. They give you a thrill without the real danger. For me Doc Marten's do this in part because of their period associations with naughtiness and in part because they're quirky, a bit different. Finally, they're morale boosters. You don't walk in Doc Marten's, you bounce. Not literally, but with an enlivening of the spirit.

I got my first pair almost for a joke. They are classic black bovver boots, which I only bought because they were selling them off for £10. To begin with I never wore them, but then came the pantomimes. At the time (we're going back more than 15 years) I helped run a youth club. Somehow I got landed with directing 3 pantomimes over the years. (I wrote two of these, one of which, Dracula, the Pantomime, was conceived in the queue for the Vampire ride at Thorpe Park. But I digress.) Because of some image of classic Hollywood directors, I though boots would be good for the role and wore them to the first rehearsal. From then on I never directed without them.
My latest Doc Marten's

Somewhat later I bought a pair of black Doc Marten shoes. These have become inseperable companions for giving talks. I just wouldn't think of doing public speaking these days without that boost from the Doc Marten's.

Most recently, my everyday shoes wore out. I nearly bought a cheap pair to replace them, but then thought, given how much I loved Doc Marten's, why not get an everyday pair too? So now with the addition of these brown short boots I am the proud owner of 3 pairs of Doc Marten's, all still going strong. Next time I buy shoes, DM's will be top of the shopping list. If you love something, why go for second best?


  1. I have only recently bid farewell to the last of my Doctor Martens from a collection of 8 pairs of somewhat alarming variety bought in the early '90s(red mock croc leather, green boots, spats(!!)) amongst other styles. Settled down now for the middle of the road all purpose boot. If only other things in life were that reassuringly reliable.


  3. Thanks, Mark - I hadn't seen that.


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