I'm Enthusiastic About: Dr. Martens

You may recall from last week's London post that I had made one major purchase while across the pond. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I bought a new pair of Doc Martens. [Insert a massive crowd cheering here.]

I should probably preface all of this by explaining that I've been on the hunt for years and years for the perfect Docs...a journey that would put Frodo Baggins to shame. I bought one pair in middle school oh so long ago when I was around 13 and they were the best. I'm starting to think I actually blocked out any memories of breaking them in because I just remember them fitting so perfectly.

Truly one pair to rule them all. (And by "all" I mean "my feet" and by "rule" I mean "lovingly dress".) Man, I loved those things...even when the 90's were happening in all their floral, peace-signed, flannely glory, my docs were always the anchor that kept me from floating adrift in the ocean of horrendous fashion choices...and, oh, the 90's were a time when that was a very easy thing to do.

Alas, I lost them (or maybe outgrew them, my memory is foggy...probably because it's way too painful to recall) many years ago...and could never find another good pair again. (Cut to a golem in a cave wearing my old boots from middle school and chanting "my precious." And, no, I don't have any idea why this particular post has taken a Tolkien turn.)

Between that time and now, I tried other various British punk boots and creepers, but nothing ever came close...and, man, were my feet wrecked from breaking in all that tough leather over the years. So, I stopped wearing combat boots for a decade and opted for other fashionable footwear (that I am not, in the least, regretting.)

Recently, however, I was itching for another pair of Docs. Every pair I tried on didn't look right. I ran to every Doc Marten retailer in LA, trying to find the right pair, but the leather was always too hard, the toe didn't look right, the fit wasn't tight enough...and so I gave up.

Then a rainy day and time to window shop happened in Bristol one late afternoon and Charles and I happened to see a Doc Marten store. So, naturally, I went in...not actually expecting much to happen. I was looking for the usual ritual of walking from shelf to shelf, touching the leather, musing on the patent boots, giggling at the floral boots, and taking it all in.

Then I saw these boots.

I could tell from afar that they weren't the usual leather. They had a little bit of a slouch to them as they sat on the shelf. There was a coziness and lived-in-ness (made up word) that was calling to me and my brain suddenly went off like a firework: "They're soft! THEY'RE SOFT!!!"

(Note: I hadn't found these in any store I'd been to in the states...but, derp, you can find them online.)

Cut to me running over and giving them a squeeze. Indeed, they were buttery soft. I handed them to Charles, my leather inspector, and he approved of the quality. So, there was only one more thing to do. Try them on.

Do you know what happened next?

Basically, the inside of my brain had become a massive parade of leather-loving, British-flag-waving, God-Save-the-Queen happiness. You couldn't tell on the outside (I went with the stiff upper lip approach here), but I was pleased. Very pleased...and despite making a pact with myself earlier in the trip to not buy anything, I realized that this purchase would make sense. It would count as my keepsake from my first trip to the UK. (Like the navy poncho I got in Paris which is all nubby and worn, but I love it and it will remain in my closet until the end of days.)

And to all those that say that breaking in a pair of docs is a rite of passage...I already did that, people. I did that in my early teens when my feet were resilient enough not to look like a grizzled piece of roadkill after weeks of blisters and raw heels. No bueno...bad usage of precious time.

I plan on, one day, being an old lady in my combat boots, regaling my grandchildren with stories of Bristol in 2014 and my very first trip to the UK. Maybe they'll make their way into the hands of one of my grandkids if I don't wear them into the ground.

In short: Investment Piece. Totally worth the horrendous exchange rate because of the sentimentality factor. So, I'm calling the whole thing a big win.

Do you have a love affair with Docs? When did you get your first pair?


  1. Ooh! I've been wanting a pair but feel the same way...nothing looked right. Do you have a pic of you wearing them?

    1. Tinaaaa!

      All the photos (all 2 of them) that I have where I'm wearing them, I' zoomed pretty far out. D:

      Not sure if this will give you a good idea or not:

      I'll try to take a photo with them on soon!