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Doc Martens celebrates half a century of worker-punk-rebel style [Updated]

April 1, 2010 |  6:50 am

Blimey!  Dr. Martens is celebrating its 50th birthday on April 1. Where did time go? Just think.  Your total stiff of a boss might have been sporting an acid green Mohawk, wearing studded Docs and moshing in the ’80s as a punk.  Now, he drives a Jag, can’t figure out the photocopier and enjoys easy-listening on the 405 drive home.  But he just might still wear Docs.

Fans of the brand are a loyal bunch. So Dr. Martens is celebrating its 50th anniversary by thanking them with new, limited-edition boots and shoes that go on sale Thursday, plus free video and music downloads of 10 performances especially commissioned for the occasion.

First, the shoes: 1,460 lucky leather lovers will walk away with a classic pebble-grain finish in a black 1460 boot, and 1,460 will have a shot at the same boot in cherry red.  Gold heel loops and eyelets add to their bespoke feel. There are also a limited number of 1461 shoes as an option for those who like Docs to stop at the ankle. All these limited editions come packaged in a box that’s been specially conceived for the anniversary. and inside you’ll find a signed letter of authenticity.

Right, so after saying all of this and getting you excited, you think I’m going to ruin your day with the price?  You are so wrong.  These babies are actually cheaper than some of the kicks sold year-round at the flagship and online stores.  The 1460s are a deal at $200, and the 1461s are  $180. But if you want them, get in line now.  With so few available and fans around the globe wanting them, they are bound to sell out fast.

They are available on Doc Martens’ website and at selected stores around the world, including Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles.

If you can’t land a pair, don’t be discouraged.  There are other awesome celebratory gifts.  Music and Docs have always been naturally paired.  Collaborating with 10 musicians covering classic tunes and using cutting-edge video directors, the brand has worked hard to include a sound and feel for every taste. Behind-the-scenes clips (as well as the videos and songs) will be available to download for free at Doc Martens' website. A few bands who rocked for Docs:  N.A.S.A, covering Max Romeo's "Chase the Devil";  the Raveonettes covering the Stone Roses' "I Wanna Be Adored"; and Verbal, covering the Runaways' "Cherry Bomb." The covers and bands are a great mesh of genres from the past and present — exactly what the brand has always exemplified. 

When we asked the CEO of Dr. Martens, David Suddens, what he predicted for the next 50 years, he simply stated: “We don't predict the future. But as long as people want to express their individuality and their freedom, they will wear Docs. We'll be celebrating our 100 years, that's for sure.”

-- Julie Neigher

[For the record: An earlier version of this post gave incorrect prices of $130 for the 1460s and $110 for the 1461s.] 

Photo: An assortment of boots at Dr. Martens' factory in England. Credit: Ben Stansall / AFP/Getty Images