In April 1960, Dr Martens produced their first boots in England - aptly named the "1460" - as in 1st 4th (April) 1960. From 2003, production shifted from the English factories to China and Thailand, and at the same time the Vegan Friendly products ended. However recently, Dr Martens re-opened their Cobbs Lane factory, and started again manufacturing a select range - called "Vintage" and "MIE - "Made In England". The Vintage range is available on our ebay shop in very limited numbers.
The basic Dr Martens product is called "Continuity", and is produced year on year. Dr Martens also do a seasonal range, that is typically available for 3-6 months. They are produced in very limited numbers, and through a select reseller community (including us). Typically there are around 100 or so seasonal designs, in different colours for men and women - i will talk about these on other reviews as and when they are launched. We are lucky as we have access to this stock each season.
Made In England "Vintage" product
This product is a direct replica of the original boots to roll off the production line in 1960 - right down to the same leather (Quilon) an construction techniques. In addition, they are made on the original 59 Last - this is the original shape and fit, and is slightly narrower than the Far East boots of the same name. The construction is Goodyear Welted - which is a British construction technique where the uppers and the sole are sewn together. This makes for a long life, as you dont get the problems of uppers coming aware from the sole, as with the glued technique, used by lesser shoe manufacturers. Lastly small indentations are left on the welt by the original stitching machine.
Made in Thailand/China Range
These are as well made as the England boots, but there are a few differences - some are well publicised, and some are through my own personal experience of selling over 5000+ of them. Firstly the leather is a lot thinner than the England boots which means they are a little quicker to break in than the thicker "Quilon" leather used in the England boots. There is a cap on the top of the boot in black leather; the sole is slightly darker and the loop is darker also. The laces are black, and do come with a spare yellow pair. On the UK boots, the laces are a light brown, are also fray a lot quicker.
The classic 1460 comes in a variety of colours and designs. Some are ongoing, and some are seasonal.
Ongoing / Continuity Colours (Unisex)
Black, White, Green, Aztec Brown, Navy, Cherry Red
Women Only: Purple (Smooth), Purple (Shimmer)
Seasonal Colours (2011): Grey, Brown
Seasonal Colours (2012): to be updated in Jan 2012.....
Breaking In 1460's
DMs take a week or 2 of constant wearing to be broken in. The process involves the bending and creasing of the leather to soften it and mould it to the shape of your foot. I find it valuable to wear a few plasters on the heel to prevent rubbing to the skin (and the pain that comes from that!).
Alternatively there are a range of 1460's that are already broken in for you!! They are called "Broken In" or "Worn" and are made from a special leather called "Milled Smooth".
A solution for getting from box fresh to broken in in the shortest possible time has been the Holy Grail for the last 50 years, so with the Broken In range, DM do the hard work so you don't have to. The leather is milled which involves putting the leather into a drum that is turned repeatedly, breaking up the surface grain of leather to make it softer. The quarter panels are then rolled and flexed by hand and hammer. This is repeated on the vamp (toe), replicating effect on the leather created by the movement of the foot whilst walking. For the finishing touches, the back loop is abraded and the upper is buffed, exposing the color of the metal eyelets. The sole edges are then finished in such a way that it removes the neat edges. Combined, these unique range of processes allow DM to take a new pair of 1460 8-eye boots and accelerate the breaking in process. Broken In from day one.