The iconic air-cushioned sole - AirWair - was designed by a German inventor, Dr. Klaus Maertens. British shoe-makers, R Griggs and Co, bought the rights to that air-cushioned sole, added in the iconic yellow stitch and grooves, anglicised the name, fastened the scripted heel-loop and set about selling these 8-eye boots to workmen. That was 1960. From the punks of 70s London to the grungers of 90s Seattle, Dr. Martens have always stood with those who dare to be different.
The firm sells about 10 million pairs of shoes a year, most of which are manufactured outside of the UK, although 100,000 are still made at its original factory in Northamptonshire.