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It all started in wartime Munich when a doctor, Klaus Maertens, had a bad skiing accident. He decided to make himself a comfortable shoe to relieve the pain of walking. Together with a friend, Dr Herbert Funck, he designed a shoe with a special sole.
Soon the two men were selling their product all over Germany, mostly to old women with foot trouble. The medical image lasted until 1959, when Maertens decided to find a company to produce the shoes outside Germany. He contacted R. Griggs & Co, a firm in Northamptonshire (England).
Griggs anglicized the name which became 'Dr Martens'. The first British boots were made on 1 April 1960 and soon they began to sell quite well.
In the mid-60s the company discovered that their shoes were worn by skinheads. They liked Docs because they wanted to look hard and intimidating. Later, Docs were successful with punks.
Then Doc Martens became the favourite shoes of students all over Britain, and more and more young women began wearing them. Even the police began wearing Docs. At first they came in only two models and two colours. But in the 80s new styles and colours appeared.
Griggs began exporting in 1988, and Docs are now sold all over Europe and the U.S.A. The company employs more than 2,500 people and manufactures 170,000 pairs of Docs a week.
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