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Doc Around The Clock

Stuart Bailie | 13:08 UK time, Monday, 8 November 2010

I've owned around 10 pairs of Doc Martins over the years. Boots and brogues, in ox blood and black - all of them replete with the famous bouncing soles. So I'm pretty happy for the company as it celebrates its 50th birthday. What started as some kind of rescue remedy for troubled feet is now a design classic - endorsed by The Clash, Ian Dury, The Undertones, Blur, Sinead O' Connor, Depeche Mode, Pete Townsend and even Gwen Stefani.

A few days ago, I was talking to my Radio Ulster pal John Toal about the company legacy. Doc Martins were the footwear of choice for CND marchers and skinheads, for the ska revival and the messy business of punk. It was utility wear with the hint that the wearer was a bit 'handy'. The eight eyelet boot was standard. More than ten and you were showing off, although Elton John was permitted his giant pair for a performance of 'Pinball Wizard' in Ken Russell's Tommy.

John wanted to know if it was possible to age gracefully with your DMs. Absolutely, I said, thinking of Tony Benn and John Peel, and even the various Undertones (Feargal included). You stay true to your boots and it gives integrity to your roots.


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