Homegrown Heritage: A Closer Look at Dr. Martens’ Made in England Collection
Crafted using original techniques, Dr. Martens’ Made in England range includes some of their most iconic pieces handcrafted in their original Northamptonshire factory
Words by Will Halbert
Photography by Adam Titchener/Hypebeast
Now, what I’m about to say might teeter precariously on the verge of redundancy, but there sure is a lot to like about Dr. Martens’ iconic 1461, isn’t there? A low-cut, three-eyelet Derby, the 1461 goes well with just about anything – matching the laid-back steez of streetwear as effortlessly as the sharp severity of sartoria; it looks just as good boxfresh as it does beat to hell; and it’s as capable of low-key subtlety as it is ready for outright, in-your-face ostentation.
For all the weight of its six-decade-strong sub-cultural heritage, the 1461 retains a certain blank-canvas charm about it, too. It’s a shoe that invites you – step by step, scuff by scuff, and crease by crease – to make it your own. Like I said; there’s a lot to like here. Which goes a long way to explaining the iconic shoe’s longevity.
You see, the 1461 just so happens to have turned 60 this month. That’s right, The first pair of 1461s rolled off the production line of the brand’s Northamptonshire factory on the 1st April 1961 (1.4.61 – get it?). The factory where it all began still exists to this day. It’s dedicated to creating a range of ‘Made In England’ boots and shoes with the help of a small, close-knit team of craftspeople trained in the art of traditional shoe-making.
Suffice to say that there’s a whole lot of history at the 1461’s Goodyear-welted, yellow-stitched heels. Which is justification enough for us to offer up our favourite picks from the latest collection of Made in England 1461s, if you ask us. So why don’t you try these on for size.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
The Horween Cavalier
The Horween Cavalier is crafted from premium leather from the esteemed, 100-year old, Horween Leather Company in Chicago. The 1461 shoe boasts standout, white stitching around a notched welt, a leather Horween tag, and gold-scripted insoles.
The C. F. Stead Saddle Shoe
The C. F. Stead Saddle range is built from a mix of leathers from renowned Leeds-based tannery C. F. Stead. These new 1461 reworks take cues from the classic saddle shoe, last seen dominating dance halls throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s.
The C. F. Stead Desert Oasis Shoe
The C. F. Stead Desert Oasis shoe is crafted from fine-grade suede with a rugged nap. Oiled and water-resistant, the Sun Yellow suede variant is our personal favourite. Constructed on a slightly tapered last and finished with gold-scripted sock liners, this is a bona fide spring-summer statement.
Check out the entire Dr. Martens Made in England Collection here.