Doc Martens exploded onto the alternative fashion scene in the 1960s and became an icon of punk rock. In the '90s and again in the 2000s, they came back with a vengeance and are still as popular as ever.
Until recent years, most of the shoes were made exclusively in the United Kingdom. Many knockoff brands exist, with some manufacturers even adding Doc Marten logos to the faux shoes. Not cool! Authentic Doc Martens boots have distinctive design features. Here's how to spot the imposters and make sure you're getting the real deal.
Examine the back heel of the shoe for the AirWair loop, which is only found on authentic Doc Martens.
Look for the "bouncing soles." Open the shoe and check out the insoles—real Doc Martens have air-cushioned soles.
Check for typos on the Dr. Martens logo inside the shoe, as many knockoffs misspell the brand name.
Look around the base of the shoe for the authentic Doc Martens yellow stitching.
Look for an imprint on the bottom of the shoe with a cross and the Doc Martens stamp.
Find out the shoes' manufacturing place and date. Doc Martens manufactured in Asia after 2002 have the brand imprinted on the shoe's side, whereas older shoes don't. Shoes manufactured in England have "Made in England" stamped on the sole and imprinted on the insole.
Not all authentic Doc Martens have lace-up holes, as there are a variety of styles available.
The best way to guarantee you're getting real Doc Martens is to buy directly from a Doc Martens store or website.