The 1461 oxford shoes by Dr. Marten's are old-school in every way. They were first introduced to the market in 1961 as a working-man's shoe, and soon after, were adopted by various subcultures such as the skinheads and the punks, who made the shoes part of their look. Flash forward to forty years after they launched, the shoes had a moment in Manila in the 90's. The gummy lug-soles and yellow stitching glinted in the eyes of every cool kid who had access to a relative who could hand-deliver them a pair all the way from America. And the fact that they were black and spare in design meant they were permissible to be worn with the Catholic school uniform; Dr. Martens were the penultimate school shoes.
Dr. Martens 1461 oxford shoes in black with yellow contrast stitching. These are the most iconic rendition of the shoes, in black with the pop of yellow around the sole. I had exactly the same pair in elementary school and vividly remember being fascinated by how they never seemed to wear out like my school shoes of previous years.
Dr. Martens 1461s in black leather. With the absence of contrast stitching, they are minimalist and sleek.
In cherry red, they are a tart version of my old school shoes, but the rich hue still keeps them dark and handsome. This may well be my favorite of the bunch.
When you're twenty-five and your crow's feet furrow in deeper than the point of charming and your laugh lines persist with such fortitude as to effectively stifle a laugh, it could be nice to set aside, for a while, the grown-up shoes in suedes and snakes and satins, and put on those that remind you of your old school shoes, those that could give the morning commute to work that same bounce of a twelve-year-old walking to his classroom early on a Friday: no exams today.
photos via Zalando