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Back in the day, they were cheap and cheerful. Nowadays, Doc Martens are more of a fashion statement, and their price tag is anything but cheerful.

While they’ve been worn by everyone from Kanye West to the Dalai Lama, why did these iconic boots become so expensive?

In the 1940s, a German doctor couldn’t find appropriate boots to assist him after a skiing accident, so he designed and manufactured his own boots. Right from the start, they were a hit, and were even advertised as gardening shoes because of their comfort.

When the brand was taken to England, things changed a bit. One of the big changes were the iconic stitching added to every single boot.

While most factory workers and other hard-working labourers wore them for safety and support, punk rockers soon became big fans as well during the 1990s.

After the 1990s, Doc Martens lost their appeal, and manufacturing was downsized tremendously.

To ensure the company stayed afloat, most of the production was moved to Asia, where 98% of the world’s Doc Martens are still made. The 2% of the boots that are made in England is much more expensive than the versions made in China, although it’s basically the exact same boot.

Along came 2002, and the brand became iconic again. The company has evolved a lot from the small family business to the large private equity firm it is today. But, this is also where the price increase made its appearance: Since the takeover the price has increased by 25%, but so have the profits.

Watch the So Expensive video below for more on the Doc Martens story, and why these boots have become so expensive.

Image credit: The Guardian

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