I had first heard of Dr. Martens shoes because they were being banned in grade school. It was another of Ateneo's classic austerity initiatives to promote simple living by forcing everyone to buy simpler shoes to wear every day versus the expensive ones they already owned. And thus that always gave them an odd position of status in my head since they had be something special for the school to take steps to ban them.
Fast forward to today and I'm in a weird state where I'm actually open to buying things like clothes and shoes more than usual. Thus hot on the heels of getting a new pair of running shoes, I figured it was time to get a new pair of work shoes as my current ones were pretty beat up from nearly daily use.
And thus last Saturday my mom and I went shoe shopping. After I helped her get running shoes of her own (ironically the female equivalent of my own shoes), we set to task to trying to find some work shoes for me. The quirky requirement was that they had to be rugged enough to survive my regular walks to work and not just be pretty shoes. Mom had other insights like what styles to get to fit the fact that I usually work jeans to the office and not slacks or other more formal office wear.
We first went to Geox, but their memory foam shoes built for longer walking didn't fit me well. They just didn't feel right and my heels would easily pop out of the shoes with every step despite our efforts to find a more appropriate size. So we ended up at the nearby Dr. Martens store to finally address my long-running statement of wanting to own a pair again.
Admittedly, I had the notion that the shoes would be crazy expensive, but it turned out that I had spent more on my running shoes than most of their shoes cost. So that made going around the store a little easier. I remember what my sister had stressed about brown shoes being a bit more universal than black ones and so I limited my search along those lines. The bigger constraint was finding shoes in my size - most of the ones that I initially liked did not come in my size unless I was prepared to wear very thick socks AND in-soles just to stand a chance of decently walking.
The pair we ended up with were still nice and fit quite well. They felt really nice to walk in and Mom assured me that they'd go well with jeans. I got to put them to the test today at work and man, they're a very comfortable pair indeed. I just hope I don't scuff them too badly over the course of walking to and from work. There's a strong tendency towards clumsiness in our side of the family and I've been known to ruin shoes given regular use.
At the end of the day, they're really comfortable shoes that serve multiple roles and turned out not to be all that expensive. Not quite the high class status symbol of my youth but a nicely more practical purchase than expected.