Doc Martens Industrial 2296 Boots

Dr. Marten's Industrial 2296 Boots $130

I spent about 10 days in London this past spring and it pains me to report that the food, weather, and dental hygiene were every bit as lousy as advertised. Don't even get me started on the women's haircuts! At least I think they were women. At least I think they were haircuts. Anyway, on the plus side I have to say that they make some darn nice boots over in the land of the Union Jack. I suppose that's just the natural Darwinistic order of things. If you live in a warm, sunny climate with lots of beach bums, you get good at making sandals. If you live in a cold, rainy climate with lots of blue collar types, you get good at making boots. And bless 'em for it!

I recently had the priveledge of stomping about in a pair of Dr. Martens Industrial 2296 boots. Unlike the traditional image of the black biker boot laden with buckles and straps, or the pure racing styles that go great with a pair of neon-colored one-piece leathers and absolutely nothing else, the 2296 offers a far more casual appearance that can easily blend in with a wide variety of fashion decisions (hopefully good ones). This is no small benefit as it's not easy to find a boot that is motorcycle ready and still goes with a polo shirt or even a solid-colored button-down shirt. (Not to worry lads, I didn't think this stuff up on my own, my girlfriend helped me!)

At around 10 inches, the height of the boot cuff gave up a few inches to my usual pair and as a result, I did notice a hint more draft than usual up my jeans in a full-crouch position, which can be either a good thing or bad thing depending upon the climate that day. The milk-chocolate-colored leather is soft, pliable, and doesn't need a drop of breaking in. I found that the suppleness of the ankle made it a breeze to shift gears even when scrunched up on a racing bike. I've owned fuzzy bunny slippers that were less comfortable after three years than the Docs felt straight out of the box. Oh quit giggling, that was a long time ago. I got rid of them when I turned 30, alright!

Anyhow, the 2296 wasn't just built to feel great and look purty. These boots are ready for battle. The built-in heavily cushioned pads on both sides of the ankle give one a sense of confidence when banging around in the garage, and according to the Doc, the deep cleated slip-resistant sole repels oil, gasoline, fat, acid, and alkili. Step in anything else and you're on your own.

Get in your Inbox