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Here’s a riddle for you:
If I say, “6 holes, 10 holes, 14 holes, 20 holes.” What does it make you think of?
Golf? = False!
My old jeans? = Still wrong!
The number of piercings I have? = Still not! (I only have 3)
Doc Marten shoes? = Congratulations!!
Yes, you guessed it. I’m going to talk about Doc Marten’s. Those sturdy shoes which we will always associate with punk-rockers and skinheads from around the world! Those shoes that allow you to walk, run and dance. And whose sole is oil resistant. Yes, yes, it’s written on the label – even if it means nothing to me!
You can even wear them to go to the beach because with them being so high, the sand doesn’t get inside them. In any case, my friends and I wore them to the beach more than once. And to make us look less stupid, we carried a pack of beers. Yes, Docs and beer go very well together!
Personally, I love Doc Marten’s with 14 holes. I don’t know how many pairs I’ve owned, but I remember that I used to wear them almost all the time (otherwise I had on Creepers or Converse). And it was really hard to throw them out when they got too old, even if they were worn out!
I still see myself, young punk-rocker, getting ready to go out and meet my friends before going to a bar or a concert.
I remember that despite my punkabilly look that frightened people (especially grandmothers!), I regularly polished my Docs with polish. Yes, I loved it. I’ve always liked to have shoes well polished!
I am nostalgic when I think back to the time I used to put on my Doc 14 holes. This ceremony (yes, it was like a ceremony for me) was always a preparation of small, precise details, because I almost never went out without also doing my hair and without looking like a rocker! Except maybe to buy wine or beer from the local grocer! In this case, I put on a pair of Creepers, and not Docs. It’s still rock’n’roll but it’s much faster to put on Creepers than Doc Martens.
My first pair, however, were Bordeaux Docs. I bought them in Nice, in the only store in the town that sold this kind of footwear. With these on my feet, I looked like a clown. Well, that’s what my mother told me, who was having trouble seeing her young son change into something she didn’t really understand! She also told me: “And if fashion tomorrow is to put a feather in the a**? Would you do it too?” I never knew how to answer this, and even today, I don’t know whether I would have gone that far for fashion! I sincerely think not …
After the first ones, I bought my other pairs in different stores in Paris, and even London, but they all had 14 holes! It was my rule, although I sometimes a pain to remove them when I got home, completely drunk. Besides, it has happened to me more than once to sleep with them on!
Of course, all my friends also had Docs, but not all of them had 14 holes. Everyone had their choice, but I had a friend who had 20 holes! I loved this model. I thought it made the leg look great. It was very cool! But 20 holes is a bit too restrictive for me, because there, honestly, it was necessary to spend extra time to put them on and take them off.
And then little by little, as time passed, I became lazy and when I was around 35, I started wearing my Docs less often than before. The ceremony of my youth had given way to weariness, and I was tired of losing time putting them on. And so most of the time I was just wearing Converse or Creepers.
But I always had a pair of 14 holes ready to wear!
And today? Today, as you know, I live in Moscow, and in Russia, you take off your shoes as soon as you go home or into any apartment/house! It’s mandatory! If one day you have the opportunity to come to Moscow and visit someone at home, you’ll see that everyone takes off their shoes in the entrance, even if we only stay a few minutes! Which is logical really, because here it snows often and you can imagine your shoes full of snow and you let it melt quietly while you walk around the house? I can guarantee that when you see how much mess that makes you won’t make the same mistake twice!
And besides now, Cheryl and I, even if we travel in countries where we usually keep our shoes on, such as in France or Australia, we feel uncomfortable entering someone’s home with our shoes on. If we’re staying a while we always feel better in our socks!
So with this ‘tradition’ of removing our shoes, you can imagine that wearing these kinds of shoes has become problematic. However, I still have a pair that I wear sometimes. They’re brown and with 14 holes! And when I put them on, I always feel a certain joy, and I go back in time to when I used to sleep with them on!
Of course, when I go to concerts in Russia, I see a lot of young punks wearing Doc Martens, and it gives me pleasure. I still find that them beautiful, but I’ve noticed that many of them wear them with a zip! Should they be ashamed? Well, yes and no. Because they still have this mitigating circumstance: unlike us, French and Australians, they must remove their shoes when they get home, even if they are completely drunk!
And you, do you have any stories to tell about your shoes or your favourite clothes? As you get older, have you changed your clothing/shoe habits?
Tell us your memories in the comments!
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