#1
Old 07-27-2007, 08:55 AM
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Doc Martens - same quality?

In short, is anyone aware of any change in the quality of DMs? Are DMs today the same product they were 10 years ago?

After many years of loyal service, a couple of pair of my DMs are giving up the ghost. Since I've been so pleased with them (and since I hate shopping!) I figured I'd just replace them with the same models/styles.

I bought my current 4 pair at Nordstrom, which has a really good shoe department and, in general, carries pretty high quality product. When I checked it out, I saw that Nordstrom's no longer carries DM.

Looking for an outlet, I saw that DM is currently carried at Shoe Carnival, which I believe to be more of a high volume discount store. Something about the change in vendors made me wonder whether there might have been a change in DMs production qualities, or at least their marketing strategies. Are they now trying to be more mass market than before?

Just hoping someone with recent experience can give me the green light to buy some new DMs and figure my shoe situation will be set for the next decade or so. Of course, if you just want to sing the praises of your Docs, reminisce about Docs past, or comment on the absurdity of people who wear Docs, feel free.
#2
Old 07-27-2007, 09:03 AM
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I don't own any, though I've always wanted to. Might want to look here: http://zappos.com/n/es/d/722000824/page/1.html

Free delivery there and back, so you can shoe-shop in your own home. Just order as many pairs as you want and send back what you can't use.
#3
Old 07-27-2007, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale
Looking for an outlet, I saw that DM is currently carried at Shoe Carnival, which I believe to be more of a high volume discount store. Something about the change in vendors made me wonder whether there might have been a change in DMs production qualities, or at least their marketing strategies. Are they now trying to be more mass market than before?
Well, Nordstrom, which has an upperclass image, seems like a bad match for a brand whose image is punkrock/industrial. I don't imagine very many of the kind of people who wear Docs are the kind of people who shop at Nordstrom, present company excepted, of course.

Just my WAG about why Nordstrom doesn't carry them any more.

Last edited by Hello Again; 07-27-2007 at 09:09 AM.
#4
Old 07-27-2007, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
Well, Nordstrom, which has an upperclass image, seems like a bad match for a brand whose image is punkrock/industrial. I don't imagine very many of the kind of people who wear Docs are the kind of people who shop at Nordstrom, present company excepted, of course.

Just my WAG about why Nordstrom doesn't carry them any more.
What's your WAG about why they carried them in the first place?

I'll make one recommendation, Dinsdale. If you're looking to branch out at all, see if there's a "The Walking Store" near you.

They seem to ONLY have quality shoes there, and I've found the one near me has a good staff.
#5
Old 07-27-2007, 09:19 AM
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Check that. . ."The Walking Company".

http://thewalkingcompany.com/

not "The Walking Store".
#6
Old 07-27-2007, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
Well, Nordstrom, which has an upperclass image, seems like a bad match for a brand whose image is punkrock/industrial. I don't imagine very many of the kind of people who wear Docs are the kind of people who shop at Nordstrom, present company excepted, of course.

Just my WAG about why Nordstrom doesn't carry them any more.
Nordstrom was originally a shoe store. They've carried plenty of shoes that I wouldn't expect to see on feet at The Algonquin. They're there to make money.
#7
Old 07-27-2007, 09:54 AM
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My husband destroys shoes at a rate small dogs would be proud of. He has had his DM boots (dark brown, nice, not unlike theseones) for 18months, which is a record for him. In the same space of time he has gone through 3 pairs of converse high-tops, a pair of Etnies and a pair of Fly leather sneakers.

Seem to be as good quality as ever.
#8
Old 07-27-2007, 10:00 AM
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
Well, Nordstrom, which has an upperclass image, seems like a bad match for a brand whose image is punkrock/industrial. I don't imagine very many of the kind of people who wear Docs are the kind of people who shop at Nordstrom, present company excepted, of course.

Just my WAG about why Nordstrom doesn't carry them any more.
I'd always gotten my Docs at Nordstrom, until 2-3 years ago. Punk rock or not, they're $100-200 shoes; Nordstrom, as has been pointed out, is there to make money. Match made in heaven.

I don't know if the quality has fallen off (the pair I'm wearing right now has been my main work shoes for three years), but I know they've fallen out of fashion a bit since the late 90s. Maybe they just don't sell well enough to merit shelf space at Nordstrom anymore.
#9
Old 07-27-2007, 10:01 AM
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Quality of DMs went down when they went "mainstream", but that was (I think) back in the late 70s or early 80s, so unless you're still wearing a pair you bought in '74, I don't think you'll see any relative change in quality.
#10
Old 07-27-2007, 10:36 AM
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Time was, you could only get DM's in full sizes, and although I've been a 9-1/2 for about 20 years now, I would buy the 10's in the 1990's. Then I got tired of wearing shoes that were too big for me, so I stopped. It seems like a pretty strange restriction (but I read that Governor Arnold special orders his 9-1/2's from DM, so I know they'll make them, I'm just not important enough).

Do they still only come in full sizes?
#11
Old 07-27-2007, 10:55 AM
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The newer ones are made in China as opposed to England but I own one pair from England, two from China and I don't see a diiference.
#12
Old 07-27-2007, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunk
What's your WAG about why they carried them in the first place?
.
Doc's are fairly expensive as shoes go.
#13
Old 07-27-2007, 11:42 AM
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How on Earth did you get your DMs to "give up the ghost"? I've had mine for 10 years now, used extensively, and just yesterday I was marveling at how, besides from maybe some minor curling, they still look almost brand new. Even the soles! Maybe I'll have cause in the next 30 years or so to come back and report on what I think of the new ones.
#14
Old 07-27-2007, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu
How on Earth did you get your DMs to "give up the ghost"?
The soles are wearing out. I have 4 pair, 3 with the clear-ish soles, and one with a softer black sole. I wear them to work every day, alternating among the pair (except for snowy/sloppy winter days when I wear Gore-tex Timberlands). A normal day involves walking 3 miles or more on concrete commuting and such, though the majority of my work is done in an office at a desk.

The black soles did not wear anywhere near as long as the others, and after a couple of years got a tad slick and wore a bit unevenly. Just this week I noticed that on 2 of the pair with the clear-ish soles, they were separating under the instep. Could probably try to glue them or just keep wearing them for a while, but I figure I can afford to buy new daily footwear every decade or so!
#15
Old 07-27-2007, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp
I don't know if the quality has fallen off (the pair I'm wearing right now has been my main work shoes for three years), but I know they've fallen out of fashion a bit since the late 90s. Maybe they just don't sell well enough to merit shelf space at Nordstrom anymore.
I think this is the key for Nordstrom...they sell whatever sells, you know? They have carried Docs for at least 15 years, so I don't think it's the alternative/punk image that is the problem.

I bought a pair of Docs at Nordstrom Rack last year, and they seem just as solid as any pair I have ever purchased over the years.
#16
Old 07-27-2007, 04:15 PM
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There's lots of debate about how the quality has changed since they moved production to China. Don't know if it's true. I have a pair of Tredairs that were made in the old Doc factory in England and they're great.
I think the reason Nordstrom's doesn't carry Doc's is because they're not particularly trendy anymore. Nordstrom's carries fashion concious shoes and Doc's are kinda old hat right now.
#17
Old 07-27-2007, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale
Just this week I noticed that on 2 of the pair with the clear-ish soles, they were separating under the instep.
My Doc Martin steel toe work boots had this same sole separation. It's not too bad and I haven't bothered to fix them with shoe goo or anything. Then again they are, now, my back-up pair.
#18
Old 07-30-2007, 09:33 AM
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Bought 2 pair. Only $70, and they had 2d pair 1/2 price, so 2 pair was under $130 tax and all.

They didn't have a great selection, so I bought 2 pair of identical brown shoes.
They are a little more casual feeling than my old ones. Feel like a lot of padding on the tongue and around the ankle. Different sole than any of my old ones. And they say they are made in Thailand.

What is weird is that I can't see the exact model on the DM site. I wonder if they make 2-tiers of product...

Oh well, I needed the shoes, these seem comfortable and were affordable. If I get a few good years out of them I'll be pleased. Yet another instance, tho, where I have something I really like, and I just want to replace it with the exact same thing, but find myself unable to. Grrr!
#19
Old 07-30-2007, 09:39 AM
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I bought a pair of 8-eye black boots five years ago and another one year ago, wearing them more days than not both times. I feel like the first ones I bought held up better than the second ones are, but I can't say for sure.
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