Apr 2, 2013

Dr. Martens Aren't What They Used To Be. I'm Switching To American Boots!

Distinctive yellow stitching on Doc Martens shoes.
Distinctive yellow stitching on Doc Martens shoes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This post isn't really technical, it's more personal. I'm writing this pretty much out of shear disappointment  and also to let the world know of my issue and to warn others. This post is about shoes.

Well this is about boots more specifically. Dr. Marten boots, or "Docs" to be even more exact. I've been a Doc customer since high school in the mid to late 90's when grunge was pretty big and Docs really gained popularity in the United States. They were quality boots that would last for a very long time.

A few years ago I bought my second pair of Dr. Marten boots. They were the Milton Chelsea boot, and they seemed very well made despite the fact that this particular model was made in the Dr. Marten Thailand. I even took them through a river in Zion National Park, and they still held up well. That is except the tread of course. After only a year, the tread on this pair was almost completely worn off.

I decided to buy another pair of Dr. Marten boots last December. That pair was the Fusion NS boot. I thought these would at least hold up as well as the Milton Chelsea, but I was wrong. This pair was made in the Dr, Marten factory in China. After only three months of regular use, the sole in the right shoe started making a very loud clicking sounds. Something inside the sole system appeared to be broken.

Ever since Dr. Marten decided to cheapen up their boots and start making them in Asia, their quality has seriously suffered. You can still buy their boots that are made in England, but you will also pay through the nose for them.

Well for the first time in my life I've found myself sending the Dr. Martens back to the manufacturer because of a defect.

My Justin J-Max Boots
I have decided to switch companies, and I've moved over to an American company with affordable made boots made in America. The Justin Boot Company has a line of non-cowboy styled work boots called J-Max that are handcrafted in the United States.

If you also like a little western flair, they make J-Max boots like that too. In fact the pair I just bought were their Original Work Boot 4440's. I like them because they are super solid boots, and they don't look too cowboyish.

One of the things I liked about Doc Martens is that they sewed the welt to the upper part of the boot. That is something cheap companies don't do. Cheap companies just glue it. Justin has gone above that and not only do they sew the welt to the upper, the sew the welt to the polyurethane sole as well, so they should last longer.

Anyway, now I'm sporting my American made boots and so far I am super happy with them. I'm hoping that I can get at least 10 years out of these bad boys.
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