Dr. Martens has undertaken a project fraught with risks—refreshing their iconic boot—and nailed it. For those of us who are eight-up enthusiasts, some since our teens, the classic boot has often been relegated to cooler days because of its durable and heavy vibe. The brand has successfully updated the legendary boots to make them even more wearable with super-light, comfortable soles and Temperley leather that needs less breaking in. DM’s Lite, the new classic, have had a revamp and it’s made them more comfortable and ideal for warmer weather wear.
We were lucky to try a couple pairs of DM’s Lite boots and were happy that they still feel ultra-durable, still have the same attitude and stance, but are easier to wear. Refreshing a classic is no easy task and we were interested to find out how the new boots were designed (for lovers of the classics don’t worry—they aren’t going anywhere), so we spoke with Simon Jobson from DMs to learn more.
Jobson tells us that—as with all DM products and process—the wearer is the priority. “There are certain consumers who will always love our Original welted iconic product, but we also identified that there is a consumer who loves the attitude of the brand and the DNA of the product, but don’t want to buy the icons due to the fact that welted product is perceived as heavy in comparison to the more athleisure product that they wear.” The trick then, was to make a design incredibly similar to the original, “The DM’s Lite concept stems from where the brand began, which what was at that moment in time: the revolutionary AirWair cushioned sole technology, which provided performance and comfort for the working man back in the late 1960s.”
With the iconic shape as their guide, the brand commenced the research and development to identify the best materials to make the boots lighter and more functional. “We wanted to continue this innovation story by developing a product that bore all of the DNA and visual cues of our Originals and their valued functional aspects of comfort and durability,” Jobson tells us. But the difference is that these shoes sit on top of a Phylon midsole, substantially lighter (260 grams to be precise) than its welted counterpart.
With a simple change—and a difficult process of trial and error—the brand has invented a new classic. DM Lites look almost identical to the boots we know and love, but are lighter and even more versatile. Jobson says, the brand has (yet again) “developed a future icon.”
Shop the full DM’s Lite Boot and Shoe collection online, where prices start at $105.
Images by Cool Hunting