These Boots Were Made For More Than Walkin’ – The Sole of the Rebel

2013-08-10 10.00.17-crop“Driving fast, drinking cheap beer and smashing windows isn’t rebellion. The best form of rebellion is individualism. Thinking for yourself.”
Martin Roach, Dr Martens History

We live within a system that awards conformity and penalizes individualism. We get on Facebook and Twitter each day, ranting about how “they” are fucking us over or how “we” have to rebel; terms suggesting conformity to the majority. The truth is that most of those rants are veiled attempts at getting more people to conform to a particular notion presented by the mouthpiece. True rebels think and do what they want without caring what others think. They don’t care about being “proper” or “polite” or wearing the right jeans or driving to the right church on Sunday. Individuals aren’t worried what purse they’re holding at the cocktail party or what the label says on their beer bottle. Conformists worry about what other people think while individualists think.

Rebels must conform to a certain degree or they’d end up in jail, dead, or typing manifestos in the wilds of Montana. Fringe conformity ensures a degree of self-preservation. In a twisted paradox, one of the most enduring representations of individualism comes from the commercial realm. Doc Martens: a big “fuck you” to the masses.

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J Thorn

J. Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). In March of 2014 Thorn held the #5 position in Horror with his childhood idols Dean Koontz and Stephen King at #4 and #2 respectively. He is an official, active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. J. is a contributor to and a staff writer for

Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University. He has spent the last twenty years researching mysticism and the occult in colonial American history.

8 Comments on "These Boots Were Made For More Than Walkin’ – The Sole of the Rebel"

  1. swabby429 | Aug 14, 2013 at 8:32 am |

    If all the non-conformist rebels are wearing DM shoes and boots, I’ll stick with my New Balance trainers.

  2. I got a pair of Docs about 4-5 years ago. They look good, but they’re uncomfortable and fragile–in other words, just a fashion statement. They’re not made for working, walking, and butt-kickin’ anymore, and that’s why they were popular in skinhead and related subcultures in the first place. I understand the UK ones were better, but they’re now made in E. Asia like everything else. I doubt those workers wear Docs.
    I agree with Swabby. If you want to be rebellious and more comfortable, wear New Balance trainers, preferably with velcro strap. I also recommend wearing women’s jellies like The Dude.

  3. I have a pair that are 23-years-old. Still rockin. They even endured a few months in the Amazon last year.

  4. Anarchy Pony | Aug 14, 2013 at 10:58 am |

    Let’s not band together and pool our resources and determination to effect real change. Let’s just whinge about how everybody else is poseurs. Let’s stay atomized and ineffectual. That’ll show ’em!

  5. BuzzCoastin | Aug 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

    The best form of rebellion is individualism.
    Join the individualism club with Doc’s boots.

  6. Monkey See Monkey Do | Aug 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

    Fashion is such a con. Alternative-looking people rarely have anything interesting to say.

    • …depends on where you are…but generally, if it looks like it took effort, then you’d be correct…

      Counter-example: someone might call me “alternative” when I don’t shave my armpits (because some people still think like it’s the 90’s or some shit and that I must be doing it to make a statement, and not-at-all simply because I’m lazy and hate stubble, besides, shaving razors are a scam).

      Same goes for guys and gals who might shave their heads because washing hair is a chore OR grow out their hair because they can’t afford a haircut.

      I shop at a thrift store because that’s what I can afford. I wear boots (not Docs and not in summer, because wtf?) because they are all-terrain vehicles for feet. In summer I wear flip-flops because they cost $1.

      The problem is that “fashion” co-opted “anti-fashion” so that now they are practically indistinguishable. It is indeed difficult to tell at first glance the difference between the genuine “ripped-jeans-because-i-can’t-afford-another-pair-besides-now-my-legs-are-getting-a-nice-breeze” and the “i-just-spent-over-one-hundred-bucks-on-pre-broken-clothing” people if you don’t know what to look for…

      (Or re-watch Zoolander and meditate on “Derelicte”!)

  7. Richard Frith | Aug 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm |

    Paradox hurts brain.

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