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Dr Martens

The Doc knows best

MMDE: Dr. Martins

Current: Dr. Martens

How exactly were the famous tough boots from the British footwear manufacturer spelt - was it Doc Martin or Doc Marten?

All records today show the spelling has remained unchanged from Dr. Martens since its formation in 1947.

As if it needed complicating any further, the founder is actually spelt Dr. Klaus Maertens, who invented the air-cushioned sole to help him recover when wounded as a soldier.

There is also a TV series called "Doc Martin" which has no connection with the footwear company, but might have contributed in some way to the misspelling confusion.  In any case, many are sure this is a Mandela Effect because they swear it used to be spelt Doc Martins.

Common spelling

Martin - as in the male first name - is a much more common spelling than Marten, which doesn't have an equivalent apart from t eh surname of the inventor. So in people's minds, hearing it rather than speaking it would cause them to opt for the more common form unless they knew otherwise.

"Docs" have been adopted by a surprisingly diverse range of fashion and music cultures, ranging from skinheads in the 1960's, mods, punk rockers, goths right up to the grunge movement of the 90's and beyond.

British made, the company was initially named Griggs and remained that for 50 years. The design was honoured in 2006 as a British design icon along with the E-Type Jaguar and the Spitfire. That's pretty ironic, because the originals were actually made by Klaus Martens when he was a German soldier from discarded rubber from Luftwaffe scrap.

Whilst the origins and manufacture started in 1901 in Northamptonshire in the UK and continued that way for many years, in 2019 less than 1% were produced there, the rest being made in Asia or Permira. Concerns over the drop in quality have plagued the company since they made this move.

Those in the know have actually always pronounced them as "Martens", but to the majority the spelling is a surprise. There are several kinds of Mandela Effects, such as changes in logos, movie quotes or famous deaths, for example. One class is spelling, especially when both versions sound the same when spoken out loud, such as in this case.