Starting in 1901, the Griggs family were known for making boots in the small town of Wollaston, Northamptonshire in the English Midlands. They were at the very heart of the English shoe industry and for six decades Griggs’ footwear earned a solid reputation as sturdy, durable work boots.
The story then switched to post-war Munich, 1945 and Dr. Klaus Maertens, a 25-year-old soldier. While recovering from a broken foot, he created a unique air-cushioned sole (rather than the traditional hard leather sole) to aid his recovery.
After going to into business in Germany, Bill Grigg's eye was caught by the German’s advert for their innovative air- cushioned sole.
An exclusive license was acquired and a few key changes made, including an altered heel, a bulbous but simple upper, a distinctive yellow welt stitch, a two tone grooved sole edge and a unique sole pattern.
The boots were branded as ‘Airwair’ and came complete with a black and yellow heel loop featuring the brand name and the slogan “With Bouncing Soles” (based on Bill Grigg’s own handwriting). Taking its name from date of its inception, April 1st, 1960, the eight-holed 1460 Dr. Martens boot had arrived.