In the late 1950's, Bill Griggs, whose family had been making shoes in Northampton since 1901, saw an advert for a German-designed boot with a unique air-cushioned sole. This technology had been designed by Dr. Maertens to offer comfort and support. Griggs liked what he saw, and soon purchased an exclusive license and brought the technology over to Britain.

Before their release, Griggs made a couple of changes to the overall design. He added yellow stitching, the branded heel loop and the two-tone grooved sole edge. With the AirWair technology and these distinctive touches, the boot that would grow into the classic was born. The first evolution of Dr. Martens dropped on 1st April 1960, and so the 8-eye boot was named the 1460.