“The Doc Martens That Took Me Around the World” by Lily Hansen

Credit...Eric Helgas for The New York Times

Two words. DOCTOR. MARTENS, or as I like to call them, my around the world boots. My moon boots, my emo boots, my girlie boots, my goth boots, my shiny glass slippers in the shape of boots. My oh dang look in the mirror, you’re looking mighty fine boots. My ‘can I take a picture of your boots’ boots. My casual boots, my prom-night boots, my run to the mailbox boots. America I am telling you, these suckers are my BOOTS. The sleek black leather is smoother than the butter my grandma hand-churned in the middle of Alabama heat of 1942. The intricate yellow stitching all along the seams is more iridescent than a disco club in 1973 with bell bottoms and cigarette smoke and Elton John serenading the microphone. The squeaky clean rubber soles. the Armageddon-fighting, indestructible laces. The notorious shine of the black leather. But none of this is even comes close to the very best part of Doctor Marten Boots: these babies have SOUL. The second my feet glide into those chunky shoes, I feel myself transform like Cinderella from a dusty maid-rat to an unstoppable, ever-so captivating goddess. From black lipstick to flowery dresses to sleek suits, no outfit is complete without the flash of a stylish and daring shoe like Doc Martens. These high tops have marched across the globe; From Western Europe to downtown Atlanta, my Doc Martens have dominated every inch of rubble they have crossed. Carrying me across airports and grocery stores and museums, these boots are the one missing piece of every human’s existence. Everlasting, imperishable, dominating, beguiling. If I mercilessly trekked the sands of Israel and the mountains of Asia to find a genie in a bottle, I would use all three of my wishes on these heaven-sent boots. Wearing Doc Martens is the feeling of Elvis Presley’s knees rocking and hips swinging as the King of pop performs ‘Jailhouse Rock’ for a raging crowd. It is the experience of marching alongside Martin Luther King and fighting for all love and equality on the urban streets of Georgia. It is the intense warmth in your heart when you slow dance in a pavilion under the warm August moonlight. If there is one thing that America needs to unite itself under one heart, tried and true, a pair of high top Doctor Marten boots is always the answer.