If America’s National Basketball Association is the most stylish professional sports league in the world, then Russell Westbrook is the most stylish sportsman in the world.
The 32-year-old Washington Wizards point guard is widely regarded as the most fashion-forward athlete in the NBA. From confident, punk-inspired summer styles to experimental isolation looks, the man’s sartorial range is impressive – and while some of his fashion exploits are a bit too cutting-edge for some of his fans, no-one can deny that they’re exciting.
Thankfully, his latest outfit seems to be resonating with even the strongest fashion skeptics. Stepping out before the Wizards’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Russ was spotted in all-black with a cape-like overcoat, with only a pop of colour from the Richard Mille watch on his wrist breaking up the otherwise ninja-esque look.
But the thing that really brings the outfit together? The Dr. Martens 1460 Harness boots on his feet. It’s these stereotypically hipster kicks we’d like to focus on – because even if you don’t have Westbrook’s style confidence (or NBA money), you should definitely have a pair of these boots in your wardrobe.
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Founded in 1960 in Northamptonshire, England, Dr. Martens boots (or just ‘Docs’) are perennially fashionable and ubiquitous; a real counter-culture icon that have been worn by everyone from skinheads and ska fans in the 80s to Bushwick hipsters and Greenwich Village goths in the 2010s.
While the firm makes a wide variety of different styles – from oxfords and Chelsea boots to sandals and brothel creepers – the classic eight-eyelet high-top 1460 boot remains their biggest seller. Westbrook’s boots are a derivation of that famous, original style, just with a biker-style leather harness over the top of its laces.
While we’re not suggesting every man rush out and buy a pair of these harness-endowed ones specifically – they’re a very particular look – normal 1460s are a particularly versatile and hardy pair of shoes worth adding to your rotation, regardless of how much almond milk you like to drink or Camus you like to read.
You don’t have to wear them like Russ, either. Smooth, black 1460s look great paired with some blue denim jeans, slim black trousers or even overalls (if you want to go ‘full workwear’).
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Polished up, they can look quite dapper – but they’re also one of those shoes that arguably look better a bit worn in or beaten up, like white Nike Air Force 1s, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars or R.M. Williams boots.
That said, there’s a lot of love for Westbrook’s unique application of the classic boots. Choice comments on social media include “fit of the season”, “I love the fact he comes to games dressed like a villain” and, tellingly, “dude usually wears some weird mix but I’m feeling this.”
Hilariously, one fan bemoaned “good lord, do you know how much leather is needed to make Dr. Martens in [this] dudes’ size?!”
Sadly, Westbrook’s winning style wasn’t enough to prevent the Wizards going down against the Nets 113-106. The Wizards’ next game is against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden later tonight NYC time / tomorrow morning Australian time.