Why are RM Williams so Popular?
RM Williams boots, simply boot are the best boots we have ever come across. At A·Hume we have complete and utter faith that they have been made to the highest standard, in a unique way and that every customer that leaves us with a pair is about to put the best boots they will own on their feet. Over the past decades RM Williams has grown in popularity, and we believe this is due to the quality, comfort, and longevity of their products. People have faith in the brand and in their products. They understand the value they get out of them; they are passionate about the brand and wear it with pride. The brand provides a sense of belonging, it’s a common appreciation for a brand that means something. There are not many brands out there that when you wear them you are stopped by others with an accepting nod…you belong to the club.
RM Williams is an Australian luxury brand and what makes RM Williams a luxury brand you might ask? Well, it is a combination of the fact that everything they produce is of the highest quality, manufactured by adopting unique processes and they are an authentic Australian brand that is dedicated to upholding their heritage and values their roots.
How did RM Williams begin and where is it produced now?
Reginald Murray Williams (RM Williams), taught by Dollar Mick a master leatherworker sold his first pair of boots at the young age of 24 years old. With a ready market of men destined for life in the saddle RM Williams set up his first factory in 1932 in South Australia. Over the following decades RM Williams expanded his business, offering saddlery, equipment, moleskin trousers, jeans and shirts, all perfectly crafted for life in the Aussie outback. All RM Williams boots are still made in Australia and unlike many other brands who have grown over the last 100 years, none are made in China. However, we must note that not all products are currently made in Australia with some of their apparel made in China, Madagascar and Pakistan. But Australian born and bred owners, Andrew and Nicola Forrest who bought the brand at the end of 2020 from LVMH are passionate about bringing more production back to Australia.
“I just want to see this organisation grow and grow with Australian craftsmanship, Australian quality, Australian reputation, and back in Australian hands.” – Andrew Forrest, Owner of RM Williams.
Why RM Williams boots are worth the money
RM Williams boots range in price starting at £375.00. A punchy price tag some would argue, however at A·Hume we know they are worth every penny and here is why…
“My last pair lasted 18 years and I look forward to seeing if these can last 20! Excellent boots. Thoroughly recommend.” – Anonymous
It’s in the craftsmanship and at the skilled hands of their workers. You have probably heard that RM Williams boots are made from one piece of leather, well what exactly does that mean? RM Williams are only one of the very few bootmakers in the world that use one piece of leather. Because of this the boot is tougher and more durable, it is far less likely to split, tear or break over time. Eliminating the number of seams to one seam at the back of the boot reduces any weak points and eliminates any raised edges inside the boot from the seam, resulting in a more comfortable wearing boot and a better fit.
“My third pair of Craftsmen – not because they wear out, but because they are so great, I wanted a pair in each colour – the most comfortable hard wearing boots you can buy.” – Anonymous
Once the single piece of leather has been cut the boot goes through a “blocking process” where the leather is heated to 130 degrees, this provides strength and durability to the leather. You might have noticed the line down the middle of the front of the boots, this is known as the “blocking line”, it disappears in time but is a sign of true quality. The blocking process challenges the integrity of the leather to its limit, any inferior leather would not withstand this process.
Once the elastics and the tugs are sewn into place on the leather upper and lining, the inner soles are fastened to lasts. Lasts are wooden feet in every single shape and size. The uppers are stretched onto the lasts, so your shoes are a perfect true to size fit and already comfortable to wear. RM Williams have over 700 shapes and fits of last, so we know they will be a perfect fit when you try them on.
The upper and lining are stapled to the rib tape on the inner sole, a welt strip is then sewn to the rib tape. Depending on the sole type, welted soles are sewn onto the welt strip and screwed soles are attached using brass screws (both wear the same). The Goodyear Welt processes is renowned as the best form of construction as it ensures the soles are waterproof and durable.
There are only two companies left in the world who continue to do screwed soles.
The soles are filled with cork which provides insulation and ultimate comfort as it moulds to the foot. The heels are then added, sanded and shaped and the leather soles sanded, stained and varnished for that unique RM Williams sole. Many of our customers are so dedicated to their pair of boots because they are moulded so well to their feet that they choose to get them reheeled and resoled using our boot repair service.
It costs more to build boots this way, it takes longer to make boots this way but by heck, it is worth every penny.
“Fabulous quality comfort and fit will last for years, you really do get what you pay for.” – Derek Pitt
Although built for the heat of the Aussie Outback RM Williams boots fair very well in wet weather. Because the boots are constructed in a way resulting in a single seam, they are more water resistant, with fewer places for water to get in. The goodyear welted sole also ensures the soles are waterproof because it is stitched directly to the boot. This goodyear welted sole can also be easily replaced and repaired to further enhance their waterproofness as worn soles are more likely to take up moisture. The Greasy Kip leather (found on the Gardener and Yard 365 boot) and the Oily Fern/Crazy Horse leather are more weatherproof than the yearling and kangaroo leathers (see our RM Williams Boot Types Explained Guide), however with the correct care all RM Williams boots are weatherproof boots.
For the first few wears you should try to wear your boots in dry weather. If your boots do get wet, they should be left to dry naturally, away from any source of artificial heat and apply leather conditioner or saddle dressing depending on the leather (see our RM Williams boot care guide for more info). Suede boots should be treated with a protector before wearing. Keeping your boots in good condition using RM Williams care products will aid waterproofing and help your boots stay weatherproof for longer.
True to Size and Easy to Find Your Fit
We find that RM Williams are true to size, so therefore we recommend you start with your usual size. There are some handy checks you can do to ensure you have the correct size for your feet.
Feel where the ball (widest part of the foot below your big toes) of the foot is, it should be at the widest part of the boot. If it is too far forward the boot is too small and if the ball of the foot is too far back it is too big. There should be a thumbs width of space between the end of the toe and the end of the boot. The heel should feel snug with only a small lift.
To find the correct width you should run a thumb over the top of the boot from the big toe joint to the small toe joint. The leather upper will not stretch, but ease slightly, therefore you should feel comfortable across the top of the foot immediately.
We do recommend on all other products you start with your size, apart from belts where we recommend two sizes up on your normal waist size.
Passionate About Ethical Supply Chains
RM Williams recognises that garment and footwear production is a high-risk industry and that workers in their supply chain could be subjected to forms of modern slavery. They conduct questionnaires, site visits and audits to help them identify any incidents of exploitation or modern slavery within their suppliers. They are constantly assessing potential risk areas and monitor them; they also provide a provide a structure where anything inappropriate can be reported and dealt with appropriately. They also strive to create a culture where their employees feel safe and passionate about the work they do.
A pair of RM Williams boots looks better and fit better with every wear. They are a boot you can wear every day, they will mould to your feet and literally become the most comfortable boots you own. The unique way they are crafted to the highest standard makes them worth every penny.