Founded in the outback
RM Williams was the brainchild of Australian bush craftsman, Reginald Murray Williams. He formed his Company in 1932, making quality leather riding boots and saddle wear.
RM lived in the Australian bush from his teenage years, working as a camel driver and manual labourer, among other odd jobs. A chance meeting with a passing horseman, Dollar Mick, proved a fortunate turning point for RM. A colourful character, Michael George Smith (Dollar Mick), arrived at his campsite and over the coming months passed on his extensive knowledge of leather craft to RM. Under the guidance of Dollar Mick, he learnt to make bush saddlery and created his first pair of riding boots. The upper of the boots was made using a single piece of leather, which enhanced durability and remains a signature feature of RM Williams boot styles today.
A burgeoning business
RM sold his first boots to an unknown buyer and then had his first success selling saddles to the owner of a cattle ranch. In 1934 he set up the first RM Williams factory and shop in his Father’s iron shed at 5 Percy Street in Prospect, Adelaide.
With no capital behind the business, RM built a team of dedicated craftsmen and advertised in the rural press asking customers for cash payment on order. His mail order boot service began and RM Williams became known for high quality leather goods and particularly riding boots. Made with horse-riders in mind, the boots were made to be dust-resistant, water-resistant and keep the scorpions, spiders and snakes out.
In time the business diversified, selling hats and clothing inspired by the outback. This included the Company’s trademark moleskins - hard-wearing trousers, designed for a rugged lifestyle.
RM Williams products also gathered wide global appeal. Even the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was inaugurated in a pair of RM Williams boots.
In 1988 RM Williams sold the Company and it was later placed under the ownership of his friend Ken Cowley, who presided over RM Williams for two decades. Then in 2013, to aid international expansion, a share of the business was sold to L Capital Asia, a private-equity fund sponsored by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). In 2014 a consortium of L Capital and IFM investors bought the remaining share of the business from Ken Cowley.
RM Williams boots and clothing were used to style stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in the 2008 film, Australia. Then in 2016, Hugh Jackman invested in the business and became a shareholder, alongside LFM and L Capital.
An iconic Australian brand, RM Williams remains true to its heritage, making leather boots, accessories and quality clothing. The factory has moved to another location in Adelaide, but the shop at 5 Percy Street still exists and hosts the RM Williams Outback Heritage Museum.
Now a global business, RM Williams exports to 15 countries worldwide and is available at over 900 stockists around the globe. The brand continues to develop its outback inspired range, while staying close to its roots.
RM himself said:
“If you make something good, people will make a track to your door. We made simple things that people wanted and kept them simple.”
RM Williams boots are made with quality leathers and most are handcrafted in Australia. For more information about the types of leather they use, see our guide below.
A versatile and fine-grained leather from yearling aged cattle. It is used for RM Williams most iconic boot styles including the Craftsman Yearling and the Comfort Craftsman. Both of these boots feature the RM Williams distinctive one-piece leather design.
Made from the hide of kangaroo, this is the strongest leather for its weight in the world. The unique structure of kangaroo leather allows it to be cut to very thin pieces, while still retaining its strength.
RM Williams use an extremely fine-grain of kangaroo leather. It is very supple and polishes up beautifully. The leather is chrome tanned, making the leather softer and less susceptible to water stains. Boots made from kangaroo leather are ideal for dress or light work, such as the Comfort Kangaroo Craftsman Boot.
Veal calf leather
A fine-grained leather, showing natural characteristics. It is luxuriously soft and chrome tanned for suppleness. Ideal for smart Chelsea boots, veal calf leather polishes up to a high shine finish. The Signature Craftsman Boot is made to order from a single piece of Premium Veal Calf leather.
Suede finished leather is ideal for dress or smart casual boots, such as the Suede Comfort Craftsman Boot and Suede Craftsman Yearling Boot. It has a lighter weight than other leathers.
Greasy kip leather
A heavy, chrome tanned and durable leather. The leather is infused with oils during tanning to make it water-resistant. Ideal for everyday outdoor workwear boots, like the Gardener Boot. This boot has a Goodyear welted, treaded composite rubber sole. The sole is glued and stitched to the upper for strength and it means the boots can be easily re-soled as necessary.
This leather is heavyweight with a matt finish. Highly durable and water-repellent, excellent for everyday use or work wear boots. The Lachlan Boot is handcrafted from a single piece of vesta leather and for additional durability has a Goodyear welted sole.
A durable and hard-wearing leather, suited to a tough work boot such as the Stockyard. A casual and durable boot, it has a water-resistant upper and is double-stitched for strength.
Caring for leather boots
Looking after your boots can prolong their lifespan.
General care tips for RM Williams boots:
Our recommendations below are specific to the different types of leather boot.
The three main steps for yearling leathers are: 1. condition, 2. clean and 3. polish.
1. Condition before first wear and regularly:
To maintain your boots, use the leather conditioner once or twice a month. It nourishes the leather, helps to protect against rain and can prevent excessive creasing.
2. Clean your boots:
3. Polish your boots:
Particularly for high-shine boots, maintain the finish with Stockmans Boot Polish. Use on a regular basis to maintain the colour and remove scuffs:
Avoid using this polish on vesta or greasy kip leathers.
Greasy kip or vesta leather
Even with hard-wearing leathers, it is important to look after your boots. We recommend the following steps to nourish and preserve their condition:
The saddle dressing will also ensure your boots remain waterproof.
To maintain your RM Williams suede or nubuck boots follow our recommendations below.
The two main steps for suede or nubuck leathers are: 1. protect and 2. clean.
1. Protect before first wear:
Suede protector helps to repel water and protect against stains from everyday wear. Re-spray regularly throughout their life.
Always clean your boots before applying the RM Williams Suede Protector.
2. Clean your boots:
Always use a cleaner specifically for suede. Clean your boots regularly.
Even the toughest boots may need repair after time. We offer an official RM Williams boot repair service.
Trouser care guide
RM Williams moleskin jeans are renowned for their quality and durability. Both their heavyweight and lightweight moleskin styles can be machine washed.
General washing tips:
Most other RM Williams trouser styles can be machine washed, including chinos and denim jeans. Always read the care label first.
Knitwear, shirts and jackets care guide
The care label instructions will depend on the type of RM Williams garment you have. Here are some general washing tips below.
To look after your RM Williams clothes, always follow the care label guidance sewn into each garment.
Belts and wallets care guide
Belt care tips:
Material specific advice:
Cowhide (including the crocodile effect belt):
Lightly apply RM Williams leather conditioner regularly.
Yearling leather or burnished belts:
Lightly apply RM Williams Stockman’s Boot Polish.
Do not apply leather conditioner to burnished belts.
Kangaroo and bridle Leather:
Lightly apply RM Williams Saddle Dressing.
Use RM Williams suede cleaner for stains and brush with a suede brush.
Use a damp cloth to remove dust and debris from crocodile leather.
Do not over saturate the skin with water and allow it to dry naturally.
Use reptile leather cleaner if marks remain.
Leather wallet care:
Size and width fittings
RM Williams boots come in a wide choice of sizes and half sizes. They are true to size, so select your normal shoe size.
Men’s boots are available from sizes 5–12 and two width fittings; G – regular fit, H – wide fit. Many RM Williams boots are unisex in design, including the Comfort Craftsman and Gardener Boots.
Women’s only styles, such as the Kimberley boots, generally come in half sizes from 3–8 in a regular fit - G width. Looking for a narrower fit? Choose a D width fitting boot like the Adelaide Yearling or Suede boot.
If you require a different width fitting, they can be made to order. Please contact us for more information.
Wearing your boots
Crafted from quality leather, RM Williams boots provide excellent comfort, durability and suppleness. In wear the leather will soften further, supporting your feet all day, every day.
Pull the boots off and on easily using the unique RM Williams tugs. These and the elasticated sides (featured on a number of styles), prevent strain to the boots when removing them from your feet.
One of RM Williams original and best-selling men’s trousers is the Overseer Luxury Moleskin Jean. These jeans have a distinctive feel and a heavyweight, luxury finish. With sueded fabric inside and out, they are unbeatable for warmth outdoors. Their straight leg style allows good movement in wear.
The Overseer is in the RM Williams Authentics range. Authentics include the timeless classics and traditional RM Williams trousers that are available all year round. The range also includes Cleanskins Jeans, made from cleanskin fabric woven exclusively for RM Williams in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia. As Authentics, these styles feature longhorn embroidery and a branded leather logo label on the rear waistband, and are made in Australia.
For a classic men’s jean, try the RM Williams blue Ramco Denim Jean. It has a low-rise regular fit and straight leg. Ramco is also available in moleskin and cotton drill in a variety of colours.
Prefer a slim fit? RM Williams slim fit styles have a more tapered leg and sit closer to the body.
Men’s RM Williams trousers come in 30–44" waist measurements and short, regular and long leg-lengths:
Some of the trouser styles have a slightly generous fit. Our team hand-measures each style, so we can give you accurate size guidance. Check our detailed ‘Size Guide’ on each product page before you buy.
Free alteration service
We offer a free leg length alteration service for RM Williams jeans and trousers. Fill in your requirements in the comments box at checkout.
Please note – altered trousers cannot be returned for refund or exchange.
Knitwear and shirts
RM Williams Men’s shirts and knitwear have a generous fit, so you may find you can go down a size. View the ‘Size Guide’ for each garment on our product pages.
Most of the shirts have a classic, straight style, such as the Workwear Shirt. Wear your shirt with an RM Williams jumper over the top for extra warmth.
RM Williams knitwear offers a cosy layer for winter. Their 100% merino wool jumpers are particularly good for winter layering, including the V-neck Harris Sweater and Earnest Sweater.
RM Williams belts are made in Australia to the highest standards, giving them strength and durability. To make sure you wear a comfortable belt, find your correct size.
Finding your correct belt size
There are three ways to find your belt size (length):