One of the few remaining makers of one-piece riding boots – Australia’s own R.M. Williams.
I was first introduced to this Australian icon a few years back whilst touring (and doing some light work) on a friend’s potato farm.
Whilst the boots he loaned me for the day wasn’t sized correctly, they were very easy to work in – up to that point I didn’t realize leather boots could be comfortable~
Although R.M. Williams, the man himself, is no longer with us (may he rest in peace), his legacy lives on through his company’s quality bush wear.
Not only are they dress & work boots for farmers & workers, I was surprised to find that these boots have a small following on a couple of internet style/fashion forums as well!?
I worked out a little deal with a local dealer (thank you Ian at Port Phillip!) & the factory – got the craftsman boot made in a very unique Australian leather – vegetable tanned camel.
Though camel is not native to Australia, we do have quite a lot of them – not to mention tanning of camel hide was first done in Australia (IIRC 1992?), and it’s a very new leather in the history of making leathers.
I am very impressed by the construct of these boots!
Goodyear welt-stitched, one piece cut for the entire boot, quality elastic sides, solid stitch-work, as well as a partial leather inner-lining of good thickness.
The vamp and toe of these boots are not lined, due to the heavy 8 oz camel leather upper.
Camel leather is one of the strongest mammalian leathers known, having 5 times the tensile strength of cattlehide of equivalent weight…but unlike the similarly strong kangaroo leather, camel leather can come in at full-grain 8oz for shoe making!
The grain is also really interesting (and very tough), having both wool & hair follicles!
My only small complaint is the lack of a heavy leather mid-sole (R.M. Williams ain’t keen on this), but otherwise the fit is good, and moulds to my feet really well.
You just can’t beat a one-piece construct when it comes to moulding!
The out-sole provides good traction, and seems to be very hard-wearing.
Though the leather heel-stacks are present, and installed better than on my Alden 403s.