R.M. Williams, originating from the Australian outback, was founded by Reginal Murray Williams in 1932. He was looking to make a boot to handle the tough conditions of the Australian wilderness and all the adventures it entails. He spent months to adapt the use of one single piece of leather into a shoe that could withstand the hardest of trials. Today the R.M. Williams chelsea boots can’t be considered anything less than true icons. With an ad in Adelaides local newspaper, promoting ”Elastic Side Boots” the brand R.M. Williams was finally official, and the success followed suit, with people from all over south Australia coming to the shop at 5 Percy Street, Prospect, to get their hands on a pair of the tough leader boots. The original address is still visible on the straps of the R.M. Williams boots and is now hosting a museum dedicated entirely to the brand.
Today the manufacturing is located in Adelaide, not far from the original address. All the meticulous work is still done by hand, with a strong sense of pride in keeping up the original ideals of authenticity, quality and sustainability. 300 specialised craftsmen work here, making the boots the same way as they have always been made, a lot of them are second or third generation of craftsmen who have worked with the production of R.M. Williams. The shoes go through 80 stages of process, performed by men and women with years and years of training and keen eyes for quality and the finer details of shoemaking.
The biggest advantage to the process of making a pair of boots is the Goodyear welt, a construction that not only creates a durable and well made boot, but also one that can be re-soled a number of times, with an expected lifespan of several decades – if well maintained. It´s a simple and clean design that lends itself well to be worn with both jeans and suits. 80 years after its inception, R.M. Williams is sold globally, with a wide array of products, ranging from shoes to clothes and accessories. They have 50 brand stores only in Australia, and a great number of stores opening all around the world. One of the latest to open is a flagship store in Copenhagen.
Even though they are worn by celebrities, politicians and fashionistas all over the world, they are still favourites among the cattle farmers in Australia, which is very good praise indeed.