RM Williams are cracking :( Am I all alone?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DJackson, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    Well I saw it coming a few months back and now it's here. These are 2 years and a few months old in Kangaroo leather. My heart sank when I saw it because they are by far my favorite casual boots.

    I took this photo just over a month ago and you can see on the right shoe just where the toe cap ends is a crease that looks like it may crack.
    [​IMG]

    I just finished up letting the leather conditioner sit this afternoon and I find this.. much worse than before
    [​IMG]

    I couldn't believe what I saw :confused: an actual crack in the leather. I tested the area from the inside with my finger and it seems the crack is not all the way through the shoe but I'm worried if I should still wear these given the sudden change from deep crease to what it is now in only a month.

    So - how am I taking care of these? Well I'll start with the bad. Admittedly I wear these probably more than I should (up to 4 to 5 times per week at times and normally 3 to 4). However, I always keep wooden shoe trees in them, use leather conditioner every month or two, polish 1 or 2 times per month, and brush them about every other wear. While not ideal I thought I was well within sufficient care to make these last more than 2 years. Oh yeah, and I don't wear them in snow. They've seen wet ground, but only been in actual rain twice and I made sure they air dried and applied conditioner just in case.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? Advise? I was going to call the RM Williams store in NYC to see what they said but they're closed for the evening.
     


  2. Selvaggio

    Selvaggio Senior member

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    I would contact RMW. They are generally pretty good at standing by their products. Though I have heard that they may give you a hard time if you have had your boots resoled other than by an approved RMW cobbler (maybe that is just here in Aus?).

    Having said that, I note (as you do) that you have worn them fairly intensively. The other thing is that, in their native environment, RMSs are reknowned for lasting a very long time, but not necessarily in a pristine condition. Their owners are generally not put out but the accumulation of cracks and scrapes over the years - its all part of the look.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011


  3. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    To your points, I luckily did get them resoled only once and at the RM Williams store in NYC. And I am actually fine with the look of the crack as a casual boot since it sort of fits in with the rest of the creases and all - I am just worried it will blow out and get a bunch of friends all the sudden. That would suck. This went from crease to pretty big crack in a month, maybe less since I may not have noticed right when it happened.

    You think these will last through continued wearing? A bunch of small cracks is fine (i guess). A blowout would suck
     


  4. Selvaggio

    Selvaggio Senior member

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    I have some cracks like that in an older pair of boots and, no, they haven't blown out. I keep some for good wear and some for rough. My wife has a really old pair that have a lot of character and none of the cracks have come all the way through the leather - so you should be okay there.

    I would still speak with RMW though as two years is not along time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011


  5. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    just to get this added to the archives.. my chestnut YEARLING rm williams have fantastic leather in feel, durability, and color
    actually they're the favorite leather across all my RL/RLPLs, CJs, Peal, and P.Stuart shoes
     


  6. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've called the store in NYC and understandably not much info can be had until I bring them in. The gentleman did say that generally a boot won't crack in two years but it's not unheard of depending on how the boot is treated and worn (namely a combination of poor care and daily wear - i'd like to think I've cared for mine quite well but worn them more than normal although not every day).

    I've also sent an email to RMW customer service to see if I can get some information straight from headquarters. I suppose I'll bring my boots to the store this week to have a pro take a look. I'll post details as they come.
     


  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Never wear your shoes two days in a row. Use cedar trees, condition with Saphir renovateur, or Lexol at least once every two weeks. Only use Saphir polishes. Shoe Care 101 is done.
     


  8. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    these are kangaroo, right?

    Kangaroo in general tends to look drier and more wrinkly, I've seen deep creases similar to this but not as cracked as you show. As it is, I would just wear them, but if they get worse, contact RM Williams.

    BTW you will not be able to feel it from the inside if it cracks all the way through, there is a lining inside.
     


  9. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was hoping the kangaroo being supposedly extra tough as far as leathers go would mean it fares better than yearling let's say but I could be wrong. It does crease a lot but overall the leather is still nice and supple even where it cracked.

    I've got a new pair of Macquaries in veal... I'm so paranoid now :lookaround:
     


  10. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    Excellent advice from a True Fanatic (just like myself). However, conditioning shouldn't really be necessary more often than every couple of months (UNLESS you live in a VERY dry environment), and Meltonian Cream polish (much cheaper than Saphir) will work just fine.

    That said, I tend to polish after every 2 wears if not more often, have spent a small fortune on shoe care products, and bathe my shoes in conditioner regularly.
     


  11. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    That is definitely a crack, and is pretty unacceptable, I think. Kangaroo is VERY tough leather, and it's hard to imagine that such damage would have happened with proper care. I've got a pair of 90 year old kangaroo paddock boots & they simply refuse to crack.

    I would venture to guess that there was some moisture + rapid drying involved there.
     


  12. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    Right, thanks for the care advice - I am pretty comfortable with the maintenance I give them (see my OP). The only thing is I admittedly wear them a bit more than I should. Take a look... hopefully i'm not considered an extreme boot abuser.

    Edit: woops you posted while I was writing.. I guess the above is still relevant. I did dry on cedar trees and use RM Williams leather conditioner after they got a bit wet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011


  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Not to step on Isshinryu's shoes, but I hear that meltonian cream is silicone based, which is harsh on leather. I much prefer Saphir, while a bit more money I feel like it is worth it for at least the peace of mind that I am doing the best that I can. If my shoes crack there is no opportunity for me to say, "gee, I should have used Saphir, maybe that would have helped."
     


  14. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    That said, they should not have cracked. There is obviously an issue with the leather quality here.
     


  15. kev777

    kev777 Senior member

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    +1 If they were mine id be in touch with RM Williams to ask their opinion.
     


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