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RM Williams Boots - Everything You Wanted to Know

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Sator, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. moonman

    moonman Well-Known Member

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    Obviously, the answer is to go the aportnoy route and have all your bases covered.

    Sounds good to me. Now I just need to work on my wife. [​IMG]
     


  2. well-kept

    well-kept Senior member

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    All of them have a "ridge" down the midline of the boot when new, but none of them have an embossed stripe in the leather. Once worn a few times there is no evidence of anything in the leather where the ridge was located when new. The Williams is different. .

    Fair enough. I was interpreting your description of 'embossed stripe' as the ridge. This is what my RMWs have and it does fade. The boots in the above photos do show something else - a stripe.
     


  3. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    The Williams is different. The "ridge" goes away just like it does in the other boots, but the "stripe" remains. Take a look at the pics above. The one with all three boots in row. All three of them have the stripe in plain view......

    I'm not saying that the Williams don't have their charm, but I have seen folks on this site tout them as being the equal, if not superior, to all of the above models, which I find somewhat astounding.


    In the interests of fairness, the three boots in a row are mine, and they were all bought within the last week. They have each been worn once for a minimal amount of time so I'll report back when I have some good wear on them all with regards to the "line".

    As a general comment on the perceived quality vs high end boots, I have a pair of Lobb Braemar. They are clearly better constructed, although not by a mile. The country calf leather on the Lobbs looks to be of slightly better quality than the RMWs and there's nothing in it in terms of comfort but time will tell on that front. It's worth noting that some of the excitement (for me at least) comes from the fact that I could buy my three pairs of RMWs plus a couple of nice shirts for the price of the Lobbs and there is no doubt that they are a very well made boot.

    At the other end of the scale, I have a pair of Loake and a pair of George Webb (made by Barker) boots which are within 20% of the price of the RMWs and there is absolutley no comparison in quality terms.

    Value is subjective and in many people's eyes (me included) RMW makes a boot that offers 90% of the high end quality at 30% of the price. Cue the law of diminishing marginal returns....

    Cheers,

    TB
     


  4. Chadley

    Chadley Senior member

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    Here are some pictures of the Comfort Craftsman in Chestnut and the Forum Special in Whiskey. The Craftsman is used and the Forum Special is unworn.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I hope you don't mind if I mention I have them for sale--the link is in my signature.
     


  5. moonman

    moonman Well-Known Member

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    In the interests of fairness, the three boots in a row are mine, and they were all bought within the last week. They have each been worn once for a minimal amount of time so I'll report back when I have some good wear on them all with regards to the "line".

    As a general comment on the perceived quality vs high end boots, I have a pair of Lobb Braemar. They are clearly better constructed, although not by a mile. The country calf leather on the Lobbs looks to be of slightly better quality than the RMWs and there's nothing in it in terms of comfort but time will tell on that front. It's worth noting that some of the excitement (for me at least) comes from the fact that I could buy my three pairs of RMWs plus a couple of nice shirts for the price of the Lobbs and there is no doubt that they are a very well made boot.

    At the other end of the scale, I have a pair of Loake and a pair of George Webb (made by Barker) boots which are within 20% of the price of the RMWs and there is absolutley no comparison in quality terms.

    Value is subjective and in many people's eyes (me included) RMW makes a boot that offers 90% of the high end quality at 30% of the price. Cue the law of diminishing marginal returns....

    Cheers,

    TB


    I agree with you completely re value. The Williams boot represents real value, no doubt. But some on this site have argued that the boot is superior regardless of value and that the lower price is simply an exceptional added bonus. I have a hard time accepting this.

    Whether it is better to have three or four Willams boots vs. one Lobb or EG is one of those unanswerable questions. If everyone made value the prime consideration in our choices of shoes and clothes, Brioni, Kiton, Lobb, and EG et al would go out of business. Thank goodness we aren't so consistently sensible.

    Re the stripes, I've worn my boots for six months or so. They are fully broken in. I have polished them a number of times in hopes of softening the leather along the stripe and allowing it to relax away, to no avail. If my experience is typical I can tell you that they aren't going anywhere. They aren't quite as obvious as they were when the boots were brand new, but every time I look down at my feet I see them and wish they weren't there. I think they make the boots look a bit "cheap", kind of like something you might expect to pick up in Wal Mart or something.

    I would temper my comments by saying that I only have the boots in the Yearling leather. I have no knowledge of how the other leather types (such as the veal calf) might behave.

    Anyway, enough from me on this topic. Not interested in bashing the Williams. Just wanted to get my $0.02 in and perhaps vent a bit. Mission accomplished. Thanks for listening and not attacking me for going after the Holy Grail of SF footwear. [​IMG]

    Cheers. [​IMG]
     


  6. laphroaig

    laphroaig Senior member

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    With all due respect to Herr Sternke, I am going to disagree that this is a desirable feature. If you found this "feature" in any other shoe, I suspect that it would be roundly declared as a defect. The line of which I speak isn't going to disappear with wear. A portion of it is on top of the toe box and isn't going anywhere, ever. The tenting associated with the line certainly disappears with time, but whatever device they use to create this artifact actually appears to emboss the leather slightly. I will be very surprised if this isn't a permanent feature of the shoe. EG, Lobb, C&J and every other high end shoemaker I am aware of today seems to be able to make a very beautiful boot without embossing a line running down the center of their beautiful leather. I like the shape of the RM Williams boot reasonably well. The leather isn't as good as in other high end boots (at least the Yearling), but I knew that going in. The fact that it is a wholecut doesn't seem to make the boot better in any functional way I can discern. Bottom line is that I think they are fine enough boots, but I don't see them as being even vaguely competetive with the high end manufacturers in terms of quality, wholecut or not. Just my 2 cents worth. YMMV. Trying to inject a bit of common sense into what seems to me to be a potential case of mass delusion.
    I will partially agree with you on the quality of the boot. The finishing on the boots isn't as good as on high end boots, especially inside. There are glue spots visible inside, the stitching isn't spot on, and the leather isn't cut particuarly cleanly along the top edges of the boot where the cuts are visible. However I disagree about the quality of the leather and the embossed line. The line disapears with minimal wear and surprisingly becomes invisible first at the toe box. EDIT: Sorry, I should have added that I'm talking about veal calf, and have no experience with the yearling.
     


  7. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    Yearling MTO

    [​IMG]


    Wow, those came out really nicely!

    BTW I never once claimed that RMW boots are as good as as John Lobb Paris or Edward Green. What is true is that RMW has unique high end features (whole cut Chelsea boot, brass screwed soles) that you cannot find in either of these makers. The overall level of construction stands better comparison with Allen Edmonds. But if you put the right set of specifications together, you end up something that is unbelievably good value. These boots are a perfect example of this.
     


  8. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    I agree with you completely re value. The Williams boot represents real value, no doubt. But some on this site have argued that the boot is superior regardless of value and that the lower price is simply an exceptional added bonus. I have a hard time accepting this.

    Whether it is better to have three or four Willams boots vs. one Lobb or EG is one of those unanswerable questions. If everyone made value the prime consideration in our choices of shoes and clothes, Brioni, Kiton, Lobb, and EG et al would go out of business. Thank goodness we aren't so consistently sensible.

    Re the stripes, I've worn my boots for six months or so. They are fully broken in. I have polished them a number of times in hopes of softening the leather along the stripe and allowing it to relax away, to no avail. If my experience is typical I can tell you that they aren't going anywhere. They aren't quite as obvious as they were when the boots were brand new, but every time I look down at my feet I see them and wish they weren't there. I think they make the boots look a bit "cheap", kind of like something you might expect to pick up in Wal Mart or something.

    I would temper my comments by saying that I only have the boots in the Yearling leather. I have no knowledge of how the other leather types (such as the veal calf) might behave.

    Anyway, enough from me on this topic. Not interested in bashing the Williams. Just wanted to get my $0.02 in and perhaps vent a bit. Mission accomplished. Thanks for listening and not attacking me for going after the Holy Grail of SF footwear. [​IMG]

    Cheers. [​IMG]


    No argument from me[​IMG] I think it's great that we're all having fun with the boots!
     


  9. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    Wow, those came out really nicely!


    Thanks, I really like them.
     


  10. kbuzz

    kbuzz Senior member

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    Wow, those came out really nicely!

    BTW I never once claimed that RMW boots are as good as as John Lobb Paris or Edward Green. What is true is that RMW has unique high end features (whole cut Chelsea boot, brass screwed soles) that you cannot find in either of these makers. The overall level of construction stands better comparison with Allen Edmonds. But if you put the right set of specifications together, you end up something that is unbelievably good value. These boots are a perfect example of this.


    are those forum specials in whiskey? Or someother make up?
     


  11. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    are those forum specials in whiskey? Or someother make up?

    No, they are the Yearling (not Craftsman Yearling) boot in Whiskey with leather sole. The reason for the MTO is that the Yearling normally comes with a block heel and I wanted a flat heel. I believe Whiskey is a special order in this model too. Link to stock Yearling here:

    http://www.rmwilliams.com.au/product...A35A9E61BD949A

    They have a "narrow" toe, which makes them quite sleek in my opinion. The Whiskey colour is gorgeous. Not quite as versatile as the Chestnut, but very nice.
     


  12. rabbity

    rabbity Member

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    I've got a pair of Comfort Turnouts which I bought back in Feb 2007. I now find that the heel is starting to split horizontally along the middle (ie not away from the boot but within the heel itself). The boots haven't had heavy use; I wear them a couple times a week. They do have to put up with the typically rainy winters in London, but thats one of the reasons I bought ones with the composite sole.

    I don't think its a big deal, I imagine that I can just glue it together again. However I wonder if anyone else has found this problem? Is it indicative of R M Williams quality or is it a one-off?
     


  13. fykchang

    fykchang Active Member

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    Sator or Someone help me with sizing RM William

    543 in size 9.5 F is too wide
    529 in Size 9.5 D is too narrow

    Would 543 in size 9F fit well? I know 529 in size 9.5E will fit well but I prefer the square Chesel toe?

    BTW, I am a EG 888 size 9.5/10 D.

    Thanks in advance.
     


  14. teddy-c

    teddy-c Member

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    I'm a tall thin guy with wide hips, so I tend to wear straight or boot-cut jeans and trousers -- to balance out my proportions.

    I like the look of the Craftsman, but would they look too dainty with boot-cut jeans. In photos they look a bit mod/sleek/Beatles-ish. Do they only look right with slim-cut or tapered trousers?

    Thanks for any advice.
     


  15. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    I'm a tall thin guy with wide hips, so I tend to wear straight or boot-cut jeans and trousers -- to balance out my proportions.

    I like the look of the Craftsman, but would they look too dainty with boot-cut jeans. In photos they look a bit mod/sleek/Beatles-ish. Do they only look right with slim-cut or tapered trousers?

    Thanks for any advice.


    They look fine. I wear my RMW with SD-105 all the time [​IMG]
     


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