Don't Buy Craftsman Boots Until You Read This
What does it take for a boot to be elevated to the status of national icon? R.M Williams has been producing boots of outstanding handcrafted quality since 1932, and some say the Craftsman is the national boot of Australia. R.M. Williams is dedicated to sourcing the finest leathers in the world and putting them into the hands of Australia’s top craftspeople, ensuring a highly stylish yet durable boot that’s become globally famous.
Perfecting the Craftsman boot was a life’s work for R.M. Williams, and it shows. Each immaculately constructed boot features a classic chisel-square toe, flat block heel, woven tugs featuring the R.M. signature and elastic sides. Made from a variety of premium leathers, each hide carefully inspected and assessed for quality and character, softness and durability. The definitive shape of the Craftsman is formed from a single piece of leather, characterised by the single seam down the back of the heel and the subtle ridge down the front of the boot.
All Craftsman soles are Goodyear welted. This means they are attached through a welt process, stitched to the boot through a strip of leather running along the edge of the sole. The Goodyear welt construction is considered the world’s best boot construction, ensuring soles are waterproof, strong and flexible, and the boots can be repeatedly resoled.
Most Australians at some point have owned a pair of R.M. boots. If this is your first time buying a pair, or your looking to expand your collection, we have put together this handy Craftsman buying guide to help you choose the right boot for you. There are several different types of Craftsman boots, each made for different conditions and with different wearers’ in mind. Let’s have a look.
The Comfort Craftsman:
The Comfort Craftsman is our biggest seller, and it is probably the most versatile of the lot. The star feature of this boot is the super comfortable, shock absorbing, oil resistant rubber sole, which is ready to wear all day, every day, no matter the weather. Comfort is the key word here, with a poron layer underneath the leather innersole, and an added extra comfort heel pad. The Comfort Craftsman is the stylish boot you can wear to work day-in and day-out, and then wear them out the weekends.
The Comfort Craftsman is made from Yearling leather, which is fairly unique to the R.M. Williams brand, as most global boot makers will opt for either Veal or Steer leather. Yearling has a bit of the best of both worlds, it is softer and has a finer grain than Steerhide and is stronger and more durable than Veal.
The Comfort Craftsman is also available in Kangaroo leather, which is naturally soft and strong and is lighter, stronger, and more flexible than cow hide. Kangaroo leather conforms quickly to the foot, wears well and does not absorb as much water as other leathers. Watch out for Kangaroo leather Comfort Craftsman’s available through our website soon.
The Classic Craftsman:
.Image Credit: @erikslimhamn
The Classic Craftsman premium dress boot still follows the original design created by R.M. Williams in 1932 and is made from made from high quality Yearling leather. The instantly recognisable feature of the boot is the burnt orange coloured leather sole emblazoned with the R.M. Williams signature and traditional Longhorn logo.
This is a high fashion dress boot rather than an everyday boot. In comparison to the Comfort Craftsman, the leather sole is more slippery, and will wear out quicker than the more durable rubber sole. I have a pair of Classic Craftsman’s that have been handed down to me from my father. Dad recon’s the leather sole is great on the dancefloor, but I’m no dancer. If I was to buy another pair my preference would be the comfort sole.
If good looks are more important than practicality, however, this is the boot for you. The style is elevated further with the introduction of the Chinchilla Classic Craftsman. These come in a range of fashion colours such as Navy Blue and Cherry Red and have been hand-finished with an artisanal burnishing technique, which produces a blackening effect on the toe and heel. If you are interested in a pair of Chinchilla Craftsman’s, please get in touch with us via email.
The Dynamic Flex Craftsman:
If arch support is the most important feature in a boot for you, then the Dynamic Flex Craftsman may be the option you need. The Dynamic Flex Craftsman has all the features and looks of the Comfort Craftsman and is also made from a single piece of strong and supple Yearling leather. However, this is the only Craftsman with an orthotic innersole for maximum arch support comfort. The inner is also removeable which means you can replace them with your own custom-made or prescription orthotics.
The sole is made from both leather and rubber, and R.M. Williams states that this combination sole creates a boot with maximum support, durability and flexibility, ideal for both dress and everyday use. This is the most limited of the range however when it comes to colour, as the Dynamic Flex is only available in Chestnut and Black.
Dynamic Flex Inner Sole
The Signature Craftsman:
The Signature Craftsman. A product with over 8- years of history, dedication and craftsmanship. Each pair of Signature Craftsman’s are hand made by the company’s most experienced craftsmen. These boots are R.M. Williams personal legacy and are intended to become heirloom wardrobe pieces.
Using age-old techniques passed on through generations of bootmakers, the Signature Craftsman is made from the finest quality French Veal Calf leather. The iconic red sole is rich in metaphor, echoing the rich red earth of the Australian outback, and symbolises the wearer carrying the eighty-year history of the R.M. Williams story into their own path through life. The sole is finished with a brass plaque and the personal signature of the current master craftsman, Steve Moore.
There no denying the beauty of this boot, but this is not the boot for you if you are wanting everyday practicality. The Signature Craftsman is much better suited to marking the grand celebrations in life. The Signature Craftsman would be the perfect boot to get married in, for example, or as a personal gift to celebrate life milestones. If looked after right, this is a boot you could hand on to your future generations.
The Master Craftsman Signing a Pair of Signature Craftsmans
Finding the Right Fit:
The Craftsman range is available in a huge range of sizes, from a teeny size one right through to a whopping size seventeen, and have five different width options:
E – Extra Narrow Fit
F – Narrow Fit
G – Regular Fit
H – Wide Fit
X – Extra Wide Fit
Naturally, some of these sizes are made to order only. If you require a size that is outside of what we have listed on our website please contact us via email to arrange the size you need. We have put together our own size guide based on our extensive experience of fitting R.M. Williams boots, which you can access here.
However, if you are still having trouble working out your fit, there is a fit method outlined on the R.M. Williams website to work out your size, which involves marking your foot on paper and using a measuring tape around the thickest part of your foot. It seems like a fair bit of effort, however it could be worth it to make sure you get the perfect fitting boot. There is an accompanying video to show you exactly how and where to measure your foot, which you can find here.
And so that concludes our definitive guide on buying R.M. Williams Craftsman’s. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about which Craftsman is right for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.