We don’t often talk about sneakers here at Stitchdown. But we have extolled upon the virtues of Crown Northampton’s Harlestone Hand Stitch Derby sneakers here before. This minimalistic sneaker pattern—combined with world-class materials that you basically never see in this type of footwear, and meticulous hand-stitched details—should appeal to just about anyone looking to rock something on their feet that’s both well-made and eye-catching, bootheads and sneakerheads alike.
Always looking for ways to push their Harlestones in a new direction, Crown Northampton has gone all-in on buffalo. Seven(!) different colors of this Horween buffalo leather are now being offered for the Harlestone: Brown, Tan, Grey, Black, No. 8 (Burgundy), Ink and Green. (It’s worth noting those last three colors are in short supply; as such, they’re a limited-time option being offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.)
This Horween leather is exclusively carried in the United Kingdom by Crown Northampton. Much like Horween’s Chromexcel, their buffalo (American bison) hides undergo a combination of veg and chrome tanning. The process naturally shrinks the fibers of the leather, adding to its strength and durability. As is common with buffalo leather, Horween does not emboss or alter the grain in any way, making for a hide that has a significant degree of variation and character.
While the leathers are new to Crown Northampton, the craftsmanship on their sneakers remains at a high level. Hand-stitched “sign-off details” can be found on the quarters and the rear dog tail tabs. J&FJ Baker oak bark-tanned leather is used for the insoles and heel and toe stiffeners. The sidewall-stitched (and totally resoleable) natural latex soles from Lactae Hevea are available in black, off-white, and natural, so you can mix and match your sole selection to complement your leather color.
Each pair in Crown Northampton’s Horween buffalo collection retails for $446—though as always, they’ll deduct the 20% VAT off the price for consumers shopping outside of the UK. We still think these are some of the best-made sneakers around, and the addition of these unique buffalo leathers makes them stand out even more.