When we break down the anatomy of a sneaker, it's apparent the collection of materials and components still need a great deal of labour to complete the finished product. It's then that you realise just how much time, craftsmanship and hard work that goes before.
As a very Important start point, you need to ensure the materials are of sufficient quality to withstand daily wear and retain form and function. The suedes and leathers we use at Crown are calf skins of a premium grade. They match the quality of leathers used by other bench made shoe brands from Northampton for manufacture. These leathers are sourced from local suppliers and merchants where special relationships have been formed over decades. Our main aim is to supply leathers that are soft yet durable and will retain their structure whilst wearing in gradually over a period of time. This expected high level of quality enables us to offer a full resoling and restoration service where the original sole is removed with a brand new one then stitched back in place. Importantly it's the original upper that remains and continues to live on. With many other sneaker brands this service is not possible as it's the upper that will give way first.
When it comes to our soles we use a Crown exclusive TPR unit that is strong and durable. The lightweight nature of the sole unit helps balance the overall sneaker whilst adding stability to the wearer. Sitting atop of this is our own unique Crown insole. The footbed has memory foam properties and to add extra softness and comfort, a thin layer of natural calf leather is hand cut and applied on top at the Crown factory.
However good the materials are though, our sneakers don't put themselves together. At our Northampton factory, we have skilled craftspeople with many years of shoemaking making experience under their belts. With Northamptonshire's rich heritage in footwear, several of them are third, fourth or even fifth generation shoemakers, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience along the way. All Crown footwear is made in England from start to finish. That means every process from design to finished product including pattern cutting, clicking, stitching and lasting.
Once the materials have been sourced, the patterns have been cut and sewn together and the sole has been fixed into place. At the end, what remains is a finished pair of Made In England sneakers which has been made by many skilled hands. Yes, our sneakers do come at a cost and you do have to wait 5-10 days for delivery once you've placed your order but to quote a cliché or two - 'Good things come to those who wait' and 'You get what you pay for'.
We are proud to fully make all of our product in England by hand and follow the extremely high standards that have been set by our towns forefathers. These heights are still expected to be reached by the Northampton boot and shoe companies of today. Currently Crown Northampton are the only shoe factory making luxury sneakers in this proud shoemaking region. However, whilst we are setting our sights on contemporary design progression, we will always respect and adhere to the traditional codes of practice set before us.