Crown Northampton Bestsellers - The Overstone vs The Harlestone

Posted by Crown Northampton on

Without a doubt, the Overstone in All White Box Calf and the Harlestone in Off White Veg Tan are consistently our two best-selling styles. And also, without a doubt, these two styles receive the most questions and enquiries into our fantastic customer services department.

This article will cover what makes the Overstone the Overstone, and the Harlestone the Harlestone. In this process, we aim to further inform our longstanding loyal Crown Northampton customers and fresh new customers as to why they're both so popular and consistently find themselves at the top of the monthly sales charts.

Let's get into it.

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

NAME

Two words you'll be reading several times in this breakdown are Overstone and Harlestone. But what's in a style name, and what's the significance?

Well, Crown Northampton is from Northampton and made in Northampton - And we're very proud of our local environment. So when it came to names, we devised a loose format that uses Northampton street names where former shoe factories were located initially, prominent local recreational parks, and beautiful local forests and woodlands - All feeding back into a positive local narrative of what we feel are some of Northampton's best assets.

To boil this down further, we have the Overstone, which is named after Overstone Park and the Harlestone, which is named after Harlestone Firs Forest.

Aside from actual style names, as a brand, we also wanted to stand firmly behind our footwear family history and Northampton's world-class standing within footwear itself. That's why you'll always see classic, traditional references such as Wholecut, Oxford, Apron and, of course, Derby across all of our collections. This is our nod of respect to formal dress shoe styles that have come before, lending structure and framework to Crown Northampton's continued production of fine Hand Made Northampton Shoes.
crown Northampton overtone harlestone

APPEARANCE & CONSTRUCTION

Both of our bestsellers are Derby's in style and construction. The uppers comprise three main sections sewn together to form open-faced Derby lacing, which is generally considered the most popular and easy-to-wear footwear style across the board.

The Overstone is part of the Classic Sneaker Collection, with all Classic styles sitting on a slightly thicker sole unit than the Harlestone, with both styles offering a choice of white, black or gum sole.

The upper of the Overstone carries a fuller silhouette compared to the more slimline Harlestone, and there are slight differences in the front-facing appearance with metal eyelets on the Overstone and punched holes on the Harlestone. Both models feature waxed cotton laces as standard to finish.

Other essential key elements that draw the eye are the heavy hand-stitched 'double stitch' detail found on the front and rear of the Harlestone and help solidify the upper construction. The Overstone takes a more minimal route with barely any visible stitching due to the differences in top-line finishing techniques.

As you'll see from the images, the Overstone top line around the collar and upper is folded over and reversed back onto itself, which hides all joining construction stitch lines. In contrast, the Harlestone features a continuous French bound stitching technique around all outer edges of the upper, which is a highly skilled and intricate process and follows in line with historical footwear traditions.

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

MATERIALS

Materials are always a key consideration when making decisions on new styles; more often than not, they're the first topic of conversation.

Externally, the Overstone and Harlestone are available in various materials from Horween and CF Stead tanneries, all of which can be found on our Materials Guide overview. However, we're specifically talking about our best-selling white and off-white iterations here, so that's where we'll hold our focus.

The white box calf we use is firm yet softens with wear, is durable, and keeps its surface form well, which helps aid against creasing. The off-white veg tan starts softer and is also more delicate due to the vegetable-tanned finishing processes. These processes affect the wearing of veg tan, which naturally develops a darker patina over time through everyday marks and wear.

The lighter feel and maintenance of veg tan is only for some, as some prefer a more sturdy, firmer finish. But as you already know, both styles are best sellers, so what some like, others loath, and vice-versa.

Internally, you'd expect it all to become quite dull as you don't really ever see what's happening on the inside of a shoe - Unless you've subscribed to cult Youtube channel Rose Anvil. However, we take the hidden internal materials as seriously as the externally viewed upper.

The lining for Overstone is chrome-tanned calf leather with a high-grade vegetable-tanned calf leather used for the Harlestone to compliment the upper and remain in line with pricing. Then comes a 3mm insole board below the upper, which is compressed down onto a layer of soft sponge, with a chrome tan lined, removable insole complete with soft foam base.

The Harlestone opts for a non-removable slab of 3mm veg tan side leather, which is in line with classic Goodyear welted dress shoes and sits just above a 3mm layer of memory foam for extra comfort. The stiffeners that form the internal structure and shape of the sneaker comprise Oak Bark leather for the Harlestone as standard, which some may say is extreme given the high material quality and lengthy tanning times. Still, at Crown Northampton, we believe in fair and honest value for money, so we decided to go all out on the Hand Stitch Collection.

Overall, the company ethos is to always provide the best possible materials, internally and externally, at the price point offered.

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

SOLE

The two soles we use come from different manufacturers and were chosen specifically to house and cradle the upper in the best possible way.

The Overstone comes with a TPU or Thermoplastic Polyurethane sole unit, which is exclusively designed by and for Crown Northampton, so this is our own that you won't find on any other sneakers.TPU is a durable compound known for its hardwearing qualities and durability.

The Harlestone combines with a 100% sustainable natural latex sole unit from Lactae Hevea, slightly slimmer than the Overstones. Yet, both sole units have been picked to balance the overall appearance of each style sympathetically.

Both the Overstone and Harlestone soles are initially glued into place, then sidewall stitched to finish, which allows them both to be resoled at a further point in time.

A significant difference between the two can be found when reviewing the crucial space between the upper and the sole and what material is added when they're stuck together.

This comprises foam for the Overstone and a cork-filled layer for the Harlestone, which once again mirrors the construction and processes used in the making of Hand made dress shoes. With continued wear, the cork layer forms a personal imprint of the wearer's foot, giving a familiar custom feel with every wear.

Whereas the Overstone doesn't feature this same cork layer, the combination of foam and heavily padded, leather-lined insoles sat above provides similar comfort levels to the top-tier Harlestone sole feel, just with different layers and levels of construction to get there.

Both sole units were chosen for their accompanying Overstone, and Harlestone lasts specifically, so, therefore, sole units cannot be mixed and matched across differing styles.

SIZING

This should be relatively simple to cover when comparing the two styles, as Crown Northampton always aims to size so that you take the same size in all styles and collections. Of course, there will always be exceptions to this rule as some last and construction types will naturally be slimmer or wider than others, and this won't suit everyone's foot shape.

Generally, when it comes to length, our footwear is consistent, and if you feel you need a wider fit on particular styles, we can also offer a wider G Fit or extra wide G Fit+ if required. Our standard fit is a generous, industry standard F fit which suits most customers, but the wider G fittings are always there as a custom request and a slimmer E Fit if required.

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

SUITABLE FOR

Now this one really does come down to personal taste and your take on fashion. Still, we have a guiding brand direction and view as to how our sneakers could or should be worn, usually a combination of confident, classic, contemporary style that, when implemented correctly, serves as timeless.

The imagery we share across our website and socials offer insight into what we believe the Overstone and Harlestone models can be comfortably paired with.

Sneakers, by default, are a casual item of clothing that can be worn with jeans, chinos, shorts and other everyday items. However, our sneakers cannot be classed as athletic sneakers as the premium materials they incorporate, combined with handmade Northampton construction, elevates them to a higher, more considered level. This then allows them to be paired with more formal outfits or a combination of smart and casual if desired.

Our sneakers, particularly the Harlestone, have already appeared on many grooms' feet matched with a well-cut tailored suit, yet they're equally at home with pair of casual chinos and a t-shirt. The same goes for the Overstone, which can also be styled with various outfits.

To sum up, see the Overstone as the ultimate Minimal Sneaker and the Harlestone as the ultimate Dress Sneaker. Both have their place but feel free to change it up and wear them however you feel.

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

crown Northampton overtone harlestone

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