Posted by Crown Northampton on

Our limited release leathers at Crown Northampton have been going for a few years now and they’ve proven immensely popular. We’ve been working really hard on the latest Shell Cordovan drop and it’s led us to ask some questions of ourselves, primarily; why do we do this?!

The main reason, (you could even say the main challenge) is all down to the availability of the leathers we offer as limited releases. We use rare and highly sought after materials, they need to be ordered months in advance and often don’t come with fixed delivery dates. This is due to the tanning processes and finishing required to make them as unique as they are. This is especially true for our Horween Leather Co. limited releases and often, the amount of leather we can get our hands on dictates how many pairs of shoes we can make. Hence the small run availability.

As is the case with most things in fashion and footwear, there’s also an element of personal taste to consider. While certain colours and finishes may appeal more to specific tastes, others receive widespread popularity. Either way, we take pride in bringing the best leathers from around the world to the heart and home of England’s boot and shoemaking, Northampton.

Some makers may shy away from working with certain leather types after taking into consideration factors like costs, the level of skill required to work with a material, the suitability of certain styles of footwear and the uncertainty that comes with working with rare materials, it can be a gamble!

Some highlights from previous offerings include…

Horween’s Buffalo Leather

Harlestone Hand Stitch Sneakers in Horween Buffalo No 8

This Buffalo leather is not widely available in the UK, so when we got our hands on a wider range of colours, we made them available for a limited time. We offered Ink, Green and No 8 for a few months but they're very attractive leathers so we ran out pretty quickly. If we can get our hands on it again, we’ll put them back on sale but if you managed to get yourself a pair, you’re one of the lucky ones!


C.F. Steads’ Naked Kudu Leather

C.F Stead Naked Kudu Leather Sneakers

During the now legendary inaugural boot and shoe lovers event ‘BootCamp’, put on by Stitchdown in NYC in 2023, we introduced four limited edition colours of C.F. Steads’ Naked Kudu leathers. These came in a ‘naked’ finish, meaning there is varied texture and an uneven natural pattern that made its way onto our sneakers, making each pair completely unique. As it’s in short supply, we only ran a limited run in a few styles of footwear. However, if you’re into it, we do still have a few belts in this material available.


Floral Embossed Shell Cordovan

Floral Embossed Shell Cordovan Belts

The Floral Embossing on this Bourbon Shell Cordovan is exclusive to Horween and as Shell Cordovan is already a rare commodity, the embossed versions are even more so. We knew making up some sneakers in this material wouldn’t stay true to our minimal aesthetic, so instead we opted to make it into some beautiful belts. At time of writing, there’s a very limited number still available but act quick because like most of these materials, once it’s gone - it’s gone.


Horween Shell Cordovan Limited Releases

Horween Shell Cordovan Sneakers

Shell Cordovan is often referred to as ‘the best leather in the world.’ If you weren’t already aware, it’s actually carefully cut from the butt of a horsehide. Working with Shell Cordovan in order to manipulate its tight fibre structure and keep its finish looking its best can be a challenge around the factory. We’re never ones to shy away from a challenge though, we love it! Seasonal releases of some of the more rare colour variations and finishes of Shell Cordovan in our Hand Stitch Collection has kind of become our ‘thing’ here at Crown Northampton. If you own a pair, we hope they serve you well and earn you compliments as you wear them in your day-to-day. Check out our page detailing all of the drops we’ve released so far here.

Our limited releases in exclusive leathers highlight our dedication to craftsmanship and quality. These distinctive and challenging materials present various issues in sourcing and crafting, adding an extra layer of the unmistakable Crown Northampton spirit to each release!


D8 - Limited Edition Horween Tumbled Shell Cordovan

A totally new finish (to us anyway!) in Shell Cordovan, two ‘tumbled’ colours make up our drop 8 release. The leather is finished, then tumbled and steamed in a tannery drum to give it a unique finish and colour. We haven’t done anything to it, no polish or shining, we’ve left it as it is and we’ll let you, our customers, handle it how you like. Available in two colours, ‘Navy’ for a muted look that will pair with a versatile array of outfits and the ever popular ‘No 8’ or ‘Color 8’ as it’s sometimes referred to, a deep burgundy colour, perfect for a more casual look. Both show depth and rich shades under different lights, making them the ideal choice for our latest limited release.

We’re also offering this drop with the option of purchasing the full ‘Deluxe Pack’ that includes everything you need to really ensure the longevity of the sneakers by caring for them using the appropriate products for the job.


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