I have a new brand to tell you about! And you know how much I love telling you about new brands. It’s not 100% new, in that it has evolved from a Northampton-based family business that’s been going since 1908, but it’s new to me so I’m guessing it’s new to most of you too…and that’s a good enough excuse to shout about it, right?!
Abington toe cap sneaker in black gum, £190, crownnorthampton-store.com
Crown Northampton is a fantastic British brand that hand makes its shoes in its factory in, you guessed it, Northampton. And that’s not even my favourite thing about the company, although it is brilliant as I’d always much rather shop local and know where my shoes have been produced. No, my favourite thing is that this is a completely unisex brand; another label that’s figured out that we women just want to wear the same shoes as the guys. Thank you Crown Northampton!
There are two lines: classic and sneakers. I’ve got my hands on a pair of sneakers to try out (I know, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!). They are made from beautiful leather and come with option brown laces as well as the black you see here, and extra insoles to add in for a closer fit or if you need to go down half a size, too. I popped mine in as I prefer the more snug fit – women’s shoes tend to be a little narrower so as these are unisex they did feel a little roomy without! The sneakers come in three styles – Derby, wholecut and toe cap – and each of these is available in five colours options. They’re a little more expensive than my headline suggests (we’ll get to that in minute, don’t worry) at £185 and £190, but they are hand made to order (how many of your shoes can you say that about?), so come with the knowledge that they’ve not only been made just for you, but that they’re coming from an ethical source without the waste associated with mass production and fast fashion. Oh, and they feel really REALLY good on.
Clockwise from top left: Abington toe cap sneaker in black white, £190; Abington toe cap sneaker in white black, £190; Upton wholecut sneaker in black white, £185; Overstone Derby sneaker in white, £185; all crownnorthampton-store.com
If trainers aren’t your thing, or you’re after something for a little less dosh, then head to the classic section, where you’ll find another three styles – wholecut, Chelsea and apron – each in four colour options, and each at just £85. These are all also hand made to order, and have a lovely minimal feel to them. The wholecut really remind me of the jazz shoes I used to wear to dance classes (and look as comfortable, too) and I love the mod vibe of the other two styles as well.
Clockwise from top: Connaught Chelsea shoe in navy, £85; Turner apron shoe in brown, £85; Regent wholecut shoe in white, £85; all crownnorthampton-store.com
Once your shoes have been made they are all individually checked stamped with the date (how cool?!) and before they are shipped out to you. I’d love to know what you think of them – please leave comments below!