The Last Comes First!
Posted on April 01 2022
Written by Louise Matson, Founder Louise M shoes.
Luxury brand shoes for corporate women and airline cabin crew
The secret to the most stylish and comfortable shoes is that the last is the most important tool used when making shoes. It is an anatomical shape of a foot to which the shoe materials are placed over, under and around during the shoe making process.
If the last is not crafted correctly the shoe that is made using it will never be enjoyable to wear. Fit, balance, and comfort of shoes depends on the last being anatomically correct, therefore last making is a highly specialised skill taking years to master.
As shoe manufacturers say, the last comes first! All other components of shoe construction happens after the last is made or chosen. If the last is not perfect the finished shoe will never have a chance at being perfect either.
One last can sometimes be used for a variation of a shoe style, but a new last is needed for different styles. For example a pull on boot will be a different last to a zip up boot as more room is needed to slip the foot into a pull on boot, however a zip boot may be able to use a court shoe last.
A high heel court shoe must have a different last to a low heel court, as lasts are made for each specific heel height. The court, otherwise known as pump, last is versatile with a Mary Jane or Sling Back or Loafer style also being able to be made on it.
Do not attempt to buy shoes that have a heel that can be removed to become a flat, these will never be comfortable to walk in and wear.
Every shoe size requires a different last. Louise M stocks 15 sizes of 6 court shoe styles, therefore 90 different lasts are needed. The Louise M Boot is made from the Point Toe Court last replacing the slender heel shape with a block heel shape, while retaining the 8cm heel height. The slingback style is made from the Low Heel Court last, retaining the 3.5cm heel height replacing the closed heel with an open heel.
There are many aspects of the shoe making process to consider when designing and developing shoes, the last is just one of them but the most important part of construction of a shoe. When buying shoes consider where your shoes are made and the attention to detail, and quality of materials and craftsmanship the shoe brand is renowned for.
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