BASIC-The Last


May 13, 2022

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1) Shoe Last & Perfect Fit;

The SHOE LAST is the heart of shoe design (shoe pattern) and shoe fit by reflecting the anatomical shape of our foot. It is a Designing Tool to work on directly. They are usually made from plastic material (most common ones), wood(usually hard maple) and aluminum(for high temperature reasons). The second important feature of the shoe last, is that it is used as a manufacturing tool during the production of our shoes. A comfort Fit must be calculated each time a last is developed and is essential in producing shoes which will have a PERFECT FIT.

There are many important parameters to be calculated on a shoe last with the help of a measuring tape. The two major ones are: 1) Size of a shoe which is measured by taking the length of the bottom side of the last from the edge of the heel till the edge of the toe. 2) The width of the shoe last is done by taking the maximum volume of the Instep Girth. (Most popular width are Narrow Fit, Normal Fit, Wide Fit and Extra Wide Fit. A particular shoe, sandal or boot will have its specific shoe last made for a particular shoe style. The shoe last will have a specific toe shape, specific volume and height which will identify the shoe we need to construct. The heel profile and inclination and heel height will be specific to a unique type of shoe. Some shoe last will have a steel plate at the bottom of the last and this is to avoid the nails, during the attachment of the upper to the assembly insole to perforate the shoe last. Most footwear lasts will have different type of openings like hinges or detachable pieces to facilitate the de-lasting of the shoe at the end of the production process.

A good shoe last should always consider not only a Perfect Fit but also a good Stability during walk. A well-constructed pump for example will sit tightly on your feet without any fastening and will have a narrower last having no other way to adhere to the foot than the quarters, the counter and the toe box, while leaving the instep completely free. It is for this reason that it must be perfectly constructed and will always be longer than your feet length with toe allowance to hold the foot in place while leaving the foot space to move inside the shoe. The Pump also called Court shoe is the one of the most difficult shoe to construct for these reasons.

The Sandals is a opposite example having an open construction, where we have straps holding the shoe in place. Sandal lasts have dimensions which are very close to the dimension of the feet with a bigger instep than the pump of at least 8mm.

One last important note is to understand that each country is working with one of the most common shoe sizes calculation which are; French size, UK size, USA size and Japan size. This means to get your perfect fit and perfect size; you will first need to know the length of your foot in cm from the back heel to the longest toe (usually the big toe). Bring this measurement on a specialized footwear chart (you can download from our https://www.italianfootwearsolution.com/size-guide/ ) to get your correct size per country system marked on the shoe.

FUNCTION: The last is utilized firstly in the designing process by wrapping it with masking tape and then, designing the style of shoe directly on the tape. This masking tape pattern which reflects the shape of the shoe last, will then be transferred to a harder carboard with designs to be used for cutting the leather/materials for the making of the uppers of the shoe.

Italian Footwear Solution will ensure the calculations of the shoe Last are those of a PERFECT FIT on every shoe being constructed. Once the Perfect Fit Volumes have been reached, the designing team will give the last a Fashionable look giving the shoe its maximum Comfort Fit in a Great Looking Shoe!

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