Terminology of the Last – 4/4

Oct 14, 2022


In our final last terminology, we will talk about important Points and Construction Lines which are very essential in shoe designing since we will need these measurements in order to make our shoe making pattern designs. These lines and points will vary depending on the type of shoe we wish to construct but, in this lesson, we will talk in general which then will need to be adapted to various types of shoes.

If we draw a line in the middle of the last, dividing the last in two (Lateral; small toe side and Medial; Big toe side), this line will be called the Main Axis.

Lateral and Medial Ball points can easily be found since they are the widest part of the last and divides the front and back part of the last called “Front part and Back Part”.  An easy way to find this point is to flip the last upside down and place it perpendicular to your table so the part of the last which touches the table is your Ball Point.  This point can be marked on the feather edge on both sides.

The Vamp Point is located on the Main Axis moving forward from the Heel Curve going forward and located at 50% of the men’s bottom last length and 75% of the bottom last length for the lady shoe.  By drawing a line around the last by uniting the Lateral Ball Point to the Medial Ball Point and passing by the Vamp Point on the top of the last, we will get the Ball Girth Line.  The Ball Girth Line is one of the most important measurements since it will give the shoes a comfortable fit or a tight painful fit.

The Low Lateral Instep Point is a point situated exactly at 50% between the Vamp Point and the Ball Point. 

The Counter Point is positioned in the Main Axis on the Heel Curve.  In order to find this point, we can measure the width of the back Cup Heel bottom then bring this length starting from the back feather edge going upwards along the Main Axis.

The Back Height or Quarter Height is a point marked on the centerline of the back curve which is 10mm above the Counter Point.

If we draw a line from the Low Lateral Instep Point to the Counter Point on both sides, we will get the Lateral Quarter line and Medial Quarter line.

At 70mm to 75mm above the Vamp Point, following the Main Axis towards the Cone, we will get the Instep Point. The Instep point can also be found by drawing a 90-degree line upward; also called the Instep Guide Line, starting from the middle of the Quarter Line reaching the Main Axis.

The Collar Opening is made by drawing a curved line from the Instep Point to the Counter Point.  This collar opening will be higher or lower depending on the type of shoe we are designing.  If the collar opening is not well calculated, it will rub against the ankle bone causing pain during walk.

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