Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 14 September 2012

A New Kind Of Last

Hello, one and all, and welcome back to the carréducker blog. Another week, another shoe, I suppose you could say.

Added Value? starts next week, so if any of you are in London and would like to go, it's free, but you need to register here

Below is a typical last with a cone, the old fashioned style of last if you like. Very functional, but quite hard to pull (with a hook) and if you need to get the last back into the shoe for any reason, it can prove difficult. The good thing about them is that if you do need to block a finished shoe, the forepart and heel are connected, so that when you hammer the heel area, it really pushes right up to the toe.

Next you have the sprung last with a sprung hinge in the waist. This is much easier to pull - you just break the last on a pin and then pull it out. It is also much easier to get back into a shoe if you need to make an adjustment.

And here is a third type of last which is new to us.

We have recently started working with a new last making company called Crispinians. With over 20 years experience in bespoke last making and a similar period of time in tree making, we thought we would give them a chance. The advantage of working with them for us is that they are in London and we can discuss face to face any issues that arrive from measuring to fitting.
They have recently set up business and will make bespoke lasts and trees and also runs of lasts - check them out. They are very friendly and helpful.

This is called the easy exit last, where the heel part is cut at an angle with a little step in it. This makes pulling the last very easy, especially if you have a very curved heel profile. Getting them back in is also very easy. We thought we would give them a try.

You can see the cut better from this angle.

You just unscrew the two pieces and they come apart very easily.

The forepart.

And the heel.

This is the first time we have used them, so we will report back with our findings. Crispinians Ltd say they are very easy to use - we shall see!

And that is a wrap, dear readers. Until next week, happy shoemaking!