Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 13 September 2013

What a difference a last makes

Short and sweet this week.

We have a rather spectacular pair of shoes in development....and some of the most extreme lasts we have ever created, toe-shape-wise that is.

They are very long and pointed - a good three inches beyond the customer's feet. The length brings with it its own challenges as we don't want them to look like court jester's shoes when he has worn then a few times nor for the toe to wear out.

Options we are considering to help strengthen the toe (as well as a sturdy insole and strong toe puff) are metal toe plates under the toe and small metal caps on the toes.

To help the client to visualise the shoe, I pulled some scraps of leather over the last and used silver pen to sketch on ideas as we talked (see above). It really helped our discussions and is something that we will definitely do more often where we design discussions are needed.

Then, to ensure the client was happy with the length, I pulled over an extreme brogue upper for him to try on.

The pics above and below just go to show the influence that the last shape has on the finished shoe or boot. The same style of boot appears in both sets of shots but gives the resulting boot an entirely different feel.

More musings on this pair in the coming weeks as the leathers are chosen and the uppers take shape. Until then happy shoemaking!