Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Shape matters!

When we're teaching, students often ask how important the last is to the look of the finished shoe. Well the last and toe shape are a vital starting point, but in fact every decision that you make actually impacts on the final look of a shoe.

James and I have been discussing which last we should choose for our new spectator design and we thought that this would be a good way of illustrating this point. Below are the two lasts we are thinking about.  The upper has been made from a pattern for one of the lasts, but we've pulled it over both to see how it looks. Very different as you can see!

We originally used the last on the left for our new Loafer and the last on the right for our new Oxford (see below).

You can see how different from the Spectator the Loafer and Oxford look, despite the lasts being the same. The lack of seams on the Loafer and the skin texture of the Crocodile give the shoes a completely different feel to the Spectator example.

The Loafer last looks more casual and relaxed with its flat, rounded toe. and the Oxford last looks more elegant and sleek with its elongated, snub nosed toe.

But how different will they look if the sole is leather, or rubber or crepe?

Can you picture it? And can you guess what we chose?

Food for thought. Until next week happy shoemaking!