March 26th, 2019
Shoe Lasts & Styles: Part 1
A shoe last is the foot-shaped former over which the finished upper of the shoe is shaped during the manufacturing process. The last gives the shoe its distinctive shape and fitting properties. Loake use many different last shapes and alternative width fittings to cater for the different needs of our customers. Here we take a look at the most popular traditionally shaped lasts used in our ranges.
Capital (F fitting, Medium Width)
One of our most versatile shoe lasts, Capital is used for several of our 1880 styles from formal shoes such as our ‘Aldwych’ toe cap Oxford to boots such as ‘Pimlico’ and ‘Hyde’. It is a medium width last with a slight chisel shape to the toe and runs true to size. Capital has been a popular choice with our customers since its introduction, currently nine styles are made on this last.
024/Colt ( F fitting)
024 is one of two country last shapes Loake use currently. It is used for less formal shoes such as the ‘Chester’ brogue and the ‘Burford’ boot. Like most country style last shapes, 024 is a little roomier by design to allow for thicker socks to be worn. The toe shape is rounded on this last. Colt is a variant of 024, with a taller and bolder toe. This is a cosmetic change only; the fitting properties of the two remain identical.
Pennine (G Fitting, Wide)
Pennine is another Country last shape, but in G width, which is a wide fitting. It is a roomy last, designed to give the wearer extra space within the shoe. If you normally take a medium width in Loake shoes, you may find a half size reduction to be necessary in order to obtain the right fit.
Claridge (F Fitting)
Another versatile last shape, Claridge is used for both classic English styles and more contemporary shoes. Claridge is a medium width last which should run true to size. There is a little extra (cosmetic only) length in the toe of this last, which has a slightly rounded point.
Loafer (F Fitting)
As the name suggests, this last shape is used for slip-on styles only. The last is quite slim and has a little extra length to the toe. The toe shape itself is rounded with a slight point. Fitting of slip-on shoes is always more difficult than lace-ups, as the shoe has to grip the foot and there is no method of adjustment with laces etc. Customers with a wider foot will likely find these too tight and may need a half size larger, although this will not work for everyone.
026 (F and G Fitting)
The 026 last is available in both medium and wide fitting. This last is very much a classic English last shape, with a rounded toe of standard length. Customers who need a little extra width from their shoes should select this last in a G fitting.
1639 (F Fitting)
This last is shorter in the toe than some, but also broader in this area. It gives shoes such as our famous Royal brogue a bolder appearance. This last shape generally runs true to size, but is a little roomier toward the front compared with other F fitting lasts.
97 (E Fitting, Narrow / Medium Width)
This is one of our narrower lasts and is also shorter in comparison with most others we use. Customers with wider feet will not find this last suitable. If you take F fitting Loake shoes normally, you may also find this last a little tight in your usual size. You will note the photograph shows a wooden last; 97 is one of our older last shapes. We still use some wooden lasts, but you will see that our newer last shapes are made using moulded plastic which most last manufacturers adopted some years ago.