If you’ve ever found yourself wincing at the thought of wearing a particular pair of shoes because you know they pinch your toes, or you feel like you’ve tried on a dozen pairs of shoes without finding a single pair that’s comfortable, perhaps you need to consider your foot shape and what the ideal last is for your particular shape of feet. This blog post outlines what exactly a last is, and how it will help you find your perfect fitting pair of shoes.
What is a last shape?
A last is basically a mould made in a shape similar to a foot. Because there are many different shapes of feet, there are multiple lasts – most shoe brands will have several styles that they use to base their designs on. There are up to 30 different elements and considerations that go into creating each last – measurements that include tread, flare, toe spring and throat opening just for starters. The design, shape and volume of the last will determine what the end result looks like, and you’ll soon learn to identify styles that will be more comfortable for you than others.
Each brand of shoemaker will have their own last design, so while you might find that one particular brand of shoe fits you perfectly, you might not be able to replicate this with another brand. Similarly as every last constructed represents a different shape of foot, this will create a variation on how shoes in the same size from the same brand will fit your foot. Therefore, even though the pair of Barker Jackson (made on the 443 last) you bought in an 8F fits you perfectly, it doesn’t mean that the same size in the Barker Warrington (made on the 464 last) will fit you too. One of these will more than likely hurt your foot or be too big/small as it will be the wrong shape.
What last is right for me?
I have high arches: If you suffer from high arches, you need additional support from your shoe, so you might find curved lasts more comfortable.
I suffer from flat feet: If your flat feet make finding shoes a nightmare, take some of the headache out of it by sticking to straight lasts which will reduce the ache in your feet.
I have a narrow foot: you will need a longer shoe in a narrow fit to ensure that you can wear your shoes comfortably without any gaps or slipping which could cause blisters.
I have a wide foot: You will want to choose a last with a more rounded toe to give yourself plenty of toe space, and most likely choose a shoe in a wider fit than standard sizing.
If you’re in any doubt about the right size or shape of shoes to suit your feet, book a free personalised fitting appointment with us, or find out how to measure your feet by watching our video.