The last on which a shoe is made is paramount to the overall shape of the finished shoe. Loake presently offer a colossal 42 different lasts on which their shoes and boots are made. The differences between these lasts can be very subtle but the difference becomes glaringly obvious in the finished product.
Traditionally lasts were made from beechwood or a similar close grained wood. Although wooden lasts are still used for made to measure shoes where it is necessary to shape by hand the last, modern lasts are moulded from plastic. The huge advantage of this is that innumerable identical lasts can be produced with no danger if minor discrepancies.
Loake’s Capital last is so successful that it is used in most of the Loake 1880 premium range of formal shoes. This last produces a truly elegant formal shoe. However the shape would look quite wrong in a heavier country shoe such as the Loake Chester or Badminton for which the 024 and 026 last respectively simply works superbly.
The growth in numbers of the fashion conscious male shopper in recent years has led to the need for a greater variety of last shapes. Within Loakes’ L1 collection the squared off toe of the 033 last as used in the 250 and 251 styles has proved highly successful. This contrasts with the elongated pointed toe of the Jack last as used in the popular Hutchinson Chelsea boot from the Design Loake collection.
Once you have found a last which works for you try the Bradshaw & Lloyd search facility to filter out all Loake shoes made on that particular last.