What is a last?:
The last is the plastic mould around which the shoe or boot is made. Loake lasts are no different from other factories’ lasts in that they are instrumental in both the fit and look of the footwear. However all shoemakers spend a considerable amount of time and effort in achieving the right last for particular footwear and they all protect their lasts very closely. Other than the materials used and the construction technique Loake lasts are the very essence of Loake footwear.
Variety of lasts:
Like most shoemakers there is a huge array of Loake lasts to choose from. Today there are in excess of 36 different lasts on which Loake shoes and boots are made. Each of these provides a different look depending upon the style of footwear which the designer is trying to achieve as well as in some cases a slightly different fit.
A particular last may be made in the traditional English width fittings of E (narrow, F (medium wide), G (wide) and H (extra wide). Loake lasts are usually F or G fittings and styles will be made on either an F or G last. Occasionally Loake will make a shoe on one of their E or H fitting lasts, but these are fairly rare.
Our favourite Loake last is the Capital last on which most of Loake’s 1880 premium grade formal shoes are made. This last is an F fit and will suit most feet and has a really elegant toe shape.