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 Last - Loake
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 Last - Loake
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
 
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
 
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
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
 
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
 
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
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.

 


21 Comments on “Shoe Lasts & Styles: Part 1

  1. very useful indeed.. I have deduced 024 is my preference, through trial and error really over the years.. Good job…

    • Thank you Andrew, it’s great to get some feedback. Trial and error is often the way people find their favourites, but we hope this guide can give users an insight into the effect last shape has on each style so they can find their favourite style straight away! Keep an eye out this week for part 2…

  2. Very nice article! I have only worn the Capital, but will probably buy one of the country styled lasts for my next shoes this fall. Good to know a little more about the shapes. Will there be another article with the remaining last shapes that you offer?

    • Thanks Lorentz! Part 2 of the article will be going up this week with another selection of our lasts. We’d love to hear your thoughts on that one too.

  3. Nice to see this important topic dealt with so well (more examples would be good, tho’). It helps us all to understand why size isn’t everything (!). I’ve found Loake’s lasts to be very forgiving – I have shoes made with several and they’re all comfortable in the same size, but feel slightly different – at least when I first put them on. It would be interesting to know what makes a designer decide to design a new last for a new shoe. That clearly represents an investment in new lasts and places to store them, so I’m guessing there would have to be a good reason.

    • That could be a whole other blog post in itself! We’re glad you like this one – Part 2 will go live later this week so keep an eye out for some more last and style examples.

  4. Great to see this kind of information being put out there for people to better understand the technology of shoes and lasts, and the terminology used to describe fitting.

    However, it would be really useful to be able to view not only the top-down view, but also the side-on view from both the inner and outer sides. Plus, it would be good if the descriptions could include information about the bias of each last for the types of feet they are a good match for.

    For example, I noticed that an obvious difference is apparent when comparing, from the top-down, the heel openings of the shoe exhibit of the 024/Colt last:
    http://blog.loake.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/024-Colt.jpg
    and the shoe exhibit of the Capital last:
    http://blog.loake.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Capital.jpg.

    It is clear that the bias of the foot in the 024/Colt is leaning inwards, noticeably more than the central or more balanced bias of the Capital. The meat of the inner and upper instep is clearly seen to be pushing towards the other foot in the 024/Colt last shoe exhibit.

    It would be great to see this pointed out and a discussion of the bias (and other key attributes) of each last and the resulting shoe, and the types of foot they fit.

    Cheers,
    Nick

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  6. Hi – I’ve acquired some older Loake shoes – 745T – that state last 87-5. However there’s no fitting specified – is this a standard or wide fit?

    Thanks

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  8. Informative article! I love the Capital last 10.5 that is perfect fit for my feet.

  9. I would love to buy a pair of Loakes but since I’m located in the US (Central New Jersey) there is little chance for me to try them on. Is there any chance Loake might participate in an online fitting guide such as Shoefitr? Or do you have any advice on the fitting process for folks on this side of the Atlantic?

  10. Very happy to see the exlaination of Loake’s Lasts. It is very helpful for me when I choose Loake shoes. I just have one question, I found the last of the Loake Chatsworth is Jocky but I can not find any description about it. Could you please say somenthing about it? Thank you.

    • Hi Jim
      Jockey last is used for our Chatsworth boot only at present. It is a wider G fitting last, with a slightly squared off toe shape of standard length. The toe itself is quite generous, and being G fitting the boot is a wide fit.
      If you do not have a wide foot it may be necessary to go a half size smaller to compensate.
      Hope this helps.

  11. Hello,
    I have rather flat feet and find that Peninne 7,5 fit me perfectly.
    I’m now tempted by a model which uses the Claridge last and was wondering whether I should opt for a size 8 instead, on account of the narrower shape.
    Would you be able to provide me any advice on that (I’d have to get them shipped over, and would rather avoid a return…)
    Thanks a lot,
    Manuel

    • Hi Manuel
      In most cases it is difficult to know without trying on the shoes how each last will affect the sizing, and we would normally recommend having a fitting, but generally, going half a shoe size bigger should compensate for a narrower fitting.

  12. I prefer Capital and 026 and own around 15 pairs of shoes and boots based on this lasts. For winter times, wearing thick socks i also own three pairs of 024 based boots.

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