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Shoe Last Types That You Should Know

15 Mar 2023

What is a Shoe Last?

The "heart of the shoe," as it has been dubbed, is the shoe last, which is the first step in the design process. The last is the foundation upon which the rest of the shoe is constructed.

The form of the last is what makes a shoe appropriate for specific activities like basketball, mountain climbing, or marathon running, as well as what determines the shoe's fit, performance, ergonomics, and style. Beautiful shoe designs mean nothing if they aren't built on a last that's suitable for the task at hand.

The latter is a foot-shaped object that can be 3D printed, cast in aluminum, carved from wood, or molded from plastic. What's with the capitalization of "last"? The word 'last,' which means 'footprint' in old English, originates from this word. Shoe lasts have been used since at least 400 BCE, when they were first introduced by the Greeks and Romans.

The last has always played an important role in determining the final form and fit of a pair of shoes. The shoemaker will use the last throughout the entire process to determine the final dimensions, shape, and silhouette of the shoe. From the initial sketch to the final product on the assembly line, the last is an integral part of the shoemaking process.

Shoe Last Types

Shoe Last Types

1. A Sturdy Last

What kind of shoes they are depends on the category. Choose the traditional Last if you plan on marketing women's dress shoes. It has timeless appeal and is sure to win over the majority of your clientele. You may want to go with a slimmer Last for your men's dress shoe collection. In addition to making your shoes appear and feel slimmer, this will also make them more suitable for the style-conscious who favor a more minimal aesthetic.

2. A Slimmed Last

High-end, mainstream, and slim styles are the three primary types of shoe brands. Women who want to look fashionable without breaking the bank on the latest trends favor slimmer styles of footwear. It's a common misconception that men's shoes aren't slimmed down at all, but that only women's shoes are. Yet many men incorporate slimmer shoes into their wardrobes, and it's important to keep in mind that this style is available for both sexes and all budgets.

Both the skinny and wide options remain if you opt for a slimming last. There's a lot to be said for minimalism, so I say go with a narrow last. Limiting yourself to just three or four distinct types of lasts is preferable to having ten or twenty. There is a direct correlation between the number of shoe styles you stock and your ability to grow your business.

The narrower the last, the better. This ensures that the shoe fits perfectly, and I never have to worry about it coming off my foot. Conversely, it can be confusing to keep track of the numerous shoe widths available to you. Therefore, I suggest selecting a narrower last rather than spending extra time counting the various width options available to you. A perfect fit can be ensured without the trouble of figuring out the customer's shoe size.

3. A pointy toe shoe Last

What are the benefits of incorporating a pointed-toe shoe last into your collection? Because they produce a more refined shoe. Pointy toe shoe lasts are commonly used by shoemakers because the pointed toe adds a refined aesthetic to the finished shoe. Each approach used by shoemakers has its advantages and disadvantages. It's still a safe bet to say that a pointed toe tip makes your shoes look more professional and polished.

4. A stylized shoe Last

Investing in a stylized shoe last is a fantastic way to diversify your footwear collection. Finding different sizes and widths of the same shoe last can help you create a fashionable and unified shoe line. Shoe retailers such as Softlux typically stock a wide variety of customized shoe lasts. When you place an order for a customized stylized shoe last, you can make it look exactly how you want it to. The end result is a pair of shoes that stands out from the crowd.

5. A rounded toe shoe Last

The presence of a rounded toe is often seen as a sign of high quality in footwear because it indicates that the shoe will last for a long time. The rounded toe is not only more comfortable for long periods of wear, but also more aesthetically pleasing. Nonetheless, not every pair of shoes can accommodate the design. Putting on shoes, like high heel dresses or sandals, is less of a hassle when the toe is rounded.

There are a lot of positives to going with a rounded toe shoe last. A shoe with a rounded toe is constructed on a shoe last of the same shape. The benefit of shoes made on a rounded toe last is that they are more pleasant to wear and easier to walk in. Women with flat feet can also benefit from wearing shoes with a rounded toe. When compared to the typical shape of a shoe, a person with flat feet has a foot that is abnormally flat. Women are more likely than men to have flat feet, but men can get them too. If you have flat feet, you may find that rounded-toe shoes are more comfortable.

6. A Chelsea boot last Last 

Women's wardrobes aren't complete without at least one pair of Chelsea boots. If you're looking to expand your shoe collection, the A Chelsea boot is a great option for a few reasons:

+ Chelsea boots have a wide range of possible uses. They're great for any season and pair well with almost any wardrobe.

+ These boots are so versatile; you can wear them with any outfit.

+ It's no secret that the A Chelsea boot is one of the most wallet-friendly styles available.

It also comes in a wide range of designs, textures, and sizes to suit your needs.

The idea behind Pumps/Heels is straightforward: create a fashionable and practical shoe that won't sacrifice comfort. However, the addition of a cushioning system dubbed "The Sole" sets the Pump/Heel shoes apart from standard running footwear.

A shoe's sole is the thin piece of material that sits directly beneath the foot inside the shoe. The sole cushions your steps and helps keep your feet dry. You can wear a pair of pumps or heels on their own, or incorporate them into the design of other shoe types like loafers, slip-ons, or clogs.

In conclusion, women's shoes and boots benefit most from the six types of shoe lasts. The "pointy toe, stylized, rounded toe, Chelsea boot, pump/heel" is the most popular style among our customers. I use this style of last for roughly 95% of my boot orders because it is the most common. However, I also use a variety of other lasts, and I often switch between them depending on the project at hand and the complexity of the design.

Lasts for shoes should be ordered with consideration for the intended shape, heel height, and wearer's comfort level. The best end result can be achieved with the right last type.

Shoe Last Types By Material

  1. Wood Lasts

Because of their versatility and ease of use, they are frequently employed in the footwear manufacturing industry.


  • They're capable of easily conforming to new formats.
  • Permits the use of nails
  •  Handmade models benefit most from their use.
  •  While being constructed, shoes are able to release any excess moisture they've absorbed.


  • You can't find cheaper alternatives; they're the most expensive available.
  • They are easily damaged by water because of their fragility.
  • Warning: not recommended for factory-scale manufacture.
  • They are incompatible with vulcanizing ovens and heat tunnels.

2. Plastic Lasts

They conceal an abundance of benefits, which is why many people are drawn to this option due to how easily it can be shaped.


  • They are very easy to repair
  • The advancement of technology relies on them.
  • Used extensively in the manufacturing of top-notch shoes
  • Produced in large quantities
  • They are impermeable to heat and moisture.


  • That's a lot of money.
  • Breaks, dings, and scratches are possible.
  • They are not suitable for vulcanization.

3. Hormas de Aluminio

Though cheap, it is not widely favored because of inaccuracy.


  • Have a monetary value.
  • They can be used in mass production.
  • They are sturdy and undamaged.
  • Light weight.
  • They are used for vulcanizing processes.
  • They repel moisture and heat.


  • The accuracy is lacking.
  • They can cause damage to the lining of the footwear by its rough surface
  • There may be quality variation between sizes
  • Cleaning them is a pain.
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