About Our Lasts

The Old English “laest,” meaning footprint

The last comes first and the word “last” comes from the Old English “laest,” meaning footprint. It is used by shoemakers and cordwainers in the manufacture and repair of shoes.

Producing good fitting, comfortable shoes

Although a last is made approximately in the shape of a human foot, it is by no means a copy and the precise shape is tailored to the kind of footwear being made. The last not only gives the shoe its shape but also its fitting qualities and it is essential for producing good fitting, comfortable shoes. With Spring Line you can be sure of a consistency across your styles that will give your shoes the best possible start in life.

From hardwoods and cast iron to plastic

Historically, lasts were made from hardwoods and cast iron because these materials retain their shape, even when in contact with wet materials (like leather) and subjected to the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes on them. Today wooden lasts are generally used mostly for bespoke shoemaking. The materials used in modern lasts must be strong enough to withstand the forces of mass production machinery. Lasts for bulk production are now often made in high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE).

Hinge types, plating and slots

Lasts can be supplied to many different specifications, including various hinge types, plating and slots in the toe for sandals.