The shoe last is a foot-like form that serves as the foundation for the design and construction of any shoe. The shape of the last can affect the shoes fit, comfort, look, function and even how it’s made. For these reasons, a common phase used within the footwear industry is: The Last Comes First. Simply put, this means that before you start any project to design and produce a high-quality shoe, you need to take the time to develop the correct, high-quality last. At Proof of Concept, we can help you accomplish this!
The process of developing a last can start with an existing last, or an existing shoe combined with a description of how you would like the last or shoe to be modified (i.e., increase width, create a new toe shape, etc.). Another way to start a new last is to provide a list detailed list of the type of shoe you are trying to produce. For example, a women’s slip-on yoga shoe with very sleek aesthetics. Typically, POC works closely with you to help you develop a clear list of attributes.
Once a clear description of the new last is created, we use 3D last creation software - combine with our years of last development experience - to create a digital last. The digital last is presented to you with a list of the key last measurements and 2D images. Once you approve the digital last, we use our rapid prototype machine to print the first physical last. This is then sent to you for approval. Once you approve the rapid prototype last, we send the same 3D data to Jones & Vining so they can create a pair of plastic production quality lasts. These lasts can then be used to produce the first samples, either with us or with a factory you already work with, so that fit testing can be done.
There are other companies that will develop a last for you, but they usually require you to provide all the information and then they simply make the last. At POC, we partner with you by providing input and feedback based on our years of experience so that there’s a greater possibility of creating the correct last the first time.