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Lasting shoes. Where to start?

Lasting shoes. Where to start?

Lasting shoes

You can create good pattern and sew your shoes well, but it is very easy to fail in lasting shoes, unless you know few important things about it.
In this post I will explain you, what should be your first step in lasting shoes and why it can be crucial in making beautiful  and comfortable shoes.

Why top back height  is super important in lasting footwear and how to find it ?

First let’s define what is top  back height .

The back  height in shoes is the distance from the last bottom edge to the specific point on the heel .back-center-line

At this specific point you should place your uppers  along back central line on the last to last your shoes .
This is your first step of lasting shoes.


This specific place is deriving from anatomical structure of our foot  and will determine  your shoes comfort.

Place it lower than it must be and your shoes will slide off, and will not be comfortable.


Place your uppers higher and they will put a lot of pressure on the heel and on the sides.


Now, let’s move few steps back to the basic pattern (see this post “How to speed up your shoemaking process”)


It will help you  to understand, where exactly  you should place your uppers to start correct lasting of your shoes.


When you made your basic pattern, you should find the correct height of the back top line.

This is how I teach it and that’s is how it should be done.


So you already know where it must be and should place you uppers exactly on the same distance that you made in you pattern.back-line

Small tip: how to create shoe pair with identical back height


This is very simple task, but  when you last  your uppers you get worried ( I know it from experience), you check where exactly to place the uppers on the shoe last and how to last them identically.


Ok, you already know the right back height.


*So measure the same distance along central back line on each last and mark it.back-line

*Place two uppers till this mark.


You should place them in the way,where the central line of your uppers match the central line of your last.

It is also very important to make beautiful shoes, without twisting your uppers on one of the sides during shoe lasting.


If it is difficult for you to see where this central line on the last passes, mark it before lasting as

* Now we reached one of the most important things in how to make pair of shoes with identical back height.


When lasting shoes, you pull down the back part strong, to create beautiful heels without any folds, the uppers will slide down.


What is more crucial here is, that both halves of your uppers can slide down differently, and you will get not just uncomfortable shoes, but not identical shoes as well.


Both situations it  is something that you don’t want.


That is the reason some shoemakers place the uppers higher than it must be.


So, when they will pull it during lasting, it will lay on the right place.


But here you must have the experience how to do that, how to  consider stretches of leather that you used for your upper (this quality influences on how strong you can pull your uppers ).


Instead of this, you can use this small tip.


You can keep both uppers using nails.nail-backThere is special nails for this kind of work.They are thin and sharp like a needle, so they will not leave holes on leathernails

Place nails into your uppers. They will hold the uppers on the right place.


But if you don’t have this type of nails, you can use same nails that you usually use for lasting.


How to do it correctly?


Just place the nails right in the hole of back seam close to the top line.


Remember, before you will take your shoes off the last, hit on the hole and it will get smaller.perfect-back-top-line

That’s it.


If you have another great tip on how to make your shoes, please share it with us in the comment bellow!


If this tip was useful to you please share !