Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Almost all shoes are made on lasts. There are many types of lasts and they reflect the type of footwear and indeed the feet they are designed for. Different types of footwear require different style lasts. For example, an open toe sandle will use a different style last to a boot. Lasts were traditionally made of wood but are now normally made from blocks of plastic, milled using CNC machines. Lasts are made from soft materials such as wood and plastic because they need to be able to have small nails (called lasting tacs) hammered into them to hold parts of the shoe in place during manufacture and then removed.
Lasts can have many different characteristics, most of which will effect the way the shoe will look and fit. Many custom footwear makers will make special lasts for their customers, designed specifically for the individuals needs.
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