The last (look inside the shoe on top of the shank) is the surface that the insole of the shoe lays on, where the sole and upper are attached).
Shoes are generally board lasted, slip lasted or combination lasted.
A board lasted shoe is very stiff and has a piece of cardboard or fiber overlying the shank and sole (sometimes the shank is incorporated into the midsole or last) . It can be effective for motion control (pronation) but can be uncomfortable for somebody who does not have this problem.
A slip lasted shoe is made like a slipper and is sewn up the middle. It allows great amounts of flexibility, which is better for people with more rigid feet.
A combination lasted shoe has a board lasted heel and slip lasted front portion, giving you the best of both worlds.
When evaluating a shoe, you want to look at the shape of the last (or sole). Bisecting the heel and drawing an imaginary line along the sole of the shoe determines the last shape. This line should pass between the second and third metatarsal. Drawing this imaginary line, you are looking for equal amounts of shoe to be on either side of this line.
Shoes have a straight, curved or semi curved last. The original idea of a curved last (banana shaped shoe) was to help with pronation. A curved last puts more motion into the foot and may force the foot through mechanics that is not accustomed to. Most people should have a straighter lasted shoe.
The shape of a last will effect the biomechanics of the foot. It should match why shape of the foot as closely as possible. Generally speaking, we recommend straighter lasts for folks that have a tendency to overpronate through the midfoot and curvier lasts for folks that have a more rigid foot.
Because the fore foot abducts during mid stance, if the last is curved, the lateral aspect of the foot can rub against the side of the shoe and create blistering of the little toe and if present long enough, a tailors bunion. A general rule of thumb is: "when in doubt, opt for a straighter one"
Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys
#last #gait #foot #thegaitguys #lastshape #curvedlast #straightlast #gaitanalysis #pronation