- LOWA UK Team
- About the Tech
Many features go into making a high-quality walking boot. Every part of the construction, from the sole to the uppers and each minor detail in-between, needs to work in perfect harmony. By achieving this, we can create a range of outdoor footwear that is perfectly designed for the task at hand.
However, an equally important part of the boot manufacturing process is not actually a part of the finished footwear!
What is a Last?
A last is the foot-shaped form which creates the internal shape of the footwear, around which a shoe or boot is made.
The humble last is, arguably, the most crucial part of the manufacturing process. The footwear is shaped around the last to achieve the perfect form. The last’s shape, therefore, dictates many of a boot’s features, such as toe space, comfort and the general fit of the footwear. LOWA spend a significant amount of time during the manufacturing process making sure the boot matches the exact shape of the last, and this translates to perfect fitting footwear with real structure and shape.
Why does the fit of a hiking boot matter?
While the quality of a boot’s sole and the materials of the upper can make a difference, nothing matters more to the quality of a walking boot than its fit. The role of this style of footwear means that it will be in use for prolonged periods, much more than the average shoe. While many features of a hiking boot are designed to provide comfort and performance, they also rely on the foot being the perfect size for the shoe. If the boot is too tight or too loose in certain areas, issues can begin to arise, such as blisters and general walking pains.
Different Lasts for Different Feet
A quality hiking boot will fit comfortably around the whole foot, with slight wiggle room for the toes but minimal movement elsewhere. However, feet come in a range of shapes and sizes, and one style of walking boot will be comfortable for some and cause discomfort for others. That is why here at LOWA, we take particular care with the details of our lasts.
For every type of foot, there is a special last to accompany it, designed for the specific demands and expectations of the wearer. This attention to detail helps us to create a wide range of footwear, each designed with a particular use in mind along with a certain wearer.
All our women’s footwear styles also have their own special LOWA lasts. This is important, as women’s feet are different to men’s, and require specific features to match the unique demands placed upon them. Learn more about our LOWA women’s range.
Check out below to see the range of lasts we use across LOWA footwear.
This last is our standard size that creates the basic shape for much of our footwear.
Our S-LAST is created with naturally smaller feet in mind. These models are not only narrow but allow for less volume around the forefoot area and the balls of your feet (the padded section just before your toes). By using a specially-designed last, we can create a range of narrow footwear that provides perfect fit and comfort.
Similar to the narrow design, the W-LAST allows more volume around the forefoot and ball area. This last helps us to create a range of walking boots for wide feet that fit perfectly, adapting to the unique needs of a wider foot without having to increase the size of the whole shoe.
Our larger model, the WXL-LAST, builds on the work of the W-LAST to provide further comfort for those with particularly wide feet. This form delivers the same as the W-LAST but includes an expanded toe box. The WXL-Last also provides extra room around the arch and instep, the central regions of the foot. This model offers an excellent option for those with larger feet and who have found discomfort using sizes too large for the rest of the foot.
We use the perfect last for every boot, ensuring that you can find the perfect fit no matter what your size or shape. If you are interested in trying our footwear, get in contact with the LOWA team, whose experience will help you pick out the perfect boot for your needs.