The Lasting (the term used when referring the ‘pulling the upper over the last’) process is when the shoe begins to take shape. The Last is a shoemaker’s foundation and is often thought to be their most guarded secret. With heritage paving the way, Crockett & Jones has a host of world-renowned lasts and continuous last development in progress. Our Last Guide offers insightful descriptions relating to the origins and features of each last still used in production today.
The first process of Lasting starts with the upper being tacked to the back of the last, this ensures the back height is correct. The front of the upper is then pulled over by the lasting machine, where it is vital for the 'Toe Laster' to ensure that the upper is fitted accurately to the last. A toe lasting machine can only be described as a typical shoe making contraption, with a host of levers, gauges and sensors. Making sure every half pair is correctly lasted is easier said than done when lasting some 20-30 different styles each week.
An important process within our making room is Welt Sewing, where the welt (a strip of leather) is stitched to the rub that has been attached to the insoles. This process is performed by a highly skilled operative on the famous Goodyear welting machine. The Goodyear-welted construction method ensures strength and reparability are always integral features of our footwear. Once the welt is attached the bottoms of the shoes are filled with cork and a wooden shank to provide support beneath the insoles.
The shoes are then ready to have their soles stitched to the welt, due to Goodyear-welted method it allows the soles to be removed without affecting the uppers. A process called ‘Bottom Levelling’ then takes place rounding the soles to the shape of the last, an intricate and highly skilled operation. The shoes then make their way into our Finishing Room…