Different Shoe Constructions

What a boring world would be if all the shoes were made the same way. Just to spice things up, we have ten different construction techniques to explain to you! You’re about to learn how to make durable shoes, comfortable shoes, sandals, safety shoes and so on. Let’s begin this journey!

So, starting with the essential. The shoe lasting process is when the shoe begins to take shape and involves different connecting processes of the shoe elements – upper, insole and sole. To begin this process, you need to decide which shoe lasting type is right for your shoe.

  • The first one is the flat lasting and is one of the most widely used systems. You can use it to construct men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes with a great variety of materials. In this technique, the lasting edge is turned to the inside of the shoe, and it is attached upon the insole through the glue. Then the sole is attached to the insole and to the upper through the adhesive/glue and/or the tacks/nails. 
  • Then we have the pratik lasting, where, differently from many others, the lasting edge is turned to the outside of the shoe and is sewn directly to the midsole. This type of lasting guarantees an excellent durability, comfort, and an attractive appearance. 
For footwear where we need safety, comfort, and flexibility we mainly use techniques from the category of Slip Lasting or Force Lasting, with deviances according to the type of shoe we want to construct. 
This main category includes techniques as the tubular, california, strobel and moccasin, and as the category name indicates the shoe last is “slipped” or “forced” into the upper. «
  • The tubular construction is commonly used with shoes that need comfort and safety. The main feature of this type of lasting is that the upper is sewn to the insole making a bag and then the last is introduced under pressure. 
  • The california lastings the number one in casual footwear, but there’s nothing casual about this technique. The insole, the upper and the edge cover are sewn together at the top, before the last is forced into the upper. The sole is then cemented to give it a strong finish. If you want to make flexible and light-weighted sandals and open-toes shoes, this is the chosen technique. 
  • The strobel lasting is very similar to the tubular one, where the upper is sewn to the insole through a specific seam made on the machine that gives the technique it´´ s named- Strobel. This construction is used mainly for tennis and other sports footwear, slippers, and some sorts of safety shoes. 
  • The moccasin lasting can be considered a variant. The upper acts as the insole and it is extended to wrap around the side of the foot so that the seam is on the top of the upper and becomes a decorative feature. The moccasin construction is at its core a very soft and flexible construction but depending on the making can be more built up as well. 
  • String lasting produces a construction similar to that of flat lasting. The method by which this is achieved, however, is quite different. After closing the upper pieces together, a heavy string is sewn around the lasting edge of the upper with a special machine and then is placed straight over the last. Finally, the thread should be well stretched, thus pulling the upper over the last.
  • If you are thinking of making durable footwear, you must know the Goodyear lasting. A high-quality, high-priced men’s dress shoe is typically made using this technique. In this construction, a strip of leather is sewn around the bottom edge of the shoe and attached to both the insole and the upper to hold the shoe together. The welt is easily unstitched which means that it can be replaced repeatedly, without damaging the shoe. 
  • And this one is for the lovers of geology: Vulcanization lasting. The upper preparation is similar to California or Moccasin. The last is made of metal and rubber strips are applied in a mould, which is closed after and subject to heating – vulcanization. This method is mainly used on sneaker production because it’s going to transform natural rubber into a cured, more durable rubber.
  • And to end this beautiful journey, we have the Injection Lasting.  As the name suggests, the whole shoe is made by injection of material around a mould. Although being just one material, the sole can present various profiles, colours, and combinations.

We had much more to tell you about this art, but you know… a good magician never reveals all his secrets. Stay tuned if you want to be more involved with this world, this magic world.