by Hattie Duke

shoe lasts

The word last comes from the Old English 'laest' meaning 'footprint'. I wonder, do you remember the last time you looked at your own bare footprint, in the sand or in the mud?


Despite the fact that we live in the age of information. With so much information so easily accessible. There are many harmful things we inflict upon our own bodies in ignorance.


I am repeatedly astounded by the capacity of the human body to withstand our lack of care or even considered abuse. For the most part our bodies are resilient and forgiving.


Let us focus on our feet as an example of this. We squeeze our feet into misshapen footwear in the name of fashion or frugality.


But our feet! Our feet allow us to stand, walk, run, play sport and much more. They are what remind us that we are beings of this Earth. They remind us to listen to our bodies and not just the ideas in our heads.


Caring for our feet means caring for our posture and for our overall musculoskeletal health. Wearing shoes that fit our feet perfectly supports our toes to do their job properly and our bodies to develop stronger muscles and more flexible joints in our feet, ankles, knees, legs and hips. This in turn supports our hips, our back, our shoulders and our neck.a

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Our feet are like a compliant child. They will do their best not to complain too much when we squeeze them into a shoe we like for its aesthetics and price. But after many years not just our feet but our whole body will begin to complain.


We would in the past, all have had custom made shoes (until industrialisation reached the shoe makers in the latter part of the nineteenth century).....and shoes made to last.


The problem lies in a use of technology to bring down prices and speed up processing. Measurements for factory made shoe lasts are based on one size and each size is made to a ratio of this size.


But each foot is different! Not even each pair of feet! Each foot is a different width, length, height, and shape.


The convenience of modern shoes has nothing to do with our actual feet.

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Our feet have 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. ( Our feet are flexible not only in their movement but also in their way of growing. They adapt to the shape they are given to be contained within. Narrow shoes will breed narrow feet. Wide shoes, wide, strong feet.


Corsets for women's bodies went out of fashion a while ago.....When are corsets for our feet going to go out of fashion?!


With the technology available today bespoke shoes could soon be affordable for all, if we change our minds and start to look after our feet more than somebody else's opinion about what looks good.


Here at Gaucho Ninja we are doing our bit. Our standard shoe lasts are already much wider than the normal standard. Our next drop in the ocean is to introduce extra wide standard shoe lasts for those who don't have a budget big enough for the current price of a personal shoe last.


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So beautifully crafted and excellent communication.
They arrived so much faster than I expected too which was a lovely bonus.
Thank you Lisandro!