A last is a metal, wood or plastic form used to create the shape of a shoe. The fit of a shoe depends on the design, shape and volume of the shoe last. It must represent the anatomical impression of the foot, at the same time giving the finished shoe a pleasing and fashionable appearance.
Each shoe last is designed for a particular heel height, toe shape, and type of footwear. Many styles of shoes can be made on the same shoe last , but the toe shape and heel height will be the same for each pair made on that shoe last. To have shoes with different toe shapes, it is necessary to create more than one pair of shoe lasts. Traditionally, shoe lasts were made of hardwoods. Modern day shoe lasts are made of high density 100% recyclable plastics.