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Do Balmorals need different lasts than Oxf/Derbys?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by cocteau, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. cocteau

    cocteau Member

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    Hi,

    I found a shoemaker in Europe which makes shoes I like, cost is ok, but to high to order gadgets. So before I go there there´s a thing I´d like to know:
    I would like to buy a standard Oxford or Derby for a start. But I´m really interested in getting a nice balmoral boot. Since I have to pay for the bespoke last I´d like to know if those shoes can be made on the same last or if for a boot I´d need another one? How about Loafers?

    Plus (since I work in asia) If I bring a bespoke shoe with lasted trees to a shoemaker there (i.e. zees in HK) there, can they copy it in terms of making a shoe which fits the same? Or is it too hard and they will make one which looks the same but fits different?

    cheers
    cocteau
     
  2. lithdoc

    lithdoc Well-Known Member

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    Balmoral = Oxford
    Blucher = Derby

    These are just American vs. British terms.
     
  3. cocteau

    cocteau Member

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    I was speaking of balmoral boots, sorry not to have it pointed out clearly enough
     
  4. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    My understanding of a last is that it is designed to replicate the shape of the foot combined with a toe box design (including toe spring) at a given heel elevation.

    As such I see no reason that it should change when going from one shoe design to another. However if you change toe shape and heel elevation when going from one shoe design to another you WILL ABSOLUTELY require a new last.

    The question of balmoral(shoe) to a balmoral boot may depend, but a few makers advised me that they did not require the last to have a shaft. As such the boot will use the same last as the shoe.

    It would be best however if the various makers on this forum would comment
     
  5. The Shoe Snob

    The Shoe Snob Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    like xenon said, there is no real reason to 'need' to change to another last, it will really just be about preference. For instance, I have a last that is a little bit more tapered with a point like the one in my avatar that looks great for plain toe oxfords, but I would not make a boot out of it. I would prefer something a little bit more classic and round toed. But it is not necessary, it's just what I would prefer.

    hope that helps.
     
  6. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    I´d like to know if those shoes can be made on the same last or if for a boot I´d need another one?
    Balmoral boot and oxford shoe use two different lasts.
    A oxford last can not be used for balmoral boot otherwise it risk being to small in leg area etc.
    Leg measurement is important,
    oxford last not take this crucial measurement into account.

    Not sure with various bespoke makers,
    but in general the loafer last different also.
    Loafer last need to be made differently (in two parts) so pulling loafer off last doesn't stretch it out of shape.

    Good question.
    Me wonder that too.
     
  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Balmoral boot and oxford shoe use two different lasts.
    A oxford last can not be used for balmoral boot otherwise it risk being to small in leg area etc.
    Leg measurement is important,
    oxford last not take this crucial measurement into account.


    That is simply not right.

    Some firms will add a "˜rider' to compensate for the different angle in the top elevation, others do not.

    [​IMG]

    Picture from: http://carreducker.blogspot.com/

    At this part of the boot the upper is no longer shaped by the form of the last and does not get hammered. Just look into the C&J or EG catalogues. 348 is used for shoes and boots so is 202 at EG.

    With a pull-up boot it might be necessary to increase the height of the instep, to facilitate the foot "turning the corner". A factory might well use a different last for that job than the ones used for lace-up shoes. The bespoke maker is likely to adjust it with the adding-on method.

    [​IMG]

    For instance, I have a last that is a little bit more tapered with a point like the one in my avatar that looks great for plain toe oxfords, but I would not make a boot out of it. I would prefer something a little bit more classic and round toed.

    There might be stylistic and aesthetic decisions why a boot would want a chunkier last shape, but also this can be adjusted. This is the advantage of a bespoke last, that it can be "˜fitted' for different styles of footwear, as long as heel height and toe spring remain the same.
     
  8. Michael Ay329

    Michael Ay329 Senior member

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    The loafer might require a slightly different last than the one used for the balmoral boot

    Have your shoe maker build a test loafer shoe first to see if any fit or coverage areas come up.
     
  9. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    That is simply not right.


    Some firms will add a ‘rider’ to compensate for the different angle in the top elevation, others do not.

    [​IMG]

    Picture from: http://carreducker.blogspot.com/

    At this part of the boot the upper is no longer shaped by the form of the last and does not get hammered. Just look into the C&J or EG catalogues. 348 is used for shoes and boots so is 202 at EG.

    With a pull-up boot it might be necessary to increase the height of the instep, to facilitate the foot “turning the corner”. A factory might well use a different last for that job than the ones used for lace-up shoes. The bespoke maker is likely to adjust it with the adding-on method.


    Thankyou for that.
    Never knew about the rider.

    Of course.
    Was starting to think me might not have been entirely correct....more than one way to skin a cat, haha.
     
  10. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Bengal Stripe is right -- no surprise there.

    Also, when making a pattern for the balmoral boot upper, the back may be cut a bit different from the back of an oxford, so it sits a bit off the last at the top of the last, otherwise it might cut into the back of the foot a bit. Lasts for slip-on boots, like cowboy boots, etc, do typically have a higher cone in the front as well as other differences from shoe lasts.

    Loafer lasts are definitely different from oxford lasts (or should be anyway)-- the shoe needs to grip the foot, since there are no laces. Therefore, typically, the profile of the side of the last is different, and the measurements will vary from those of a lace-up made for the same foot. However, I have heard it alleged that one London bespoke firm will sometime simply shorten a last by cutting off part of the heel for a loafer, but I don't know if this is true.

    In the old days, there may have been distinct differences between an oxford last, a derby last, and a lace-up boot last, but I think those differences have been lost to time.

    These were made on the same last [a monk is made on an oxford last, not a loafer last, because the presence of the buckle allows for adjustment]:

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Jeeze how I hate the way image shack uploads look--every pair of shoes you posted, Shoefan, looks like a frog in ice.
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Off topic just a little... I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong (and we do have some usages that are different on this side of the pond) but "balmoral" does not equate to "oxford". The two terms are not automatically interchangeable.

    An oxford is a "closed facing shoe...meaning that the vamp, usually (except saddle shoes), overlays the quarters and the facings. Yes, a balmoral is a a type of oxford...just as an Adelaide is a type of oxford. We don't call all oxfords Adelaides.

    The balmoral has a "golosh" --the single piece that forms the vamp and quarters and wraps around or closes at the heel. Looking kind of like a pump with a top.

    Probably neither here nor there but important in the world of shoemaking.
     
  13. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Jeeze how I hate the way image shack uploads look--every pair of shoes you posted, Shoefan, looks like a frog in ice.

    Yeah, I don't know why that's happening?

    Here are links to the pics in question:

    http://img9.imageshack.us/i/3eyeletder0003.jpg/

    http://img171.imageshack.us/i/balboots00013.jpg/

    http://img263.imageshack.us/i/lancemonks0003.jpg/

    and another try at the pics:

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us




    In the USA, for some reason, I've seen shoe companies refer to any oxford as a 'bal oxford' perhaps to distinguish it from other lace-ups styles (i.e. bluchers/derbies), which many Americans would also (incorrectly) call oxfords.
     
  14. Axel Ferguson

    Axel Ferguson Senior member

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    FYI, Imageshack just doesn't play nice with styleforum anymore, so you need to find another image host if you want to post them as images.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah, I don't know why that's happening?
    Still not working. Just send them to me.
     
  16. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The link doesn't work either (at least not from this site).

    I have exported them to photobucket:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That seems to be doing the trick!

    P.S. shoefan, did you ever cconsider making shoes in bullfrog? Now is the time, just harvest all those frogs!
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Here are the photos Shoefan was trying to post: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Oops, sorry for the double post. Oh, well...worth repeating. [​IMG]
     
  18. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oops, sorry for the double post. Oh, well...worth repeating.

    Great minds think alike! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. cocteau

    cocteau Member

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    Thank you for educating me. Its indeed very nice learning about the craftsmanship behind shoes. Do I deduct correctly when saying that a boot like the oxfort boot above is mostly made on another last than a typical jodpur boot too? At least thats what I think would be necessary to jet the typical toebox shape.
    Or can even this be handled by adding material to the last?
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Thank you for educating me. Its indeed very nice learning about the craftsmanship behind shoes. Do I deduct correctly when saying that a boot like the oxfort boot above is mostly made on another last than a typical jodpur boot too? At least thats what I think would be necessary to jet the typical toebox shape. Or can even this be handled by adding material to the last?
    Toe box shape is almost immaterial. I've made narrow pointed "cockroach-in-a-corner-killers" on a wide round toed last. And I've made very successful jodhpurs, balmorals, and derbies on an oxford last. Pull on boots require a boot last or extensive build-ups on the last to achieve a graceful shape. YAnd yu better know what a good boot last looks like before you begin. Loafers and pumps require a special last or some (maybe a lot) of cutting away of the substance of the last....and you need to know what a pump last looks like before beginning.
     

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