• We would like to welcome Pete and Harry as an official Affiliate Vendor. Pete and Harry, co-founded by Erik (EFV) one of our long time members and friends, offers a wide variety of products, clothes, watches and accessories, antique, vintage, “pre-loved” and new - all at unparalleled prices. Please visit their new thread and give them a warm welcome.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Shoe Geeks - What is a "Combination Last"?

Insight

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
154
Reaction score
4
I have seen this particularly used in reference to some of Alden's lasts. Anyone know?
 

BBC

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2009
Messages
875
Reaction score
4
It means the ball of the last and the heel are different widths (aha!). In other words, instead of a "D" width ball having a typical "D" width heel, the combination last shoe has a "B" width heel, which makes for a finer fitting shoe. Combination lasts are always two sizes different between ball/heel, e.g. E/C, D/B, C/A, A/AAA. Combination lasts used to be much more common and were used by most American shoe manufacturers (Nettleton, Hanover, Bostonian, etc.). Usually the ball width is listed first, but some companies like Nettleton listed the heel width first.
 

Blackhood

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Messages
2,903
Reaction score
373
Someone give that man a prize.

Thread over.
 

Tarmac

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
7,201
Reaction score
37
Makes sense. But I have standard Aldens which are supposedly B heels which are pretty roomy. You mean a normal shoe used to be even looser?
 

bengal-stripe

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Messages
4,584
Reaction score
1,138
Originally Posted by BBC
It means the ball of the last and the heel are different widths (aha!). In other words, instead of a "D" width ball having a typical "D" width heel, the combination last shoe has a "B" width heel, which makes for a finer fitting shoe.

“Combination last” is a bit of a red herring, as there is only one possible combination: the heel width is always two measures down from the ball width.

Alden’s markings look like this (heel width first, ball width second): D/EE - B/D - AA/A

Originally Posted by Alden-of-Carmel
The size is always written as the length of the shoe, and under that, the width of the shoe, such as:
9 10 1/2
or
C/E B/D
In these examples, 9 and 10 1/2 are the length, and C/E and B/D are the width.
In U.S. shoe sizing, the widths are: A & B = Narrow, C & D = Medium, E, EE & EEE =Wide.
Inside each Alden shoe, the width of the shoes are written as:
A/C, B/D, C/E, etc.....
The width is written as a 'fraction', and the bottom of that 'fraction', (the denominator) is the width of the shoe.
Example: C/E = E width, or B/D = D width


http://www.alden-of-carmel.com/index.cfm/shoes.htm


Unfortunately other combinations are not possible, someone who has a wide ball but a narrow heel cannot be accommodated.
(No AA/D lasts for example, D comes always with a B heel).

The relationship between front and heel stays always the same. It is possible, that many years ago, ball and heel width could have been chosen individually and truly combined. But that is not the case today.

(It like a suit which gets only produced with on 'drop', let's say '6'. The relationship between chest and waist, stays always the same: 6 inches.
So a size 38 (chest measurement) suit, comes with 32" (waist) trousers; a suit size 44 comes with 38" trousers.)
 

Wes Bourne

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
3,837
Reaction score
152
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
"Combination last" is a bit of a red herring, as there is only one possible combination: the heel width is always two measures down from the ball width.

That was my understanding, e.g. that most/all makers do in fact use combination lasts even if they aren't advertised or labelled as such.
 

alliswell

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
3,987
Reaction score
17
Show:

Originally Posted by Insight
I have seen this particularly used in reference to some of Alden's lasts. Anyone know?

Fat lady:

Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
..
 

luneyriley

New Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hmmm...doesn't quite explain the 9 1/2 A's with a triple-A heel that's on my foot as I write.
 

aintabgirl

New Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Combination last refers to shoes which combine wider and narrower widths. For instance, the toe box may be a "B" width, but the heel may be "AA" width. My heels are narrow, but I'm more comfortable with an average toe box, so a combination last works well for me. If I get a typical medium width shoe, unless it's an athletic shoe with which I intend to wear a heavy sock, the heel is too wide and "slips."
 

Shrink1

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2013
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Have found Hanover 10d fit me.Bought a pair of Hanover Cordovans ,thought were D but heel loose,closer inspection inside marked 10 D B, so the B denotes a larger heel fitting ?
 

JimInSeattle

New Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
So, I have 11 B/AAAA feet, which, of course, is impossible to fit. I settle on shoes that are sloppy in the heel, generally New Balance.
I also need a wide and tall toe box. Happy with walking shoes. Need to have room for custom orthotics.

Where can I find something more-or-less comfortable?
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How often do you get a haircut?

  • Every 2 weeks

  • Every 3 weeks

  • Once a month

  • Every 6 weeks or longer


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
464,124
Messages
10,025,034
Members
209,374
Latest member
PAKNOWLES63
Top