football boot production > lasting

One of the most important steps in footwear production, is lasting. This process gives a shoe its shape, and as mentioned before, the last is key in good fit and comfort.

This is even more important in a football boot where touch and fit and very important to performance.

More info and pics after the Read More link below.

The lasting process comes after the full upper is stiched together. At this point, the upper is prelaced before lasting. For the majority of football boots, the lasting process used is a type called "board" or "cement" lasting. This type of lasting gives a football boot more stiffness and better feel. Other types of lasting (mostly used for running type shoes) include strobel (slip) lasting and california lasting.

For board lasting, a cardboard type tuck board is placed at the bottom of the last that the upper will be cemented to. If you lift up the sockliner liner of a football boot or other type of boot made this way, you will see this board.

For board lasting, the upper is placed over the last with the cardboard insole board temporarily glued to the bottom of the last, and into a lasting machine. You can see the workers adding glue to the inside of the the upper and to the cardboard insole (laying over the upper on the conveyor) in the above pic.

A toe lasting machine has grips that grip the edge of the upper in the toe around the bottom of the last and pull it down over the last shape. One set up with the grips attached to the upper material, the lasting machine operator adjusts the tension of the pull and lines up the upper on the last using a laser guide.

When the operator has achieved the correct alignment and pull strength, the upper is stretched over the last and "wipers" force the upper material under the last over the cardboard part. In addition sometimes injected TPU type glue is used for football shoes that is directly injected between the upper and insole board during the lasting process. This is important for football shoes that have a lot of wear and tear in the toe area. This process is then repeated for the heel area.

The sides of the upper are usually lasted by hand. In this way, a lasting worked uses a pair of plyers and a hammer to pull the upper material near the waist (arch) of the shoe tight, and hammer them flat to the cardboard insole board. Lasting this area by hand is good so that the operator can make small manual adjustments to how much is the upper is pulled to create a good fit tight on the last. As leather materials are often used for fotoball shoes that have some variability in the amount of stretch this manual lasting can compensate unlike a machine lasting procedure that pulls the same amount every time.



Printing and HF embossing




final QC and packing

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all of the behind the scenes info.

Do you have any pointers for someone who has an interview for a junior designer position for a footwear company. Your blog is really informative. Can you please lead me to other great resources for footwear design, manufacturing and materials. What about publications, books, website, etc.

I would love any advice you can give. I really want to nail this interview.


2:30 PM  
Blogger The Directive Collective said...

hi there,
thanks for the comments. glad you like the content.

as for other resources, unfortunately, there arent too much on the net for footwear design, and thats actually one of the reasons I statred the blog.

I remember when i started in footwear about 5 years ago, and tried to find info, with no results...

one place you might want to check out though, are the forums on there is a great footwear forum there with lots of professional footwear designers present who can offer advice and give comments on your portfolio. check it.

best of luck in your interview!


2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch Richard. I will take a look at the core77 forums. Just checked out the hummel site, I don't play handball but would sport those kicks any day (guess thats your point).

Specifically, I enjoy your use of texture and surface treatment. From ribbed metallic to clean leather surfaces. Very unique style.

Thanks again for getting back to me and providing a great resource.


12:30 AM  

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