The Last Guide - Yearn ShoemakerMARCH 2022
"The Last is the heart of the shoe, and the soul of a shoemaker"
Yearn consists of a number of well-respected shoemaking veterans in the industry, who have developed five signature lasts in-house. The five lasts collectively provide a varying arrangement of shoe styles from loafers, oxfords, to boots. In this last guide, Arterton examines the five lasts and offer our take.
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Let’s start with the front of the shoe. The toe area possesses a subtle almond shape, which is shaved down ever so slightly for a more contemporary look. Holistically, the last is made narrow in areas that are ergonomically feasible.
When looking from top-down, one may notice a long and slim silhouette which allows the Y02 to take on a more elegant shape, as to match the more formal of suits when in a black oxford form. When the Y02 is in Year’s Chelsea, Edwardian, or Derby boots, it lends a dash of refinement to the more casual outfits. In short, the Y02 is the most versatile of all of the lasts, and one can’t go wrong with the Y02.
The Y03 last is a standard chisel-toe that embodies Yearn’s forte of a modern and elegant design, which is personified by the last’s small square head and subtle swoop. The shape of the last renders it suitable for patterned designs along the toe cap, as well as meticulous hand patina.
Take a look from top down, and one notices the full lines and the narrower silhouette of the Y03. When in Oxford form, the last pairs excellently with a lounge suit. Although the instep is similar to the Y02, the slim width is the narrowest of all of the Yearn’s lasts.
The Y05 Last offers a slightly rounded toe, but with a soft square chisel. The result is a balanced look, that sits between the Y02 and Y03 last. This design invites embellishments in the toe area, such as a half-brogue, which complement the last’s shape nicely.
Again, Yearn’s modus operandis is to offer subtle elegance, and the Y05 is no exception. An oxford with some broguing details in the Y05 last will be a suitable companion in formal occasions, whilst Y05 boots will surely add some elegance to otherwise more casual footwear.
Here, we come to the Y07 Last which features a sharper chisel that, in the words from the makers at Yearn “swoops dramatically down toward its crisply defined square toe”. We find that it offers a fresh and original take on what a more exaggerated English dress shoe can be. Yearn imparts this last on styles such as the Monkstrap, which can be found in a brilliant brown burnished calf, or a more classic black calf.
Holistically, the features of the last give it a more masculine look, perfect as an accompaniment to double-breasted jackets. Yet, interestingly, the Lazyman (a moniker with origins in Winston Churchill) is also found in the Y07. And, as one may know, the Lazyman is an lace-less Oxford, which instead has a self-closing mechanism. So, it is hardly a formal shoe. But it works! Overall, the Y07 is similar to the Y02, but with a lower instep and a slightly wider joint.
Finally, we come to the Y08 last which is designed exclusively for loafers. The last has a rounded tie and a slightly wider waist. The roomier shape gives off a more relaxed and casual appearance. The last has a low instep to give a snugger hold on the feet (as is necessary and welcome in loafers). We find that the Y08 last pairs brilliantly with odd trousers and darker jeans.