A made-to-measure shoe is created (4) Insole and caps

The insole

So that the upper can be pulled over the last and tweaked, an insole is also required. This refers to the inner sole of the shoe, which connects the upper to the bottom of the shoe by stitching, nails or glue (depending on the desired design and type of shoe). The shape of the insole is dictated by the bottom of the last. To make them, a piece of high-quality bottom leather (preferably made traditionally and vegetable with oak tan using the pit tanning method) is attached to the last bottom and trimmed all around by hand with a knife until the insole fits perfectly against the last edge. The thickness of the insole depends on the subsequent type of floor fastening and the intended use of the footwear. But it also depends on whether an adapted footbed is used in the finished shoe or whether the customer stands and walks directly on the insole (leather top sole).
Depending on the floor fastening method selected, e.g. for welted shoes (more on this later), the insole must be prepared accordingly – this is referred to as shunting. In this process, a so-called grooving dam is cut into the insole in which the subsequent grooving seam runs. A very labor-intensive manufacturing step, performed by hand with a sharp knife and special tools, such as the insole plane.

The caps

Before it comes to the shaping step, the pinching, the front and rear caps are inserted into the upper between the upper and the lining material. Caps give the shoe strength in places where special support for the foot in the shoe and or shape stability is needed. This mainly affects the heel and toe area of the custom shoe. In any case, the caps are previously sharpened very thinly at the edges, i.e. tapered, to avoid transitions and potential pressure points. Back caps are traditionally made of (vegetable tanned) leather, as leather caps can absorb foot moisture and increase wearing comfort. The same applies to the front caps, but these have now also been partially replaced by plastics for reasons of dimensional stability, lower weight and durability. The installation parts are completed by the Überstemme. This refers to leather strips that act as a connecting element between the front and rear caps, which also increase dimensional stability and minimize a visible transition of the two caps.

In the

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is all about nipping – the socket is pulled over the last and gets its final shape.