Shanatomy, No. 2

This is our first real Shanatomy post, complete with shoe anatomy and terminology.  I’d like to start with something that’s very important and some may not even know about it. Without teasing you too much, let’s get into it, because this is something I’ve been itching to talk about all week!

Let’s talk about the last.  No, not the last post or your last day on Earth.  The last – the thing that determines the shape and many other characteristics of how your climbing shoe is going to fit and be formed.  Let me be more specific, because “last” and “sole” are often used interchangeably, and that’s not necessarily correct.  If your shoe has a flat last, for example, the general fit of the shoe is going to be structured around the fact that the last is flat.  The sole, therefore, is going to be structured around that flat last, too, and you’re going to have a flat-soled climbing shoe, most likely for a beginner or a multi-pitch/big wall climber.  Is this starting to make sense?  I hope so.  It’s kind of hard at first if you’re used to hearing the term used incorrectly or interchangeably with another term.

Now that we have the general idea of what a last is, let’s say we have an aggressive shoe. The last is down-cambered to mold the components of that aggressive, downturned shape around and keep the shape of the shoe down-cambered (hopefully) throughout its wearable lifetime.  This is why “sole” and “last” are two different things, and thankfully so, because otherwise, you’d be “re-lasting” instead of “re-soling” your climbing shoes!!!  Resoling is possible because it’s the last, and not the sole, that keeps the shape of the climbing shoe structured as intended.  If there was no last, then you’d end up buying new climbing shoes every time you needed a resole, and there would be no such thing as “aggressive” or “flat” or “intermediate” shoe varieties.  The last is the true base framework of the climbing shoe.  Hopefully it’s a term we can all use correctly and understand better now.

Ah, the mysterious last revealed!  I hope you got something out of this.  If you did, please let me know by giving this post a like or commenting.  If you have anything to contribute, please comment, by all means, as well!  That’s it until next Thursday!  This has been Shanatomy!!!

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