When a walker’s foot strikes the ground, it lands on the outer corner of the heel. As the stride progresses, the foot rolls towards the big toe. The degree that the foot rolls inward indicates the degree of pronation in a walker’s stride. Walkers with an overly inward pronation require a straight-lasted shoe, while walkers without enough inward pronation (supinating or underpronating) require a curve-lasted shoe. If you are fortunate enough to pronate normally, then select a semi-curved last.
The difference between a curve lasted and straight lasted shoe, taken to the extreme, is obvious. The figures to the right clearly show how the different lasts live up to their name. However, real shoe lasts are more intricate, often neither easily classified as straight or curved. It is best to ask the advice of a qualified salesperson to determine the last of your shoe.
So, do you excessively pronate or supinate? Here’s a simple test. Soak your foot in water and make a footprint on a clean flat surface. While you might not match your footprint exactly to one of the three patterns shown below, use the pattern that matches most closely to determine your level of pronation.