The Story of the Twisted Cone Last

How a boot is built matters — and we’ve built the very best boots since 1883. Our unrivaled fit stands at the heart of the Lucchese story, which begins with a proprietary twisted cone last developed by Sam Lucchese, grandson of founder Salvatore Lucchese. It’s the foundation of every boot. Wider at the ball of the foot, tapering at the toe, and with a slight twist, it mimics the natural curves of the foot. The twisted-cone last is the reason Lucchese boots fit like no other.

Cosimo Lucchese, son of company's founder, Sam Lucchese, poses with his bootmakers in the shop. Date of this photo is December, 1921.

Artisan-made boots don’t just happen. It takes the skill of dozens of hands to craft a single pair of boots in our El Paso factory. There are anywhere between 150 to 200 individual steps that go into making a Lucchese boot. Lucchese bootmakers devote extra time and care to provide that unprecedented fit and comfort to a customer’s foot that will last for years. 

Let’s dive into why using the twisted-cone last is essential. We’ll take the infamous 1170 last for an example. Most of our Lucchese fans can recognize this toe – we designate it as the 1170 internally to identify it. Once the leather is lasted around the resin form, the toe box is given its distinct shape. For the 1170, its the X1 toe, also known as the French toe. This toe abuts a squared off outsole for a distinguished look, usually found on dress boots. In the photo above, you can see how the cone of the instep pronates into the inside of the last, which is very similar to the human foot. The best fitting boots always come from last with an inside cone.

Fun fact: No last will properly fit over 85 percent of the people. Some feet will fit better than others, and some feet may not fit at all.

Fun fact: Hundreds of boots have been made on one pair of lasts.

When you slip your foot into a Lucchese boot, you will hear that satisfying pop. This is the foot settling down into the insole of that boot. You’ll feel a firm handshake fit over the instep. As you break your boots in, that heel counter will start to form and shape to your foot, and the leather insole will begin to take the impression to the bottom of your foot as you heat it up and get some moisture in it. 

Although it demands more money and skill to make, Lucchese continues to use the twisted cone last design because nothing else compares to the way it makes a boot fit. You'll understand why we insist on the finest. Regardless, we promise you this: They will be handmade beauties built to last a lifetime.

For more information, click here watch our Facebook video of the twisted cone last by our Director of Product Development and Men’s Design, Trey Gilmore.