A shoe last is the solid form around which a shoe is molded. The fit of a shoe is completely dependent on the shape and volume of the shoe last.
Shoemakers rely on several shoe last forms to represent different anatomical foot types.
Each different toe shape, size and/or heel height requires a different last.
Traditionally, shoe lasts were carved from hardwoods (reserved today mainly for bespoke footwear), while modern day lasts are made from high density plastics that can withstand mass-production pressure and wear.