Alden Leydon Last Vs. Barrie (Our Factual Comparison)

Every great project has a foundation. The last is the starting point of all shoes: regardless of how great or small.

In this post, I will explain everything about Alden Leydon’s and Barrie’s last.

Alden’s Leydon last is described as Alden’s narrowest last. The Alden Leydon last runs true to size in the American shoe metric system. On the other hand, the Barrie size runs half a size larger than the standard American shoe metric system.

What is Alden Leydon Last?

Alden Leydon Last Vs. Barrie

Alden’s Leydon last is Alden’s narrowest last. This last is one of the few fit-to-size last you can find in the shoe-making industry.

Aside from being narrow, it also has a shallow toe box that surrounds your toes in all closed shoes.

Though the boxes appear in all shapes and sizes, the toe boxes made by Alden’s last are shallow.

Alden’s Leydon last is true to size for shoes. This connotation means the lasts are sized accurately according to the industry’s standard.

The industry standard takes its reading from the Brannock device. The Brannock device assumes a foot length of two barleycorns less than the last length. 

In the case of Alden’s last, the last length is true to the Brannocks device.

The parameters measured in the Brannocks system include the length of the last, the length of the Arch, and the distance between the heel and the ball.

The Alden’s last is any material shaped like a human foot. The idea is that the material must be strong and dense with an ability to withstand any form of manipulation without changing shape.

This material forms the basis of the foundational work of shoe making and repair. 

The Alden’s last typically come in pairs and are sourced from various materials. These materials include wood, metal, cast iron, and high-density plastics.

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Alden’s Leydon last is important in shoe making because the shoes made from this last eventually take the form of the last.

Getting a good last that conforms to all standards in the American metric system for shoes is important.

There are other types of lasts made by Alden; the Alden Modified Last. This last bears some semblance with the other last but differs in the sense that it is orthopedic in appearance. 

What Is Barrie?

Barrie’s lasts are those lasts that are one and a half sizes larger than the normal U.S Size scale.

For a shoe to be one-half size large, it means the shoe is half the measure larger than the standard measurement.

For example, if the standard measurement is 6, then Barrie’s lasts would measure size 6.5. 

The standard measurement in the American shoe industry is the Brannocks standard.

The Brannock’s standard takes its reading from the Brannock device. The Brannock device assumes a foot length of two barleycorns less than the last length.

In the case of Barrie’s last, the last length is longer than the Brannocks device. 

The parameters measured in the Brannocks system include the length of the last, the length of the Arch, and the distance between the heel and the ball.

Barrie’s last is an important starting point for any shoe-making process because a foot has more dimensions than your shoe size.

Barrie’s last gives shoes a large appeal, not just a large size but a large look. Barrie’s last is large and wide and known to have plenty of toe space.

Since Barrie’s lasts are larger than the standard shoe size, it is made for wider and heavier shoes.

This lasts a low profile and does not suit those with a high instep. Having a well-crafted last is the first step in making a great shoe.

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The fit of Alden Leydon Last Vs. Barrie

Alden’s Leydon fit is slightly longer than the standard U.S measurement for shoe sizes. It is the narrowest fit of the Alden lasts.

They are considered to be true to size. Though slightly longer, they are meant for narrower shoes.

The fit of a last refers to the various measures the last have. There is more to the measurement of your shoe than just the length.

The Alden’s Leyden’s fit comprises various curves and measurements. The American standard measures shoe sizes using the bannock’s device.

You can compare Alden’s last to Barrie’s last based on the various fit they possess.

In the case of Barrie’s last, they are larger by one and a half sizes than the standard measurement.

Barrie’s last differs significantly from Alden Leydon’s last. They are not long but suitable for making wider and firmer shoes. 

When considering the fit of a last, the following are differences between the Alden Leydon last and that of the barriers last.

FitAlden’s LastBarrie’s Last
Relation to standardTrue to sizeLarger than size
widthNarrowest lastWider
Toe box spaceNarrowDeep
lengthLongerShorter

The parts of a last include the forepart, the instep, and the cone. Other parts include; the back part, the waist, and the seat. These measurements are unique for different fits and shoe sizes.

Alden Leydon Last Vs. Barrie Length

An important component of the last measurement is the length of the last. The last length is the distance from the farthest points, the toe, and the heel.

The length of the Leydon last is true to size, while that of the barriers last is one and a half sizes larger.

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Measurements that significantly affect the last length are the last bottom length, the last instep width, and the last ball width.

The length of the Leydon makes it possible to make only narrow shoes for slim-fit legs. The shoes from Barrie’s last are usually wider and sturdier with a large toe box.

The toe box of Alden’s Leydon lasts shallow and can only accommodate small-fit legs. When making bespoke shoes, your shoemakers would determine which last best fits you.

Which is Better; Alden Leydon Last Vs. Barrie

There cannot be a direct pick between the Alden Leydons and Barrie’s last. Depending on the shoe type, Alden’s Leydon last is most suitable for small feet.

The Barrie’s last, on the other hand, is well suited for larger feet. Therefore, choosing a shoe last strictly depends on the type of leg in view.

Sometimes, there may be a need to choose between these last for the same leg fit. 

A leg has all the parameters intact for the Barrie’s and Alden’s Leydon last, and then you must choose between them.

The Alden’s Leydon last would be a better pick because it is true to size. The risk of Barrie’s last size being larger makes it an unsuitable pick when the choice is yours to make.

The Barrie’s last are usually large and made for wider feet than the Alden’s Leydons last.

Alden’s Leydon last is a perfect fit in size and contour for most shoes. You can look to Alden’s van or Alden’s modified last if more length is required.

Conclusion

The last is the foundation of every shoe. The Alden’s Leydon runs true to size and is very narrow.

It is usually narrower with a true-to-size length. The Barrie’s last is half a size larger than the U.S standard for shoe sizes.

When confused on which to make for fixed shoe size, it is better to use the Alden’s Leydon last.

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