Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Munson Last

M-42 Service Shoe, Munson Last
Unfortunately, it's now largely forgotten:

"...Red Wing began fulfilling military needs with the onset of World War I, manufacturing in 1918 the regulation Munson U.S. Army Last, designed to "fit all feet" with maximum comfort and durability. After the war, the Munson remained a top seller and influenced other popular shoe designs for over 50 years...."
Of all my minimalist shoes, the most comfortable single-toe shoes are the Munson Last shoes from Russell Moccasin.  I'm interested to see if the new New Balance line gets it right, Merrell is almost there.

(What's a last?)

P.S. God bless the Japanese: A reproduction Munson Last GI Boot is available:

"We are now pleased to announce the release of 'M-42 Service Shoes, Type II'. Our M-42 Service shoes have been reproduced authentically to WWII Original M-42 Service shoes at all the details. Besides, we're proud of making the Shoes with full copied WWII Shoe Lasts which is well known as 'Dr. Munson's Shoe Last'. We surely believe in that you'll appreciate for the good fitting of the WWII Shoe Lasts which was developed by Dr. Munson almost 100 years ago."
P.P.S.  The reproductions are $565!!!  Wow.