When attaching your insoles to the base of your lasts before you last your uppers, there are a couple of ways of attaching it so it doesn't move around while you're trying to last the uppers in place.

The first option is with masking tape. Keep in mind you can use this same technique wether you're making a high, mid or a flat shoe.  I usually take two pieces and attach it just over the toe of the last, and onto the insole board, and the same at the heel of the last. That usually does the job of securing the last to the insole pretty well.

But sometimes this method isn't as reliable as you'd like it to be once you start removing the tape and sticking things down.

So this is where the other option comes in, and thats using tacks to hold it in place instead. In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to do just that!

Before I begin, I just want to mention that I'll be using this method on a high last which means I'll be using a high shanked insole. But you can of course apply the same techniques here to a mid shanked insole or texon board if you're using a flat last. 

You will need:

How to attach insoles to lasts using tacks


Position your insole on the bottom of the last and make a pilot hole using your awl into the front section of the last.


Then taking one of your tacks, position it into the pilot hole and hammer in halfway down. IMPORTANT: It's crucial that you don't hammer the tack in flush to the insole because you won't be able to get it out and if you can't get it out, then you'll have a sharp nail sticking up on the inside of your shoe which no one wants!


Make a pilot hole at the heel of your shanked insole and add another tack, remembering to only hammer in halfway.

If your shanked insole already has a hole in the heel, you can now hammer in another tack, remembering to only hammer in until it reaches halfway. If the shanked insole doesn't have a pilot hole, you'll have to stick to the one tack at the front and use masking tape to secure the back.

And that's it! You'll need to remove the tacks once you've lasted your uppers and you can do this using a pair of pliers.

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