Alright, so Viberg has a new last—dubbed the 2020—and you’re going to be seeing it on plenty of derby shoe/boots and some service boot styles in, well, 2020 (the year). Here’s what you need to know.
The 2020 will be immediately compared to Viberg’s 2030 last, its most iconic last that made the Viberg Service Boot the icon it is today. It’s similar(ish), but certainly quite different too—the 2020 is significantly more of an anatomical last, designed to more closely mimic the actual shape of a wearer’s foot. The 2020 is the boot on the left above, with the 2030 on the right.
The most notable anatomical last that’s currently in wide use today is the Alden Modified last (read a ton more about that one here), which offers incredible support to people with the right kind of foot, but can often look a little…funky, at least in certain styles. The Viberg 2020 last definitely looks less extreme, but offers some of the same benefits.
The 2020 is loosely based on Viberg’s 1004 Cantilever last, which, according to Jason Pecarich of Division Road, who probably has sold more Vibergs than anyone than other Viberg itself, “has the same principle but was a more dramatic version.”
I’ll let Brett Viberg break it down a bit further for you.
“The 2020 literally has an inside and outside shape unique to each foot. A proper left and right, whereas the 2030 is almost symmetrical at the toe shape until the ball area. It mimics the actual imprint of the feet. The 2030 is not this way. It’s more of all around fit last, while the 2020 is more specialized for someone who wants a last that will hug the foot a bit tighter in the right areas. Not everyone likes this.”
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Ok so how do they fit?
“Sizing wise, to me, they are similar,” Brett says. “The 2020 has a very small toe box. It slopes gradually in profile while the 2030 is more of an immediate slope to the end. It’s also smaller due to it being a proper left and right shape. It’s not anatomically extreme, but it is more so than the 2030. Plus all around the 2020 is a narrower fit, more of a proper D width with a C width anatomically shaped waist, while the 2030 is a very generous E. The Alden anatomical last is very very curved in shape. The 2020 from the top down doesn’t look much at all, but it is. I think it’s a good balance.”
More from Jason: “The 2020 is designed as a shapely last for average to narrow feet where placement is key, hence as a general rule the 2020 is the same size as a well fit 2030 Last, and we do not suggest sizing up as your placement will be off and it will feel narrower than it is. It’s a fit and feel that takes getting used to, but amazing once broken in.”
And how does it feel?
Snug, in a good way. I tried on both the Derby boot and Derby shoe (I really like it in that deep oiled blue they just released, btw) what I’m pretty darn sure was the right size for—10.5—and I loved how they hugged my instep, then opened up nicely to create ample room in the forefoot. The heel seemed good and snug with a liiiiittle less grip that I would’ve loved on the shoe (boot was just fine) although I imagine that becomes no issue at all once that Dainite starts to flex better.
With the obvious Alden Modified last comparison just sitting there, I’d say that it’s not nearly as “whoa”-inducing when you put the 2020 on, or wear them for a bit. The Modified’s arch is very, very prominent, and its anatomical shape is more pronounced, and overall it feels like few other shoes I’ve ever worn. The 2020’s shape noticeable but, I’d say, significantly more friendly—same with the arch.
As I just tried them on in-store and wandered around a bit, I can’t really give a full report on how that feels over time with any confidence. But sometimes, you can put your foot in a shoe and just have a sense that it’s right. I felt that way in these.
Annnd how’s it look?
I think it’s safe to say it’s a “not for everyone” last, although when I saw it in person at Viberg’s residency at Unis in Manhattan, I was surprised that it didn’t look more extreme—it’s nowhere near the Alden Modified last in terms of its appearance, I’d say. There’s something a litttttle different about it, without a doubt; it’s certainly not a 2030. But it’s not quite as far off as I imagined it would be.
**UPDATE: Viberg just released these excellent new 2020-last Shinki horsehide Latigo Service Boots in redbrown and tan. Definitely check them out.**