BVDA - BVDA: Materials and equipment for crime scene officers and forensic laboratories
CART

Shoeprints

Shoeprints (impressions of outsoles) are a form of evidence that is almost always present at an indoor scene of crime. Footwear evidence can have as much evidential value as a fingerprint but unlike fingerprints automation in matching shoeprints is something that has shown to be challenging.


A less often found shoeprint is the shoeprint in blood where the outsole acts as a stamp. Since the most detailed prints are the ones that leave very little blood and are thus difficult to see and photograph. These can be enhanced with staining solutions.


Shoe impressions in soil or snow (outdoor) can be casted. The most often used material for casting is dental stone (a form of plaster of paris).

At the first level one will try to find out what make and model of shoe and what shoe size the footwear has. This can be tried to be matched to shoeprints that were found at other crime scenes but can also be checked against shoe impressions taken from suspects that were recently taken in custody.


Once the shoes are taken from a suspect that are a possible match to recovered shoeprints an attempt can be made to prove that a particular shoe made a particular shoeprint. Manufacturing characteristics, individual characteristics caused by accidental damage to the outsole, and wear patterns can all be used to match the shoe to the print.