Footwear and Tire Track Examination Sub-Committee

International Association for Identification
Footwear and Tire Track Examination Sub-Committee
Scope of Practice

Footwear and tire track evidence involves the evaluation and comparison of shoe and tire impression evidence; broadly defined as substrates or other surfaces that have retained the characteristics of shoe soles, feet, or tire treads that have been impressed against them.

The footwear and tire track sub-committee is currently comprised of 3 areas of expertise impression evidence. These areas each require specialized training and experience:

Further information can be found at the website for the Scientific Working Group for Shoeprint and Tire Tread Evidence. (SWGTREAD's FAQs are available here.)

Further information regarding the disciplines of friction ridge detail and forensic podiatry may be found at:

It is recommended that examiners complete a training program as described in "The Recommended Course of Study for Footwear and Tire Track Examiners." (https://www.theiai.org/publications/)

Footwear Outsole

Tasks Involved:

  • Crime scene response for the detection, documentation, collection and preservation of footwear impressions.
  • Comparison of footwear outsole class and individual characteristics from known footwear with crime scene impressions.
  • Collection of exemplar (known standard) impressions.
  • Determination of size of a crime scene impression.
  • Searches to identify the make/model of a shoe design recovered from a crime scene.
  • Prepare written report on findings.
  • Courtroom testimony.
  • Training of forensic personnel, police and members of the legal community.

Tire Track/Tread

Tasks Involved:

  • Crime scene response for the detection, documentation, collection and preservation of tire tread impressions and tire track measurements.
  • Comparison of tread from known tires with crime scene impressions.
  • Calculation of track width, turning diameter and wheel base measurements.
  • Collection of exemplar (known standard) impressions.
  • Searches to identify the brand/model of a tire which could have made a crime scene impression.
  • Prepare written report on findings.
  • Courtroom testimony.
  • Training of forensic personnel, police and members of the legal community.

Barefoot Morphology Impressions

Tasks Involved:

  • Crime scene response for the detection, documentation, collection and preservation of foot impressions (bare foot, sock-clad foot and shoe insole impressions).
  • Collection of exemplar (known standards) from feet.
  • Comparison of bare foot morphological and sock-clad foot impressions from known standards to crime scene impressions.
  • Comparison of barefoot morphological impressions on a shoe insole to known standards in order to identify the possible owner of a shoe from discarded or lost footwear.
  • Prepare written report on findings.
  • Courtroom testimony.
  • Training of forensic personnel, police and members of the legal community.

References

  1. Bodziak, W.J., Footwear Impression Evidence, CRC Press, 2000
  2. McDonald, P., Tire Impression Evidence, CRC Press, 1993