Criminal justice

footwear impressions at a crime scene

At a crime scene, footwear impressions can be left behind in dust, mud, snow, blood,
etc. These impressions can be compared to shoes recovered from a suspect. In this
assignment you will be making a footwear impression and comparing it to your shoe.
• Create or find a footwear impression in your house or outside. For this
assignment it is best to use an older shoe with a lot of wear. You can step in
mud, dirt, or sand, put some ink or paint on the bottom of an old shoe and step
on paper, or whatever method you can find with the materials in your house.
• Take some photographs of your footwear impression with a ruler in the picture.
Try to use a flashlight from different angles to bring out detail within the
impression, especially if you create a three-dimensional one in a soil material.
• Take a photograph of the bottom of the shoe that made the impression and then
examine it. What characteristics in the wear of the shoe (areas that are worn
down from use), damage to the shoe (nicks, cuts, scratches, chunks of the
bottom missing, etc.), or temporary characteristics (gum, mud, stickers on the
bottom) do you see?
• Compare that to your impression. Can you see the same characteristics?
• Write about your experience with this comparison and the characteristics you
saw. How can this type of evidence aid an investigation and determine the
source of an impression at a crime scene? Include at least one photo of the
impression and one photo of the bottom of the shoe. You can circle the areas
that are similar between the two to demonstrate what you saw during the