Fundamentals of the Examination and Comparison of Footwear Evidence

Examination and Comparison of Footwear Evidence

This course has been approved by the I.A.I. for certification and re-certification credits.


Class Rules and Guidelines

Class Attire: Online
Breaks: Online
Lunch: Online
Starting Time: Online
Ending Time: Online
Participation of Students: Requested and appreciated
Required Materials:
  1. Fingerprint Magnifiers
  2. A measuring device such as a ruler or compass
  3. Syllabus explains further
Recommended Reading: Footwear Impression Evidence – Second Edition by William J. Bodziak,
Elsevier Science Publishing Company (1990)
Testing: Oral testing throughout the course, Final examination, Practical casework
Certificates of Completion: Presented at end of seminar


Course Duration

This particular course is an online learning. It is based on a 5-day (40 hours)


Target Audience

This course is designed for criminal evidence analysts and forensic scientists with the responsibility for examining and comparing footwear impression evidence. This course is also designed for those wishing to begin a career in footwear impression evidence.


Course Description

This training course is designed to present a series of interactive lectures using PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, and various other software programs. This training session will provide an overview with both lecture and hands on exercises of the proper methods and techniques in the examination and comparison of footwear evidence. There will be various discussions related to the proper techniques and methodologies in the examination and comparison process. There will be heavy discussions on the manufacturing of outsoles and how it pertains to the comparison process. Numerous practical exercises both in class and outside of the classroom are utilized and implemented to emphasize and critique the skills of the students to properly perform this level of training in footwear science. After each exercise the student’s work will be critiqued and measured.


Course Objectives:

  • List important events in the history of footwear.
  • Describe the earliest case in footwear history.
  • Describe how footwear manufacturing has evolved over the years.
  • Describe the areas of the anatomy of the human foot.
  • List the major sections of bones of the human foot.
  • List the basic elements of the nomenclature of a shoe.
  • Describe the evidentiary value of symbols and logos on shoes.
  • Define the terms used in describing various aspects of a shoe.
  • Define the terms used in various aspects of the manufacturing process.
  • List the basic footwear outsole construction methods.
  • Describe the different types of footwear outsole construction and the potential importance it may have on the identification process.
  • Describe how design features in footwear outsoles are applied in comparative examinations.
  • Describe how manufacturing techniques may contribute in the decision making process of an examination.
  • Describe the location of mold numbers.
  • Define the aspects of a quality examination photo.
  • List and describe the types of characteristics used in the comparison process.
  • Describe and apply terminology related to the examination of footwear impressions.
  • Describe the elements of clear and concise case documentation.
  • Describe proper collection and preservation methods for known shoes.
  • List methods for obtaining exemplars.
  • Describe the fundamentals of the procedures and principles of the comparison process.
  • Distinguish between identification and individualization.
  • Describe the fundamentals and functions of ACE-V methodology.
  • Describe the use of probability calculations in the comparison process.
  • List the types of methods of comparisons.
  • Distinguish between variations and distortions.
  • Describe the steps in the conclusion process.
  • Describe the SWGTREAD Guidelines.
  • Describe the elements of clear and concise report writing.
  • Describe the proactive case approach.