Shoe print evidence is often encountered at crime scenes and has been widely accepted in the forensic community. Conclusions from the examination of shoe print evidence may include elimination, class association or a positive identification based on the presence of individual characteristics, with the conclusion most often reached being class association. Forensic scientists, detectives and attorneys are challenged as to the significance of a class association of shoe print evidence. The goal of this study is to determine the likelihood of two people having a shoe similar in tread design, size and wear to establish the significance of class associations of shoe print evidence for both partial shoe prints (toe only) and complete shoe prints (toe and heel).
Overall, the complete shoe print (toe and heel) had a greater degree of discrimination than the partial prints (toe). After all comparisons were performed it was determined that out of 1607 shoe prints (1,290,421 possible pairs), no two shoe prints were the same in tread design, size and wear, ultimately proving the significance of class associations of shoe print evidence.