Soles, shoe prints and forensic evidence, part 2

It seems as if the country is still gripped by shoe prints and forensic evidence. Today, as I was out getting lunch, I was approached by a University of Auckland Forensic Science student to take part in a research study. Funny really, because I am nowhere near Auckland.

This Master’s student was collecting shoe prints of people walking past for a research study entitled, ‘Determining the evidential value of a class match in footwear evidence.’ (I have trouble just understanding the title). By collecting all these samples of people’s shoe prints and soles, it can provide information on the shoes and frequencies of shoe styles worn by people in a certain area.

Shoe print collection in action

I was of course keen to participate. The student used inkless shoe print kits to collect data. All I had to do was step on a yellow chemically coated pad. I have no idea what kind of chemical it is coated with. Then, I stepped onto a special chemically sensitive paper, and my shoe print magically appeared in black on the white paper. It took all of 5 seconds, with no mess and no ink on the soles of my shoes. It was fun and very CSI.

Close up of an inkless shoeprint kit. Photo from


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