Welcome to Tread Forensics

/Tread Forensics is a website dedicated to providing footwear and tire resources to the forensic community. The site went live in April 2017 and was created to perpetuate the online resources available at SWGTREAD.org.

The Scientific Working Group for Shoeprint and Tire Tread Evidence (SWGTREAD) was created in 2004 by the FBI Laboratory to standardize and advance the forensic analysis of footwear and tire impression evidence. The first meeting took place in September 2004 and the last in March 2013. From 2004 to 2013, the working group was co-funded by the FBI and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). However, In October 2014, the Footwear and Tire Subcommittee of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) was created. At that point, SWGTREAD decided to discontinue its operations and focus its efforts on supporting the subcommittee; however, the OSAC subcommittee identified the latest versions of the SWGTREAD standards as the baseline documents that best reflect the current state of the practice of forensic footwear and tire analysis and thus re-published them on the subcommittee's website.

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there was a difference in the length and width between a standing static bare footprint and a bare footprint measured after jumping from a fixed height. This was undertaken using samples from 23 podiatry students. Initially, a static print was taken for each participant for both left and right feet. A jumping print was created for both left and right feet after each participant had jumped from a measured height of 48 cm. On both occasions, the participant stood on an inkless mat and then jumped onto reactive paper, creating a two-dimensional print. Gunn’s method was used to analyze each footprint, and the print was measured to see whether a difference existed between length and width of the two prints. For the left foot and the right foot, the results indicated there was a significant increase in length and width between a standing bare footprint and a footprint taken after jumping. There was a more significant increase in length of the left footprint than the right but more of a significant increase in the width of the right footprint than the left. The conclusion from this research was that there was a statistically significant difference in length and width between a static bare footprint and a footprint taken after jumping from a fixed height.