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.

This limited study considered whether the collection of the exemplar footprints, and the resultant analysis and comparison, could be influenced by the time of day that the exemplar footprints were collected compared to a possible time when the footprints were first made. Dynamic footprints were collected from individuals on two occasions during the day (four footprints in total for each individual) using a test/re-test design. The Reel method of analysis determined measurements and allowed comparisons between the four sets. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA analysis suggested that diurnal variation was probably not an issue and that exemplar footprints did not show deviations that were due to the time of day when the footprints were collected. This might further suggest that, in this respect, work undertaken on past cases is reliable, and time of day is not a variable that needs consideration and accounting for when working future bare footprint cases. However, caution may be needed where environmental and temperature variables need consideration.