Bily, C. and Mathias, C. (2017). Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Outsoles and Acquired Characteristics. Journal of Forensic Identification, 67(4), 549-564.

TOMS Shoes use ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) in the production of the outsoles of their footwear. TOMS Women’s Classics and TOMS Men’s Classics with well-worn outsoles are of particular forensic interest. When the tread is worn away, the outsoles undergo elastic deformation when they are subjected to pressure. Outsoles resulting in elastic deformation can acquire the physical characteristics of some substrates with which they come into contact. These acquired characteristics dissipate quickly. Caution should be exercised when examining questioned impressions that may have been produced by footwear with EVA outsoles, particularly TOMS Men’s and Women’s Classics. These impressions may contain characteristics that are not represented in the outsoles of the known footwear. These characteristics could be misinterpreted as class characteristics or randomly acquired characteristics in questioned impressions and result in erroneous exclusions.