Snyder, C. (2016). A Comparison of Photography and Casting Methods of Footwear Impressions in Different Sandy Soil Substrates. Journal of Forensic Identification, 66(1), 37-58.
Seven different sandy soils were utilized to create three-dimensional footwear impressions from two left athletic shoes (Saucony and New Balance). The two shoes had been previously worn and then additional randomly acquired characteristics of various shapes and sizes were added to the outsoles. The footwear impressions were photographed (using examination-quality photographic techniques) and cast with dental stone. The resulting photographs and casts were compared to the shoes, and the randomly acquired characteristics present were noted. The casts retained more randomly acquired characteristics than did the photographs in the footwear impressions in all of the sandy soils and from both shoes. This research concluded that casts should be collected whenever possible in addition to examination-quality photographs to provide the footwear examiner with the best evidence possible.