Keith Borer Consultants’ footwear experts carry out many footwear mark and shoe comparisons every year. Footwear marks are found on many different surfaces (such as doors, windowsills, floors, skin, clothing and soil) and may be photographed, lifted (onto clear adhesive sheets or gels) or cast to facilitate comparison with a pair of shoes. On occasions, the marks are poorly defined and comparison is limited to class characteristics such as sole pattern and size. The evidential significance of such comparisons is usually low. With clearer footwear marks, finer details such as wear and unique damage can also be compared and there is potential to conclusively link or eliminate a particular shoe. Comparison is followed by an evaluation of the findings in the context of the individual case. This evaluation will include examination of laboratory databases and footwear collections to take into account the frequency of the pattern and size, and the specific wear patterns of the shoe type under consideration.
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