Potential of Bare Feet to Present Individualizing Features

In early casework, the individuality of human footprints was often assumed (2,4,6,7), i.e., no two prints, even from the same individual, would be identical. RCMP research has shown that barefoot impressions from the same individual may remain unchanged over several years. Impressions from the insole of several pairs of footwear worn over a 25-year period were examined and showed little change in the weight-bearing areas of the foot. Impressions taken from individuals walking a distance of 20 feet show little or no change in the weight-bearing areas imprinted on paper. Barefoot impressions taken from several identical twins show that their barefoot impressions are distinct one from the other (Fig. 2).

A great deal of early research and casework in barefoot impressions was performed in India, probably because there people are more often barefoot or in sandals. For example, in 1965, Puri described his work of classifying and measuring barefoot impressions for comparison purposes (8). In 1980, Qamra published the results of a preliminary study involving the measurement of the footprints of 725 individuals (9).

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