A comparative study of standing fleshed foot and walking and jumping bare footprint measurements

Nicolas Howsam, Andrew Bridgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Approximating true fleshed foot length and forefoot width from crime scene footprints is primarily based on anecdotal observations and fails to consider effects of different dynamic activities on footprint morphology. A literature search revealed numerous variables influencing footprint formation including whether the print was formed statically or dynamically. The aim of this study was to investigate if length and width measurements of the fleshed foot differ to the same measurements collected from walking and jumping footprints. Measurements of standing right foot length and forefoot width were collected from thirteen participants. Walking and jumping right footprints were then obtained using an Inkless Shoeprint Kit and digitally measured with GNU Image Manipulation Programme. Descriptive analysis compared standing fleshed foot length and forefoot width against the same measurements taken from walking and jumping footprints with and without ghosting. Results suggested walking footprint length with ghosting (x¯ = 268.61 mm) was greater than standing fleshed foot length (x¯ = 264.3 mm) and jumping footprint length with ghosting (x¯ = 261.57 mm). However, standing fleshed foot length was found to be greater than walking (x¯ = 254.85 mm) or jumping (x¯ = 255.63 mm) footprint lengths without ghosting. Forefoot widths showed standing fleshed foot width (x¯ = 105.66 mm) was greater than walking (x¯ = 95.63 mm) or jumping (x¯ = 98.03 mm) footprint widths. This study identifies variation in measurements of the standing fleshed foot and those of walking and jumping footprints, including variability between different dynamic states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-354
Number of pages9
JournalScience and Justice - Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Issue number5
Early online date19 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


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