Estimation of stature from static and dynamic footprints

Sarah Reel, Simon Rouse, Wesley Vernon OBE, Patrick Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to estimate accurately from known parameters is a fundamental aspect of science and is evident as an emerging approach in the area of footprints and stature estimation within the field of forensic identification. There are numerous foot dimensions that have been measured in the literature to predict stature with varying degrees of confidence but few studies have tried to link the strength of estimation to anatomical landmarks. Such an approach is utilised in this study which estimates stature from the right footprints of sixty one adult male and female UK participants. Static and dynamic footprints were taken from each volunteer using the 'inkless paper system'. The prints were digitised and twelve length, width and angle measurements were chosen for the analysis. The highest correlations with stature were shown to be the heel to fourth toe print for the static group of footprints (r=0.786, p<0.01), and the heel to fifth toe print in the dynamic footprints (r=0.858, p<0.01). Collinearity statistics suggest the heel to fifth toe print length measurement is independent and not influenced by any other variables in the estimation of stature for the dynamic prints. Linear regression equations for this measurement presented the smallest standard error of estimate (SEE) and highest shared variance (R2) of all included variables (SEE 4.16, R2 0.74). Our study discusses a potential anatomical explanation as to why the lateral border of the foot and hence the impression it makes upon a hard surface, is a more stable indicator in the estimation of stature. The investigation recommends the use of Calc_A4 and Calc_A5 length measurements when estimating stature from footprint impressions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283.e1-283.e5
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
Early online date9 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


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