Evaluation of General Wear
This chapter provides basic information regarding factors that should be understood and considered during evaluation of general wear in a forensic footwear examination. When shoes are worn, frictional forces occur during repeated contact with the substrate, resulting in a gradual erosion of the outsole compound. The product of the erosive action is visually evident on both the outsole and in impressions that outsole produces, and is referred to as general wear. The personal features and biomechanics of individuals include but are not limited to attributes such as genetics; body weight; foot and lower limb flexibility; the effects of injuries, pathologies, or disease; and differences in left and right foot size and morphology. The occupation and/or habits of the wearer can also have an impact on the quantity and quality of general wear. Microcellular soling materials, although lightweight and good for shock absorption, wear more rapidly than dense outsole materials.