Randomly Acquired Characteristics
This chapter discusses randomly acquired characteristics (RACs) and the various considerations surrounding them. Simply defined, the word random means unplanned and by chance. RACs occur on shoe outsoles as they repeatedly contact various substrates that contain objects like glass, sharp rocks, and other damage-inflicting objects, or that contain debris or small stones that become imbedded in or attached to the outsole. As a shoe outsole traverses over varied substrates, it can make contact with sharp objects that penetrate or otherwise cause removal of portions of soling material, resulting in cuts, nicks, scratches, abrasions, and punctures. Outsoles worn excessively can incur tears or breaks completely through the outsole materials that result in randomly formed irregular and ragged edges. Stone holds occur when a small stone or pebble gets wedged in the grooves or spaces between the design elements of an outsole. RACs occur in varying quantities and qualities.