According to a proposal being floated by the FBI, manufacturers of sneakers with a suggested retail price over $75 a pair would be required to produce individualized patterns in the sole that would allow police to uniquely identify the wearer.
The “SafeSneaker” proposal is being justified as an anti-crime measure in that criminals apparently often wear sneakers, and that school children are often mugged for their (expensive) sneakers. The idea is that parents would be encouraged to register the unique patterns in an online database, thus protecting their children from robbery — and incidentally identifying them if footprint evidence were found at the scene of a crime.
The stupidity of this idea defies belief. What parents are going to finger their children in this fashion? How often can the FBI actually get good enough footprint evidence to make out an intricate pattern? What happens when the shoes get worn, or if kids mutilate the soles to obscure the pattern?
I mean, just when you think you've heard everything….