The comparison of soil samples is of long-standing and increasing interest in forensic science. Routine comparisons should involve the use of several techniques in combination. A wide range of analytical techniques can be used, choice being dependent on several factors including sample size and character, time constraints and cost limitations. In this paper results are presented for experiments carried out to test the effectiveness of four of the available analytical techniques (spectro-photometric colour determination, laser diffraction particle size analysis, stable isotope analysis and chemical element analysis) used to compare single source and primary transfer soil samples. Four soil types and five footwear types were used. All four techniques showed excellent precision and good resolving power between soil types. Only relatively small differences were obtained between source and transferred soil samples in terms of colour, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios and elemental chemistry. Slight but significant differences were found in grain size, indicating that the primary transfer process is to some extent grain size selective.