Measurement of pressure distribution under the base plate of the Hemscheidt 2-leg 800-ton shield was performed underground for two shifts using 12 pressure cells installed in two rows, one each under each split base plate. Pressure distribution was uneven depending on contact condition. In general the highest base pressure occurred at 1/3 of the base plate contact length from the rear edge. The resultant was near vertical, and the pressure under the tail side split base plate was always higher than the head side. For comparison, pressure distribution on the canopy and under the base plate was also measured under controlled conditions at the USBM’s Mine Simulator Testing Facilities in Pittsburgh, PA. A total of 45 tests were conducted under several simulated contact conditions. The results showed that the actual contact area is highly dependent on the compliance of the immediate roof and floor due to the sloped canopy tip and a base lifting device under the base tip. The loading distribution tends to change in magnitude and profile as the leg pressure increases. The base lifting device exaggerates the high toe loading on the base plate characteristics of this type of shield support.