After a decade of critique from leading scientific bodies, forensic science research is at a crossroads. Whilst emerging research has shown that some forensic feature-comparison disciplines are not foundationally valid, others are moving towards establishing reliability and validity. Forensic examiners in fingerprint, face and handwriting comparison disciplines have skills and knowledge that distinguish them from novices. Yet our understanding of the basis of this expertise is only beginning to emerge. In this paper, we review evidence on the psychological mechanisms contributing to forensic feature-comparison expertise, with a focus on one mechanism: statistical learning, or the ability to learn how often things occur in the environment. Research is beginning to emphasise the importance of statistical learning in forensic feature-comparison expertise. Ultimately, this research and broader cognitive science research has an important role to play in informing the development of training programs and selection tools for forensic feature-comparison examiners.