ESD safety footwear is one of the most basic and essential tools to keep you safe when working with electronic components. Whether for military, industrial or personal use there’s a wide variety on the market today offering their own unique features and benefits.
Static dissipative shoes are important when it comes to protecting yourself against ESD. Because there are so many different shoes available on the market, it can be confusing on which one to buy. This article is meant to guide you through some of the important info about safety footwear so you find your perfect pair!
What is static electricity?
Static electricity (can also be called electrostatic discharge) is commonly known as unwanted electrical charges on a surface. In some cases, these charges can be incredibly harmful and even deadly to electronics!
There are three types of static electricity:
- Contact – where two objects come in contact (and having opposing charge, one example is wool vs rubber).
- Non-contact – this occurs when two surfaces are not touching each other (but are close to each other), an example of this is your clothes causing it on a piece of electronics, or the electronics causing it on your clothes (and vice-versa).
- Air – which occurs naturally when humidity levels are very low. This type is rare, but becomes more common around summertime.
Types of ESD
As I mentioned above, there are three different types of static electricity. But what about ESD? This is commonly known as a special kind where a surface is charged with high voltage and you don’t want it to damage the object that is having the charge!
How does it work?
ESD can be incredibly dangerous when in contact with electronics, thankfully lots of new technology has come to the surface in order to protect against ESD. This includes new clothing materials, better insulators, and more! There are four steps on how this works:
- Charging – when your body builds up static electricity.
- Neutralizing – by walking across a carpet or other conductive fabric.
- Jumping – the charge is transferred to another conductive surface, like a person or piece of metal/equipment.
- Discharging – the charge is released from the object in an uncontrolled manner.
When should an ESD safety shoe be used?
Because of the way static electricity works, you should always use an ESD safety shoe when working around electronics, especially if they are delicate or valuable items. Static can build up around your body without you knowing it and can do serious damage to electronics! Of course, these types of shoes don’t just work for electronic objects, they’re great to use around any surface that may cause harm to you or your clothes!
Where are ESD shoes used?
As mentioned, ESD shoes are great to use when working with sensitive electronics. This includes anything from industrial equipment to home appliances! It’s important to always protect yourself and your clothes when doing any kind of work that involves touching something that may cause static electricity! ESD safety shoes are also used in various industries including:
Military application is a big market for ESD shoes! They are specifically used when working on aircraft and various vehicles. The reason is because of the sensitive equipment within these systems can easily be damaged by a build-up of static electricity.
ESD safety footwear is also heavily used in any work environment that deals with electronic components, especially if they are using older systems. It’s very important to protect these devices for obvious reasons!
It’s becoming more common to find ESD footwear in hospitals, because of the electrical equipment that is being used. There are even shoe covers made specifically for this industry which are known as “bootees”. These bootees cover the entire foot and even go up to the calf.
ESD shoes are also used in industrial settings, especially where heavy machinery is being used! It’s important that these devices are protected just as much as any other because they could cause serious damage if there was a shock or build-up of static electricity.
ESD shoes can also be found in office and factory settings when there is machinery or tools that are used to cut, drill or grind materials. This is another industry where safety should never be taken lightly!
As mentioned in the opening of this article, it’s always important to protect yourself while working in any industry – which is why ESD shoes are commonly used by construction workers. This includes roofers, electricians, and anyone else who may come into contact with something that can do damage to them or their tools!
The Many Benefits of Using Static Dissipative Safety Shoes
There are many benefits to using static dissipative safety shoes, the biggest one is that it can be a great way to protect yourself and your clothing from damage! Other than just protecting you, some people may buy these shoes as they look nice and professional.
However, there are some other benefits to buying this kind of footwear:
- Protects the object – This is self-explanatory, ESD safety shoes protect electronics from static electricity whereas regular work/safety shoes do not!
- Comfortable/durable – The shoes themselves are usually made from a rubber or other comfortable material , so you won’t have to worry about them hurting your feet or wearing out quickly.
- Comparable to regular work shoes – As mentioned earlier, these shoes are not any different from regular work shoes, you won’t have to worry about being uncomfortable around your home or workplace!
- Cleaner clothing – If you go directly from your job to a date or other important event, you won’t have to worry about your clothes being ruined by dirt or dust!
ESD shoes are great to use in any environment, whether it’s for work or your personal life. It can be a good way to protect yourself and the things around you – as electricity is very dangerous!
How To Choose ESD Safety Shoes
When it comes to buying ESD shoes, there are a couple of things that need to be considered! There are different types of footwear out there and while they may look the same, there could be a number of differences. Here is what you should keep in mind when looking for your perfect pair:
- Static dissipative capabilities – This is a vital feature! You need to make sure that the shoes are able to handle static electricity. If they aren’t, then you won’t be properly protected when working around important electronic equipment!
- Size – Make sure you know which size shoe you wear, this isn’t too difficult to find out but it’s always better to double check before buying them!
- Appearance – You don’t have to buy them just because they are cool looking! However, it’s nice to be able to tell the difference with regular shoes.
- Style of shoe – Do you prefer a slip-on style or one that is closed off with laces? There are many types of styles out there so do some research before you buy!
- Material – Depending on the industry that you work in, your shoes may have to be different! For example, if you are a construction worker then it’s best to get a pair with steel toes while an office worker could get away with a pair without them.
- Price – The cost of these types of shoes will usually vary depending on the material, style and whether or not it has any other features. If you are on a budget then shop around before buying!
Leading ESD Safety Shoes Brands Today
As ESD safety shoes are a relatively new thing, there aren’t many brands that offer these kinds of shoes. However, if your company or other companies in the industry use a specific brand/apparel then you should ask for it! Here are some of the more popular manufacturers today:
Caterpillar ESD Shoes
Caterpillar is a renowned manufacturer of work boots and shoes, so it’s not surprising that they have their own brand of ESD shoes. The brand carries many different types of shoes, so you are bound to find what you are looking for! However, the prices can be quite high depending on which shoe you want.
CATFootwear ESD Style
The brand offers ESD safety shoes with 2 width fittings as well as extra depth fittings to suit a wider foot. The price range varies from $100 – $140 dollars. Aside from ESD, this brand has many other shoes, so you are sure to find something for your needs! CAT
CatFootwear ESD: https://www.catfootwear.com/US/en/technology-safety-features-static-dissipative/
Carolina ESD Shoes
The Carolina Shoe Company is more commonly known as CSC. They have been around for over 100 years and are a family-owned company! They specialize in protective footwear, which includes ESD shoes. This kind of shoe is great for many jobs when it comes to protecting your feet from static electricity. Carolina has a total of 9 ESD safety shoes to choose from. The price ranges from $100 to $160.
Carolina ESD Advance Tech
- Pillow Cushion
There are many other kinds of shoes offered by this brand that will help you stay safe on the job! Carolina Shoe Company has many partnerships with other companies, so you can be sure that their products are of high quality.
CSC Homepage: https://www.carolinashoe.com/
Carolina ESD Shoes: https://www.carolinashoe.com/Products?Sorting=Popularity&brand=Carolina&gender=Mens&features%5B%5D=Electrostatic%20Dissipative%20(ESD)&page=1
KEEN ESD Shoes
KEEN Utility is a subdivision of KEEN which focuses specifically on protective footwear. They have their own line of ESD shoes, perfect for any construction worker. They have a range of slip-on and lace-up shoes which can all go with you on the job. KEEN Utility also has many other styles, so they are sure to be able to provide you with good foot protection!
Keen Footwear Features
- Metal Free
- Slip Resistant
- Water Resistant
- Orthotic Friendly
Keen ESD safety shoes are available from size 5 to 17 with 2 width fittings as well as extra depth fittings. Their shoes start from $100 and go up to $200.
KEEN ESD Safety Shoes: https://www.keenfootwear.com/esd-rated-work/
Reebok ESD Safety Shoes
Reebok is most known for its line of athletic shoes and apparel, so it’s not surprising that they also have a division for work clothes and safety equipment. Their ESD footwear is no different, with top-of-the-line technology and comfort!
Reebok Work Footwear Features
- Static Dissipative
- Safety Toe
- Slip Resistant
The brand offers 3 width fittings as well as extra depth fittings for their shoes. The price range starts at $100 – $170. So whether you need them for work or play, there are plenty of great brands to choose from!
Reebok Work ESD Safety Shoes: https://reebokwork.com/features/static-dissipative/?sort=avgcustomerreview
Overall, ESD safety shoes are essential for any industry in which people work around machines that have electrical currents in them. ESD footwear may be a little bit more expensive than regular shoes but having the proper protection is always worth it when it comes to your health! Just remember when you are buying these types of shoes to make sure that they are able to handle the ESD!
If they are not, then you won’t have the protection that you deserve. That being said, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a pair of ESD shoes ASAP! It’s an easy way to protect yourself and the things around you from electricity – something which is very dangerous!
AIMBOO is a growing brand of safety footwear, workwear, and accessories, focused on the “electric industry”. We strive to provide innovative solutions for professionals working in electrically conductive environments. Our success is built on our commitment to quality & 100% customer satisfaction.
Our line of safety shoes is specifically designed to meet your needs, whether your job entails being around electrical equipment or you just need a comfortable and stylish work shoe. We sell a variety of styles: steel-toe boots, slip-resistant shoes, reinforced footwear, low-top shoes, and more. Shop with us today to experience our excellent customer service, fast shipping, and competitive prices!
FAQs About ESD Safety Shoes
What is ESD Safety Shoes?
ESD shoes or Electrical Shock Resistant shoes provide protection against electrical shocks and static electricity. They do so by insulating the wearer from both direct contact and electric charges in the surroundings. However, not all ESD footwear provides protection from a high voltage above 5000V AC/DC. The actual protection level depends on the design and construction of the shoe, and it can be either ESD-L (low voltage protection) or ESD-H (high voltage protection).
What are some kinds of ESD Shoes?
ESD shoes come in many forms – steel toe boots, sneakers, lace-up work boots, slip-resistant shoes, and low-top sports shoes. They may also be classified into one or more of the following categories:
Business ESD Shoes – These are regular-looking shoes with added features that make them appropriate for people who work around electrical equipment.
Industrial ESD Shoes – The usual steel toe boots and work boots, are usually heavy-duty and have a robust design.
Casual ESD Shoes – These look like regular everyday footwear and are usually lighter in weight than industrial ESD shoes. They can also sometimes come with insoles that help reduce the build-up of static electricity when walking on an anti-static carpet, for example.
Sports/Training ESD Shoes – These are shoes that are designed to be used for activities such as jogging or weight training, where the wearer needs better shock absorption.
What are some ESD shoe features?
It depends on the type of ESD Shoe, but in general, they should have an anti-static urethane sole with conductive carbon-impregnated nylon thread(s). The construction should be such that it allows proper ventilation to prevent heat build-up.
Can I use regular shoes as ESD Shoes?
It depends on the individual’s work environment. If there is no direct contact with electrical devices or equipment, you can use regular shoes. However, if you work in an industry where static electricity can build up and cause shocks, then no – regular shoes do not provide adequate ESD protection.
Where are the common applications for ESD shoes?
ESD shoes are usually worn in industrial, medical, and high-tech environments. They provide a degree of protection against static electricity in appliances such as photocopiers, fax machines/printers, computers, etc. In electronic assembly areas, they protect the wearer from electrical shocks when working on circuit boards or during soldering work.
Can I buy ESD Shoes online?
Yes! AIMBOO is one of the most trusted suppliers of ESD shoes. You can find our line of safety shoes here. If you are interested in getting wholesale prices, please contact us at (company email)