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How To Choose A Disposable Shoecover

Disposable shoecovers are worn to control foot borne contamination in an environment. Hospitals are perhaps the best know work place where employees wear shoecovers, but many other work places such as laboratories, nurseries, quarantine facilities and paint shops also require the use of disposable shoecovers. Choosing a shoecover made from the most suitable material for a work place depends on the slip resistance and durability of the material and, if they are to be worn in a wet environment, how much moisture they will absorb.


Disposable shoecovers are available in a range of colours and sizes. It is important that the size of the shoecover is comparable to the shoe size of the wearer. Shoecovers that are too small may not adequately cover the footwear, increasing the possibility of foot borne contamination. Wearing a shoecover that is too large increases the risk of the wearer tripping.


The most common materials used in the manufacture of disposable shoecovers are polypropylene and Cast Polyethylene (CPE). Even though these options give the end user considerable choice, there is often confusion about the advantages and disadvantages of these materials and their suitability in different work environments.


Below is a description of the two most common materials used in the manufacture of disposable shoecovers. These materials differ in their durability and the level of slip resistance and waterproofing they provide.


Disposable Shoecovers Made Of Polypropylene


Polypropylene is a spunbonded, non-woven material. It’s available in different thicknesses and quoted in grams per square centimetre (g/m2) - the higher the g/m2 value, the thicker the material is. Polypropylene tears easily so it is not the ideal material for a shoecover worn in an area that has a rough walking surface. The material sheds particles, a disadvantage if the shoecover is worn in a critical clean air environment as the air borne contamination can disrupt delicate precision equipment.


Polypropylene’s smooth surface provides very little traction for a shoecover worn on slippery floor surfaces. This slip hazard can be overcome by wearing a polypropylene shoecover that has a painted tread on the sole, known as an anti-skid sole.


Polypropylene is not waterproof and absorbs moisture readily. If a shoecover is to be worn in a wet environment, choosing a plastic option (see Disposable Shoecovers Made Of CPE below) overcomes this disadvantage.


Polypropylene shoecovers are also available with a polyethylene coating. This creates a more durable shoecover and gives some protection against the moisture absorbing property of the material. However, because of the different strengths between the polypropylene and the polyethylene, the material can delaminate during extended wear.


See our disposable shoecovers here:


Disposable Shoecovers Made Of Cast Polyethylene (CPE)


CPE is a plastic material and available in different thickness, quoted in mm – the thicker the material, the stronger it is. CPE is waterproof and an ideal material for shoecovers worn in a wet environment. A seamless bottom and heat sealed seams enhance the watertightness of these shoecovers. CPE is a strong, durable material and does not break down easily when exposed to rough floor surfaces. It does not shed particles, like polypropylene does, so CPE shoecovers can be worn in critical clean air environments where air borne contamination must be kept to a minimum.


See our disposable shoecovers here:


Final Thoughts


There are several factors to consider when choosing the appropriate disposable shoecover for the workplace. Do you need a shoecover that provides excellent slip resistance? Is the workplace floor rough and a strong durable shoecover would best suit your needs? Do you work in a wet environment and a waterproof shoecover would be appropriate? Is your workplace a critical clean air environment and air borne contamination must be kept to a minimum? The disposable shoecover you choose must eliminate foot borne contamination in the workplace, while providing the safest option for the wearer.


Contact the friendly team here at Fine Touch and we can assist you with your disposable shoecover requirements:

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