As described in some of our other blog posts, Shoe Inn has many types of shoe covers that have a variety of characteristics which allow them to be used for different purposes. One of the characteristics that isn’t usually discussed is the color of the various types. Most shoe covers are blue or white or a combination of the two. However, for years Shoe Inn has offered our thicker 40g fabric with traction shoe covers in colors in addition to the industry standard light blue. In the past we have offered them in pink, yellow, purple and green.
So, why do we have the same shoe cover in a variety of colors? Some of our customers simply like having a color option other than blue. Others need to have particular users wear alternative colors to differentiate them for various reasons (e.g., for access control). Finally, the original reason we brought pink and purple in years ago was to represent some of the various “awareness months” (e.g., pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October).
Starting in 2020, Shoe Inn will again offer special pricing on our alternative color shoe covers for several of the various “awareness months”:
- National Glaucoma Awareness Month (green)
- National Cancer Prevention Month (purple)
- Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month (green)
- National Endometriosis Awareness Month (yellow)
- Stress Awareness Month (green)
- Cancer Research Month (purple)
- National Mental Health Month (green)
- National Safety Month (green)
- National Cleft Awareness & Prevention Month (purple)
- Sarcoma Awareness Week (yellow)
- Gastroparesis Awareness Month (green)
- Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (purple)
- National Liver Cancer Awareness Month (green)
- Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (purple)
- National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month (purple)
Not all shoe covers are disposable, at least in the single-use sense (most everything is eventually disposable, right?). But who uses reusable shoe covers? What are reusable shoe covers made from? What are the benefits and drawbacks?
Who uses them?
Reusable shoe covers are recommended for use in the following industries:
- Tradespeople (carpet cleaners, electricians, cable installers, plumbers, etc.)
- Home inspectors
- Cleaning services
Basically, if your profession brings you into the homes and businesses of your customers, and you care about differentiating yourself from your competition, taking the extra step in protecting their flooring from tracked in grime and scratching by using shoe covers is important. However, instead of using standard disposable shoe covers, which are definitely not as durable and which add up in cost each time you put on a new pair, you can use reusable booties.
Shoe Inn’s washable shoe covers are an affordable way to avoid damage and contamination that will likely lead to losing customers. Our reusable shoe covers are the #1 choice among professionals because of our quality materials and affordable pricing, and they are made right here in the USA!
What are they made from?
Shoe Inn’s reusable shoe covers are constructed with a premium nylon material, which is the same material used to manufacture rugged items like tarps and backpacks. The extremely durable fabric is permanently sealed with a moisture barrier finish, while the sole is made from a rugged, waterproof, non-slip material.
What are the pluses and minuses?
Let’s start with cons. There aren’t many, but might as well get them out first.
- Cost more than disposable shoe covers (at least initially)
- Require care and keeping track of if you want to make them last as long as possible
- Let us know if you can think of anything else, we can’t
As for the much longer list of pros:
- Reusable for approximately 6-9 months (ultimately costing MUCH LESS than disposables)
- Machine washable
- Range of sizes from small to extra large
- Three different color options (blue, black and red)
- Customizable (embroidered) for branding value
- Made in the USA
Basically, if you want an economical way to keep moisture in, while providing you with superior traction and peace of mind that you will not be slipping and sliding around or damaging a customer’s floors because of your shoes/boots and anything that might be on them (oil, mud, dirt, etc.), Shoe Inn reusable shoe covers are an excellent option.
There are many types of shoe covers available in the marketplace. Shoe Inn has taken most of the standard available shoe cover types and formatted them in cartridges for loading into and dispensing from our Shoe Inn Stay and Shoe Inn Fusion automatic shoe cover dispensers. We have nine different types of shoe covers and multiple color options available in one of the types. Below we discuss each type in terms of what it is made from; its characteristics in terms of traction, waterproofness, durability, and breathability; and when to use it and when to avoid it. Our website includes a helpful comparison chart of seven of the shoe cover types.
Plastic (7PLA-110HC, 1,650 shoe covers/825 pairs per case): Plastic shoe covers are made from a transparent blue polyethylene (PE). They have poor traction, are completely waterproof, and are on the lower end of the durability and breathability spectrums. Consider using these shoe covers when you need a waterproof shoe cover and/or when you are looking for the lowest cost option. Avoid them when you have smooth, slippery flooring.
28g Fabric (7FAB-100HC, 1,500 shoe covers/750 pairs per case): Our thinner fabric shoe covers are made from 28-gram polypropylene (PP). While not as slippery as plastic, their traction is not great. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie at a low cost. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover.
28g Fabric with Traction (7FWT-100HC, 1,500 shoe covers/750 pairs per case): Our thinner fabric shoe covers with traction are made from 28-gram polypropylene (PP) with an industry standard latex traction pattern. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie and traction is a consideration. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover.
40g Fabric (7FAB-80HC, 1,200 shoe covers/600 pairs per case): Our thicker fabric shoe covers are made from 40-gram polypropylene (PP). While not as slippery as plastic, their traction is not great and they are not waterproof. On the plus side, they are more durable than the 28g fabric and have excellent breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a more durable bootie at a relatively low cost. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover.
40g Fabric with Traction (7FWT-80HC, 1,200 shoe covers/600 pairs per case): Our thicker fabric shoe covers with traction are made from 40-gram polypropylene (PP) with an industry standard latex traction pattern. They are not waterproof but are more durable than the 28g fabric and have excellent breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a more durable bootie and traction is a consideration. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover. Note that we have this type in multiple color options other than the standard blue (currently yellow shoe covers and purple shoe covers), which may be helpful or desirable in certain situations.
Hybrids (7HBD-70HC, 1,050 shoe covers/525 pairs): Our Hybrid shoe covers are made from a base layer of 40-gram polypropylene (PP) with an outer layer, which covers most but not the entire base layer, of cast polyethylene (CPE). With the CPE layer, they are our most durable option and are mostly waterproof. The CPE layer decreases breathability while providing a good level of traction. Consider using this type when durability is critical and waterproofness is a consideration. Avoid them when cost is paramount.
Supers (7SUP-80HC, 1,200 shoe covers/600 pairs per case): Our Super shoe covers are made from a base layer of 30-gram polypropylene (PP) with an outer coating of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The LDPE coating gives this shoe cover superior anti-skid slip resistance and makes it waterproof. While breathability is at the lower end of the spectrum, the LDPE layer also increases durability. Consider using this type when traction is critical and waterproofness is a consideration. Avoid them when cost is paramount.
28g Fabric with ESD Ribbon (7FAB-100CS-ESD, 3,000 shoe covers/1,500 pairs per case): We also have our thinner 28-gram polypropylene (PP) fabric shoe covers with an ESD (electrostatic discharge) dissipative ribbon with a surface resistance between 3.5 x 107 to 1.0 x 109 ohms. While not as slippery as plastic, their traction is not great. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie that can handle ESD within the specified parameters.
28g Fabric with Traction and ESD Ribbon (7FWT-100CS-ESD, 3,000 shoe covers/1,500 pairs per case): We also have our thinner 28-gram polypropylene (PP) fabric shoe covers with an industry standard traction pattern and an ESD (electrostatic discharge) dissipative ribbon with a surface resistance between 3.5 x 107 to 1.0 x 109 ohms. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie with traction and that can handle ESD within the specified parameters.
Hopefully the information above helps you to understand the different types of shoe covers we offer and will help you target in on the type or types that are best for your situation. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at (877) 595-7463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can always send samples to help you make your decision as well.
Shoe covers are ubiquitous. Quite simply, they’re everywhere. In industries ranging from food manufacturing and processing to pharmaceuticals, biotechnology to energy, aerospace to medical devices, and everything in between, disposable shoe covers are used every day to increase workplace safety and reduce contamination. Closer to home, you might literally use them in your home on a daily basis and/or when selling it. Unfortunately, using ordinary shoe covers can be a real chore or even painful, literally and figuratively. At Shoe Inn, our goal is to make the process of putting shoe covers on and taking them off faster, easier, safer and cleaner. How do we do it?
With our automatic shoe cover dispensers and removers, people can apply or remove shoe covers in about five (5) seconds, which is at least four times (4x) faster than doing the same thing by hand. This means that in the time it takes a person to put on a pair of shoe covers manually, at least four others can put their booties on with a Shoe Inn dispenser (see our Why Shoe Inn? video on the videos page). Implementation of the Shoe Inn system will therefore result in increased efficiency and productivity.
For some, putting shoe covers on and taking them off by hand is a loathsome or burdensome process. Their objections range from physically oriented (bad backs, bad knees, or being pregnant to name a few) to mere annoyance or inconvenience. But use automatic shoe cover dispensers and removers, which make it so much easier, and those challenges and objections will vanish, thereby increasing happiness and compliance.
We are not flamingos, and we’re not getting any younger. Instead of bouncing around while attempting to balance on one foot and lifting the other leg, which we refer to as the “bootie hop” (see The Bootie Hop video on our videos page) or a worker’s comp claim waiting to happen, people can safely apply and remove their shoe covers in an ergonomically friendly manner with the Shoe Inn system. Both the Shoe Inn Stay and the removers include a safety handlebar for extra balance and security.
Have you ever stopped to consider what is on the bottom of your shoes? Besides the obvious things you can see, there are the countless little nasties you cannot see. All of these things walk with us everywhere we go and are brought into areas where they are unwelcome unless shoe covers or other methodology are used. However, it is nearly inevitable that you’re going to touch your shoes while putting shoe covers on manually and thus contaminate your hands. With the Shoe Inn system, problem solved.
Contamination in the workplace can halt production, necessitate expensive product recalls, or require lab experiments to be started over. It is a very real concern, perhaps even a fear, that laboratories, food processing companies, and manufacturers are particularly aware of and have measures in place to minimize or prevent. In this post, we discuss what contamination is, how it can be spread, and what can be done to try to prevent it.
Contamination: what is it?
The definition of contamination is the act of contaminating, or of making something impure or unsuitable by contact with something unclean, poisonous, etc. One of the most publicly visible examples of the effects of contamination is widespread food borne illness leading to hospitalizations and deaths. Negative food safety headlines are the worst nightmare of food processing companies and restaurants. This issue is discussed further in our shoe covers in the food industry blog post.
How is it spread?
Contamination can be spread through a variety of ways, including through the air (think tiny infectious droplets spread by coughs and sneezes), water, food, touching unclean surfaces, etc. Workers who don’t correctly follow procedures can cause cross-contamination, thereby halting production, having to decontaminate or discard products, needing to clean equipment, and other effects that result in lost time and money.
What can your company do to be safe from contamination?
Companies minimize workplace contamination by developing, implementing, and enforcing proper processes and procedures (including disinfection and cleaning procedures), having necessary infrastructure and equipment, and the like. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is also an important consideration. By wearing shoe covers, hair nets, face masks, beard covers, and gloves, potential contaminants should be kept away from critical areas. The PPE will also help keep the work environment clean and sanitary.
Contamination is a very important matter, but you can lessen the likelihood of it occurring if you know what it is, how it spreads, and what can be done to minimize or prevent it entirely with cross-contamination prevention. Compliance with company processes and procedures is critical, as is having proper infrastructure and equipment, which may include shoe covers, disposable gloves, and sticky mats.
One of many industries where using shoe covers can be advantageous is the manufacturing industry. Many manufacturing businesses require personnel and visitors to put shoe covers on before entering the manufacturing area or when entering the office space from a dirty manufacturing area. We wrote about this under the header “Dirty business” in another blog post.
Shoe covers for workmen can also help with safety and accident prevention. It is important to provide safety for employees and visitors as they go from one surface or area to the next. In manufacturing environments, people may slip, especially on wet or smooth surfaces. While there is only so much any shoe cover can do on wet or oily/greasy surfaces, the anti-slip properties of some of our shoe covers can help reduce slips and related accidents.
So, which shoe covers are best for the manufacturing industry? While all of our shoe covers are used in virtually every industry that uses booties, some are more prevalent than others. Shoe Inn primarily provides protection for manufacturing companies with two different shoe covers. The Hybrid shoe cover has a heavy duty, waterproof outer layer that now covers most of the shoe cover; it is our most durable option. Alternatively, and especially if traction/slip resistance is a primary consideration, our Super shoe covers have an anti-slip outer layer and are 100% waterproof.
Bottom line, shoe covers for workmen are an important piece of an overall workplace safety program in the manufacturing industry.
Cleanliness is vital in the food manufacturing/processing industry (growers, processing plants, etc.) in order to prevent contamination and avoid negative food safety headlines. Along with thorough hygiene practices and sanitation, wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, beard covers, hairnets, and shoe covers can make a significant difference in reducing food contamination. Here are a few reasons why Shoe Inn shoe covers are crucial in preventing food contamination and the overall food industry:
- Decreasing Outside Contamination
Tracking outside contaminants into clean environments on the bottoms of shoes is a potential health hazard in the food industry. New shoe covers are clean and will keep any outside contaminants contained inside the covers, thereby preventing them from being introduced into food products.
Just as it is important to not introduce outside contaminants into the sanitary environment where food is processed/handled, it’s equally important to ensure nothing from the shoe covers gets left behind. Fortunately, the clips on Shoe Inn shoe covers have been designed so that they remain in place during application, wear, and removal.
- Increasing Safety
Spills happen in the food industry and can be a significant safety hazard in terms of slips and falls. Some shoe covers are liquid proof and include non-skid/anti-slip coatings, helping to decrease slipping incidents and thereby promote safety.
Bottom line, shoe covers are an important piece of an overall food safety program and can also improve workplace safety in the food industry.
The elevator conversation goes something like this: “We sell automatic shoe cover dispensers and shoe covers.” “Shoe covers?” “Yes, shoe covers or booties, like doctors wear.” “Oh yeah, hospital booties.” Other than hospitals, the usual suspects where shoe covers are used include pharmaceutical manufacturing, food processing, research and development, medical device manufacturing, etc. Less obvious applications include construction, real estate, and aerospace as well. Because most of us are not behind the scenes, we don’t realize there are dozens and dozens of industries where shoe booties are important. Here are three “off the beaten path” applications where disposable shoe covers are used:
- “Dirty business”
Most often shoe booties are used in clean environments (for example, cleanrooms, laboratories, food processing facilities) where the intent is to keep outside contaminants from entering for reasons such as hygiene, food safety, product purity, testing results integrity, etc. Why would “dirty” industries (like your stereotypical manufacturing that is oily/greasy/otherwise messy) use them? The reason is that when employees or anyone else who has been in the dirty area comes into the clean office space for lunch, a quick meeting, or to exit the facility, they put on shoe covers in order to keep the area clean and to prolong the life of expensive flooring. A thick fabric bootie may do the trick, but a heavy duty shoe cover that will stand up to aggressive boot treads and keep dirty contaminants inside the shoe cover may be advisable.
- Filming and photography
Location sets for filming and photography may involve exclusive homes and fragile surfaces that deserve protection from scuffs, scratches, and contamination. Also, companies may want to protect their green screens when people are walking or posing on them. Depending on the surface, a plastic shoe cover may be appropriate because it is waterproof and inexpensive. Another option that is also waterproof but has superior traction is the Super non-slip shoe cover, which is the go-to when slippery surfaces are involved.
- Textile services
Clean laundry doesn’t deserve to get dirty before it is put into use. No need to waste water and detergent for re-washing, right? Keeping large-scale laundry facilities clean is important in case the corner of a clean sheet or towel touches the ground, or a laundered uniform accidentally falls on the floor. A variety of types of shoe covers would work, perhaps a low cost fabric bootie.
Disposable shoe covers are ubiquitous and quite helpful in a wide variety of environments beyond the usual suspect applications. From military bases to national laboratories, child care facilities to parades of homes, energy production operations to battery manufacturers, shoe covers are a vital tool to keep environments clean and safe.
Though we carry a few other products like disposable gloves, sticky mats, and overshoes, at Shoe Inn our focus is on shoe covers and automatic shoe cover dispensers. Let’s just say they’re our bread and butter! However, we know not everyone understands shoe covers and dispensers like we do. Therefore, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about the Shoe Inn automatic shoe cover dispensing and removal system for your benefit.
Are Shoe Inn Shoe Cover Dispensers and Removers Easy to Use?
Absolutely! Both dispenser models are easy to load and use, especially after doing it a few times. Take a look at the various loading and usage videos on our videos page to see how fast and easy it is. We also have loading and usage instructions that can be downloaded and printed. Our removers are very easy to use and are ergonomically-friendly as well. Not only are they incredibly simple, Shoe Inn shoe cover dispensers and removers help increase efficiency/productivity and safety in the workplace to boot.
Do Shoe Inn Machines Make it Safer to Put Shoe Covers on and Remove Them?
No doubt. Using our dispensers eliminates leaning against a wall or trying to balance on one leg while putting a shoe cover on the other foot (what we call the “bootie hop” or a worker’s comp claim waiting to happen), thereby avoiding possible falls, injuries and the potential worker’s comp claims that could result. In fact, prior to implementing our system, some customers have even had employees injure themselves while sitting on a gowning bench and putting shoe covers on.
Just like putting shoe covers on manually, taking them off is also a hassle and can be dangerous (remember the bootie hop?). Using our automatic shoe cover remover eliminates the danger and will make your EH&S staff stress level go down to be sure.
How Does Using Shoe Inn Dispensers Increase Efficiency and Productivity?
Because it is a minimum of 4x faster to put shoe covers on with our dispensers, at least four people can get booted up in the same amount of time it takes for a person to put shoe covers on manually (see our Why Shoe Inn? video on the videos page). The faster that employees are able to boot up, the faster they can move to being productive where they are making the company money instead of costing money back in the gowning room.
Can My Company Save Money Using the Shoe Inn System?
On the surface, no, but dig a bit deeper and the picture changes. While our shoe covers may cost more than your regular shoe covers, our customers have found that the increased efficiency, productivity, and reduction in potential worker’s compensation claims more than offset the nominal difference.
Can Shoe Inn Products be Used in Cleanrooms?
Yes. Shoe Inn shoe covers and automatic shoe cover dispensers have been tested and validated for use in cleanrooms up to Class 100 and Class 5. Our cleanroom certificates are available here.
Do Shoe Inn Shoe Cover Dispensers or Removers Require Electricity?
No–our automatic shoe cover dispensers do not require electricity, which provides you the freedom to place your dispensers wherever you need them. This also allows you to use your valuable space in the most efficient way possible.
Because they only require a standard 120v electrical outlet, our removers can be easily deployed at any suitable location.
Can We Reuse or Recycle the Shoe Covers?
Our shoe covers are specially packed in a cartridge for easy loading and dispensing and thus cannot be reloaded into the Shoe Inn Fusion or Stay dispensers. Also, we do not recommend the reuse of shoe covers, because doing so would likely lead to contamination and defeat the purpose of using shoe covers in the first place. Regarding recycling, in theory the answer is yes, but we do not currently have a program for recycling. If you find or develop one, please let us know.