6 Different Materials Used for Shoe Covers
We know that shoes are made of different materials like leather, fabric, rubber and others. But, did you know that the shoe covers we use to protect our shoes from harsh elements or for any other valuable purpose, also are made of different materials?
There are factors to consider in choosing the right type of shoe cover to use. On top would be the kind of use whether for home or for professional use. The next one would be the purpose or for what type of industry you would need the shoe cover. The length of time and the season to use the shoe cover should also be considered.
If a type of shoe is unique from the others, a shoe cover is too. And, these are some of the materials that are used to make shoe covers that make each different from the other:
- Polyethylene (PE)
PE is known as the compound that is commonly used to make plastic grocery bags and wraps, containers and other plastic packaging. There are two most common types of polyethylene, the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that’s used in plastic jugs and bottles and the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) that is used in food wraps and diapers.
There are shoe covers that are made of LDPE and there are also those made from HDPE. It usually comes with an elastic band around the mouth of the shoe cover for a snug fit. They are disposable as they are intended for short-term usage. While most suppliers would say that these are durable being waterproof and can withstand elements such as mud, dirt, and even snow, shoe covers made of PE are still prone to being punctured easily as they’re made of plastic.
If the use is simply to keep your floors from getting dirty from whatever your shoes bring from the outside then this will do. They are very inexpensive and are usually sold in packs of 100 or so. There are also automatic shoe cover dispensers that come with disposable shoe covers made of PE. Another thing that you have to consider though is how to dispose of them after being used.
- Polypropylene (PP)
PP is still plastic. However, this is considered the more versatile and more durable than PE. This is used in plastic utensils, microwaveable food containers, workout clothes or active wear, plastic bottle caps, car batteries and the list goes on. Unlike the PE, PP is recyclable.
Shoe covers made of PP are used commonly in medical facilities and laboratories and sometimes come with anti-skid sole designs. It is like a light fabric that is easy to use and is washable and can be reused. Even being made of just a light fabric-like material, this type of shoe cover can still prevent dust, dirt from being brought into sensitive work areas.
Rubber rain shoe covers, otherwise known as Galoshes, are slipped over your shoes to protect your shoes from being wet. They are elastic and are thicker than the most common PE and PP. It is most suitable when travelling in harsh weathers and natural elements and you want to protect your shoes.
Almost all rubber rain shoe covers have non-slip soles as they look like the shoes themselves when they are meant as an overshoe. They are also tear-resistant and thus, can withstand harsher elements.
Rubber boots are those that we usually see but there are ankle-high rubber rain shoe covers available. A challenge that you have to consider though is the weight. They are heavier with some weighing over a pound.
- Aluminized Fabric
This type of fabric or cloth is used to reflect thermal radiation. This is the same material used for insulators in our homes and buildings. Remember those silver, accordion-type car shades that you put up inside the windshield and the back window to reflect the heat of the sun? Well, it is also made out of aluminized fabric.
There are shoe covers made exactly out of this type of fabric. And the purpose is the same – heat insulation and fire resistance. You may wonder where and when this type of shoe cover is used. Like any other clothing made out of aluminized fabric, this type of shoe cover protects the one wearing it from contact with flame and heat.
Some welders and other workers in an industry that may carry the risk of accidental contact with flame and heat can wear this type of shoe cover.
Silicone is a synthetic rubber material that is soft and very elastic. It is more heat-resistant than other types of rubbers. Aside from its being heat resistant it also is resistant to chemical, fungus and ultraviolet attacks.
This material makes for a good shoe cover, especially for use outdoors, to protect your shoes from getting wet and dirty. Most silicone type shoe covers also come with anti-skid design and it can be washed and used all over again. And, since this material is flexible and elastic, it can be folded and will not need a bigger storage space. You can easily slip it in your bag or pouch and be ready for any natural elements. Its elasticity makes the shoe cover fit any type of shoes snugly.
This will be difficult to imagine as it could be quite redundant especially if your shoes are made of leather too. But there are leather shoe covers or protectors available in the market. One of the purposes is to protect the shoes and the wearer from welding, blacksmith, glass spats and resist heat and flame.
A s it is made of leather, you can be assured somehow of its durability and its ability to withstand the test of time. This type though is more expensive than the other types of shoe covers.