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I've been looking into alternatives to heel grounders since they're kind of cumbersome to put on and take off often (not to mention being uncomfortable) and I'm considering buying a pair of "conductive shoes."

The most widely sold brand seems to be Crocs ESD Lites. I've found them on a number of legit websites, such as these:

http://www.all-spec.com/products/ESD-Safe_Garments%7CGarment_Accessories_and_Cloth%7CGAR-06/C1001-010.html

http://www.stanleysupplyservices.com/crocs-esd-lites-clean-room-shoes/g/23595

Does anyone have any experience with shoes such as these? Can they really replace heel grounders?

Also, I can't seem to find any information about the usage of the shoes and I'm wondering whether wearing socks with shoes such as these would prevent them from working?

Sorry if a footwear question is inappropriate, but I couldn't think of any other place where people would actually understand what I was talking about :-)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe the manufacturer's website might be more appropriate? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Nov 9 '13 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka - I just thought since so many people on here work in labs that they might be knowledgeable on this subject. \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Nov 9 '13 at 21:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ No job is worth wearing crocs. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 10 '13 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby I've always heard they're really comfortable? \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Nov 11 '13 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, its not the comfort part that's the problem. Uglier than burlap sacks for socks. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 11 '13 at 19:00
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I have not seen these before, and I can see issues for certain work environments in that there isn't really any foot protection against falling objects and crushing so OSHA (in the US) might have an issue in some environments.

What I can speak to is that often gowning rooms also provide socks as well as the ESD smocks and particles containment bunny suits. So it's possible that you could use your standard socks (especially if you've passed ESD testing at the metering stations) with your present socks and heel grounder solution. But you have the fall back on ESD socks.

If you are in a ESD controlled environment, then presumably you have a regular schedule of testing that you have to go through. Your ESD people should be able to quickly evaluate that.

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Conductive shoes are more effective at dissipating static buildup than heel grounders as they have less resistance (most heel grounders have at least 1meg resistor built in to them).

Conductive shoes are designed for use in areas where there is a danger of explosion or fire from explosive dusts, vapors and low energy initiated explosives where a static discharge could be deadly.

The danger with conductive shoes is they have no built in resistance therefore unlike heel grounders you have no protection against electrical shock. Conductive shoes should only be worn in designated areas where there is either special protection (such as double insulation on machinery) or there is no danger of electrical shock.

Chances are your work area would not comply with the required safety standards that more than likely require some degree of electrical shock protection via built in resistance.

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