ESD Safety Shoes: How Do They Work?


Electrostatic discharge, usually abbreviated ESD, is becoming a safety buzzword for many companies and even some individuals with hobbies that involve electronics. A number of clever products such as ESD safety shoes are presently available in order to meet the needs of those looking to avoid the harmful effects of ESDs. This article will focus on ESD safety shoes and specifically address how they function. In order to understand how ESD safety shoes work, one will need to understand the science of electricity.

Physicists and electrical engineers alike often refer to human beings as isolated conductors. This term means
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that by doing things that seem routine to regular people, electricity is gathered and even generated. Electricity can be gathered whenever two or more objects are in close proximity, such as clothes and a human body. The net effect is that the average human is an electrical magnet that continually gathers an electrical charge before discharging it.

The reason why the human body gathers a charge is that it is easier for electricity to go from wherever it was to the human body. Electricity always follows the path of least resistance, and if that means passing through a human body, or taking a ride until an exit path becomes available then that is just what an electrical charge will do. The ESD is when such a transfer happens, and it can be either visible or go unnoticed. ESD safety shoes are designed to make sure that electricity always has somewhere to go, and will not build up on the outer layers of a body.

This is accomplished by using static dissipative technologies that offer electricity a constant low-resistance path away from the human body. With a constant path away from the body, the electricity never has a change to build up a sufficient charge. This does not mean that a person wearing ESD safety shoes will never manage to accumulate any electrical charge, but rather to suggest that they will not be able to hold an electrical charge above a certain threshold.

ESD safety shoes come in a variety of styles and shapes, but most of them are professional looking. There are a number of other safety features that are commonly found in ESD safety shoes as well. Common safety features found in ESD safety shoes include: heavy-duty shock absorbing soles, anti-slip technology, resistance to oils and petroleum, draining channels, resistance to chemicals and even reinforced toes and/or heels. The presence of these additional safety features is possibly the result of similar work conditions in various industries or an attempt to market a product of limited appeal to a much wider audience. After all, many businesses might need workers to wear ESD safety shoes with at least one of the other safety technologies.