Disposable, Reusable, and Permanent Shoe Covers: The Differences

Disposable, Reusable, and Permanent Shoe Covers: The Differences

You can visit a retail site like Amazon and find all sorts of shoe covers for sale. The thing is this: they are not all the same. Moreover, they do not all serve the same purpose. It's important to know what you're getting when you buy a pair of shoe covers. But to know that, you have to know the different types of products out there.

We have taken the liberty of classifying shoe covers under three categories:

  • Disposable
  • Reusable
  • Permanent.

The shoe covers we carry are part of the permanent category. Before we encourage you to take a look at our products, let us first discuss the differences between the three categories.

1. Disposable Shoe Covers

Disposable shoe covers are just as their name suggests. They are intended to be used once and then thrown away. More often than not, they are intended for indoor use in medical and clean room environments. Doctors and nurses wear them all the time at hospitals.

What is their purpose? To prevent people from contaminating a sterile environment via dirt on their shoes. If you are wearing disposable shoe covers in a clean environment, it's a safe bet you're also wearing other protective clothing. You might be wearing a paper jumpsuit or a fabric gown. You are probably wearing a hair net and gloves as well.

Occasionally you will find disposable shoe covers designed for outdoor use. They aren't the norm, but they do exist. They are generally made of the cheapest silicone and intended to prevent tracking mud and debris indoors. You might find them in a residential housing development, being worn by real estate agents and building contractors as they view newly built houses prior to closing.

2. Reusable Shoe Covers

Shoe covers in this category can be found in both indoor and outdoor applications. For example, some indoor environments in which workers don protective clothing are ideal for reusable shoe covers. What's most important to know is that the covers are not intended to be a permanent solution. You can use them multiple times, but not forever. They are too cheaply made.

For outdoor use, we consider reusable shoe covers the cheaper products made with silicone or rubber. You can probably get a full season out of a decent pair. As for holding on to a pair for years on end, don't hold your breath. They probably won't last that long.

We should point out that some products we would classify as reusable are marketed as permanent shoe covers by manufacturers. The difference is nothing but a matter of perspective. We see permanent shoe covers as offering a certain level of quality.

3. Permanent Shoe Covers

Permanent shoe covers are products intended to last as long as your shoes. They can be used in all sorts of weather and over the top virtually any style of shoe. More often than not, these are shoe covers worn by professionals to protect their shoes as they walk around downtown. But there are other applications as well.

Concrete workers will wear shoe covers that look nothing like the covers worn by business professionals. Their covers have to protect their feet while they pour and finish concrete. Likewise, firefighters wear shoe covers that look like a cross between old-school galoshes and heavy-duty hip waders.

GC Tech shoe covers are permanent shoe covers in every sense of the definition. Our products are made with durable, long-lasting materials that protect your shoes against the elements. When you invest in a pair, you are investing in protection that will last as long as you own your shoes.