What is the Difference Between ESD and EH Safety Shoes?

Understanding Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) and Electrical Hazard (EH) Safety Footwear

What is the Difference Between ESD and EH Safety Shoes? In the ever-evolving landscape of workplace safety, choosing the right safety footwear is paramount. Two common terms you may come across are ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) and EH (Electrical Hazard) safety shoes. While they might sound similar, they serve distinct purposes in safeguarding workers against potential electrical dangers. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the differences between ESD and EH safety shoes, helping you make an informed decision to ensure your safety on the job.

What is ESD?

What is the Difference Between ESD and EH Safety Shoes?

ESD refers to the transfer of electrostatic charge between two objects. In the context of safety shoes, ESD footwear is designed to dissipate static electricity, preventing the buildup of excess charge on the body and the subsequent discharge, which could damage sensitive equipment.

What is the Difference Between ESD and EH Safety Shoes?
What is the Difference Between ESD and EH Safety Shoes?

Understanding EH Safety Shoes

EH shoes, on the other hand, are built to provide protection against electrical circuits. They act as a barrier, preventing electrical current from completing a circuit through the body, thereby safeguarding the wearer from electric shocks.

Material Composition

ESD shoes are typically made from materials that conduct electricity but do not generate static electricity. EH shoes, on the contrary, feature insulation materials that resist the flow of electricity, preventing electrical shocks.

Work Environments

ESD shoes find their applications in environments where static electricity could harm electronic devices, such as manufacturing plants, laboratories, and cleanrooms. EH shoes are essential in workplaces with a higher risk of electrical hazards, including construction sites and industries dealing with high-voltage equipment.

Testing Standards

ESD shoes adhere to standards like ANSI/ESD S20.20, ensuring they meet specific electrostatic discharge requirements. EH shoes, on the other hand, comply with ASTM F2413-18 standards, certifying their ability to provide protection against electrical hazards.


While ESD shoes are specialized for static control environments, EH shoes are versatile, offering protection not only against electrical hazards but also against impacts, punctures, and slips.

Maintenance and Care

ESD shoes are sensitive to wear and tear. Proper maintenance, including regular cleaning and inspections, is crucial to ensure their effectiveness. EH shoes, although sturdy, require periodic checks for insulation integrity and overall condition.

Comfort and Design

Both ESD and EH shoes come in various styles and designs, prioritizing comfort to ensure prolonged wear. Look for features such as cushioned insoles, breathable materials, and ergonomic designs when choosing either type of safety footwear.

Making the Right Choice

To determine whether you need ESD or EH safety shoes, assess your workplace environment and the specific electrical risks involved. Consulting with safety experts or your company’s safety guidelines can aid in making an informed decision tailored to your needs.


In summary, while ESD and EH safety shoes might seem similar, they cater to different aspects of electrical safety. ESD shoes focus on dissipating static electricity, whereas EH shoes provide protection against electrical shocks. Understanding these differences is crucial in selecting the appropriate footwear for your workplace, ensuring your safety and well-being.


Q1: Can I wear EH shoes in environments that require ESD protection? A: EH shoes offer broader protection but may not be suitable for environments with stringent ESD requirements. It’s advisable to choose footwear that aligns with the specific safety standards of your workplace.

Q2: Are ESD shoes comfortable for long hours of wear? A: ESD shoes are designed with comfort in mind, featuring cushioned insoles and ergonomic designs. However, individual comfort preferences vary, so it’s essential to try them on and assess their suitability for extended use.

Q3: Do EH shoes protect against static electricity? A: EH shoes primarily safeguard against electrical shocks and do not dissipate static electricity. If your workplace requires both protections, consider footwear that meets both ESD and EH standards.

Q4: How often should EH shoes be inspected for wear and tear? A: EH shoes should be inspected regularly, ideally on a daily basis, for signs of wear, damage, or insulation breakdown. Prompt replacements should be made if any issues are detected.

Q5: Can I use ESD or EH shoes for outdoor work? A: While EH shoes can provide protection outdoors, ESD shoes are not designed for rugged outdoor environments. It’s advisable to choose EH footwear for outdoor work and ensure it meets the necessary safety standards.

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