Best Shoe Covers

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
212 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best shoe covers

Last Updated July 2020

Boots and shoes spend a lot of time out in the elements. They protect your feet from the brunt of dirt and moisture, dirt and moisture you certainly don’t want to track indoors. Conversely, you want to protect your footwear from permanent stains or damage. That’s when shoe covers become essential footwear accessories.

Shoe covers slip over boots and shoes to provide a layer of protection between the floor or ground and your feet. Relatively thin disposable covers are geared toward indoor use and feature simple, nonslip details on the soles. Reusable covers are built tough for use in commercial and industrial environments. These offer superior traction and often have soles similar to those on boots for added protection.

To protect your footwear as well as your feet, it’s time to invest in shoe covers. Here’s our comprehensive buying guide with all the latest features and benefits of shoe covers. Check out some of our favorites, too.

If you’re buying disposable shoe covers for use by a group of people, you might need to purchase them in more than one size range.

Key considerations

Disposable vs. reusable

Disposable: These shoe covers are easy to slip over footwear, often with an elastic edge to keep them in place. Some styles have drawstring closures instead of elastic, so if you’re looking for a more secure fit, these are ideal. For added safety, they have nonslip grips on the bottom. 

Disposable shoe covers are most often used indoors by medical professionals and early childhood educators. There are also some waterproof disposable shoe covers that are used for home and garden projects. 

Reusable: These shoe covers are pretty diverse in terms of design. Some styles, particularly nylon ones, are modeled after the popular disposable cover design. These covers usually secure better to your shoes, thanks to either laces or drawstring closures. Other styles resemble the thick treads of boots or athletic shoes. These offer maximum protection and are geared toward heavy outdoor use.

EXPERT TIP

When pulling disposable covers over your shoes, slip them on gently by the elastic to minimize the potential for rips. The edge is the most reinforced section, and if you hold it firmly, your finger won’t go through the cover.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Traction

A nonslip sole is a major feature of most reusable shoe covers. Nonslip grips, silicone strips, or thick, well-defined treads provide traction. Disposable shoe covers have minimal traction, but the modest design is effective.

Size

Shoe covers come in size ranges as opposed to individual sizes. For the most part, they are unisex and one-size-fits-all covers, however there are extra-small and extra-large sizes available in some brands. Depending on the manufacturer, reusable shoe covers may come in more specific sizes. Many of these shoe covers have unique size and compatibility charts, because they don’t fit every shoe, boot, or sneaker.

Materials

Woven polypropylene: A popular choice for disposable shoe covers, woven polypropylene is inexpensive and easy to buy in bulk. It’s not the most durable option, but it can handle use for a few hours on carpet, linoleum, and hardwood.

Plastic/PVC: Plastic or PVC shoe covers are a bit more durable. Depending on the grade of plastic, they’re also comfortable and flexible. These shoe covers are waterproof, which makes them ideal for protection in wet weather.

Foam: Popular foam covers are lightweight yet durable. They won’t scratch floors, and they are the easiest to clean and maintain.

Nylon: Nylon holds up to heavy wear and is most often used in disposable shoe covers. These can be worn outside, though they’re better suited for indoor use.

Colors

Shoe covers aren’t exactly style accessories, so the colors are fairly limited. Disposable shoe covers usually come in blue and occasionally pink or white. Reusable covers come in black, gray, and white, though some have orange reflective details for added safety.

Adjustability

Shoe covers have different levels of adjustability, but for the most part, they’re one-size-fits-all items. Disposable covers don’t have any adjustability other than the elastic band at the opening. Reusable shoe covers can be adjusted with laces, buckles, hook-and-loop systems, or snaps.

EXPERT TIP

Always bring a spare pair of disposable shoe covers. If the ones you’re wearing rip, you can replace them right away and continue your project.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Boot tray: JobSite Boot Tray
Once you get home, you need somewhere to leave your soiled reusable shoe covers, so a boot tray comes in handy. We like this one from JobSite, which holds three pairs of boots. Made from heavy-gauge plastic, you simply wipe it down to keep it clean. You get two for the price, so you can keep a tray at more than one entrance.  

Boot brush: Mr. Boot Cleaner Boot Brush
Clean the bottoms of your boots or reusable shoe covers on a boot brush to avoid tracking dirt indoors. We like this one from Mr. Boot Cleaner, which can be mounted to the floor. With its tough construction, this boot brush can be left outdoors in the elements as well.

Shoe cover prices

Shoe covers cost between $8 and $50, depending on construction and number.

Inexpensive: Cheap disposable shoe covers, usually in packs of up to 50, cost less than $15. The quality isn’t high, and they could tear easily if you’re walking over rocky or rough ground. However, they do a decent job if you’re just wearing them on carpet, vinyl, or hardwood.

Mid-range: For $15 to $30, you’ll find mostly disposable shoe covers, but these are better quality and come in bulk quantities of between 100 and 500. At the top of this bracket are some simple reusable styles as well.

Expensive: Premium shoe covers cost between $30 and $50. Since these are geared toward commercial and industrial use, they’re heavy-duty reusable styles that offer additional foot protection, such as steel elements and ergonomic design.

EXPERT TIP

Shoe covers are worthwhile investments for realtors who show homes or host open houses in inclement weather. Prospective buyers can slip them on to preserve freshly cleaned floors.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Gift shoe covers to contractors. If someone in your family works in construction, they’ll appreciate shoe or boot covers and might even use them on a daily basis.
  • Wear shoe covers while painting. It’s always a good idea to wear shoes for DIY projects, especially painting. Shoe covers can protect your shoes from spills and flecks of paint.
  • Store reusable shoe covers properly. Clean your reusable shoe covers after each use and store them in a well-ventilated area.
  • Measure your feet. When buying shoe covers, you’ll need to know your foot length to select the right size on the manufacturer’s size chart.

Other products we considered

Perhaps you don’t see what you need in our matrix. Don’t worry. We have a couple other options for you. We like the ShuBee Waterproof Shoe Covers a lot, too. Made from textured plastic, these large boot and shoe covers are durable enough to wear on jobsites during inclement weather without ripping or shredding.

We’re also fans of the washable Safety Shop Reusable Shoe Covers. These four pairs of velour covers with nonskid bottoms are ideal for covering your shoes and premium sneakers in homes with pets. Since the covers come in four different colors and have an ultra-soft finish, they’re also popular for use by daycare workers and early childhood educators.

Make sure you clean the bottom of reusable shoe covers after each use to avoid tracking dirt and debris between environments.

FAQ

Q. How do I properly dispose of shoe covers?
A.
Disposable shoe covers are usually considered trash, though if you’re walking on toxic or corrosive materials, you may need to dispose of them in a certain way. Reusable shoe covers are also considered trash. When using shoe covers of any style in medical facilities, you may be asked to dispose of them in hazmat or medical waste bins.
 

Q. Can I wear shoe covers with high heels?
A.
Technically, you could, but the fit would be less than ideal, and it’s likely they’d slip off. If you are wearing a low, chunky heel, the cover may stay in place. If you know you’ll be in a situation where you’re wearing heels but need covers, your best bet is to simply bring flat shoes to change into that will fit inside the covers.
 

Q. Can I just turn my disposable shoe covers inside out to get another use out of them?
A.
It’s not a good idea since it’s not sanitary — you’ll just be transferring debris and bacteria from the shoe covers to your shoes. Shoe covers aren’t reversible, so you’ll also miss out on any traction details. Disposable shoe covers, even top-quality ones, usually fall apart soon after use, so it’s unlikely you’d get another use out of them anyway.
 

Q. How long will reusable shoe covers last?
A.
It depends on your level and type of activity. If you use them for home or garden projects, you’ll probably get a few years out of them. If you’re a contractor or you frequently walk on uneven terrain, you should get about a year out of them.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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