Shoe Covers As a Face Covering – Is It Real?

Shoe Covers As a Face Covering – Is It Real?

Copywriters make a habit of doing keyword research before writing new posts for online publishing. In preparation for this post, running a search on the phrase ‘shoe covers’ was in order. This writer was stunned to learn that people are using Google in an attempt to discover if shoe covers can double as face coverings. Who would do that?

This is no joke. Two of the top ten keyword results for shoe covers have to do with wearing them as facemasks. It defies common sense. And yet, here we are. A certain segment of the population doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between something made to protect your shoes and a face covering designed to stop the widespread dispersion of respiratory droplets.

Disposable Shoe Covers

In fairness, those asking the question are probably thinking more along the lines of the disposable shoe covers they are forced to wear when they visit the hospital. You can buy these things in bulk on Amazon and other websites. They are cheap, flimsy, and probably not as protective as many people think they are.

As for using one as a face covering, just stop and think about it for a minute. First and foremost, no disposable shoe cover is a 3-ply product capable of absorbing water droplets. That automatically disqualifies them in some environments. Beyond that, a disposable shoe cover is not designed to fit snugly on the face. No matter how you wear it, some respiratory droplets are bound to mount a successful escape.

Regular Shoe Covers

Even if you could effectively wear a disposable shoe cover as a face covering, it goes without saying that regular shoe covers would be out of the question. As Salt Lake City’s GC Tech Design explains, regular shoe covers are made of either rubber, silicone, or state-of-the-art waterproof fabrics. You couldn’t breathe through one if you tried. And even if you could, there would be no way to attach it to your face.

Trying to Save Some Money

It is hard to figure out why someone would even think about using a shoe cover as a face covering. The only thing that makes sense is wanting to save some money. But again, this assumes people searching for this on Google are thinking about disposable shoe covers.

Some basic research on Amazon suggests you can buy disposable shoe covers in bulk for less than $0.20 per unit. Yet the cheapest paper face masks come in at about the same price. So trying to save money only works if you were originally intending to buy a more expensive mask. But even that doesn’t make sense. If that were the case, why would you settle for cheaper shoe covers?

Cover Your Face with a Mask

The fact that people are asking whether or not shoe covers are a suitable substitute for face masks is somewhat troubling. Do we not understand the difference? Does the difference even matter? It does, which is why the obvious answer to the question is an indisputable ‘no’.

The long and short of this entire discussion is as simple as saying this: if you are predisposed to cover your face during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, use a mask. Face masks are made specifically for that purpose. Disposable shoe covers are not. They are meant for your shoes.

If you see someone wearing a shoe cover as a face mask, just keep on walking. It is not your job to offer correction. Besides, it’s quite possible that the person on the other side of the shoe cover will not understand what you are talking about.

Edward Powell