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Closed-toed shoes should be worn at all times in laboratories. Perforated shoes, sandals or cloth sneakers should not be worn in laboratories where chemicals or glass are used or stored. These types of shoes offer no protection between the wearer and chemicals or broken glass.

Chemical resistant overshoes or boots may be used to avoid possible exposure to corrosive chemical or large quantities of solvents or water that might penetrate normal footwear (e.g., during spill cleanup). Leather shoes tend to absorb chemicals and may have to be discarded if contaminated with a hazardous material.