Athletic footwear finds market niche in cleanrooms

Athletic footwear finds market niche in cleanrooms

Boston, MA — CRS-1, a fitted shoe designed specifically for Class 10 cleanrooms, and, currently, the only fitted shoe being used in a Class 1 cleanroom environment, is now available from Lehigh Safety Shoe Co. (Endicott, NY), company officials announced at the CleanRooms East `97 Conference and Exhibition last month (Boston, MA). Although designed with the semiconductor industry in mind, Lehigh also plans to offer an additional line of critical environment fitted footwear targeting the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, healthcare, laboratory science and disease control industries to be available after this year.

“We researched the marketplace and found there was an absolute lack of comfortable footwear for the cleanroom environment,” said Keith Johnson, president of Lehigh. “With more than 650,000 people working in cleanrooms across the globe, our research tells us there is a definite need for a shoe that virtually eliminates product contamination from footwear, while providing the wearer with features normally associated with athletic shoes.”

At 50 percent humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with no ionization, the CRS-1 is static dissipative and rated at 1 to 10 megohms. An added advantage is affordability — prices for the shoe range from $40 to $80. While overboots must be replaced several times a year, the Lehigh shoe will last up to two years. It is also slip-resistant — oftentimes a problem with overboots. The shoe is also available in synthetic leather, allowing the wearer to wash the footwear with other cleanroom garments.


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