Wear closed-toe shoes at all times in buildings where chemicals are stored or used. Do not wear perforated shoes, sandals or cloth sneakers in laboratories or where mechanical work is conducted. These shoes offer no barrier between you and chemical and physical hazards.
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.
Although generally not required in most laboratories, steel-toed safety shoes may be necessary when there is a risk of heavy objects falling or rolling onto the feet, such as in bottle-washing operations or animal care facilities.