Benefits of a Breakaway Shoe

Sliding shoe sorters are high-speed sortation conveyors featuring aluminum slats with special diverting mechanisms called “shoes” attached. These shoes slide along the slats guiding products to one side of the sorter gently and with accurate movement. Most sorters have a sort rate of up to 200 products per minute, depending on product size. That equals approximately 12,000 products per hour. An hour of downtime in peak season can cost your business time and money that will be difficult to make up. That is why Hytrol utilizes a breakaway shoe.

What is it?

A breakaway shoe is just like a regular shoe on a sorter, but it breaks away as the name implies. The breakaway shoes have a shoe top that is separate from the shoe base. The shoe top is attached to the shoe base with a shear pin between the slats, which is designed to shear into two pieces when impacted beyond the designed limit.

How is it different?

The breakaway shoe tip prevents the sorter from crashing if a jam occurs. Rather than damaging the slats, the pin is broken, and the sorter can continue to run. With regular shoes, the shoe top and shoe base are molded together, making them inseparable without the entire shoe being torn apart.


The main benefit of having a sorter with a breakaway shoe is that the entire sorter will not be damaged if one or more shoes experiences a jam. Instead, the shoe will just break away, resulting in lower downtime and repair costs. The repair time for a breakaway shoe is around a minute per shoe, depending on the repair person. Plus, the cost of repairing a shoe is substantially less than repairing a whole section of a conveying system.


All Hytrol ProSort 1000 Series sorters come installed with breakaway shoes at no additional cost. To learn more about Hytrol’s complete line of sortation solutions, contact a Hytrol Integration Partner near you.

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