Am I grounded outside if I wear electrostatic discharge footwear (ESD)?
ESD shoes are primarily designed for discharging static electricity but to a degree they ground the body beneficially. They are better than regular shoes but not as good as going barefoot. The difference between grounding and static discharge is that grounding instantly equalizes your body at Earth’s potential. Static discharge, generally called a soft ground or a dissipative ground, has an inline 1 meg ohm resistor in the ground cord which is design to slowly bleed off static electrical charges (contact and separation charges). These charges are created on the body by clothing and shoes whenever you move your clothing with arm movement or walk or sit on any synthetic material. The ESD industry uses dissipative grounding to prevent a rapid discharge of static electricity that might otherwise blow an electronic circuit or sensitive chip.