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Drilling Industry Glossary

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Shoe Track (ST)

The space between the float or guide shoe and the landing or float collar. The purpose of a “shoe track” is to keep the trailing edge of cement, which can become contaminated with drilling fluid while pumping down inside a pipe, from being displaced out the end of the casing and resulting in a wet shoe. Use of wiper plugs and drill pipe darts are most important to preventing contamination of the cement slurry, but contamination can still occur especially with large diameter or long lengths of casing and drill pipe. Rules of thumb for shoe track have and can be used but apply mostly to ‘average’ type well designs and so the following equations were developed to better determine the optimum shoe track length for more challenging or critical situations.

    Rule of thumb to estimate the shoe track length in feet:

  • Required Length of Shoe Track (ft) = 'Total' displacement volume (bbls) x 0.01315 ÷ casing capacity (bbls/ft)
  • 'Total' displacement value is used to account for contamination in drill pipe.
  • Casing capacity is used to account for the fact that contamination increases with cross section and surface area.


  • 13-5/8 casing with total displacement volume of 1803 bbls(1673 bbls casing + 130 bbls DP) Required Length of Shoe Track (ft) = 1803 bbls x 0.01315 ÷ 0.1487 (bbls/ft) = 159 ft
  • 9-3/8 liner with total displacement volume of 581 bbls (314 bbls liner + 267 bbls DP) Required Length of Shoe Track (ft) = 581 bbls x 0.01315 ÷ 0.0714 (bbls/ft) = 107 ft

Based on local experience, wiper plug systems and other conditions, the user should evaluate the calculated requirement and round up or down the number of joints as is appropriate.

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