A rounded profile float shoe with an integral check valve attached to the bottom of a casing string prevents reverse flow, or U-tubing, of cement slurry from the annulus into the casing or flow of wellbore fluids into the casing string as it is run. The float shoe also guides the casing toward the center of the hole to minimize hitting rock ledges or washouts as the casing is run into the wellbore. By “floating” casing in, hook weight is reduced. With controlled or partial fill-up as the string is run, the casing string can be floated into position, precluding the need for the rig to carry the entire weight of the casing string. The outer portions of the float shoe are made of steel and generally match the casing size and threads, although not necessarily the casing grade. The inside (including the external taper) is usually made of cement or thermoplastic, since this material must be drilled out if the well is to be deepened beyond the casing point.
Guide shoes are a variant of a float shoe without a check valve.