Metatarsal bones are the five bones on the top or your foot that extend down from you ankle to your toes. These bones are just as vulnerable to breaks as your toes and metatarsal work boots are specially designed to protect these bones.
It has long been common to require workers to wear steel toed boots to protect their toes however if something heavy falls on your foot the steel toe doesn’t offer much protection against breakage of or damage to the metatarsal bones.
Depending on your work environment investing in a metatarsal work boot could be a great option. Actually, IT IS a great option, as they could save you a lot of pain, and time off work.
Yes, this type of work boots will protect you against the obvious: yourself (in other words, you dropping something heavy onto the top of your foot) however they do a little more than that:
- Provides you with the highest resistance against side forces (if something hits the side of your foot with force)
- Protection from cuts, gashes, and slicing your foot off – aggressive power driven cutting equipment (e.g. angle grinders) can cut through your foot faster than you can say ‘amputate’
- Protection from penetration – If you work with any type of firing tool (e.g. nail guns, Ramset guns etc) you will be happy to see projectiles bouncing OFF your foot, rather than puncturing it.
- Protection against Impacts/blows – most models test to a compression load of 15kN (more than enough to crush a foot in a regular work boot)
- Protection against burns – Vital for welders or anyone working around any type of fuel source.
- Protection against chemicals and solvents, hydrocarbons, acids, alkalis and fuels.
Metatarsal boots are really ideal for certain lines of work such as welding and construction. If you’re frequently in an environment where a heavy object falling on your foot is a constant threat then these boots are a great investment. Breaking, bruising or fracturing the metatarsal bones is not pleasant and it can take up to 3 months to recover – can you imagine 3 months without work? that could bankrupt a man.
Types of Metatarsal work boots
There are two basic kinds of metatarsal work boots: internal and external.
The external boots offer a cover on the outside of the boot that will fold over the top of the boot, while the internal boot provides protection inside the boot beneath the laces.
The advantage and disadvantage to both are fairly straightforward…
With the external option you can remove the extra protection if you wish; however you may find this task tedious. The external also usually sell for less. A great option if you don’t require this type of protection 24/7.
With the internal option you will always have the protection and the boot will look like a normal work boot – it’s inbuilt and its here to stay.
So it really depends on your work environment, if you rarely need the protection then go with an external.
It should be noted though that not all external guards are removable; in this case it is really a matter of comfort and tastes.
Verdict: bottom line is that the internal is the best option, as it offers round the clock protection and we can’t really see the need to remove the guard, can you? better safe than sorry.
Our Top Picks
So you’ve decided that you want to do the right thing by your feet and give them the ultimate in protection? good for you. Just make sure that you don’t pick a dud pair of work boots, as they generally cost a little more. The following 3 choices are our favourite when it comes to metatarsal work boots:
The Wolverine Men’s Mckay Metatarsal Guard Boot
Our number one choice when it comes to metatarsal work boots. Being an internal metatarsal boot means that it looks just like a regular Wolverine work boot other than the ‘metaguard’ logo on the side.
Made to withstand just about anything life can throw at you, and will provide all day comfort – guaranteed. The comfort comes from a relaxed rubber sole and is made out of top quality full grain leather which moulds to your foot shape the more you wear it.
This boot comes with a perfect 5 star rating 0n Amazon and it earns those credentials tenfold in our opinion. Probably the biggest bonus of these boots is they look amazing just like the normal Wolverines – so you get style, comfort and superior safety all with one purchase.
The Wolverine Men’s Mckay Metatarsal Guard Boot is a great example of a Classic Wolverine work boot that so many workers have come to love.
Another top of the line metatarsal boot that is reasonably priced. This is also an internal metatarsal boot that looks like a normal work boot. Timberland is a trusted work boot brand that consistently produce great work boots – and these are no exception.
The Timberland Pro is made of full grain leather and has a very smooth look to it. The boot comes with full Kevlar melt stitching and is as tough as they come which means you can expect it to last you a long time. This is a very comfortable and durable boot that offers maximum protection. Furthermore this boot comes with great ankle support and a solid grip.
Getting rave reviews on amazon means its a great choice for anyone looking for a sexy looking metatarsal work boot.
This work boot costs a little above average, but for what you get, this work boot is a great deal.
Why? well as well as being an internally built metatarsal work boot, it’s waterproof (so that it can with stand whatever Mother Nature will throw at it), has a comfortable rubber sole with abrasion resistant tough-tech leather and offers super traction with its oil and slip resistant non-marking rubber outsole, and comes with a removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed that is designed to offer superior levels comfort.
If you work in a tough work environment and you depend on your shoes to protect you while keeping your feet comfortable, then this is a great choice for you.