What are metatarsal boots? Most importantly, do you need to wear these boots?
When you work in the field, on the factory floor or in a workshop, you are always in danger of injury from falling objects.
Most people worry about keeping their head safe from falling objects with a helmet, there is much more to worry about. We are referring to objects falling on your feet. Believe it or not, people have sustained serious injuries on their feet from falling objects. This therefore beats the notion that any work boot is good.
According to statistics, every year, 60,000 people miss work at one time or another from foot related injuries. Well, a good number of these injuries are on the metatarsal area.
Thankfully, you do not have to be a victim of metatarsal injury. You can keep your feet safe with the boots made to protect the metatarsal area.
What are metatarsals?
But just what is this metatarsal area? Where is it located? This is the area that is in the middle of your foot. It is the area between the phalanges and the cuneiform. The metatarsals form the area that is referred as the arch. This area arches upwards forming a hollow between the front and the back of the foot.
The metatarsals are long, tubular bones that join the toes/phalanges on the front side. They are five in number. They do not have any protection and in fact, you can feel them through the skin on your foot.
The reason why these bones are at such a high risk is that there is just the skin covering them. There is not an ounce of fat to offer them protection. This is why you must take deliberate steps to protect your feet.
This placement makes the bones kind of exposed and prone to accidents and breakage. Thankfully, it is quite possible to keep them well protected. One of the ways to do that is to wear the right boots.
Working in industrial settings leaves your feet exposed to rolling equipment, heavy falling objects and other risks. Thankfully, this is easy to prevent if you know what boots to wear. In your search for the answer to what are metatarsal boots, you will find many of them. Thus, choosing a pair should not be too hard.
How do metatarsal boots protect your feet?
Most people ask what are metatarsal boots and how they can protect their feet. Well, these boots come in different designs, but they all have one objective – to protect your metatarsal area against injury from falling objects.
One of the most common designs is where the boot has metatarsal guard on the inside. The second one is where the boot has this guard on the exterior. Whatever you buy is good, as long as you have some form of guard over your feet.
Difference between external and internal metatarsal guards
Several years ago, met boots only came with external metatarsal guards. However, with the advancement of shoe manufacturing technology, today, you can get excellent work boots for wide feet, boots for narrow feet and most importantly, boots with metatarsal guards.
The external guard is made of plastic. However, make no mistake about it, because this is a heavy-duty kind of plastic. It is not the type that is going to crack open at the first impact. It is strong, it can withstand a lot of force and best of all, it is going to protect your feet.
Because of style and aesthetics, these plastic guards can be covered with material of the same color as that of the shoes. However, plastic needs to be protected from sparks. This is especially important for welding boots.
The very first guards on shoes were the external ones. However, they would catch on the floor, they were awkward looking and they were quite uncomfortable. With time, demand for better metatarsal boot would lead to the development of the internal guards.
Metatarsal boots with internal guards are designed in such a way that the guard leaves space between the shoe and the foot. That way, even if a heavy object falls on your foot, the impact is not going to get to the foot, thereby keeping you safe.
What are metatarsal boots features?
You cannot let having internal or external metatarsal guard blind your eyes to the other features that a pair of boots should come with. The met guards will only protect your upper feet. However, there are more features to look out for.
Metatarsal boots are made of leather. It is tough and can hold well in different conditions. If well maintained, these boots can last a long time. The most important thing is to have the external or internal guard.
It would not make sense to have a pair of boots with metatarsal guards and not have toe protection features in the boots. Thankfully, there are different types of toe protection. Some boots come with steel toe protection, and some come with aluminum.
Steel is quite hardy and can take a beating any time. However, on the flipside, it is heavy. Carrying that extra weight on your feet all the time will make you quite fatigued. However, it is better to be fatigued, be protected than lack protection, and carry no weight at all.
The other kind of toe protection is made of aluminum. This is light in weight, hardy and quite protective. In addition to the metatarsal guard, your entire foot gets the protection that it deserves. Some boots do not have metal toe protection. You can use such boots in places where you are not likely to knock your toes against objects.
Comfortable lining for metatarsal boots
Because of the extra addition of the metatarsal guard, these boots also need some comfortable lining. Interior lining is very important if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Thankfully, save for the addition of the metatarsal guard, your work boots are just that – work boots.
If you have to, buy the best work boot insoles. You can see a few that we reviewed in this article. Be careful not to buy insoles that are too thick because they can affect how the boots fit you. Because of the many hours that you will be spending in your boots, it is very important that you specifically look for work boot insoles. They are thick and firm, breathable and durable. They can last a few years on end.
Metatarsal boots outsoles
Without a doubt, rubber is the top material for outer soles. However, you may also opt for synthetic soles. They are oilproof, waterproof and will give you the stability that you need when in the field or on the factory floor.
It is important that the sole have deep treads. That way, when you are working in greasy conditions, you will still be able to stay stable on your feet. While the metatarsal guard is the most important thing in such boots, but the other features are also important.
A good sole will also withstand different conditions such as snow, water and heat. If you choose your boots poorly, you could get soles that crack when they are exposed to different types of elements. Whether you get rubber or synthetic soles, make sure they are of high quality. You will be depending on them to carry all of your weight through many days.
The upper part of your metatarsal boots
The exterior of the metatarsal boot is very important. If it has internal guard, you want it to be made of high quality rubber because it will be the most exposed feature. If it has external guard, you still want the material for the boot to be of high quality.
Manufacturers prefer using leather for metatarsal boots because of its qualities. First, it is tough and durable. Even without the guard, you still have some sort of protection for your toes and foot. If you add the met guard, you will be triple sure that your feet are safer.
Some boots may come with full grain leather on the lower part. Of course, full grain leather is stronger than faux leather or suede. However, the upper parts of the boots are made of leather and suede. The foot area counts most because it bears the biggest brunt.
As you consider the upper part design of your metatarsal boots, also consider the ankle support. It is very important for work boots because you will have to adopt different postures while at work.
Conclusion: What are metatarsal boots?
Apart from the guards, these boots are the same as any other work boots. However, now you have extra protection against falling objects. In this short post, you have seen what are metatarsal boots and why they are so important. If you work in a workshop, factory floor, workshop, mine or in the field, you need boots that can protect your delicate metatarsal bones. The good thing is that even the boots with external metatarsals look stylish and appealing.