Metatarsal boots are protective footwear designed to protect the toes and metatarsals, which are long, convex bones in the middle of the foot that create the foot's arch. Metatarsal boots are commonly worn by workers in industrial settings who are at risk of top-of-the-foot injuries, such as mining and construction workers.
Why Metatarsal Boots?
Crushing is a common type of foot injury in occupational settings, says a July 2013 article on Occupational Health and Safety.com. Metatarsal boots protect workers from hazards associated with items falling on their feet. Metatarsal boots are worn on construction and manufacturing jobs, where tools or heavy equipment are likely to fall and there's risk of mobile equipment rolling over a person's feet. Miners wear metatarsal boots, as they face the additional risk of heavy debris falling from high distances, and welders don the footwear to protect against heat-related injuries, such as burns caused by falling embers.
Some metatarsal boots are designed with visible external guard features and some have built-in metatarsal guards. Metatarsal boots are available in a variety of styles and with other safety features, such as slip resistance and protection against electrical hazards.