If you’ve been asked whether you and your team wear metatarsal safety boots and you’re not sure exactly which ones to buy, then you’re not alone!
Why wear metatarsal safety boots?
Protecting the toes and midsole is important, however, the fragile metatarsal bones; the bones that connect the toes to the hind and mid-foot and that run up the front of the foot, are sadly overlooked by many organisations and workers.
With foot injuries being one of the most common workplace injuries, falling objects, slips and trips can all result in fractured metatarsal bones; injuries that take as long to heal as they are painful to sustain and manage.
Metatarsal safety boots are not new. Traditional designs featured a clunky steel plate that covered the top of the foot. As well as unsightly, these plates had a tendency to move, reducing the effectiveness of the footwear.
Modern metatarsal safety boots feature many improvements. The metatarsal protection is made from more pliable, yet tough composites and the metatarsal guard is housed internally within the boot, providing better-looking, complete protection safety footwear.
What are metatarsal safety boots?
Until recent years, metatarsal safety boots were often S1 or S3 safety boots with a crude, basic-looking piece of covered steel hovering over the metatarsal area of the wearer’s foot. Not completely bad, these steel plates were tough and did what they said ‘on the tin’. However, they were held in place by a pivot and could be easily lifted from the foot, making them prone to movement and not great to look at.
Which Metatarsal Safety Boots are the Best?
The first safety boots to feature internal metatarsal protection to exceed European safety standards was Rock Fall’s TC3000A Rhyolite. A mid-cut S3 safety boot, the Rhyolite was followed by the higher-cut Rock Fall Monzonite RF540 (currently with FREE SHIPPING), potentially one of Europe’s highest spec safety boots. With protection against heat and oil, with SRC slip resistance and Force 10 features, the Monzonite will protect a wearer against a host of risks. With both boots being metal-free, they are ideal for rail, offshore and electrical environments.
Another British manufacturer offering a range of internal metatarsal steel toecap S3 safety boots named Amblers. The Amblers AS335 Moorfoot and FS301 Brecon both provide S3 protection and SRC slip resistance, along with internal metatarsal guards. The Amblers FS987 adds heat resistance and a rubber bump toe.
As more and more contractors are being asked to wear S3M metatarsal safety footwear, the aforementioned array of safety boots mean that comfort and style no-longer have to be compromised in the name of safety. Although they might cost in the region of 10-20 percent more to buy, the potential savings in foot injuries, contracts and insurance far outweigh this small initial outlay.