The proper work boot protects against the daily dangers employees must face. Certain models, although efficient in many situations, are not adapted to other environments.
To select the work boot that will properly protect you, it is important to carefully assess the risks associated with your daily tasks.
- Risks related to the material handled or used by the worker;
- Possibility of falling objects or impact on the foot;
- Material or equipment that may roll on the feet;
- Sharp or pointed objects that may injure the top of the foot.
When sharp, pointed or heavy objects are present in the workplace, metatarsal protection (instep, top of the feet) will be required against risks of puncture, cuts or fracture on the part of the foot not covered by a protective toe. A protective steel toe guard protects the toes, but not the top of the foot. If the worker is at risk of being impacted by objects elsewhere than on the toe of the boot, he remains vulnerable.
It is better to opt for footwear equipped with a protector designed not to hinder walking and able to disperse impact energy over the entire surface of the sole and protective toe.
Latest trends in work boots with metatarsal protection
Internal foot protection
Instead of only protecting the toes, several brands offer a protection covering the top of the foot, shielding the many bones, joints, ligaments, nerves and muscles in the whole of the foot.
There is currently on the market two types of metatarsal protection: internal and external. All types of metatarsal protection must comply with the same standard ASTM F2413-1.
Originally, metatarsal boots were manufactured only with external protectors. Those models were not very popular because employees found them too rigid, heavy and uncomfortable. These inconveniences helped to develop internal protectors that are more flexible and comfortable. Today, safety boots with metatarsal protection, either internal or external, were improved and are now more lightweight, flexible and comfortable.
Recently, a new material appeared on the market to replace the plastic previously used for metatarsal protection: PORON XRD®. This urethane-based microcellular material is open cell, breathable and incredibly effective to dissipate the energy of high-speed impacts. Despite being lightweight and very thin, Poron XRD® can absorb 90% of the energy produced by a high-speed impact. This new material revolutionizes the current market of work boots, making possible the production of any type of boot or shoe with metatarsal protection without affecting the look or comfort.
Some workers choose a regular work boot instead of a safety boot with metatarsal protection even if their work may expose them to the risk of foot injuries elsewhere than on the toes. The reason? According to them, metatarsal protection is too uncomfortable. As metatarsal technology improves, making it more comfortable, workers increasingly select this type of safety boot to reduce the risks of injuries on the top of the foot.
Kosto: cutting-edge metatarsal protection
SPI Health and Safety recommends two models using the latest metatarsal technologies compliant to CSA Z195-14 and ASTM standards.
The first, PBS018: 8'' work boot with metatarsal protection
The classic full-grain work boot with Taibrelle® lining is keeping the foot cool and dry, as well as eliminating odors and mildew. It provides external metatarsal protection, as well as additional safety against sparks and heat with its Nomex seams. With an industrial outsole made of dual-density injected nitrile rubber, resistant to oils, acids and heat, the boot will improve the workers’ security on many types of work.
The second, PBK060: AirMet 8'' work boot with flexible internal metatarsal protection
Increasingly adopted by all sorts of workers, the full-grain work boot using the new internal and flexible metatarsal technology PORON XRD® that hardens on impact, will be a convincing solution with its enhanced comfort and safety. It offers fire-resistant seams and PU/rubber outsole protecting against 300°C heat, for up to one minute. Its Thinsulate and Cambrelle® lining will keep the foot cool and dry, as well as eliminate odors and mildew. The waterproof Hydroguard® membrane offers all workers increased water resistance, making it a very popular model!