Metatarsal guards play a key role in keeping your feet protected at work and could save you a lot of pain and expenses. Metatarsal protectors have one mission: protect the top of your feet against heavy objects.
A vast majority of metatarsal injuries come from direct trauma caused by falling objects. If you work in an environment where heavy objects may fall near you, you could be at risk of a foot injury.
Metatarsal guards reduce the risk of your feet getting crushed by ensuring extra protection against direct trauma from your toes to your ankle joints.
When or where are metatarsal guards required? People who work in industries such as transportation, manufacturing, construction, mining, shipping, or maintenance should be wearing metatarsal foot protection at work. The Canadian company Royer offers these workers a wide variety of work boots with metatarsal protection that combine comfort and safety.
The Metatarsal Bones
The metatarsal region is a highly sensitive area that features fives long bones on the top of the foot. Since this area is often exposed, these bones are vulnerable to breakage due to the lack of skin, fat, or muscle.
The good news is…
Metatarsal guards were designed to co-act with your boots’ safety toe cap to offer you optimal protection. As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine! Let’s take a look at the two different types of metatarsal protection that are available on the market: external and internal met-guards.
What Is the Difference Between Internal and External Metatarsal Protection?
In the past, only external metatarsal protection was available to workers and it was made with impact-resistant plastic. It was not a favorite among workers since they were stiff, bulky, and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, PPE technology has come a long way! Newer versions of external met-guards are lighter and feature increased flexibility.
You’ll find this shell-like cover on the upper of the foot, covering the shoelaces, usually behind the boot safety toe cap. Made with a piece of plastic or metal, they’re now wrapped in a fabric (usually leather) and lined with a foam padding for ensured comfort and impact absorption.
This design offers increased protection for your metatarsal region: If a heavy object falls on your foot, the hard-shell cover gets impacted and the dense-foam backing absorbs the impact and distributes it through its cushioning.
Royer's exclusive RealFlex external metatarsal protector maintains the natural flexion of your work boot when you are walking or kneeling.
In addition to meeting the various international standard requirements (ASTM, CSA, ISO/EN), the boots featuring RealFlex technology ensure increased comfort throughout the day.
Internal metatarsal protectors are incorporated into the work boot or safety shoe, underneath the laces. They’re usually made of a flexible material and lined with padding to absorb shocks.
Smaller and less prominent than their external counterparts, internal metatarsal protectors offer the same protection in case of direct impact, but are less effective in case of slow compression incidents.
Internal guards offer workers a sleeker look and can be a safer option if you work in an environment where you could get injured by machines.
Royer's exclusive INTERGUARD internal metatarsal protector ensures optimal flexibility and comfort for workers. This technology, included in certain Royer work boots, meets the various international standard requirements (ASTM, CSA, ISO/EN) regarding metatarsal protection.
Both internal and external metatarsal protectors are great options if you are looking to add extra protection for your metatarsal area. To make an informed decision on either alternative, make sure to consider your work environment and your personal preferences.