4 Best Internal Metatarsal Work Boots

If you work at a construction site or in a heavy industry site, you already know the importance of quality protective gear when on the job. Your feet are no less important than your hands, head, or face.

Chemicals, oil, heavy tools, materials, machines, and debris can all do incredible damage to your feet in the event of an accident or a moment of distraction. Normal work boots are often not enough to protect your feet from heavy or sharp objects, or chemical hazards.

A metatarsal work boot offers an initial shield to protect you and to keep you safe against dangers. We researched and tested numerous work boots to find the best internal metatarsal work boots for your professional safety.

Best Internal Metatarsal Work Boots

Our overwhelming top choice is the Timberland PRO Helix Men’s Metatarsal Guard Work Boot because they manage to include lots of safety features in a single boot design with a very appealing Ladder Lock outsole function.

Another attractive option proved to be the Ariat Workhog WST Men’s MetGuard H2O Work Boot with Composite Safety Toe for those that prefer pull-on work boots or an attractive western style.

Metatarsal bootsUppersOutsolesSafetyFeatures
Timberland PRO Helix LeatherRubberComposite safety toeOutsole Ladder Lock
Carhartt Waterproof 8-inch Work Boot CMF8720LeatherRubberComposite safety toe, ASTM F2413-18, EHWaterproof, Breathable, Cushion footbed
Ariat  Workhog WST Men’s MetGuard H2OLeatherRubber DuratreadComposite safety toeATS Max platform for stability, U-Turn entry
Muck Chore Tall Classic Rubber RubberRubberSteel safety toe, ASTM F2413-11 and M I/75 C/75 EH MT/75 rated5mm neoprene bootie, Moisture-wicking lining, waterproof

Our List of Favorite Work Boots with Internal Metatarsal Guards

Best Overall Internal Metatarsal Work Boots

1.) Timberland PRO Helix Men’s Work Boots with Metatarsal Guard 

Industry Powerhouse Timberland has done it again so to speak. This manufacturer is reliable when it comes to producing tough work boots for every situation and boots with metatarsal guards are no different. An appealing design hides internal metatarsal guards for incredible impact protection.

Boot uppers are in premium leather and the construction is a flexible cement construction so that movement is still agile despite internal metatarsal guards. The safety toe is composite, and rubber outsoles offer resistance to slippage and oil.

A terrific added feature is the Ladder Lock grip of the outsole for those that need to climb. A moisture-wicking lining offers breathability while keeping feet dry.


      • Rubber sole with Ladder Lock
      • Anti-fatigue PU innersole for shock absorption
      • Metatarsal guards
      • Composite safety toe cap
      • Moisture-wicking lining
      • Improved eye design for lacing up


      • May be a bit heavy for some
      • Width sizing runs larger
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Composite Safety Toe Internal Metatarsal Work Boots

2.) Carhartt Waterproof 8-inch Men’s Inner MetatarsalGuard Work Boot CMF8720

If you don’t necessarily feel you need or want a steel toe cap, these composite toe cap boots f4om Carhartt still offer incredible protection without the weight or temperature conductivity of a steel toe.

Upper boots are produced in genuine leather. A slip-resistant outsole and complete waterproofing make this an all-around great work boot.

ASTM 2413-11 compliant, these work boots are also shock-resistant for those working around electricity. The composite safety toe offers protection from impact injury and internal metatarsal guards are Poron XRD soft for increased comfort during protection.

These metatarsal guards comply with ASTM F2413-18 standards. The safety toe is classified as EH. The inside membrane shines for waterproofing and breathability with air circulation. The Carhartt footbed is cushioned to reduce foot fatigue.


      • Waterproof yet breathable
      • Outsole is skid-resistant 
      • Composite safety toe is ASTM 2413-11EH rated
      • Uppers are 100% leather
      • Reflective material added for increased visibility


      • Pricey
      • No puncture-resistant capabilities
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Best Pull-On Internal Metatarsal Work Boots

3.) Ariat  Workhog WST Men’s MetGuard H2O Work Boot with Composite Safety Toe

Does a pull-on work boot appeal to you?  You can’t do much better than these MetGuard work boots from Ariat. These are long shaft boots that comply with ASTM safety standards for metatarsal guard work boots and protect you from electric shocks.

Boot uppers are in leather and feature composite safety toes for impact protection. The square toe design improves comfort along with an ATS Max platform from Ariat for stability and to fight foot fatigue.

As a pull-on boot, these are designed with a flexible panel in the back to allow you to put on or pull off with little or no effort. The outsole features a heavy-duty DuraTread to resist slipping on watery or oily surfaces.


      • Internal XRD Metatarsal Guard
      • ASTM F2413-11 MT compliant for EH
      • 100% leather boot uppers
      • Lightweight
      • Composite safety toe
      • Rubber outsoles
      • Waterproof
      • Durable


      • Quite expensive
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Best Waterproof Internal Metatarsal Work Boots

4.) Muck Chore Tall Classic Rubber Work Boots with Steel Safety Toe and Metatarsal Guards 

If waterproofing is your priority, along with chemical resistance and perspiration control, these Muck Boot breathable waterproof work boots are ideal. What’s more this breathable and ventilated work boot is also incredibly easy to clean after use.

Made of 100% rubber, a 5mm neoprene offers waterproofing, shock resistance, and heat retention for comfort during cooler weather.

These boots adapt and mold somewhat to your foot shape. This will help in the prevention of chafing and the forming of blisters.

A mesh lining offers moisture-wicking capabilities to keep feet dry while the flexible soft metatarsal guard will turn rigid upon impact for great protection.

A steel shank adds support. The steel safety toe complies with ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH MT/75 safety standards.


      • Neoprene bootie fabric is flexible
      • Shock-proof
      • Great forefoot impact protection
      • Easy to keep clean
      • Steel shank
      • Steel toe


      • Not the best slip-resistance
      • Not ideal for hot weather
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What Constitutes a Metatarsal Work Boot?

Working in situations that place your feet at risk for injuries such as manufacturing sites, warehouses, or construction sites, will require exceptional footwear protection. So, what does a metatarsal work boot do that other work boots don’t?

Metatarsal work boots are designed with the idea of protecting the metatarsal bones located at the front of your foot.

The greatest risk to this part of the foot is that heavy objects, whether tools, machinery, or materials will accidentally fall on top of your feet. An extra metatarsal guard offers you that added layer of protection.

Usually, metatarsal work boots don’t limit protection to the metatarsal bones, but also use top-quality materials in the boot construction, offer protection from hazardous substances like chemicals, oils, or fires, and will be slip-resistant to help you keep your footing at all times.

See also: Do I Need a Metatarsal Guard?

External or Internal Work Boot Metatarsal Guards 

The marketplace offers metatarsal work boots with either inner or external guards. This means that work boots with external guards may feature a padded flap, while internal metatarsal guards are built right into the design.

Much will depend on your personal preference. If you are at risk for tripping or do a lot of climbing on ladders or steps you will most probably do better with an internal metatarsal guard.

Metatarsal guards can also be purchased separately and attached over the top of a work boot.

There are three basic types of metatarsal guards available:

1.) Internal

This will be a large-sized guard that is attached to the front of your work boot internally. It will be positioned underneath the lacing and will rest on the boot’s safety toe. It is not visible.

It will be rigid and, in some cases, may prove to be a bit uncomfortable, although newer designs and models offer more flexibility for improved comfort.

2.) External

These metatarsal guards are usually lightweight and offer a degree of flexibility. They are designed in a hinge style to attach to the outside of your work boot.

They are quite protective, tough, durable, and somewhat unsightly. They can be purchased separately from the work boots and applied.

3.) Super Internal and External Metatarsal Guards.

Advancements in technology have led to the development of a super internal and external metatarsal guard that offers increased on-the-job protection.

Why Do I Need a Metatarsal Guard?

The metatarsal bones in your feet are small, and as such, they are at risk for injury that can cause severe if not permanent damage. These bones can be easily crushed by falling objects and can cause damage to the extent that it is life-changing.

A metatarsal guard offers that extra protection to one of the most fragile parts of your feet.

What Are the Features of a Quality Metatarsal Work Boot?

When searching for a pair of work boots with this level of protection, there will be features that are common to this level of a boot.

→ Metatarsal Guard

→ Alloy, composite, or steel protective toe cap

→ Cushioned, EVA, or memory foam footbed insole

Polyurethane or EVA midsole

→ Rubber or synthetic outsole that is slip-resistant

→ Leather, textile, or synthetic upper boots that offer breathability

→ Linings that are moisture-wicking

What Else Should I Look for When Purchasing Internal Metatarsal Work Boots?

There are some functions worth considering along with added features to look for when selecting any work boot. Among these, consider:

1.) Cushioning

If you are working on hard surfaces like concrete, cushioning goes a long way not only in providing added comfort but in absorbing shock.

Cushioned footbeds can aid in protecting the pressure points on feet like the heel or the ball of the foot, as well as give added support to arches.

2.) Outsole

When working at construction or industrial sites, you’ll run into slippery surfaces making you less productive and more at risk for injury. Rubber outsoles that are slip-resistant are ideal because they offer increased grip.

3.) Safety Toe Caps

Because the idea behind metatarsal work boots is to protect your feet, and specifically the forefront of your foot where metatarsal bones are located, toes are part of this zone.

They too should enjoy increased on-the-job protection. Safety toes, whether in steel, alloy, or composite are necessary for all-round protection.

4.) Size and Fit

When buying a metatarsal work boot, make sure you get the right size with a comfortable fit. Avoid buying a work boot that is too snug and hugs too completely.

You will require that minimum space for toes to feel comfortable and for your foot width to be cradled comfortably. A boot that allows minimal space will also support increased breathability.

Nonetheless, do not buy a size that is too big, as feet will slide around limiting stability and blisters can form.

5.) Waterproofing and Moisture-wicking

If you work outside or are minimally at risk of coming into contact with water, waterproofing is a must. Wet, stinky feet are not what you want either on the job or at the end of the day.

Waterproofed boots, as well as water-resistant inner linings, come in handy in keeping feet dry. If you perspire heavily, you may also want a boot lining and footbed that offers moisture-wicking properties, to keep feet dry from sweat and odors from forming.


Work boots with metatarsal guards can provide an added layer of protection against impact injuries at job sites. When working construction or industrial sites, it may not be sufficient to merely guard your toes.

Protecting those metatarsal bones in feet may very well protect you from injury and keep you on the job. Here we have listed our four favorites that undoubtedly merit consideration when searching for your best pair of internal metatarsal work boots.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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