This is the very first post of this site, and right off the bat, you’re looking at the Carolina CA#5586 Metatarsal Boot. This boot looks like a tank.
Now, if you’re like me, you will admit to the fact that you think metatarsals are some badass looking boots. If you want to do some ass-kicking, these are the pair to get.
They always look great, heavy chunk of metal across the top. You know you’ve got a safety toe. Usually, you’ve got a real super heavy-duty sole, overall, they are just tough looking badass boots. Read the full Carolina CA5586 review to find out more about this metatarsal boot.
Carolina CA5586 Review – Heavy-Duty Work Boot
But what we don’t do is a lot of us as guys, we don’t think about them as in everyday work boot. Because, when we pick a pair up, yeah they’re heavy.
They got all this going on like heavy-duty leathers, heavy-duty soles, you’ve got comp toes, you’ve got a plate, that adds to a lot of weight on a boot.
Re-Thinking The Met-Guard
So, what Carolina did with the 5586 is that they tried to lighten up the product. They tried to make it heavy-duty and durable.
But they started to use some lighter weight materials where the weight was constantly always drawing the boot down.
So, what did they do?
Composite Toe, a lighter weight metatarsal guard and complete glue construction.
Now, this ain’t nothing like the logger boots. It’s a work boot for working on flat surfaces.
All right, so let’s start with the sole on this boot. Heavy-duty rubber. You need to have heavy-duty rubber on the top layer of any metatarsal boot.
Because think about it for a moment, you’re coming in contact with electricity so your need rubber, you need something that’s not a conductive material.
You’re going to come in contact with hot metal, chips, grinding, slag whatever, you need a hard, heavy surface so that stuff doesn’t sink in or conduct.
So Carolina with the sole on the 5586, they did a great job of creating this multiple compounds. So rubber on the outside, a nice soft urethane in the parts that mattered for foot, heel and around the shank section, they used a nice composite shank that has a lot of support.
If you do have to stand on a piece of metal using your foot as a clamp, as you’re cutting, as you’re grinding, whatever you’re doing, you’ve got a shank in there to give that piece of material some support.
Electrical Hazard Rated
As I mentioned, the boot is EH, so you guys that are high-voltage electrical workers, this boot will be ideal for you because of that fact.
Now you’re thinking, what the hell? Why would I ever need to have a metatarsal?
Think about this, think about if you have to change out breakers, think about if you have to lift those things up with a breaker lift and you didn’t put it on the breaker lift and somebody’s you know a little klutzy.
Having a metatarsal, having that comp toe, having a boot like this in that environment just makes a lot of sense. Plus with it being EH (electrical hazard) graded, this boot can withstand applications of 18K volts at 60 hertz for one minute.
That might not sound like a lot, but when you think about the human body can be vaporized in seconds with the right amount of voltage, with the right amount of amperage, with the right amount of electricity running through it, having that little extra bit of safety is a really nice touch.
Let’s move on to the leather. The bandit leather is outstanding. It is soaked with a lot of oil, so it’s going to be water repellent. These boots are not waterproof.
Even though I’ve heard of people going all out in some really heavy-duty rain, spending a lot of time outside in downpours with these boots, and their feet never got wet.
But it’s not a membrane waterproof boot. The only thing keeping that water from getting in is the amount of oil that is in this boot and of course, you need to brush them and treat them.
Carolina CA5586 The Met-Guard
So let’s talk about the metatarsal guard. This is the winged metatarsal guard from Carolina. They’ve been working on a design like this for a long time now, and you can see it through a couple of their older models.
Now Carolina is actually known for making great metatarsal boots for foundry work, pouring metal, hot environments, this boot, in my opinion, it was not designed for those environments.
This boot was designed for lighter weight industrial environments like that places where you’re not pouring hot metal, places where you’re not walking through extremely hot environments.
This is more of a boot for somebody who needs to wear metatarsals but where they’re not in such an environment where the metatarsal is going to be their first layer of protection against what is going on.
Replacing The Laces
What about lacing and the laces that come with the metatarsal boots? A lot of people burn through the laces on the metatarsals a lot, and on some pairs of metatarsals, it’s extremely hard to get the laces through and lace them up after you do burn them up.
So Carolina sends along a very basic lace. It’s a well-made lace but for a metatarsal, it’s basic, it’s a nylon polyester mixed lace and yes, grinding, cutting, doing whatever you’re doing, welding, this lace is gonna burn up right away.
But what Carolina did do by engineering this boot with the wing metatarsal is that they created a little space for you to get your hand down inside there and re-lace your boot much easier than most metatarsals.
The eyelids do fold away so you can push your lace through on either side and you can add some leather laces to this. Oil dip leather laces or Kevlar laces whatever you choose.
Check this cool video to know more about how to lace the Carolina CA5586 boots properly.
All right, so let’s get to the comfort of this thing. What you’re gonna find inside is Carolina’s latest addition to building a comfortable work boot. They have added a piece of urethane; they’re calling it the midsole. Down to the bottom of the boot, it is glued in, and on top of that, you find a foam.
Yes, foam footbed, foam insole whatever you want to call these. I call it an insole, people call the sock liner, other guys call it something else. But I’m gonna keep calling them insoles.
On top of that beautiful midsole, that super soft material, you’ll find this insole. Now it’s just foam. This foam is very resilient. It’s not a urethane, it is a foam.
So what’s gonna happen is by the end of the day, when you’re walking around this thing, it’s gonna be sweaty. Your foot gonna be sweaty.
This foam does not hold on to moisture. You pull this thing out, you let a little air pass over this and pass inside your boot when you wake up in the morning, put your boots on and they’re going to be dry.
Like I said in the beginning, it is a full cement constructed boot. It’s glued together. Now for a lot of guys, that’s not a good thing.
But for a lot of other guys in certain environments where there’s a lot of chemicals, a lot of cutting chemicals, a lot of electrical chemicals coming into play with boots, having cement construction is much better than having something that’s sewn together.
So there is a positive side to the cement construction on this boot for the class of type of boot that it is.
Size, Fit, and Comfort
The first 48 hours of wearing them back-to-back, one day after the other, you’ll have some sore feet. The insoles, everything that’s inside here is really thick, really cushiony, really comfortable. But if your foot is not accustomed to wearing a metatarsal or it’s been years since you wore a metatarsal.
Give yourself two or three days of not wearing it and then revisit it. That third day of wearing after two hard days of wearing it, it will be really comfortable. Everything will be broken in. It will become extremely flexible, extremely pliable, and the cushions will settle in really nice.
If you are picking them up online, just go with your size. If you’ve worn Carolinas in the past, you’re not gonna have any problem because you’re gonna know your size for Carolina. They’re sizing scale between styles of boots, and different boots are always consistent.
Now if you’re coming from wearing one of the other brands of metatarsals, whether it’s when it comes off a shoe truck or something you pick up at your local supply house, I will say that you probably want to buy them a hat size bigger if it is possible.
If it’s not, go with your size and just be ready to remove the first insole that’s in there for a day or two just so you’re not crammed up against a calm toe.
Tip: Don’t force the boot to break in. Break these boots in slowly and you will be happy.
With some dark selvage and a black canvas jacket, the CAROLINA CA5586 would look like fire. That’s it for the Carolina CA5586 review. Until next time, I’m the boot connoisseur and thanks a lot for reading.