Chemoradiotherapy is the most common treatment for inoperable esophageal cancer. However, there is no consensus on the delineation of the clinical target volume. Elective nodal irradiation (ENI) is recommended for inoperable esophageal cancer. A few studies have reported a decrease in the incidence of radiation-related toxicity of involved-field irradiation (IFI) for esophageal cancer. A systematic review and pooled analysis were performed to determine whether IFI in definitive chemoradiotherapy was more beneficial than ENI for esophageal cancer. The results showed no significant differences in the overall survival and local control rates between the IFI and ENI arms. Meanwhile, the incidences of esophageal and lung toxicities were significantly decreased in the IFI arm. These results suggest that IFI is a feasible treatment option for locally advanced esophageal cancer, especially to minimize irradiation-related toxicity.