Indigenous anti-mine, snow footwear for soldiers

Troops deployed in high-altitude and Naxal-affected areas are set to get designer footwear to protect them from `anti-personnel` mines and frost bite.

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2010, 13:23 PM IST

New Delhi: Troops deployed in
high-altitude and Naxal-affected areas are set to get designer
footwear to protect them from `anti-personnel` mines and frost
bite.

Indigenous anti-mine and snow boots designed by
Footwear Design and Development Institute are on user trial by
the Indian Army.

"The shoes made by FDDI along with other contenders
are on user trial by the Army and a decision in this regard is
expected to be taken soon," said an Army official requesting
anonymity.

"The present anti-mine shoe used by the Army comes
from the Czech Republic. It weighs around 4 kilograms and is
uncomfortable. The shoe made by us is lighter at 2.9 kgs and
is on trial," says V B Parvatikar, Director (Technical) and
the main architect of the shoes.

"The pressure in a mine blast is 45000kg/cm square.
The anti-mine shoe`s shock absorption brings it down to
160kg/cm square. So, now, a soldier`s bones will get fractured
in the worst cases where as earlier, they used to get
powdered," he says.

The anti-mine boot has passed the blast test and is a
contribution to human welfare with the objective to reduce
soft-tissue, bone and vascular injuries to the foot and leg of
victims involved in antipersonnel mine explosions.

Anti-mine boots are combat design boot for troops with
direct moulded polyether PU sole with chrome tanned leather
upper lined with foam and vegetable tanned nappa leather.

Army`s MGO (Master General Ordnance) is looking for
snow shoes for defence personnel at snow hound areas, high
altitudes with snow-cladded mountains, varying and difficult
terrains.

"Frost bite is a major worry at higher altitudes. The
present shoes being used now come from Italy and Russia. The
snow shoe made by us has longer life," says Parvatikar.

The outer shell of the snow boot is made of special
plastic to withstand temperature from -60 degree Celsius to 100 degree C. Its
surface is highly scratch resistant and has high tear
strength.

The outer sole is made of natural rubber for high skid
resistance even at difficult terrains and in snow whereas the
outer shell has been provided with special metallic
(corrosion resistant) trims and flat laces for quick donning
and doffing.

The inner shoe is made of leather, synthetic, textile
and sample lining to provide snug fitting, warmth and comfort
in higher altitudes.

While the life of the snow boot is longer, anti-mine
shoe becomes useless after a mine blast.

"There are problems of supply as these shoes are
imported at the moment and cost around 12,000 to 13,000 per
pair. We have brought down the cost to 2,000 to 3,000," says
Parvatikar.

PTI