The Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) has designed a new version of the anti-mine boots for defence and paramilitary forces. The new boots are lighter and stronger than the previous version developed six years ago.
The new boots will be sent to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) for trial within a week. The force had requested for samples of the new boots for trial in August, said V B Parvatikar, director (technical), who is supervising the project.
The new anti-mine boots have a capacity to mitigate medium-size landmine blast with a shock energy of 40,000 kg per cm sq to just 160 kg per cm sq.
“When a man steps on a landmine, the blast energy is colossal and can turn the feet bones into powder in a fraction of a second. We have inserted shock absorbents in the sole of the shoes that will reduce the shock energy, preventing major injuries to feet and leg,” Parvatikar said.
The first version of the boots could absorb shock energy of 180 kg cm sq.
The weight of the shoes has also been reduced from 3 kg to 2.8 kg.
The institute had been designing the shoes for the past four years in collaboration with Defence Material Store Research Development Establishment.
Established under the aegis of the Union ministry of commerce and industry, the institute situated in Noida’s Sector 24 has been involved in research and design of footwear for defence personnel since 1998. It has an international footwear testing laboratory along with a designing department.
The institute has also made multi-purpose ski shoes that can keep feet safe in extreme cold conditions with temperature as low as -50 degrees Celsius. The shoes are developed for forces deployed in high altitudes. They can be attached to ski blades.
“The shoes prevent frostbite as it is made of cold insulation material. It is water-proof and weighs 2.5 kg. The shoes were sent for trial to the defence forces three years ago. However, no response has been received from them yet. Currently, the defence forces use snow-resistant shoes imported from Italy,” Parvatikar said.
He said the institute began designing snow-resistant shoes after the Kargil War of 1999.
“During the war, it was reported that there was scarcity of combat shoes for high-altitude areas. It was then that we volunteered to design indigenous shoes. The shoes can have battery-operated heaters, if needed,” Parvatikar said.
Some other projects of the institute include boot paratroopers for the Indian Air Force, anti-riots shoes, anti-snake shoes for BSF personnel.