A boot that protects against ant-personnel mines


The CSIR has developed a ruggedised shoe that protects the wearer’s feet against the effects of an anti-personnel mine explosion.

The “mine boot” attenuates the initial shock wave and the subsequent blast event in its sole reducing the risk of complete loss of limbs.

The purpose of the boot is to prevent amputation in the event of small anti-personnel mine detonations as well as to mitigate tissue and bone damage during larger anti-personnel mine detonations. Saving as much of the leg as possible does not only mean faster rehabilitation but also makes it easier to fit and use a prosthetic limb.

The product is available either as a full boot – or as a boot with separate, strap-on sole to be fitted or removed as needed when entering mine fields.

The technology behind the boot is unique and has been patented and it has now reached the development phase where licensing options with industry partners are being considered.

As part of the research process, the CSIR also developed a surrogate lower left leg which approximates an actual human leg in terms of geometry and the properties of materials and substances used to construct it. The leg is used in destructive testing in order to assess the degree of tissue and bone damage sustained, as well as to estimate the potential levels of amputation.

Different from other, similar products, this surrogate leg is fitted with a unique sensor system capable of measuring the shock or stress wave progression through the leg in microseconds.

The CSIR performs a range of testing, evaluation and measurement services in support of mobility and personnel safety for landward forces.

This includes the engineering testing and validation of armoured vehicles to evaluate response to landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Sophisticated sensors and high-speed photographic facilities are part of the test laboratory and site. Interventions are designed for existing vehicles or other personnel protective devices in support of military and peacekeeping forces deployed in combat zones in Africa