One Thing May Save Ukraine From Russia's Mine Warfare Nightmare: Spider Boots


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(Popular Mechanics) A recent news segment posted by Reuters highlights how combat engineers of Ukraine’s 128th ‘Transcarpathia’ Mountain Assault brigade are using indigenously produced spider boots strapped over their combat boots to protect themselves from the dense minefields impeding Ukrainian assaults on Russian fortifications in southern Ukraine…

A study from 2000 in The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction notes that existing “blast boots” for mine protection could protect against weaker mines with 30-50 grams of explosives, but were limited in effectiveness due to their direct physical contact with the mine and ground:

“This contact increases the shock transmission into the sole. Conventional footwear also puts the foot of the deminer directly above the mine in a region where the expanding flow can impart significant kinetic energy to the relatively high mass of the shock attenuator—energy that must then be absorbed by the foot and lower leg. The foot’s relatively close proximity to the explosion also makes it very difficult to select appropriate materials. The extreme pressures in that region exceed the limits of most plastics. As a result, these materials often fail in this pressure regime before they have a chance to perform their job.”

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Published: Monday, August 21, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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