The “Bog Master” snorkel boot was developed to enhance navigation through swampy mud such as encountered in underground and open-pit mines, dairy and hog farms, wetlands, etc., by foiling the grip of boot-sucking sludge. The purpose was to retain the unencumbered qualities of the boot while providing a potentially life-saving advantage of not “bogging down” in the mud through a multiport vacuum-break sole design. A snorkel/pipe maintains an airway (vacuum vent) and conducts the air to the area of greatest-sensed vacuum, namely the ball of the foot and heel. Check valves are an absolute necessity—their location being most advantageous at or near the end where the air meets the mud. If mud is allowed to backflow into the conduit/manifold, it will plug immediately and compromise all gains.
The simple field test was conducted in a swampy area of southeastern Ohio, with a crude manifold/check-valve apparatus strapped to fishing waders. Traverse across the swamp at a predetermined distance was timed both with and without the apparatus affixed to the waders. It was found that use of the Bog Master apparatus not only made walking through the swamp less strenuous, it enabled the same distance to be covered in less than half the time it took without the apparatus.
The Bog Master apparatus could be developed to attach to any type of boot, or could be a dedicated part of a boot manufactured specifically for that purpose. Its use would greatly increase mobility and improve efficiency for those who must work in muddy/swampy situations, and could even save lives for those in our military when a few seconds’ delay could mean the difference between life and death.