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Police Footwear Press Release

August 01, 2007

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Bates wins Contract with U.S. Special Operations Command for Advanced Chemical and Biological Protective Overboots


ROCKFORD, MI—Bates® Footwear, a division of Wolverine World Wide, announced today that it will manufacture advanced Chemical and Biological (CB) Protective Overboots for the U.S. Special Forces under a new $2.45 million government contract.  Bates developed this cutting edge CB protective footwear in collaboration with W.L. Gore & Associates in response to the unique safety, comfort, and tactical challenges faced by the U.S. military.  The overboot production decision was made by the Joint Program Executive Officer, Army Major General Stephen Reeves.

The CB Overboot utilizes proprietary state-of-the-art material technologies designed to minimize warfighters’ exposure to chemical and biological agents in vapor, aerosol, and liquid forms.  The CB Overboot upper consists of an impermeable, GORE® CHEMPAK® Ultra Barrier fabric, including protective seam seal tape to ensure added integrity and protection against harmful agents.

The CB Overboot is compatible with standard issue footwear and all existing special operations and joint operations CB defense equipment. Integrating seamlessly with existing issue clothing, the CB Overboot provides superior tactility and comfort in multiple terrains and climates. A lightweight polyurethane outsole ensures unrivalled traction, while the GORE® CHEMPAK® Ultra Barrier fabric is used to create a rugged, easily compacted, highly protective upper. The CB Overboot’s innovative design enables quick donning and doffing under the threat of chemical or biological warfare attack. The lightweight and highly compactable CB Overboot resists mildew, fungus and other health and comfort threats while being worn or stored.

Bates and W.L. Gore originally developed the CB Overboot as a Commercial Off-the-Shelf product for the defense market. Extensive field testing proved the commercial CB Overboot’s effectiveness.  With positive test results, the U.S. Special Operations Command recognized the value of a CB overboot that maintains comfort, tactical effectiveness, and ease-of-use while protecting against modern CB threats.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to offer our soldiers a boot that provides them the utmost protection as they conduct their missions in extreme conditions. This boot sets a new benchmark in utilizing technology to meet the CB protection and tactical needs of our armed services,” said Ron Woznick, Vice President and General Manager Bates Footwear.

Bates will produce 17,000 to 20,000 pairs of the CB Overboot within the next year at U.S.-based ISO 9001:2000 compliant manufacturing facilities in Big Rapids, Michigan and Jonesboro, Arkansas. This product meets the Berry Amendment conditions for 100% domestic sourcing and production of all U.S. military gear.

Bates® is part of the Wolverine Footwear Group, a division of Wolverine® World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:  WWW), manufacturers and marketers of branded and licensed footwear and performance leathers. Bates is a leading supplier of uniform footwear to all branches of the U.S. Military and has been building a reputation for uncompromising performance in uniform footwear for more than 120 years. Engineered advancements such as stealth technology, Bates DuraShocks® comfort system and Bates Ultra-Lites® technology combine to set the brand apart and cement its status as the gold standard in uniform footwear. For more information and to view the product lines please visit www.batesfootwear.com.

With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and apparel. The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates(R), Hush Puppies(R), HYTEST(R), Merrell(R), Sebago(R) and Wolverine(R). The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of popular brands including CAT(R), Harley-Davidson(R) and Patagonia(R). The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and are distributed internationally in nearly 180 countries. For additional information, please visit our website, www.wolverineworldwide.com.

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