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Police Footwear Press Release

September 24, 2008

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Bates Wins Special Operations Forces Contract to Manufacture High Performance Tactical Combat Boot


Rockford, MI— Bates® Footwear, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. announces that it has received a contract to manufacture roughly 5,000 lightweight Tactical Combat Boots for the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). Bates is a market leader in the design and manufacture of innovative high performance footwear for military and law enforcement communities, As a brand in the Wolverine World Wide portfolio, Bates utilized its own technologies and integrated with technological advances of other brands in the Wolverine portfolio, namely the Company’s Merrell® and Wolverine® brands to develop this Tactical Combat Boot.

Bates developed the Tactical Combat Boot specifically to provide enhanced durability, stability, and traction in urban and field operations. The Vibram® Mutant outsole creates superior traction on wet and dry surfaces, while the direct-attach construction provides superior cushioning and durability. The anti-bacterial, abrasion-resistant Dri-Lex® Camo lining delivers enhanced moisture management and ensures soldiers’ feet remain cool, dry and comfortable.

"Bates is committed to being the leader in providing footwear solutions for all branches of the US Military – We intend to achieve this goal by leveraging a wide range of technologies and development expertise throughout Wolverine World Wide’s array of footwear brands such as Merrell and Wolverine Brand,” said Ron Woznick, Vice President and General Manager of Bates Footwear. “We feel privileged to provide yet another new footwear solution for our nation’s elite combat forces needs.”

The Special Forces Tactical Combat Boot joins the Chem Bio Protective Overboot and the Tora Bora™ Alpine Combat Boot as the mission footwear of choice for the Special Forces.
All three products are manufactured with 100% domestic materials at Bates facilities in Big Rapids, Michigan and Jonesboro, Arkansas, maintaining the company’s commitment to manufacturing in the United States.

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 Bates DuraShocks® comfort system, Ultra-Lites® technology and Bates Individual Comfort System combine to set the brand apart and cement its status as the gold standard in uniform footwear. For more information and to view product lines, 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, uniform footwear and apparel. Wolverine’s portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates®, Hush Puppies®, HYTEST®, Merrell®, Sebago® and Wolverine®. The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of popular brands including CAT®, Harley-Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in nearly 200 countries.