March 24, 2005
U.S. Marines Corps Adopts Innovative Combat Footwear from Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
Bates® Uniform Footwear secures one-year contract to provide technologically advanced boots
ROCKFORD, Mich. - With a combination of the latest comfort technologies and advanced materials, Wolverine World Wide, Inc., has taken combat footwear to the next level for the U.S. Marines. With manufacturing plants in Michigan and Arkansas, Bates® Uniform Footwear, a division of Wolverine World Wide, has created performance footwear to meet the unique needs of military personnel.
The U.S. Marine Corps embraced Wolverine's innovations and moved to outfit its men and women in the most advanced combat boots. Under a recently awarded exclusive one-year contract valued at a maximum of $19.2 million, Bates Uniform Footwear will supply the U.S. Marine Corps with new hot-weather and temperate-weather combat boots.
"Footwear is one of the most integral parts of a Marine's uniform, and it needs to be of the highest quality and comfort to withstand daily hazards," said Dan Fitzgerald, U.S. Marine Corps System Command Program Manager for Individual Combat Equipment. The U.S. Marine Corps Warrior combat boots combine Wolverine Warrior Leather™ with the Bates DuraShocks® Comfort System to create technologically advanced military footwear. Developed specifically for use in military footwear, Wolverine Warrior Leather undergoes a special leather tanning process that infuses a water, chemical and stain-resistant Scotchguard™ Protector into the leather. The end result is breathable, easy-to-maintain and highly durable leather. Bates DuraShocks Comfort System is made with compression pads that absorb shock and dissipate force before it reaches the feet and legs for total foot support and stabilization.
"While Bates has been supplying the military with tactical assault boots for years, our extensive investment in research and development has enabled us to make significant advancements that further improve the performance of our military footwear," said Onder Ors, vice president and general manager, Bates Uniform Footwear.
The tan U.S. Marine Corps Warrior Combat Boots also coordinate with the latest Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage to provide a uniform look. Additional functional features such as the slip and oil-resistant, lightweight Vibram® rubber outsole and direct-attach construction make these boots lighter and more flexible than traditional military footwear yet tough enough to brave the roughest terrain. A breathable GORE-TEX® waterproof lining in the Temperate-Weather boot helps feet stay dry and comfortable. "Protecting our nation's safety means supplying our soldiers with the best equipment available, and that's what Bates Uniform Footwear makes," said U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland, MI). "I'm proud that a Michigan company is playing such a critical role in supporting our troops."
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) echoed Rep. Camp's sentiments and added, "I'm thrilled Bates and its employees in Northeast Arkansas also play such a critical role in this mission."
Bates® Uniform Footwear 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 100 years. Engineered advancements such as stealth technology, Bates DuraShocks® comfort system and Bates Enforcer Series 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 slippers. The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates®, Hush Puppies®, HYTEST®, Merrell®, Sebago® and Wolverine®. The Company also markets footwear under popular licensed brands including CAT®, Harley-Davidson® and Stanley®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and are distributed internationally in over 140 countries. For additional information, please visit www.wolverineworldwide.com.