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Tactical Footwear Press Release

January 15, 2010

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Bates® Footwear Celebrates 125 Years of Inspiring Innovation


Rockford, MI – When it comes to service, every company has its own motivation, its own mission.  At Bates® Footwear (Bates), that mission is perfectly summed up in its brand promise: Honor Bound®.  About to celebrate its 125-year anniversary, Bates is now, more than ever, committed to those words and to the countless individuals who depend on the company’s products.

“Our 125th anniversary is an extremely significant milestone for Bates.  It would be considerable for any company, but it is especially amazing when you realize everything Bates has accomplished during its history serving those in the military and public service,” said Ron Woznick, Vice President and General Manager of Bates Footwear. 

A leading supplier of footwear to the U.S. federal government and the Department of Defense, the Bates brand is synonymous with innovation and expertise.  Its foray into uniform footwear first took place with the company’s creation of the original Navy Uniform Oxford.  The overwhelming popularity of the shoe led to the manufacturing of footwear for all branches of the U.S. military.  It was only a matter of time before Bates would dedicate 100% of its resources to making uniform footwear for military and civilian services.

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Today, Bates proudly outfits elite military organizations in more than sixty countries.  With each step, Bates has expanded its leadership story, building a solid reputation for exceptional performance founded on leading edge, innovative footwear that use the toughest, most resilient materials available, such as Gore-Tex® and Vibram®.  Engineering breakthroughs, like the Bates DuraShocks® and Bates® Individual Comfort System, also continue to establish the brand as a leader in the industry and one of the largest uniform footwear companies in the world.

While the materials Bates uses may change throughout the years, its commitment to making the finest footwear for military, police, and other uniformed public services has not.  As a result of that dedication, Bates sells an average of 1.5 million pairs of boots and shoes each year and, with every new innovation, the demand for the brand grows.

“We’re certain that Bates will continue to spearhead breakthrough developments in uniform footwear,” said Woznick.  “It’s in our brand DNA. It’s what we do. We have invested 125 years in providing the finest product available and that dedication and commitment will endure.”

For more information and to view product lines, visit www.batesfootwear.com.

About Bates Footwear
Founded in 1885 as a dress shoe manufacturer, today Bates® Footwear is dedicated to the domestic development and manufacturing of uniform footwear for all branches of the military and civilian police forces.  In 1969, the company joined Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and is now headquartered in Rockford, Michigan.  As a leading supplier for elite military and law enforcement organizations, the Bates brand is sold in more than 60 countries on six continents.

About  Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
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®, Chaco®, Cushe®, 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 180 countries.