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Tactical Products Press Release

March 18, 2004

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Bates Uniform Footwear Marches Into New Era Of Tactical Footwear

For Immediate Release

Updated product lines feature Stealth components with customary quality construction

ROCKFORD, Mich. - Bates ushers in the next generation of men's and women's tactical sport boots with new, sleeker features that continue the tradition of offering premium footwear to those lacing up in uniform. The latest additions to the Bates collection include the Counter Terrorism Series, Bates Enforcer Series Ultra-Lites™ and Bates DuraShocks® lines.

Several styles feature Stealth technology components. Bates Uniform Footwear coins all non-metallic elements such as eyelets and speed lace components and all other features that prevent metal detection as "Stealth." Tactical footwear enthusiasts will benefit from Stealth technologies that will enable them to move quickly and quietly through high security environments.

The updated Counter Terrorism Series boasts an aggressive Vibram® Mutant outsole to help men and women in uniform maintain footing in adverse situations or environments. Multi-directional oval lugs on the outsole and contact toes and heels increase traction and stability. Leading edges and TC4 compound offer oil and slip resistance, while the molded polyurethane, shock-absorbing midsole helps keep feet comfortable. The series is comprised of the M-9, M-9 Zip and M-6 Zip.

The Counter Terrorism Series advances Bates' mission of being the gold standard in uniform footwear. Sleek black leather/nylon uppers provide multiple features to help keep feet protected. The M-9 boot is lined with GORE-TEX® and 200-gram Thinsulate™, making it waterproof and comfortable. Quarter and ankle safety padding adds protection, while the flex point at the heel helps to increase mobility. Nylon speed laces and a stealth flex notch provides for a secure fit that can be achieved within seconds. The M-9 Zip and M-6 Zip feature the same components as the M-9, but also include a side zip for an easy on/off option. A Velcro® zipper strap was also added to these models to keep the zipper securely in place and noise to a minimum.

The Enforcer Series Ultra-Lites™ enhances Bates status as an innovator in advanced performance footwear uniform. These hybrids are 30 percent lighter and 35 percent more flexible than the original Enforcer series, but are every bit as tough as their predecessors. The men's 5- and 8-inch Composite Safety-Toe Side Zip Boots' stealth features of non-metallic speed laces, side zips and Composite Safety-Toe ease travel through electronic security environments. Each model, including the men's and women's 8-inch Waterproof Uniform Boot and the women's 5-inch Tactical Sport Boot, feature black leather/nylon uppers, mesh lining, fully cushioned and removable EVA footbed with shock-absorbing pads, a compressed molded EVA midsole and cement construction.

When peak performance matters, Bates DuraShocks comfort technologies are guaranteed to deliver. The new 9-inch Desert Combat Boot and 9-inch Steel-Toe Boot infuse superior comfort in every step with the patented DuraShocks energy-return system. Compression pads in the heel and forefoot retract into the outsole to reduce and dissolve force before they reach the feet and legs. The Desert Combat Boot's Wolverine Warrior leather/nylon combination provides exceptional breathablity and is equipped with direct-attach Vibram Bob rubber outsoles to provide excellent traction. The Steel-Toe boot's upper is made of full-grain black leather and its Vibram Extreme rubber outsole helps maintain superior grip. Both boots are available in men's and women's sizes.

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.

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