Bates To Supply High-Tech Boots To Special Forces

September 9, 2007
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ROCKFORD — Bates Footwear, a division of Wolverine World Wide, has won a $2.45 million government contract to manufacture advanced chemical and biological warfare (CB) protective overboots for the U.S. Special Forces.

Bates developed the new footwear in collaboration with W.L. Gore & Associates.

Bates will produce up to 20,000 pairs of the CB overboots within the next year at U.S.-based ISO 9001:2000 compliant manufacturing facilities in Big Rapids and in Jonesboro, Ark. The boot meets the Berry Amendment conditions for 100 percent domestic sourcing and production of all U.S. military gear.

"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 of Bates Footwear.

The CB overboot uses proprietary state-of-the-art material technologies designed to minimize the soldier's exposure to chemical and biological agents in vapor, aerosol and liquid forms. The boot upper consists of an impermeable GORE CHEMPAK Ultra Barrier fabric, including a protective seam seal to ensure added integrity and protection.

The overboot is compatible with standard issue footwear and usable in a variety of terrain and climates. A lightweight polyurethane outsole ensures traction, and the boot can be put on or taken off quickly.

Wolverine World Wide's Big Rapids plant produces military dress and combat boots.  

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