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Wolverine Worldwide Applauds Federal Legislation That Strengthens U.S. Footwear Manufacturing

Armed Services Committees Direct Department of Defense to Comply with Existing Law by Procuring American-made Athletic Footwear

Rockford, Michigan, September 30, 2013
— Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) today praised House Armed Services Committee’s proposed legislation directing the Department of Defense to comply with existing law by procuring American-made athletic shoes for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine recruits. The Senate Armed Services Committee has passed similar legislation that, if signed into law, will have an immediate positive impact on domestic manufacturers of footwear and the U.S. supply chain for American-made shoes.

The domestic footwear industry has a long and rich heritage of designing and producing a broad range of quality footwear for the Armed Services. Committing to the domestic production of athletic footwear for our military is a natural progression for U.S. footwear companies and will ensure a future of affordable, high quality athletic shoes for our men and women in uniform. This legislation helps support the domestic industrial base and thousands of manufacturing jobs that provide the necessary equipment for our troops, all with no additional cost to the taxpayer. It strengthens the ability of industry to provide the full spectrum of footwear needs of the Armed Services, from combat boots to athletic shoes.

“I commend the Armed Services Committees for this thoughtful legislation that will have a direct, positive impact on our manufacturing operations in Michigan,” said Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. “Our company has been manufacturing in the United States for more than 130 years – building state-of-the-art footwear in the U.S. is a part of our heritage. We know that our world-class domestic manufacturing operations are capable of producing advanced athletic footwear that will support the training needs for all service branches. Our Saucony, Merrell and Bates brands will be at the forefront of this effort and we will continue to invest in our domestic operations to enhance the ability to deliver innovative products to our customers.”

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, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel. The Company’s portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Wolverine, Keds, Stride Rite, Sebago, Cushe, Chaco, Bates, HYTEST, and Soft Style. The Company also is the global 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 approximately 200 countries and territories.



7 Responses to “Wolverine Worldwide Applauds Federal Legislation That Strengthens U.S. Footwear Manufacturing”

  1. Sal Palma says:

    I applaud the U.S. House for strengthening legislation. I was using a highly recognized hiking shoe made in China, like an increasing majority of footwear is.
    With less than 120 miles of trail the soles separated, and it gave me a chance to look at the sole to upper interface. When I looked in there, all I could see was tinny bead of adhesive. I had to use Goop to repair them. It is so disappointing to pay a high price for what amounts to garbage.
    Needless to say, I’m happy to hear about his.

  2. Glen says:

    “procuring American-made athletic shoes for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine recruits.”

    Since when did the U.S. Military procure running shoes for recruits? Answer: they don’t. You don’t have the appropriate running shoes, they march you down to the Exchange Shopette and YOU purchase the shoes. “Procure”, my fourth POC.

    • SSD says:

      There’s a reason. They aren’t issued because there hasn’t been an insistence for Berry compliant athletic shoes. The last time this came up, one of the most vocal opponents was Senator McCain of the great state of Arizona.

    • Sgt E. says:

      When I went through Parris Island (2003) they were issuing us running shoes and we didn’t an option or opportunity to march down to an Exchange to buy any.

      • Evan says:

        We were also issued shoes at Lackland. I think mine were Aesics. Although, you were given the option of using a pair you brought from home, provided they were conservative.

        I don’t know if I agree that this won’t cost taxpayers more, unless the intent is to keep established contracts with all existing suppliers but bar shoes manufactured overseas.

        I don’t think the military should be buying expensive, bulky foam soled “running shoes” anyway. Not only do almost all inductees already own and wear athletic shoes, but military studies have overwhelmingly shown that type of footwear is a statistically insignificant risk factor for lower extremity injuries during training. So troops could run in their combat boots or inexpensive canvas trainers. Training in running form and graduated exposure to demanding physical activities would probably be more cost effective.

  3. Timmay says:

    Someone still makes shoes in the U.S.?

    • Engineer says:

      I asked the same question a while back. New balance still makes a (very) select range CONUS – you can Google “new balance USA made” to see the line. Additionally there are a few boutique manufacturers like FiveTen. Not the veritable cornucopia of Chinese made shoes, but American trainers are out there.