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Bates Teams Up With [FHH] For Limited Edition Boot

Posted On Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fashion Has Heart [FHH] brought together five wounded Veterans from their 2014 HERO[series] project with Bates Footwear, the leading military footwear supplier to the U.S. Armed Forces, to create a Limited Edition boot. To commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, an event that led many of the Heroes to enlist and serve their country, [FHH] will release a limited amount of pairs for sale online at The purpose behind this 9/11 release is to build awareness within the civilian population of what it might be like to imagine walking in the shoes of a Veteran of War.

This hybrid-style boot was inspired by what it might look like if a Bates' military combat boot was combined with their traditional military dress uniform shoes. A boot designed to be either dressed-up or dressed-down, it acts as a daily reminder to honor the sacrifice of all Veterans -- past, present, and future. 100% of the boot's components were made in the USA, with every detail having a meaningful story behind it:

•    FIVE STARS: Five embossed stars on the heel represent the five U.S. Military Branches.
•    LINING: Traditional "Olive Drap" colored mesh symbolizes basic training and the work ethic that is required to serve and protect this country.
•    SPEEDHOOKS: Symbolize wounded Veterans living with, adapting to, and overcoming their injuries.
•    EYELETS: Matte black represents stealth and armor, key military strategies and tactics.
•    WELT STITCH: Red thread honors the sacrifice of Veterans who have served, been injured, or killed in action.
•    CAMOUFLAGE: Specialty camo used on Black Ops uniforms symbolizes the innovations of modern warfare as well as the traditional, timeless, and functional military styling.
•    MADE IN USA: A proud stamp to represent the hundreds of hands that touched this boot, from each individual component produced to its final manufacturing process.

Since [FHH] is able to bring its boots directly from the factory to its consumers, these Limited Edition boots only cost $150. Otherwise, retail price for this caliber of footwear would cost between $280-$320. Genuine welted construction, and produced alongside other well-respected boots such as the Wolverine 1000 Mile collection, the quality and durability of these boots will ensure that they can last for years. Purchase a pair of these exclusive [FHH] boots on now. Limited to 100 pairs ranging from Men's sizes 6-12, they won't last long.

Launching on September 24th during ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the five Veterans will exhibit their work with their graphic artist partner in which they created a t-shirt design that tells their powerful story and message. Additionally, the Heroes worked with five footwear design students from Kendall College of Art and Design to conceptualize their ideal military-inspired boot. The [FHH] ArtPrize exhibit will be hosted at 22 Sheldon Ave NE on the grounds of the Veterans Memorial Park.

Bates Footwear Unveils Jungle Boot for the 21st Century

Posted On Tuesday, July 08, 2014

ROCKFORD, MI (July 7, 2014) – Bates Footwear, a division of Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) announces the launch of the Recondo jungle boot a low-absorption, quick drying, durable solution designed to provide secure footing in multi-terrain jungle regions. Named for the Reconnaissance and Commando Training Course developed in the 1950s at Fort Campbell, the Recondo meets the need for a Berry Compliant jungle/tropical combat boot for today’s warfighters and peacekeepers.

To meet the demands of today’s evolving asymmetrical threats, Bates partnered with the United States Army Special Forces Command (USASFC) to develop the Recondo. Bates received valuable performance feedback after the 75th Army Ranger Regiment tested the Recondo in Central America during the winter of 2014.  As a result, the Recondo boot delivers an exclusive lighter weight, quick drying durable leather and textile upper and has been designed to provide the best breathability possible for the spectrum of jungle combat situations.

"The Recondo provides a much needed jungle boot update for the next generation of our armed services," said Bates Footwear President Onder Ors. "Based on the specific feedback we received from our development partners in the Special Operations Forces, Bates has created the only boot specifically engineered for hot, wet and humid combat environments common in tropical regions."

The Recondo boot is made with Wolverine Warrior Leather™ which is lighter more durable, breathable, and is water, stain, and oil resistant. The MultiCam® ripstop nylon fabric enhances performance as it is lightweight, abrasion resistant, and highly durable. The blended upper material is light, strong, comfortable and has near infrared properties (NIR) making the boot less visible in low light environments.

The Recondo utilizes a unique lacing system developed based on feedback from operators and incorporates Bates’ many years of experience with lace-to-toe styles. This assures that all users can easily utilize the speed lace system and achieve proper fit and closure.

The design of the solid rubber outsole is the Vibram® Mutant, which has a deeper, more aggressive lug depth for off road traction, a multi-directional leading edged that enhance slip-resisting properties, and a rounded heel for natural touch down. This sole design has also incorporated a customized rubber compound that is durable enough to withstand Special Operations Forces use in hot weather, temperate weather, and mountainous operational environments.

The Recondo boot is being officially launched at ADS Warrior Expo East in Virginia Beach, VA, on July 10th and 11th.  This premiere industry event brings end users, program managers, and procurement specialists together with industry-leading solutions providers in an environment designed specifically for government and defense organizations. The Recondo will be available for purchase beginning Fall 2014. Visit for more information on the event.

About Bates Footwear

Bates Footwear is a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. based in Rockford, Michigan. Wolverine employs over 8,000 people globally, including nearly 6,000 in the United States. Bates is dedicated to manufacturing military footwear and has been manufacturing in the United States for nearly 130 years. Bates is one of the largest footwear suppliers to the DoD and has industry-unique R+D capabilities that are continuously focused on providing American warfighters with a combat advantage.

About ADS, Inc.

ADS, Inc. is a leading solutions provider proudly serving all branches of the U.S. Military, federal, state, and local government organizations, law enforcement, first responders, foreign governments, and the defense industry. ADS is focused on solving our customer’s challenges through the largest product and service selection, the broadest array of procurement and contract options, world-class support and logistics solutions, and legendary customer service.  We provide a single source solution that helps customers meet their mission requirements as cost-effectively as possible, reduce their cost of readiness, and enhance their acquisition strategy.  ADS equipment and support solutions include C4ISR, Combat Support, Medical, Operational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE), Weapons, and Optics as well as Special Missions such as CWMD, EOD, First Responders, and Maritime. - Our Purpose. Your Mission.



Wolverine Worldwide Hails Defense Department Policy Change to Purchase US-Made Athletic Footwear

Posted On Thursday, May 08, 2014

Office of the Secretary of Defense Directs the Armed Services to Comply with Existing Law and Procure American-made Athletic Footwear

Rockford, Michigan, April 28, 2014 — Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) today commends the Department of Defense for updating the policy regarding the acquisition of athletic shoes for military recruits.  In a letter to members of the Armed Services Committees, the Deputy Secretary of Defense confirmed a policy change that requires new recruits to use their footwear allowance to purchase U.S.-made athletic footwear that is compliant with the Berry Amendment, once they are available in the marketplace.  

For the past several years, Wolverine Worldwide has urged the Pentagon to procure athletic footwear manufactured in the United States, rather than purchasing foreign-made products. This policy change will ensure that the Armed Services are not dependent on foreign sources for essential basic training needs and will significantly help support the U.S. supply chain for American-made shoes.

This policy correction will help strengthen and support the domestic industrial base and the thousands of manufacturing jobs that provide the necessary equipment for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Special Forces, with no additional cost to the taxpayer.   It also strengthens the ability of industry to provide the full spectrum of footwear needs of the Armed Services, from combat boots to athletic shoes. 

“I am grateful that the Department of Defense has recognized the importance of providing the Armed Services with athletic footwear made in the United States,” said Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  “Our Saucony, Merrell and Bates brands have partnered together to advance this effort and we are well into the process of producing state-of-the art athletic shoes at our manufacturing plant in Michigan. Wolverine Worldwide is committed to utilizing the full research and development capabilities of our entire corporation to support the training needs of those who serve our country.” 

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. For additional information, please visit our website,


We're Headed to D.C. for National Police Week

Posted On Thursday, May 08, 2014

Bates Footwear is headed to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week, May 13-15. Visit us and check out the latest boots for men and women in public safety and enter to win a free pair! The FOP DC Lodge will be hosting the local daily events at 1880 2nd Street SW, Washington, D.C. (just a few blocks from the Washington Nationals Stadium at the corners of 1st and 2nd Streets SW and S and T Streets SW). Hours will be 11 a.m. to midnight. There will be food and bar service open along with music and entertainment!

Visit for schedule information and area maps!

Introducing Bates Code 6 - Our lightest boot yet!

Posted On Friday, March 21, 2014

Bates® Footwear Introduces Code 6, the Lightest, Most Breathable Tactical Boot with Optimal Performance and Durability

ROCKFORD, MI (March, 2014) – Bates Footwear, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, announces Code 6, the lightest, most breathable boot in their line of tactical footwear. Code 6 enhances comfort and decreases weight without sacrificing durability or performance.

Code 6 is the result of continued improvements to current Bates technology. “Code 6 is comfort and performance without compromise,” said Eric Fracassi, Product Development Director with Bates. “We improved every aspect of a tactical boot. We were able to decrease weight and increase the durability of the boot by incorporating contemporary design with innovative materials.”
Code 6 is 15% lighter than Bates Ultra-Lites, making them the lightest tactical boot available from Bates. The open-cell vapor mesh improves breathability by 30% and reduces hot spots on top of the foot.  The V-fit lacing system enhances mobility by opening toward the top of the foot. High-abrasion mesh throughout the entire boot helps create optimum comfort and fit.
Combining the time-tested, traditional look of a tactical boot with athletic-inspired design cues and performance materials adds a fresh yet classic look to tactical footwear, all while maintaining—and improving upon—the quality and durability for which Bates is known. 
Available in eight-inch side zip, six-inch side zip and four-inch models, Code 6 adapts to any individual’s requirements and preferences.
“Aesthetically, these are the most striking boots in our line,” said Fracassi. “Functionally, they’re the most advanced. We improved the weight, breathability, fit, design, durability and comfort, all without compromising anything.”
Code 6 will be available in retail stores, from local uniform dealers and on Spring 2014.

Free Shipping on Wet Weather Boots - Limited Time Only!

Posted On Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Nobody likes wet feet while on the job! Prepare yourself for Fall and Winter with Bates Waterproof Boots. We've got what you need to stay dry in all wet weather conditions.

Now through October 31, 2013, receive free shipping with any waterproof boot purchase.  


Military footwear to stay US made

Posted On Monday, September 30, 2013

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 the 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. For additional information, please visit our website,

Who's talking about Tahoe?

Posted On Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The boot that is. teamed up with some pretty fabulous bloggers and they gave the women's Tahoe boot from our Bates Riding Collection a spin.

Underneath the sleek waterproof leather exterior is a cushioned sock lining and YKK locking inside zipper to make them a breeze to get on. With a heel hight of 2" and a Vibram sole, you can take the Tahoe boots anywhere your journey leads you - even to Tahoe!

Check out what these bloggers are pairing their boots with!



[FHH] Meet the Heroes

Posted On Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Five veterans visited Grand Rapids for a week in May to design and manufacture their ArtPrize® entry as part of the local nonprofit, Fashion Has Heart. The project named HERO[series], pairs a Hero with an Artist. Together, the two parties collaborate in order to share that hero’s story through the medium of art and design. Each veteran was paired with artists and designers to create two pairs of Bates boots - one for themselves and another to be included in ArtPrize® in September 2013. The veterans returned to Grand Rapids unveiled their ArtPrize® entry, “HERO[series],” on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The entry can be found at the Fashion Has Heart venue, 144 E. Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI. Voting begins September 18, 2013.

Meet this year's five veterans and see the stories unveiled through design in their Bates boots that will inspire you.

Emergency medical technician, public school teacher, college professor and Bronze Star recipient are just some of the titles that could be used to describe Colonel Kathryn Champion. At one point, Katherine was responsible for creating the infrastructure in the education, medical and transportation fields in western Baghdad.

Katherine was medically discharged due to military-related injuries after serving for 27 years. She suffers from multiple sclerosis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in addition to varying blindness in both of her eyes. Upon her discharge in 2006, after serving her country for almost three decades, Champion hit a rough patch and had nowhere to turn to for help. She admits to sleeping on a bench in the City of Gulfport's Veteran Memorial Park for a time.

All of these obstacles proved to be no match for Katherine's resilience and desire to help others. She is currently spearheading an effort to help other struggling veterans that find themselves in situations similar to hers.

If you talk to Chris Stephenson about his time in the Marines, you can feel a sense of passion and pride when it comes to his time serving our country. While his time in the military was short, it's something that he looks back on fondly and has changed his life forever.

While providing security for a supply convoy for military bases in Iraq, Stephenson was severely injured by an IED, bringing his career in the military to an end. Like many other soldiers returning from conflict, Stephenson suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He found that one of the biggest challenges he faced after coming home was learning to blend back into everyday life.

While his battle with PTSD is still ongoing, he finds time to enjoy the simple things, like barbecuing and being with his family. His family has even started the tradition of turning their home into a haunted house once a year!

David Nicholson is a perfect example of a person that has dedicated their life to service of their country. Nicholson comes from a long line of military members and is proud of his three sons that are also members of the military. Enlisting into the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 opened his eyes when it came to what he wanted to do with his life. After serving twelve years in the Navy, he went on to apply his skills as an aircraft mechanic for various corporate airlines, and eventually became a private contractor in support of military personnel in Afghanistan.

While stationed in Afghanistan, Nicholson’s base came under attack. The result of the attack was the loss of most of his team members, as well as the loss of his legs.

Now a bi-lateral amputee, Nicholson has dedicated his life to informing the younger generation of the sacrifices that are made every day to ensure their safety and freedom.

Captain James Van Thach exemplifies a person whole heartedly dedicated to serving his country. In addition to receiving both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, the Bellerose, Queens native is the first Vietnamese- American to become an advisor to the New Iraqi Army.

Unfortunately, Thach was forced to retire after he was injured in an attack in which a rocket exploded less than 20 meters from where he was standing. In addition to the injuries he sustained while serving his country, Thach was also forced to deal with the challenges associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Since sustaining his injuries, Thach has begun to focus his energy on advocacy. Liz is the name of his service canine, a companion that changed his life for the better. Thach advocates the use of service canines and is supporter and spokesperson for Canine Companions Wounded Veterans Initiative, informing other veterans on the ways service canines can improve their lives. 

Traveling, meeting new people and helping people in need are aspects of Zuleika Cruz’s time in the military that she holds close to her heart. Originally motivated by the attack on America on September 11th, Cruz enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. Cruz was first deployed for 4 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. In all, Zuleika was deployed to Iraq a total of three times.

During her third deployment to Iraq, Zuleika was accidently crushed and severely injured in a warehouse when a 75 lb. box fell on her. The impact of the resulting fall left Cruz with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury(mTBI). That, combined with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has given Zuleika a long road to recovery.

Connecting with other wounded veterans, and training for her first entry into The Warrior Games are just a couple of ways Zuleika is learning to cope with her injuries.

Visit the [FHH] venue at ArtPrize® and vote code 54141

[Fashion Has Heart] is a non-partisan, non-profit organization established to utilize the powerful mediums of art, design, and fashion to support and benefit the wounded heroes who have sacrificed for the American freedoms to express oneself and create. Learn more at