Wolverine Worldwide celebrated the passing of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday, which will be a boon for American-made footwear.
Included in the final version of the NDAA is language directing all branches of the armed forces to comply with the Berry Amendment, which stipulates that all athletic footwear given to recruits at basic training be 100 percent American-made.
Wolverine Worldwide stands to benefit from the passing of NDAA as the owner of the Bates footwear label, which is already the largest provider of combat boots, dress uniforms and other, non-athletic footwear styles to the military.
With athletic footwear now on the table, Wolverine is adding an advanced manufacturing line for Berry-compliant running shoes at its Saucony brand. This is being done in anticipation of Department of Defense contracts.
“I thank those members of Congress who have worked to sustain domestic manufacturing and ensure our warfighters train in American-made footwear,” said Wolverine Worldwide CEO and President Blake Krueger. “Congressional support for American-made products for the Department of Defense clearly demonstrates an understanding of the importance of maintaining a critical industrial capability within our country and ensures that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines will be provided with a choice of technically advanced, durable, American-made athletic shoes for use in basic training.”