Founded in 1885, Bates has grown and flourished as a result of our advancements in footwear technologies and our unwavering commitment to those who depend on our products. What was founded as a small dress footwear business has become a leading footwear manufacturer for uniformed personnel today.
The choice to focus on military dress shoes for the United States Navy in the 1960s came on the heels of decades of prosperity and was influenced by both the need to produce a better product for those who served and our sense of duty to do so. The overwhelming popularity of our original Bates Navy Uniform Oxford quickly led to the development of military styles for all branches of the armed services.
Soon, the demand for our high performance military shoes and boots lead to a bold step of our own: Bates would dedicate 100% of its resources to making uniform footwear. Before too long, we were producing footwear for the civilian uniformed services, as well. While the Bates brand was literally making its way around the world in 1970s and 1980s, so was our reputation for exceptional footwear. As a result of our innovative products and our dedicated customers, Bates is now outfitting elite military organizations in more than sixty countries.
Today, Bates proudly serves as one of the largest suppliers of footwear to the U.S. federal government, the Department of Defense and public service departments throughout the United States. Thanks to our parent company, Wolverine World Wide, we benefit from a strength in R&D, purchasing and manufacturing that is paramount. Bates enjoys priority access to the finest components and materials, including GORE-TEX ® and Vibram®, as well as superior commodity products. And while the materials we use have changed throughout the years, our commitment to making the finest footwear for military, police, and other uniformed public services hasn’t.
As a result, every one of the 1.5 million pairs of Bates boots and shoes we sell each year ultimately benefits those who deserve it most: men and women in uniform. Our future, like our past, continues to be inspired by market-leading innovations that reinforce our dedication to craftsmanship, integrity, and value. Always driven by a desire to excel, to be our best, like the countless men and women we proudly serve.