Rocky Brands Lands $13M Contract With US Military

Rocky Brands Inc., based in Nelsonville, Ohio, has been awarded a contract with the U.S. military to provide temperate-weather combat boots to troops.

The company reported that the agreement calls for a minimum purchase amount of $13 million, with the entire order expected to ship between March and October 2016. The boots will be manufactured at Rocky’s company-operated facility in Puerto Rico. That’s in keeping with the current Department of Defense requirement that contracted boots be 100 percent domestically made.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract to produce high-quality boots for the U.S. military,” said David Sharp, president and CEO of Rocky Brands. “Along with our existing contract, we have approximately $28 million in military orders scheduled for delivery in 2016, a 60 percent increase over 2015 levels.”

Sharp noted that military contracts are especially beneficial to Rocky’s bottom line as they help offset any weaknesses in the general consumer market, such as the unseasonable weather that impacted the fourth quarter of 2015.

Over the years, Rocky has provided numerous products to the military. Last summer, it launched the Coyote Brown boot, designed to coordinate with the Army’s new Operational Camouflage Pattern.

Mark Dean, VP of commercial military sales at Rocky, recently told Footwear News that Rocky works closely with service members to wear-test gear and find out exactly what they need. “Soldiers are looking for something that can perform in multiple environments,” he said. “One day you’re at Fort Bragg and get a call that in 18 hours you’ll be on your way to Iraq or Afghanistan. They need a boot they can depend on in a deployed scenario.”

Rocky isn’t the only company being tapped by the armed forces. Late last month, Wolverine World Wide Inc. announced that its Bates label had received a $27 million contract with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency — also for temperate-weather combat boots.

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