Bates Footwear has won a US$2.45m contract with the US government to manufacture advanced chemical and biological (CB) protective overboots for the US Special Forces.

"The CB Overboot utilises proprietary state-of-the-art material technologies designed to minimise warfighters' exposure to chemical and biological agents in vapour, aerosol, and liquid forms," the company said. The CB Overboot upper consists of an impermeable, Gore Chempak Ultra Barrier fabric, including protective seam seal tape to ensure added integrity and protection against harmful agents.

Bates and W.L. Gore originally developed the CB Overboot as a commercial off-the-shelf product for the defence market.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to offer our soldiers a boot that provides them the utmost protection as they conduct their missions in extreme conditions. This boot sets a new benchmark in utilising technology to meet the CB protection and tactical needs of our armed services," said Ron Woznick, vice president and general manager Bates Footwear.

Bates will produce 17,000 to 20,000 pairs of the CB Overboot within the next year at manufacturing facilities in Big Rapids, Michigan and Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Bates is part of the Wolverine Footwear Group, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc.