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Shoemaker hopes to tip balance of military running shoes in US companies' favor

By: Jane Denny
URETHANES TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

April 24, 2014

Boston-based athletic shoe maker New Balance and its supplier Rogers Foam Corp. are joining forces to lobby support for a proposal that the U.S. Department of Defense favor the use of U.S.-based running shoes for its service personnel.

New Balance already makes the 993 US Army running shoe. It is hoping to convince the military to overhaul a 2002 decision which allowed service personnel to choose their own sports shoes either from U.S.-made or imported shoes.

The shoe company has two factories in Massachusetts and three in Maine, and boasts that one out of every four of its shoes sold in the U.S. are either “made or assembled” in the U.S.

Rogers Foam supplies foam used by New Balance from its factory in Flint, Mich.

Prior to 2002, the Berry Amendment ensured that only certain domestic commodities made up the uniform of military personnel.

New Balance company spokesman Matt LeBretton said his firm had invested in a machine to manufacture mid-soles – the one component it had outsourced overseas – in the spirit of  its’ campaign.