Wednesday, February 19, 2014
All American sport shoes for troops
The US Defense Department (DoD) has asked American sport shoe manufacturers to tender for service The pre-solicitation notice, issued Jan. 31 by the Defense Logistics Agency, is being hailed by American shoemakers and lawmakers as a step toward the military issuing a 100 percent U.S.made athletic shoe to new recruits. This is similar to all other military clothing. Under a 2002 exemption from the Berry Amendment, which mandates clothes for troops must be U.S.made, the Army, Navy, and Air Force issue a cash allowance to allow recruits to select sneakers based their own comfort and injury-prevention needs. Despite pressure from Congress and American shoe makers, DoD has for several years resisted ending the exemption, framing it as an issue of choice and safety for troops. Critics believe narrowing the recruit’s choice to one or two manufacturers as they select a shoe for rigorous initial entry training may result in more injuried. At present, recruits in the Army, Navy, and Air Force can take the allowance, or a voucher, to a reception center or military clothing store where they can be fitted and select from footware approved by the Army podiatrist, according to a defense official. The assortment primarily includes Asics, Brooks and New Balance brand sneakers. Two large sneaker manufacturers i.e. New Balance and Saucony-maker Wolverine Worldwide, of Michigan as well as dozens of manufacturers of components like Vibram, have already made public their interest in making shoes for the military.