Jonesboro Marine Outfitters

A worker at the Frolic Footwear factory in Jonesboro finishes off a boot-top to a pair of Marine combat boots. (KAIT/M.Lilly)
A worker at the Frolic Footwear factory in Jonesboro finishes off a boot-top to a pair of Marine combat boots. (KAIT/M.Lilly)

March 20, 2003
Posted at: 6:48 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, Ark. -- As the reality of war hits home, the American military's demand for supplies continues to grow. And the contributions of one local footwear comany is helping out the cause.

In this day and age, comfortable combat boots are almost as important to a soldier as the weapon he or she carries. Thanks to a Department of Defense contract, Frolic Footwear of Jonesboro will be responsible for supplying the U.S. military with infantry combat boots.

"(The contract) gives us an additional 300,000 pairs per year, between this contract and another contract we've been awarded in the past six months," said Gary Fountain of Wolverine Worldwide, the parent company of Frolic Footwear.

The Jonesboro factory almost shut down four years ago. Not quite two years ago, only thirty-five employees worked here, but thanks to this new contract more jobs are on the way. Approximately 100 new postitions, according to Wolverine World Wide.

The Region 8 factory only does half the job. The top part of each boot will be constructed at Frolic's plant. The next step, according to Fountain, is to "send it to Michigan where it's bottomed in our factories which we have two of, and then we package this product and send it to our military."

"This is a boot that we built especially for our Marine Corps," Fountain said, holding up the tan-colored boot shell. "It's both a cold resistant and heat resistant boot. We build it up to size 22 and in six widths."

Making sure to provide the perfect boot no matter what size or shape foot of each soldier.

"We think we make the finest boots in the world, and we're very proud to supply them," Fountain said. "And nothing less for our troops right? Nothing less!"