New Balance, a Boston-area athletic apparel manufacturer, has announced plans to sell $180 million worth of sneakers to military recruits.
Matt LeBretton, the company’s spokesman, told the Associated Press the deal was a ‘‘big win’’ for manufacturers in Maine and Massachusetts and across the country.
New Balance is one of the few companies that makes a shoe meeting all federal requirements, LeBretton said. The company manufactures shoes in Lawrence, Boston and Maine.
Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox announced Friday that the Department of Defense will provide military recruits with the American-made footwear, rather than giving them a stipend to buy their own training shoes.
U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Lowell Democrat, had pushed for the change, andsaid at least five other companies have begun making the footwear.