There will be plenty of tributes to The King at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, but few will be as unique and personal as Rickie Fowler’s homage. Fowler sported this sick pair of custom Ignite Hi-Tops with iconic images of Mr. Palmer during Wednesday’s practice round at Bay Hill. As far as tributes go, this was a proverbial mic drop.
The shoes were commissioned by Puma Golf and created and designed by renowned sneaker designer Dominic Chambrone, a.k.a. The Shoe Surgeon. The high-grade infused graphics were printed directly into the leather and then each piece was hand-cut to fit the exact specs of the Puma kicks. The result is nothing short of brilliant.
Other personal touches include Velcro straps engraved with Mr. Palmer’s signature, Palmer’s iconic umbrella logo behind the tongue of the left shoe, and a quote from Rickie in remembrance of The King behind the tongue of the right shoe.
“Legends never die. You will live on forever Arnie. I will never forget the bear hug in front of the clubhouse at Augusta, watching you hit your final tee shot there, and to spending time with you in the locker room at Bay Hill. Thank you for being you and giving me the opportunity to do what I get to do everyday! I love you as did everyone! RIP The King.”
A quick look at TheShoeSurgeon.com shows that Chambrone and his team are the real deal. The minimum order is $1500 with a $500 deposit and he will go only into detail about the design once you have paid the deposit and you are “committed and serious.” Yikes!
So, how do you get your hands on Rickie’s tribute shoes? Well, only two pairs exist. If your name is not Rickie Fowler then you will have to win the other pair through an auction benefiting Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. The shoes that are being auctioned off are signed by Rickie and come in a custom wood engraved box, which includes Arnie’s signature and the dates of his life. The auction runs until Sunday and you can get in on the bidding here. I suggest checking with your bank, your accountant, and your financial advisor before getting in on the action, though.
In addition to the shoes, Fowler is wearing a hat with Arnold Palmer’s umbrella logo on the front. No word if that cap will be coming to retail. I think Mr. Palmer would be pleased, as long as Rickie removed it when he went inside.
Fowler has a knack for sartorial tributes. For the first round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, he rocked plus-fours as a tip of the cap to Payne Stewart. Stewart won the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in 1999, just months before his death.