After leaving his longtime home with the Houston Texans to join the Arizona Cardinals this summer, veteran defensive end JJ Watt is paying homage to late Cardinals legend Pat Tillman with the newest iteration of his Reebok JJ IV trainer. Dubbed the “Valor,” Watt’s sneaker is a heartfelt salute to Tillman — who left the NFL to serve in the US Army after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and was killed by friendly fire on April 22, 2004.
Designed with input from Tillman’s widow Marie, the shoe features a dusty gray, tan and red color scheme for a nod to the Arizona desert and is loaded with special details. “PT40” inscriptions can be seen on the top eyestays for a nod to Tillman’s jersey number, and special text is stamped on the medial midsole. Special hangtags state “Tillman” on one side and “Leadership Through Action” on the other, and the insole commemorates the Pat Tillman Foundation. From a performance standpoint, the shoe uses a Floatride base for responsive cushioning and stability and a Flexweave upper with targeted support in high-wear areas. Lastly, outsoles boast a traction pattern inspired by Watt’s fingerprint.
“Pat Tillman lived his life in service of a purpose bigger than himself. That is his true legacy. This shoe is a small way to pay tribute to a legendary man, by not only honoring him, but also donating to the foundation established in his name and ensuring that his legacy lives on,” says Watt. “It has been an absolute privilege to work hand-in-hand with Pat’s widow, Marie Tillman, and CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation, Dan Futrell, to ensure that this shoe properly and appropriately represents and honors Pat in a way that he would be proud of.”
The Reebok JJ IV “Valor” will release on May 27 via the Reebok webstore and is priced at $100 USD. From May 27 through August 31, Reebok will donate $10 USD for each pair sold to the Pat Tillman foundation, with a max donation of $10,000 USD. Watt will also donate 100% of his personal proceeds from the shoe to the foundation.
For more news on upcoming sneaker releases, take a look at the latest installment of HYPEBEAST’s weekly Best Footwear Drops list.