THE HISTORY OF KARHU

image-description

Karhu is Born — Ab sportartiklar Oy establishes a small workshop in down- town Helsinki where locally sourced birch is transformed into the first products: javelins, skis and discuses. Running shoes are also developed and land on the feet of Hannes Kolehmainen, the first “Flying Finn”, and Ville Ritola.

image-description

Flying Finns — The company name is changed to Karhu, which is Finnish for bear. “The Flying Finns” dominate tracks around the world, garnering recognition for Karhu running shoes. Oh, and a guy named Paavo Nurmi returns back home with nine Olympic gold medals.

image-description

The Three Stripes — Karhu dominates the 1952 Helsinki Olympics with 15 gold medal-winning spikes, including those of Emil Zatopek. Karhu sells its three stripes trademark to a now well-known athletic shoe company that still uses it to this day.

image-description

M-symbol — Karhu officially registers its famous M- symbol—the only trademark used in running shoes—derived from the word “Mestari,” which means “champion” in Finnish. Various designs of the M-logo have adorned Karhu shoes over the years which are still in use today.

image-description

Air — Continuing its tradition of efficiency-driven innovation, Karhu develops the first patented “Air Cusion” mid- sole system for its running footwear.

image-description

Fulcrum — Karhu R&D’s collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä results in the development of the “Fulcrum” technology. The fulcrum is a cushioning system designed to Move Forward.

image-description

Ortix Fit — The 100 year history of Karhu sees the brand continuing to innovate its footwear collection. Karhu develops Ortix Fit to provide runners with the next level of comfort.

image-description

Fit id — In collaboration with Fleet Feet, Karhu utilizes fit id to develop the first shoe created on foot scan measurements.