Despite ranking 115th in terms of global population, Finland maintains a long and proud history of athletic superiority, boasting more than 1,000 track and field clubs and a rich distance running heritage. This heritage became well known during the 1916 Antwerp Summer Olympics when Finnish athletes took all three medals in javelin, and the soon-to-be-coined "Flying Finns" took five gold medals in track. While a lot of this dominance came from natural skill and dedication, it was the first time the world had seen KARHU javelins and track spikes, putting them into a small group of high-performance sporting goods. KARHU’s revolutionary javelin design and track spikes were now on pace to set the standard for track and field gear.
Meaning “bear” in Finnish, KARHU has been a leading running brand in Europe for over 100 years since that landmark Olympic contest. Sticking to the classic Finnish principles of simplicity in design and purity in running, KARHU has an authentic and deep connection to the outdoors. Taking its running experience and simplistic design details one step further, KARHU later launched a line of casual athletic shoes.Not only has KARHU spent decades developing industry firsts like cushioned air bags, gel pockets and its Synchron diagonal lacing lacing system, which wraps over the toes for added security, it has remained true to its running heritage along the way. Around the world, Finland is known for its ability to create a special kind of distance runner: one with “Rullaava,” or efficiency and “Sisu,” meaning strength of will. Applying this durability and comfort to other aspects of the brand, KARHU pushes forward with the belief that everyone has a right to run.