Karhu goes back all the way to 1916. Since then, the brand has innovated trainer and apparel silhouettes each and every season. Although the brand adapts to new trends, the Karhu Originals still give a nod to their heritage. Uniquely, Karhu does not just recreate silhouettes from the past, they use them as a foundation to then adapt to meet their current standards and aims. The brand first became known for its record breaking running trainers.
The first official drop from Karhu was the Trampas. In 1968, there wasn’t a shoe out there made for athletes to warm up in or even simply cool down in after a race. In came the Trampas… originally designed for Finnish Athletes that had sore feet from training, this ultra lightweight shoe has paved the way for modern footwear today. The Trampa was considered ground-breaking as it brought in new technologies for footwear that simply did not exist before such as: arch support, padding in the shoe collar, lightweight construction and more. After they became extremely popular, US colleges couldn’t get their hands on them quick enough - soon all their running powerhouses such as Minnesota and the University of Oregon had all their athletes decked out in Karhu Trampas.
After the brands rocketing success, they did not slow down. By the 70’s, they pioneered the first air-cushioned shoes, which they would later go on to patent in 76’. This new technology became a strong feature for many of their silhouettes and designs such as the Albatross. Finnish athletes loved this new innovation so much they took them away to the legend Steve Prefontaine in 75’. Shortly after this trip, copies of their technology had started to appear… However, not one to dwell and slow down, Karhu continued to work on their next new technology and designs.
"It’s this long history with running and the making of running shoes that the Karhu Originals draws from, channelling the past to draw inspiration for the future. Slip them on after your next run to connect with the generations of great Finnish and American distance runners that have gone before."
The Fusion dates back to 1996, now we know it as the classic Fusion 2.0 with new packs added regularly within each season. It was actually brought back from the archives with the original designer themselves. However, small adjustments were made to update the aesthetic and overall silhouette. The main features that made the shoe so iconic in the 90’s is still prevalent in each design - that chunky sole, bold textures and tongue detailing.