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One of the biggest sneaker label’s of the late 80’s and early 90’s, Finish label Karhu comes with a rich history that spans back over 100 years all the way to 1916.  With a name that translates to "Bear" the label is widely known for being the first brand to use the three stripes on their shoes – Adidas bought the trademark for 1,600 euros and two bottles of whiskey. Featuring a wide range of the Legend collection you can browse the latest Karhu arrivals below.

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Behind The Label

Karhu is a label with roots that are firmly placed in Track and Field. Launched in 1916 it originally making javelins, skis and discuses, quickly developing running spikes in time for the 1920 Olympics where it's cult status was completed being the official equipment provider to the successful Finnish at the Olympic games.  Continuing to grow in reputation due it's it's association with sporting success Karhu then went and sold it's 3-stripes trademark to Adidas for two bottles whiskey and 1,600 euros in between helping the Finnish war effort during WWII where it manufactured camouflage uniforms, platoon tents, army boots, rucksacks, and skis for the Finnish army.

By the 60's Karhu had developed its now iconic M-symbol which then went on to become the only trademark used in running shoes and is derived from the word “Mestari,” which means “champion” in Finnish. In the same decade  the label developed its first “trainer,” the Trampas due to demand from athletes. Two versions of the Trampas where produced: one with an M logo for around the track and a second without a logo for casual wear. An product line that the brand continued to develop it continued its tradition of efficiency-driving innovation, developing the first patented “Air Cushion” midsole system for its running footwear in the 70's. Continuing to develop its footwear technology it collaborated with the University of Jyväskylä which resulted in the development of the “Fulcrum” technology which was designed to keep all forces moving forward, using the body's natural energy to offer increased support.

Karhu - Stylist Notes

Coming as a relative unknown to the mass market Karhu is a label that comes packed full of history combing fashion forwards retro aesthetics with running technology. Stocking some of the label's most iconic shilouettes under the Legend collections this season's collection promised to offer perfect pair of everyday sneakers that will add a subtle statement to any outfit. Try teaming a recent arrival from the legends collection with your favourite pair of selvedge and a flannel shirt from the likes of Portuguese Flannel to capture an on trend look this season.