Karhu was started in 1916 as AB Sportartiklar Oy in a small workshop in Helinski, Finland. Locally sourced birch was used in Helinski to create javelins, skis, and discuses and it didn’t take long to realize the lightness and flexibility of Helinski’s birch would help athletes throw and glide farther and with more efficiency. In 1920, the company name was changed to its modern name, Karhu, which is Finnish for bear, and the company soon begins to make running shoes. Karhu developed the now famous M symbol, stemming from the word “Mestari “, which means chamption in Finnish. They officially register the symbol in 1960 and become the only trademark used in running shoes.
Now, Karhu continues their pursuit for efficiency with an emphasis on striking the perfect balance between protection and responsiveness. Their “Faster, Farther, Easier” philosophy results in the creation of 10 different training models, all design to allow for each runner’s individual interpretation of what efficiency means.