The Rest Is Just Bonus
Before I came across Karhu, I have to admit, I knew very little about Finland's deep heritage of producing some of the greatest Olympic runners of the 20th century. I knew about Alvar Aalto and his iconic bent wood designs. And, I knew about the Finnish love of saunas and being beaten with branches. But, when it came to running and the Finnish role in developing some of the most important technologies in running shoe history, I was clueless. Frankly, although that information is interesting (along with the fact that this particular iteration of the Aria silhouette was inspired by the colors of the Finnish city of Porvoo), I was on board with these kicks the minute I saw them. All the other info is just a bonus.
Established in 1916, Karhu has long been at the forefront of technical footwear development. They have been on the feet of countless Olympic medalists, they were the first to introduce air cushioning and nylon to running sneakers, and even implemented a three stripe logo well before Adidas (which they eventually sold to Adidas). The Legend collection pays homage and updates the classic 90's silhouettes, which represented a particularly innovative time for the brand, both in function and design.
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