Karhu is a niche running brand with a long history. Founded in 1916, the Finnish company got its start producing various athletic equipment, including running spikes. Their spikes seemed to catch on, seeing vast use by numerous Olympic athletes through the ‘60s.
Newly released from Karhu is their Flow line, a collection of lightweight shoes geared toward the performance runner. Receiving positive marks in a recent Running Times shoe review, Karhu’s latest offerings have turned some heads in the running community. They’ve also found a place in the shoe rotations of several staff members here at the ‘house.
At the heart of their Flow collection is Karhu’s unique Fulcrum technology. Consisting of a high density EVA wedge in the midsole forward of the heel, the Fulcrum promotes a quick and efficient transition from footstrike to mid-stance. Karhu claims this quicker transition reduces the runner’s vertical movement, in turn focusing more energy toward forward motion.
The Karhu Flow Light is the lightest shoe within the Flow range, intended for racing and fast training. Sporting a lightweight, bare bones upper and a moderate offset platform with a responsive feel, the Flow Light is tuned for performance.
The Karhu Flow3 Trainer is a beefed-up version of Flow Light, ideal for fast running and daily training. It features increased rubber on the outsole and more protective details around the upper. At 8.3 oz for a Men’s 9, the Flow3 Trainer still has plenty of performance chops.
The Karhu Flow Trail takes the Flow3 Trainer and readies it for off road use. The outsole is lined with multidirectional lugs for traction on varied terrain, and a water-resistant panel around the upper provides added protection from the elements.