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1. I’ve never heard of Karhu before. Is it a new brand?

On the contrary, Karhu has been around since 1916 on the feet of some of Finland’s most legendary runners. Karhu shoes have won Olympic medals and Boston Marathons and everything in between. Our fulcrum technology was created in 1987, and since then it has been tested and perfected at both the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and at Iowa State University in the US.

2. What makes Karhu different from other running shoes?

The Karhu difference is all about the fulcrum technology. Our fulcrum actually reduces any excess vertical or horizontal movement, which helps you land and push off with better body positioning and forward lean than other shoes. Simply put, the fulcrum helps you move forward more efficiently.

3. How do you know the fulcrum works?

Extensive independent testing has been done at both the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and Iowa State University in the US. All the test results have shown that Karhu shoes produce less vertical and horizontal oscillation and a better midfoot landing position than both traditional running shoes and barefoot running.

4. I notice that the shoes feel a lot different from other shoes when I put them on. Does that mean they won’t work for me?

Not at all. What you’re feeling is the fulcrum technology that helps position your body in a proper forward leaning position. When you start running, you will notice that the fulcrum technology helps you move forward more quickly through the gait cycle, and that’s what’s important.

5. I’ve been hearing a lot about barefoot running. Is Karhu similar to those minimalist shoes?

There are a few similarities but also some important distinctions. Both Karhu and barefoot running reduce vertical oscillation when compared to traditional running shoes; however, Karhu reduces this excess movement by 13% as opposed to only 8% barefoot. Karhu also positions you with a better midfoot landing position and forward lean than barefoot running, while the fulcrum helps you transition more quickly through the gait cycle. Our shoes deliver more efficiency than barefoot running, but with less strain on your lower legs and calf muscles that can sometimes lead to injury.

6. Do you plan on lowering the heel drop of your shoes?

No, our research has shown that the fulcrum technology combined with the current heel drop actually positions you with a better midfoot landing position and more efficient forward lean than even barefoot running. Our shoes deliver more efficiency than minimal shoes, but the higher heel height means less strain on your lower legs and calf muscles.

7. Why does Karhu use three different types of fulcrums?

Each fulcrum helps transition you from moderate to maximum efficiency. The Strong/Fast fulcrum is designed to help ease you from structured cushioning into our efficiency platform. The Stable/Forward fulcrum feels more responsive and lower profile, and the Flow/Racerfeatures our firmest fulcrum unit to facilitate faster running and racing.

8. Why are your more efficient, lighter weight shoes more expensive than some traditional shoes with more cushioning?

Our philosophy toward footwear pricing is no different than companies who make the best bicycles, skis, tennis racquets, etc. If a product is more expensive, that’s because it uses the most high-end technologies and top quality materials, which in turn enables it to feel lighter, faster and sleeker.

9. What does running more efficiently actually mean?

Faster, farther, easier. Running more efficiently means you’ve got more gas in your tank. You can use that gas to run faster, to run farther, or to run easier and save a little for later. It’s up to you!

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© Karhu 2014. Karhu is a registered trademark of Karhu Holding BV.