Karhu’s casual may be modern technology combined with 90’s style, but the Finnish shoemaker has actually been around for over 100 years. They created some of the first real athletic and running shoes the world had ever seen, and kept the innovation up for decades; they’ve got the track record to show for it. At first glance, their casual shoes come off as a bit “different” – more 90’s fashion than marathon-winning runners. But don’t let those good looks fool you; Karhu makes functional shoes with innovative tech, quality materials and comfy padding.

Whether you’re looking for lightning-fast but padded running shoes or something casual, Karhu has something you might like. Here are a couple of Karhu’s best sneakers and running shoes out there for 2019.

Karhu Aria


Based on one of Karhu’s classic running shoe designs, the new Aria are now made from some snazzy, high-tech materials. They use a special “fulcrum technology”; a foam wedge in the middle of the midsole that helps distribute the weight from your step and reduce bounce in each step, by creating a better landing on the midfoot and making forward lean easier. The idea is that the wedge helps conserve energy from each step – though that’s hard to prove- as well as redirects the energy from your step forward instead of upward to make for a more efficient step every time.

The upper is made from pigskin suede, which looks snazzy and holds up a lot better than basic textile shoes, while the mesh parts keep things cool and breezy.

The compression-molded, dual-density EVA midsole has air-cushioning for a better step every time, and the rubber outsole provides grip and lightness.

With a classy suede brown on the toe and a bunch of bright, retro 90’s colors…the Aria is a stylish casual shoe that’s prime for both daily wear and active use.

Karhu Synchron 2


The Synchron, like the Aria, are Karhu classics from the early 1990’s, known for their distinct silhouette and sharp casual looks. Construction-wise, they are almost carbon copies of the Aria, as well; fulcrum technology for a better landing and step, pigskin suede and mesh upper, air cushioning for comfort in every step. It’s also Karhu’s unique, diagonal Karhu lacing system, which creates a tighter, more secure fit on the forefoot than many traditional lacing systems.

The Synchron, again like the Aria, is more a snazzy casual shoe than an athletic offering from Karhu. And we don’t think one could call it “sleek” or “streamlined” with a straight face. But it’s a good-looking offering that goes with jeans and shorts.

Karhu Fluid3


The Fluid3 are lightweight running shoes with a moderate price, perfectly designed for smooth, cushioned strides. With a synthetic and mesh upper, there’s tons of ventilation and adequate breathability for runs in even the hottest weather (even if Finland doesn’t experience a lot of that). Construction is tight; injection-molded EVA midsole, seamlessly constructed lateral quarter packed full of breathability, stitched medial quarter, and “anatomically mapped” tongue around the instep.

Like the Synchrony and the Aria, the Fluid3 uses their Fulcrum technology – the foam wedge in the sole to help propel your weight forward and not up. The synthetic sole is quite stiff, meant more for trail running than for pavement as it can feel a bit stiff. But overall, a lightweight, responsive running shoe that midfoot strikers should be able to get behind.