Karhu Sports originates back to 1916 and they’ve got an authentic heritage of manufacturing running shoes. In the 1940s, their trademark was three stripes across their gear. Several Olympic medals received in the 1952 Olympics were won by Karhu shoes. In the mid 1950s, they decided to sell their trademark three stripes for 1,600 Euros and two bottles of whiskey to a not-so-well-known company at the time, Adidas. Karhu is also the original inventor of the Air Cushioned shoe.
In the 1970s the company decided a shoe was needed that would absorb the impact of and pressure of the knees carrying the weight of the runner. They thought about installing a spring in their shoes, but alas, they made air cushioned soles and called the shoe, Karhu Champions. The company is a big name and originates in Finland. They’ve had major success and are a big brand within Europe, though not widely known in the U.S.