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New, Lightweight Composite Converts Same Energy into Faster Performance

Beverly, MA (February 28, 2012) – KARHU’s Spring 2012 line features a newly redesigned fulcrum — the unique component layered between foot bed and outsole that is literally at the heart of every Karhu shoe and the legendary Finnish brand’s long-running promise of efficiency.

Efficiency as in greater performance for the same amount of effort. This is exactly what the fulcrum platform achieves by quickly and easily propelling the runner to toe-off. Runners move faster through the gait cycle without expending any more energy and by many accounts, less.

In a marketplace saturated with ‘barefoot’ running models, the Karhu fulcrum is not the latest but rather one of the original shoes to leverage the runner’s natural stride and forward-leaning posture into an easier, more efficient running style. First introduced in 1987, the new fulcrum’s stiffer and more spring-like platform further reduces peak braking while creating even more forward propulsion.

“Independent testing at the University of Jyvaskyla has shown that runners wearing the Karhu fulcrum reduce their vertical movement up to 13% compared to structured cushioning shoes, and up to 5% compared to barefoot or zero drop models,” says Dan Richard, Karhu’s director of design and development. He adds, “The fulcrum acts like a wheel to reduce the forces between braking and propelling during the gait cycle. This translates into an easier, more efficient run.”

“So much of the talk generated by the barefoot and cushioning trends is about landing and striking. Karhu looks entirely differently at the runner’s biomechanics. How can our shoes make the most of the runner’s natural energy? How can the fulcrum enable even more forward momentum? How can it make you an even better, more efficient runner?” says Huub Valkenburg, President & CEO of Karhu. “Performance is the end-game whether you measure it in faster times, longer distances or simply easier loops. That’s what our constant quest for greater efficiency is all about.”

The new generation fulcrum is available in a neutral Forward3 model (MSRP: $129.99) and in the Stable2 (MSRP $129.99) stability model. A trail shoe is in the works for Fall 2012. Look for the Spring 2012 Karhu line at running specialty retailers and at www.karhu.com starting March 1, 2012.

Karhu, Finnish for bear, is Finland's legendary running brand. Founded in 1916, the company’s shoes set the standard for efficiency. The hallmark of Finnish design philosophy, efficiency is an integral component of performance. Karhu shoes and apparel are sold globally by running and outdoor specialty retailers. The company is owned by Karhu Holding, B.V. For more information, visit www.karhu.com.

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