In celebration of Franco Arese’s 1500m victory at the 1971 European Championships, Karhu proudly introduces the Trampas ‘Franco Arese’. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Karhu Chairman’s gold medal performance in Helsinki. In the 70s, the European Championships were the most important competition in running behind the Olympics. That the 1971 race was in Finland made Arese’s victory even more special as he had spent several summers training in Turku with legendary coach, Kari Sinkkonen.
Arese recently returned to the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, site of the 1971 European Championships, to reunite with Sinkkonen and Olympic champion, Pekka Vasala, whom he competed against in the 1500m. Together, the three caught up on old memories and told the story of what transpired at the European Championships fifty years prior.
Arese, in his Italian blue singlet and lucky red shorts, led the first 400m before trading places with Foster for the next two laps. In the final stretch, Arese retook the lead and managed to hold off a surging Polish runner, Henryk Szordykowski, for his spot atop the podium.
Most interesting about these 1971 European Championships is that Arese was almost banned from competing. The Italian Athletics Federation wanted to disqualify him on account of the colour of his shorts. The official shorts of the Italian national team were white, but Arese insisted on wearing red because he liked the colour and believed that this particular pair brought him luck. With a gold medal on the line, Arese was eventually allowed to compete in the now celebrated red shorts that would lead him to victory that day in Helsinki.
Offered in the signature blue of the Italian National Team, the Trampas ‘Franco Arese’ is highlighted by the red M-logos which are a nod to his lucky shorts. The gold detailing signifying Arese’s victory adds a subtle celebration of his first-place medal.
In sizes 38-46.5
Back in the mid-1960s, running footwear was limited and “training” shoes didn’t exist. There were spikes for workouts and competition, but no shoes to warm up, cool down, or put easy miles in. Track and field athletes demanded a shoe they could do their everyday training runs in, so Karhu developed the Trampas.