Switched Shoes now Dealing with Pain

edited April 2014 in Running Injuries
Hi all,

I have been an avid runner for the past 4 years. In that time I have successfully moved into zero drop shoes (Merrell Bare Access and Road Gloves), and they have been good for me. This past year I tried a pair of Pearl Izumi N1 (Trail) and successfully logged nearly 500 miles on them with no real issues. With those being so successful I felt it was time to transition from my Merrell Bare Access for a road shoe. I got into the Pearl Izumi N1 (Road) shoe. I made that switch in December and have had some minor issues of pain ever since.

First was IT band issues. With stretching, ibuprofen, I was able to resolve that pain.
Then shin splints. a little rest, KT tape, ibuprofen and more stretching . . . gone.
Three weeks ago:
Popiliteus muscle (back of knee pain). Rest, more ibuprofen and stretching . . . gone.
front of knee (classic runners knee symptoms). 

I am so frustrated. 30-40 miles a week and now 10-12 and getting a flat tire around my waist and needing anger management classes. LOL!

Is it the shoes? I have a normal to low arch. Do I need arch support?
Curious if someone might have some advice.

Ps. my Pearl Izumi's N1 Road version have around 250 miles on them.


  • Go back to your Bare Access, because it was working just fine for you?

    Why change?
  • I concur with Bryan. Out of curiosity, do you rotate with the Merrells?

    I tried the N1, and it did not work for me at all. On my third run for 5 miles I came back with foot, knee, and hip pain. I put on my other shoes in my rotation and no pain. The sole? felt very hard; more so than it ever has when I have ran barefoot on pavement.
  • Thanks guys. I have rotated the Merrells on occasion. I have not necessarily rotated them on a consistent basis or even weekly. I am going to be needing a new pair of shoes and may just go with the Merrells again. I was hoping to find another shoe for higher mileage days of 10+. 

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for your feedback! 
  • Are the Merrells (Bare Access) working for you?  What about them is not working?
  • Hopefully this makes sense.  . . . you might never answer another forum question of mine again. LOL

    Short Answer . . . I want a long run shoe with more cushion. The Bare Access wasn't working for long distances.

    Long Answer . . .I have loved the Merrell BA, but since November I have increased my mileage significantly. I started running 4 years ago with the first three years running distances no longer than a half. Almost all were run in BA 1 and 2 versions as well as Road Gloves.
     Jan13' I trained for a marathon. I ran in my Bare Access for my shorter runs and my Pearl Izumi Trail N1 for my long distance runs (1 per week), because they had more cushion but were still 0 drop. 
    In October13' I ran my first trail 50k in my Pearl Izumis N1 Trail. I liked them so much I purchased the N1 Road version for my medium and long road runs and still ran in Bare Access as my short run shoe. It was when I shifted to the N1 Road that I experienced problems. 
    Hopefully that makes sense. Thanks again for your input.

  • Your answer makes sense.  Figured there had to be a variable that would cause you to switch up, and now I know what it is.
  • Ditch the Merrells and the Pearl Izumis. Get several pairs of racing flats and one or two pairs of higher drop shoes with more cushion. Rotate these shoes so that you don't run in the same shoe two runs in a row. Save the higher drop, more cush shoes for easy days when your calves need a break. Pay attention to your form, if you don't already--180 or higher cadence, good posture, efficient arm carriage. It seems to me that if you need to put that KT tape stuff (which does nothing) on your leg and take ibuprofen, you may need to rethink your approach.
  • The N1 Road is a love/hate kind of shoe. It's an extremely firm shoe with a bit of an unusual contour underfoot. Since the onset of your problems coincides with the new shoe (no training changes?) I'd say shelve them and try something else. If you like the feel of the Bare Access but want a bit more cush for distance, maybe try something like the Altra Instinct/Intuition or the soon to arrive One2.
  • Thanks Peter. I have not run in nearly 4 weeks and trying to get fully healed before trying to step out again. I like what I am seeing about the One2. Thanks everyone for your replies. D
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