I am a high school cross country runner and after 2 years of dealing with stomach pain and many diagnosis, this year I want to do whatever it takes to not only recover but reach my "cool impossible", of a varsity runner. I am a heel striker... so through reading Eric's book I am starting to do the foot strengthening exercises and working on my form. I also have recently experienced knee pain below my knee cap and on the sides, mostly medial. I currently wear ASICs GT-2000, which have quite a raised heel, I want to transition to a more minimalist shoe to help with my form, which would you recommend to help transition? I have read lots about Nike Free 5.0 from other discussions, what do you think? I run mostly roads and very few trails.

These are some of the shoes I have found that say they are good transitional shoes but which one? Any better than others? Or better for my type of running? or any completely different ones?

Nike Free 5.0          with a 8mm drop

Nike Free3.0 V5        with a 4mm drop

Asics GEL-LYTE33 2    with a 6mm drop

Saucony kinvara 4    with a 4mm drop

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Totally just based on my own experience transitioning...I liked the Nike free series. The more built up the heel the more the shoe will promote a heel strike. I wouldn't place too much emphasis on brand. The main thing is to transition very slow. Pick a more neutral, less beefed up shoe and run a little here and there in them and gradually work your way into them, then next pair go a little less beefed up, zero drop, neutral, etc.

Of this list I have only used the Nike 3.0.  Which at first was OK but tends to make you slide forward and get toe blisters.

Also be sure to try the barefoot drills in my book, this will really help speed up the transition.

For the knee pain, try stretching your quad and see if this releases some tightness that might be pulling on your knee.  When you feel the pain, stop and stretch.  You should notice immediate relief if this is the case.

Thank you Lori and Eric, I think I am going to try out the Nike Frees and work my way down. The drills are helping too, thank you so much!

I was wondering what you thought about show inserts? I have a high arch and have worn "green" Superfeet for the support. Is that something I should do without as well?

Had a pair of Kinvara 3s and now on the 4s - love them! When I swapped to Kinvara from my Saucony Phoenix I dropped my half marathon time from 1:31:30 to 1:29:28 :-)

I really like my Asics Gel Lyte 33s. I have a pair of the first editions. I don't think they changed much from what I read about the 2s. I was running in Asics 1000 and 2000 before trying an earlier Gel 33 series. I can't recall the name. I found that I felt less restricted and more in touch with the ground in those, but they rubbed my heal in a wierd spot. When I saw the Gel Lytes, I tried them on and loved them. In comparison to what you are used to, they are very light, very felxible, and very flat. They are perfect for the technique that Eric teaches. I may eventually try and find something with even less drop than the Gel Lytes, but I plan on running in them throughout my TCI training this season.

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