It is worth it to be persistent however, and I truly believe the 100% approach will get you to pain free, all time, the fastest. It did take a long, long time before I could wear other shoes and not get the pain you describe. Each time I wore a different shoe too soon, I had a small set-back. That's what I believe you are experiencing now when you wear your athletic sneakers.
The Arizona style just happened to be the ones I started with and are very similar to the style you describe. I believe the key is the proper fit and also to NOT have a back strap. I could go on about why that is but won't bore everyone. Feel free to e-mail me directly if you what to talk anymore about all this.
This is such a good site, and I like to keep informed, also... I have a "paranoid" feeling that my PF pain could come back if I do something stupid (must be something about 4 yrs of pain and limping that has made me this way) - so I keep my eyes on the new postings from time to time just in case ... and add my 2 cents now and then if I think I can help someone or encourage them ...
Here's wishing you continued improvement... you sound like you are on the road to recovery. I have heard from many people over the last year+ that doing just as well with the birks, so I know it can be done! Diane R.