I was so excited about my new running shoes. Shiny. White. Cheerful. And on sale for $39 at Big 5. All good news.

Except they didn’t have the Nimbus gel kind I usually get. No matter…they are the same brand. And they didn’t have any women’s sizes left. Not a big deal…I have wide feet, I just bought a size down in Men’s instead.

I’ve gone running twice now with these new shoes. They’re still shiny and white, but not as cheerful. They feel heavier. It seems like my legs have to work harder. I’m feeling the tiniest twinge of a shin splint coming on.

Is there that much difference between a man’s and woman’s shoe? Is the technology really advanced enough, in a $39 Asics Duoax running shoe, to absorb the way my hip flexer hits the ground in relation to my neutral, non-pronating stride, compared to the Asics Gel Nimbus 9? Or whatever?

Nimbus 9 sounds like some kind of Harry Potter broomstick. Does Hermione need a girl’s Nimbus 9 compared to a boy’s? Are the features really that different?

If only my shoes would let me fly. If only they had wings.

If only I wasn’t so cheap, I would have just gone to the real running store and bought the $89 all time favorite shoes I really wanted. Now I feel like I should give these new shoes a chance. It’d be such a waste of money not to.

And maybe it’s not the shoe that’s making my legs heavy. Maybe it’s the 4 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and two glasses of red wine I had the night before I tried the new shoes. Or the fact that I only slept for 5 hours instead of my usual 8. All of these things could contribute to my slow, heavy run.

But it’s probably the shoes.