Stories by Cory

Cory Smith is a Santa Barbara, CA based athlete, online running coach and freelance journalist specializing in running and climbing related content and gear review. He draws from over 25 years as an elite runner and rock climber for ideas, inspiration and expertise. His work has been featured in Outside Magazine, Trail Runner, Gear Patrol, Philadelphia Magazine, Gear Junkie, Gear Institute and Podium Runner. He can be reached at cory@runyourpersonalbest.com.

Stories

Could the Next Generation of Gore-Tex Pro Be Even Better than FutureLight?

Outdoor enthusiasts know Gore-Tex has long been the leader in foul-weather protection — and Gore-Tex Pro is the brand’s highest-performing fabric. Targeted at the extreme end user and the outdoor professional, garments with this ingredient offer unparalleled protection, durability and breathability. And next year the material is going to be even better. We journeyed to Banff, Alberta, Canada for Gore-Tex’s global announcement of the next generation of Gore-Tex Pro fabric. Three new advancements

How to Stay on Pace in the New York City Marathon (Even When Your GPS Doesn't) –

Your GPS watch will lose its signal during the New York City Marathon. Here’s how to bypass it and know your true pace. Picture this: It’s race day in New York, and you’re just coming off the Verrazzano Bridge. As you pass the second mile marker you hear the beep of your GPS watch and glance down to find you’re right on pace. Perfect. You’re feeling good. As you start to approach the third mile marker, beep, your GPS notifies you just hit three miles, still pacing perfectly. Five seconds later

La Sportiva TX Guide Review: The Most Runnable Approach Shoe

The La Sportiva TX Guide is at home on both flat terrain and near-vertical crags. It’s a great choice for fast-and-light hikers on technical terrain. As the horizontal world of running and the vertical world of climbing start to blend, there is a gap in technical footwear suitable for these hybrid adventures. You either lean toward a trail-running shoe that runs better but lags in climbing ability, or you go with an approach shoe that climbs well but offers a less-than-desirable ride while runn

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes of 2019

In a sport where gravity is your foe and friction is your friend, no single piece of gear aids you more than a pair of quality rock climbing shoes. With your feet making 50 percent of your contact with the cliff or wall, and bearing the majority of your weight, finding the right pair for your ability level and type of climbing can mean the difference between getting to that next hold and falling off. However, zeroing in on your perfect pair is no easy task. REI alone sells 58 varieties of climb

The Best Running Shoes of 2020

Let the carbon-fiber running-shoe craze begin. Not long after Nike successfully incorporated the superlight material into its trainers, Hoka and New Balance jumped into the ring, too. Round one went to the 2018 Gear of the Year–winning Nike Zoom Fly. Round two belongs to Hoka’s Carbon X. Whereas the Zoom Fly is better suited to forefoot-striking elite athletes, the Carbon X is the everyday runner’s superhero cape. Hoka’s rocking-chair-like outsole propels heel and midfoot strikers onto their toe

Garmin 45: Dollar-For-Dollar This Is the Best Garmin GPS Watch For Runners

I’m not a tech geek, I’m a runner. I like technology and recognize it can make certain tasks easier, but when it comes to running, distraction-free simplicity rules all for me. I want a GPS watch that gets a reliable signal, is easy to read while running and is intuitive to navigate through the settings. Over the past 10 years, my trusty Garmin 235 has filled that job perfectly, so when Garmin recently announced a new line of Forerunner GPS watches, I was intrigued- could the new, $50 cheaper Ga

The Best Men’s Race Day Running Kits of 2019

Come race day, the right mindset will make or break your race. Like the famous proverb says, “Running is 90% mental and 10% physical.” One of the easiest ways to get into a positive mindset on race morning is having a dedicated race day kit. One that looks good and will elevate your confidence once you put it on – like your finest suit you only reserve for special occasions. I still very clearly remember the day I first received my college race day kit – a simple white jersey tank top that read

5 Pairs of Summer Running Shorts We Absolutely Love

Do the dog days of summer have you feeling worn down and yearning for cooler temps? I hear you. Unfortunately, there are still weeks of sweating it out before it’s time to break out your warmer running clothes. On the upside, late summer and early fall are the best times to stock up on fresh running gear. Besides the possibility of cashing in on late-season sales, buying new digs can inject some newfound motivation to get out the door and suffer through another steamy run. Over the past three mo

Perfect Day Hikers: The 6 Best Approach Shoes

Most people fall into one of two camps when it comes to hiking footwear. You either prefer the support and protection of a full-on hiking boot or the comfort and nimbleness of a trail runner. However, somewhere in the middle sits a class of technical mountain shoes only a few people outside the climbing world know about – the approach shoe. Perhaps the most versatile class of mountain footwear, the approach shoe is a tough-as-nails, below the ankle blend between a hiking boot, trail runner and c

3 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Running Shoes

Over the course of one mile, running shoes bear the brunt of over 1,400 steps and endure forces three times your bodyweight. No other piece of running gear is subject to that level of abuse — and more critical to your performance. They are literally where the rubber meets the road, yet as a running coach who helps over 150 runners per year, I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over when it comes to buying running shoes. Here are three of the most common mistakes I see and how you can to avoi

The Hoka One One Carbon X: A Race Day Shoe for the Everyman

When Nike launched the Zoom Vaporfly 4%, it was groundbreaking. Thanks to a combo of the shoe’s researched-confirmed efficiency benefits and the broad-reaching publicity it received, everyone wanted a pair. And competitors wanted to respond. Since Nike’s launch, Hoka and Skechers have both produced carbon-fiber running shoes. Earlier this month, in a staged event to launch Hoka’s second carbon-fiber shoe, Jim Walmsley broke the 50-mile world record (pending verification), running 4:50:08 in the

Best Running Shirts for Summer 2019

Running is an inherently uncomfortable activity — labored breathing, tired muscles and, when the weather heats up like it’s starting to now, you’re stuck dealing with sweat-ridden clothes and probably a ton of smelly workout laundry. However, if you’re like most runners, you probably spend more time reading up on running shoes than running shirts. Makes sense; besides color, shirts all look pretty similar online. Even my own research on features began to blend together. Everything is lightweight

The Best Trail Running Shoes of 2019

Creating a shoe that works for everything—from casual runs to blasting up and down the local hill after work to ultra-distance training and racing—is hard to do. But Scarpa accomplished it with the new Spin Ultra. Protection and supportive rigidity come from the combination of a durable Vibram Litebase outsole (40 percent thinner than standard rubber) and an H-shaped TPU insert that allows for some forefoot flexibility. Vibram Megagrip lugs serve up unparalleled traction. All-day comfort comes f

The Best Road Running Shoes of 2019

Here’s a true zero-to-hero story. Last year the Skechers GoRun barely got our attention. One model later, our testers won’t take them off their feet. What changed? It’s a more versatile shoe, balancing soft cushioning for recovery days with plenty of pop and energy for tempo runs. Skechers hit a gold mine with its new midsole compound, called Hyper Burst. Using a proprietary, mechanically blown process, the brand lightened up the foam by 15 percent while increasing durability over its previous m

The Best Running Shoes for Road and Trail

Finding the right shoe can make a world of difference in your running experience and overall motivation. Good shoes will help prevent injury, open up new terrain, and just make running more fun. With the aid of 30 testers, we evaluated close to 50 shoes, both road and trail, from racing flats to off-road monsters, in every condition we could throw at them (more on how we test shoes at the bottom of this article). We found some new favorites (the Hoka One One Evo Mafate), great updates on old sta

The 6 Best Softshell Jackets of 2019

When softshells first gained popularity over ten years ago, they struck a chord with those who work up a sweat in cold weather. The flexible, breathable material shelters you from mild water and wind all while breathing better than their closest competition: the hardshell. The fabric — which falls somewhere between a hard shell and a fleece — fills a large hole; it offers breathable weather protection for high-exertion activities in cold weather like alpine skiing, ice climbing and even, snowsho

Patagonia Houdini Air Gives Trail Runners a New Breathable Shell

Patagonia’s ultra-lightweight jacket, the Houdini, receives a more breathable, softer, and better-fitting sibling. I reviewed this trail running model that hits the market in 2019. If you ever find me in the mountains, odds are you’ll find the Patagonia Houdini stuffed in my pack or clipped to my harness. However, as much as I love the Houdini, there are few downsides. For starters, it shelters from windy gusts well but doesn’t quite breathe enough during higher-effort bouts of exercise, causi
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