Stories by Cory

Cory Smith is a Santa Barbara, CA-based athlete, online running coach, and freelance writer specializing in running, climbing, and fitness-related content and gear review. He draws from over 30 years as an elite runner and rock climber for ideas, inspiration, and expertise.

His work has been featured in Outside Magazine, Runner's WorldGear Patrol, Muscle & Fitness, Gear Junkie, Footwear News, TripSavvy, Trail Runner and Gear Institute. He loves working with new outlets and can be reached at cory@runyourpersonalbest.com. If you're interested in getting coached by Cory visit www.runyourpersonalbest.com

His Work

New Strava Features Coming Soon: AI Coaching, Safer Night Heat Maps, and More

Strava unveiled its latest innovations and future direction at Camp Strava 2024, including exciting features like Dark Mode, Athlete Intelligence, and more. The popular cycling app claims these changes are revolutionary. GearJunkie sent a Strava-savvy reporter to ferret out the details. Last week, Los Angeles hosted Camp Strava 2024, a pivotal gathering of Strava executives and industry leaders. The event was devoted to unveiling Strava’s future direction, highlighting its most anticipated new

These Stability Running Shoes Add Support and Comfort to Your Runs

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Why Trust Us? Long gone are the days of clunky, rigid, stability running shoes. With new designs and cushioning materials, supportive running shoes for overpronators and runners with flat feet or low arches can help you feel more comfortable as you run, while reducing the chance of an injury. The Runner’s World test team and its wear test cohort have sifted through many, many pairs of shoes to find the best stabilit

The Best Running Shoes for Training and Racing

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . It is a great time to be a runner. Today’s smart shoe designers are using advanced materials, new geometries, and creative combinations of foams, plates, fabrics, and soles to create models that are faster and more comfortable than ever before. Many shoes in this roundup are franchise models, in their second, fourth, 17th, or 21st(!) iterations, representing the best of what t

We Ran in Adidas’s $500 Super Shoe Until It Gave Out. Here’s How Far We Got.

Designing shoes to improve running speed isn’t a novel concept. Long before the advent of plated super shoes, ultralight, minimalist footwear helped runners achieve faster race times. These lightweight shoes represented a form of performance-enhancing super shoe, as research extensively shows that a shoe’s weight significantly influences running performance. The lighter the shoe, the faster you can run. One study revealed that for every 100-gram (3.5 oz) addition in shoe weight, a 1.11 percent d

The Best Track Spikes of 2024, Reviewed

Whether you’re getting ready for a race or a hard workout, the process of spiking up stirs a familiar excitement and anxiety for what’s to come: your body instinctively knows it’s time to perform. If you want to compete at your best in track and field, spikes are essential—and today’s are better than ever. Here are our top picks from this spring’s options, what you need to know about choosing a track spike, and the technology behind today’s superspikes. • Best Value: Under Armour Kick Sprint 4

We Found the Best Trail Running Shoes for Every Terrain

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . It is a great time to be a trail runner. Today’s smart shoe designers are using advanced materials, new geometries, and creative combinations of foams, plates, fabrics, outsole rubber, and lug depths to create models that are more capable on a variety of terrain than ever before. We’re wildly impressed with the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, our Editors’ Choice, for its r

This Adidas Is the Best Trail Supershoe We’ve Tested

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . Ever since Nike introduced the Vaporfly 4% in 2017, brands have competed fiercly to craft the ultimate road racing shoe. Commonly referred to as “supershoes,” this innovative footwear employs high-rebound foams and curved, rigid plates to enhance running efficiency while minimizing muscle damage. Simply put, these high-performance shoes are engineered to make you run faster w

The Nike Alphafly 3 Review Verdict: The Best Marathon Shoe to Date

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . The world was introduced to the ground-breaking, futuristic-looking Alphafly on the feet of Eliud Kipchoge when he broke the two-hour marathon barrier in October 2019. Overnight, every marathon runner wanted a pair, and they finally had the chance to buy their own in June 2020. Two years later, Nike released its second iteration of the popular Alphafly. Seeking to fix some st

Can This $225 Graphene-Printed Racing Singlet Help You Run Faster?

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . If there were a kryptonite for runners, it would undoubtedly be heat. Even the slightest sign of warm conditions impairs running performance. One study analyzed runners competing in seven marathons over multiple years and found performance declined by .9 percent for every 9 degrees Fahrenheit above 50 for the top three finishers. As marathon finishing times got slower, the eff

We Put REI’s Algae-Powered, Recycled-Material Trail-Running Shoe to the Test

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . It’s an absolutely thrilling time to be a runner, if I may say so without sounding too much like a complete shoe geek. We are in a golden era of running shoes. Besides exciting advancements in the foams and carbon-fiber plates of supershoes, there’s been an insurgence of brands entering the trail shoe market. Companies such as NNormal, Speedland, Norda, LOWA, Tecnica, Hel

The Best Rain Jackets Will Keep You Dry, Cool, and Ready to Perform

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Why Trust Us? Renowned Oregon University track coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman once said, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people." We aren't sure we agree, but you don’t have to run on a treadmill just because the weather isn’t perfect. Whether it's an unexpected downpour or a misty drizzle, having a rain jacket that’s breathable, but water-resistant can make it a lot easier to feel comforta

The Best Track Spikes of 2023

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . Whether you’re getting ready for a race or a hard workout, the process of spiking up stirs a familiar excitement and anxiety for what’s to come: your body instinctively knows it’s time to perform. If you want to compete at your best in track and field, spikes are essential—and today’s are better than ever. Here’s what you need to know about choosing a track spike, our to

What to Know About Zero Drop Shoes and How to Determine If They’re Right for You

When it comes to buying running shoes, there’s no shortage of options. One category that has gained increased popularity over the past decade is zero drop shoes. Often misunderstood, zero drop shoes bring out strong opinions from runners when it comes to categories of running shoes. Speak with most proponents of the zero drop and odds are, you’ll hear how great they are and that they won’t run in anything else. It’s true: Zero drop shoes can offer an excellent option for some runners and, in a

Still the King: Nike Vaporfly 3

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app . MSRP: $250 Weight: 5.8 ounces (women’s 8), 7.0 ounces (men’s 10) Stack Height: Not yet revealed, but less than 40 millimeters heel Heel-toe Drop: 8 millimeters) If running shoes had a king, the Nike Vaporfly would wear the crown. When it debuted in 2016, it created a new class of racer, the supershoe, which quickly made all other racing shoes obsolete. Supershoes’

Hoka Finally Makes a Competitive Supershoe

When I’m not actively testing shoes for Outside Buyer’s Guides, Hoka is the brand I reach for most often. My regular Hoka rotation includes the Clifton 9 for leisurely days, the Mach 5 or Rincon 3 for moderate days, and the Tecton X for trail running. When it comes to tempo runs, speed workouts, or races, however, Hoka hasn’t been on my radar. Since they jumped into the supershoe competition three years ago, Hoka’s premier go-fast carbon fiber racing shoe has been the Rocket X, which, for my st

Low-Profile Shoe That's Got Lots More Than Looks: Tracksmith Eliot Runner Review

We wanted to see if the Eliot Runner is just another running shoe in an already-saturated field, or if it’s something more. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a flood of new brands enter into running footwear — Speedland, Allbirds, Naked, Vimazi, Hilma, and No Bull, to name a few. Now, one of our favorite running apparel brands, Tracksmith, is throwing its hat in the ring with the debut of the Eliot Runner. In short: For its first shoe, Tracksmith did a fantastic job. It’s a low-profile, not

The Best Massage Guns For Post-Workout Recovery

If you’re a runner, I know you know it–that debilitating post-workout muscle soreness that leaves you gingerly hobbling up and down steps after a long run. When you get done with a long or difficult run, excess metabolic waste pools in your leg muscles, causing inflammation and soreness. This painful yet oddly rewarding feeling in your muscles is delayed onset muscle syndrome, or DOMS. DOMS is an unavoidable side effect of training and pushing your limits, but using a massage gun can help you r

Should You Race in Banned Running Shoes?

Imagine walking into your local running store to buy a new pair of running shoes. After trying a few pairs, you settle on the one that feels the most comfortable: a thick-soled, highly cushioned shoe the shop employee endorses as their go-to shoe. After months of training, you decide this is the shoe you’ll wear for your upcoming Boston Marathon qualifying race. Race day comes, and you nail a BQ! As you exit the finishing line corral, a course marshal pulls you aside and asks to see your shoes.
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