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Podcast Episode January 18, 2022

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In this episode of the backpacking Light Podcast, we interview physical therapist and athletic performance coach John Zombro about foot health, footwear, injuries, rehabilitation, training, and more.

Also in this episode: shoes we are looking at in 2022, updates on the Backpacking Light Member Q and A series, and our favorite things we’ve published lately!


  • What’s new with the Backpacking Light crew?
  • Why is Training for the Uphill Athlete a book worth reading?
  • How can WHOOP straps help you track your diet?
  • Who is John Zombro?
  • What is plantar fasciitis?
  • What’s the difference between supination and pronation?
  • How can minimalist footwear help with plantar fasciitis?
  • What’s the minimum effective dose of foot training to allow for minimalist footwear?
  • Is there an advantage to weight training barefoot?
  • How to fix plantar fasciitis?
  • What is metatarsal strain?
  • Is there any way to train metatarsal soft tissue?
  • How much protein should athletes eat per day?
  • Why is eating well on trail important?
  • How can I fix a metatarsal strain?
  • What is a sprained ankle?
  • When should I ice an injury?
  • What are the mechanics of an ankle sprain?
  • Should I wear an ankle brace or knee brace?
  • Do over-ankle shoes protect the ankle?
  • How can lateral training improve hiking strength?
  • What is a stress fracture?
  • What are the most common locations for stress fractures?
  • How does ground reaction force affect hiking injuries?
  • Should I wear thick shoes while backpacking?
  • How can I train for posterior chain health?
  • What can I do to keep my feet strong?
  • What shoes are we looking into at Backpacking Light this year?
  • What’s a good zero-drop winter boot?
  • When is a good time to wear sandals while backpacking?
  • What’s new at Backpacking Light?


  • Training for the Uphill Athlete
  • Training for the New Alpinism
  • WHOOP straps
  • The Lifetime Athlete website
  • Xero Shoes
  • Find John Zombro at his website or on Instagram
  • Astral Pisgah MS
  • Xero Shoes Alpine
  • Bedrock Sandals Cairn PRO II Adventure Sandals
  • BatteryBench: A Protocol for Testing Portable Battery Chargers and Electronic Devices for Backpacking
  • don’t miss our next Members Only Q A – Base Layers, Wicking, and Backpacking

About the Backpacking Light Podcast


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  • Backpacking Light - Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan - Director and Co-Host
  • Andrew Marshall - Producer and Co-Host
  • Look for Me in the Mountains - Music
    • Written by:  Chris Cunningham and Ryan Jordan
    • Performed by: Chris Cunningham (acoustic guitar, lead and harmony vocals, harmonica),  Chad Langford (upright bass), and  Tom Murphy (mandolin).
    • Produced by: Basecamp Studios in Bozeman, Montana


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Home Forums Episode 54 | Foot Injuries, Training, and Rehabilitation for Hikers with John Zombro

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  • Andrew Marshall



    Locale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians

    Excited about this conversation.

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