Consequently, athletic tape is extremely important. Be it for the ankles, knees, hands, elbows, feet, or any other injury-susceptible body part, athletes can rely on quality tape for additional support. This allows them to play with minimal risk and to focus on their game.
- Features to Consider in Good Athletic Tape
- Top 10 Best Athletic Tapes 2021
- 1. Best Overall Athletic Tape: KT Tape
- 2. Best Tape for Ankles: Flex Trek Athletic Tape
- 3. Best Athletic Tape for Feet: Sparthos Kinesiology Tape
- 4. Best Multi-Purpose Tape: Hampton Adams White Medical Athletic Tape
- 5. Mueller Athletic Tape
- 6. Best Looking Athletic Tape: Prairie Horse Supply Athletic Tape
- 7. Best Premium Athletic Tape: RockTape
- 8. Best Budget Tape: Ace Sports Tape
- 9. Best Waterproof Tape: Physix Gear Sport Waterproof Tape
- 10. Theraband Kinesiology Tape
- Guide to Buying the Best Athletic Tape
Features to Consider in Good Athletic Tape
Before we discuss the details of good athletic tape, let’s dive into the basics of how these tapes work, and how to go about purchasing them. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, a high-quality tape is an essential tool.
What Are the Different Types of Athletic Tape?
Since athletic tape is used for multiple body parts, and multiple purposes, they come in a variety of types. These types may include adhesive bandages, cut strips, traditional tapes, compression tapes, elastic tapes, rigid tapes, or even kinesiology tape.
What Are the Uses of Athletic Tapes?
The primary use of athletic tape is to reduce and prevent injuries. The tape forms a waterproof layer on the applied area, something which a normal band-aid, bandage, or even pads can’t do. Athletic tape targets the soft tissue near the application area and supports that specific body part.
In addition, they work well to support inflamed or irritated parts and can be self-applied. Common issues like back pains, ankle rolls, strained feet, wrist or elbow sprains can be easily mitigated or prevented by using athletic tape.
Why Are Athletic Tapes So Important?
You can find athletic tape in the toolkit of almost every athlete. Athletes consider it really important because they help provide muscle support, joint support, protection from impacts, or several other benefits. Moreover, athletic tapes are more flexible (and comfortable) than braces or splints.
These tapes allow normal movement of the body. They don’t impact the natural movement of the athletes. This allows athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.
Additionally, they are easy to apply and remove.
As we discussed above, athletic tapes are available for various purposes. While some are specifically designed for a dedicated body part, others are multi-purpose tapes that can be used anywhere.
Let’s examine the best athletic tape on the market, along with their pros and cons, their price, where to buy them, and what we like about them.
Top 10 Best Athletic Tapes 2021
KT Tape is one of the most famous and commonly used athletic tapes. Its superior quality makes it worth every penny. Its breathable elastic cotton material helps to provide extra support, which reduces tissue pressure. The elasticity of the tape ensures unmatched flexibility and comfort. It has the right amount of stretch to allow natural movement, while lending the necessary support for which it is used.
The self-application of the tape is much easier than many others on the market. It’s also available in multiple colors. As a result, it not only provides physical support but also enhances your style.
Unlike other tapes, it can easily be repositioned. There are times when the user does not place the tape at an appropriate location. However, KT Tape can be peeled off and immediately reapplied with similar effects with any awkward tearing of hairs or other issues.
It’s not perfect, it’s less durable than some competitors and some people react badly to the material it’s made from, but it’s otherwise a market-leading tape for good reason.
Flex Trek Athletic tape is one of the best tapes available for ankle support. The tape is latex-free, as well as hypoallergenic. Additionally, its zig-zag form factor ensures that it maintains a firm grip on the ankle.
On top of that, its versatile sticking ensures that the ankle gets proper support. This minimizes the risk of injury. Uniquely, it comes with an instructions guide, which explains the most effective techniques for application.
This athletic bandage is developed to have a unique design. This design ensures it is easy to tear off from the skin after use, minimizing discomfort and leaving barely any residue.
However, it is a little inflexible and hampers natural movement to the point of limiting some training exercises. Yet that is part of the trade-off in having such good support.
This tape from Sparthos is a flexible tape that is very stretchable. It stretches along with the natural movement of the feet, ensuring top-notch performance. Additionally, the tape provides therapeutic support to the feet, reducing the risk of injuries.
It helps increase blood circulation. As such, inflammation is reduced, and maximum physical performance is ensured. The package comes in a bulk roll which lasts a long time. It’s also great value when compared to other products, but with the trade-off that you have to buy a lot at one time as the minimum size is quite large.
This tape is very good at reducing pain. It increases the movement of lymphatic fluid, and, as such, enhances blood flow. It’s also waterproof, and can even be worn in the shower without any issues.
This is an amazing quality multi-purpose tape that one can use to tape wrists, ankles, feet, fingers or any joint in the body. It is made of a cotton substrate with infused zinc oxide. On top of that, its latex-free surface ensures smoothness and comfort on the skin. This ensures that there are no rashes after usage. This composition provides additional support to any area where it’s applied.
Additionally, it is completely latex-free and hypoallergenic, which allows athletes to wear it for longer periods of time without irritating their skin. It is best used to prevent injuries.
This is a multi-purpose tape. Hence, it can be used on various body parts. It provides equal support, no matter the targeted area. This athletic tape is also very affordable, especially if bought in large bundles.
Unpeeling the tape can be tricky, whilst removing it can lead to hairs being ripped out, which isn’t the most pleasant. It’s also not particularly good when unduly wet or if you are very sweaty, which is a shame considering the high intensity situations it’s generally used for.
This is a very unique athletic bandage, which can be used to its best effects around the ankles. Not only is this tape made of pure cotton bleached-black cloth, but it also contains zinc oxide. This has proven to be very efficient in supporting the ankles, especially while training.
The materials used on this tape are medical grade, which ensures comfort and flexibility. In fact, there is plenty of data indicating a reduction of ankle injuries if this tape is worn during a football game. On top of that, it has also been widely renowned for helping reduce ankle fatigue.
This bandage stays in place even during extensive movement. This mostly comes down to its high-quality adhesive. It has good tensile strength, which helps limit strain on the ankles and reduce injuries. It is quite sticky. Neither sweat nor moisture makes it come off, which is a huge benefit. Users have felt assured that even in extremely humid conditions it stays in place.
This athletic tape comes in only one color. The white color tends to get dirty pretty quickly and needs to be changed quite frequently. Also, the tape is only available in a length of 1.5 inches by 15 yards. This length is a bit short when compared to other ankle tapes, which isn’t very convenient to use.
The Prairie Horse Supply tape is one of the cheapest athletic tapes available on the market. However, despite the low cost, it still comes with medical-grade material, a strong adhesive, and a comfortable grip. This ensures that the tape stays in place without any need for clips or fasteners.
On top of that, the tapes come in various colors and patterns. The entire color range is pretty funky and ideal for those who want to stand out. The availability of colors like green, neon, pink, purple, orange, and red, among others, is rarely found with any other tapes. Users can even match the tape colors with their outfits to achieve a better look.
The downside to this tape is the strong adhesive means if you’re hair it can pull out the hairs pretty frequently, causing rashes or pain.
RockTape is a popular brand amongst gymnasts and competitive athletes. This is not only regarded for helping prevent injuries but also helping to heal existing issues.
Additionally, with zinc and latex-free flexible material, the RockTape is a popular choice amongst sports enthusiasts. It is safe for even sensitive skin types. On top of that, it has a high-grade adhesive that stays stuck for a long time.
This athletic tape repels moisture and helps keep skin clean and dry. It comes with easy to apply pre-cut strips. The flexible material allows for easy wrapping around the feet. Its natural movement enables athletes, especially gymnasts, to give their best performances.
Unfortunately, this tape is not the most durable. It can peel away fairly easily under sustained stress.
Ace is one of the leading brands when it comes to sports bandages and tapes. The Ace Sports Tape definitely lives up to the brand name. It can be used on multiple body parts, including fingers, wrists, elbows, and ankles.
Its primary function is to provide firm support to weak joints. It also gives added protection to injured parts. Ace Sports Tape comes from a trustworthy brand that has built a reputation among customers over the years. It is highly regarded to be helpful in preventing sprains and supporting injured areas.
It is quite easy to peel. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue or tear skin or hair, and it’s suited for strenuous activities. During extensive training and intense sports activities, the tape provides solid support.
However, the adhesive can come out when exposed to excess sweat or water. It’s also less flexible than other tapes on the market, and this can hinder natural movements. The adhesive is also a little weaker than other tapes on our list.
This waterproof tape from Physix Gear is a reliable tape for prolonged use. The kinetic tape comes with a fabric that can stretch in four ways. The major problem with many tapes out there is that they don’t stay on for long.
In fact, most tapes need to be changed regularly, especially after a shower or a sweaty activity. However, this kinesiology tape is built from waterproof material. This means that it can be kept on even after showers. It doesn’t come off from the feet even if you wear tight shoes for long hours. This is because the waterproof material ensures the sweat doesn’t loosen the adhesive of the tape.
The tape doesn’t have any dangling fabrics. Therefore, it is easy to cut and apply. Even peeling is much easier with this tape. The tape also comes with a money-back guarantee. If you don’t get satisfactory results, you can call the company and claim a refund.
Despite all these positives, the negative is quite severe. The adhesive on this tape isn’t the best, so you may find it peeling at crucial moments which can become a distraction and require reapplication.
This is a great athletic tape that comes with a best-in-class adhesive. The tape boasts Xact Stretch indicators. This makes it easy to ensure the right stretch through the visual application guide.
The materials used on this tape are 98% cotton and 2% spandex blend, which makes for good flexibility during application. It also allows for the tape to be maneuvered around the foot, in order to provide a supportive grip.
The adhesive quality of this tape is superior to most others on the market. It holds on for a long time. It also has smooth and painless peeling. Even sensitive skin types weren’t affected by this tape.
There is only one black/gray color option, which isn’t the first choice of many users. Among a lot of reviews, the color is deemed to be boring and unattractive. You are also not able to return this product.
Guide to Buying the Best Athletic Tape
Athletic sports tapes, as discussed above, are a very important tool for athletes. Not only do they provide support to various body parts under stress, they also help to prevent injuries.
Multiple people use athletic tape on a daily basis. However, it is important to be aware of the different types of tapes. They come in several varieties, as they serve different purposes. As a buyer, it is critical to know what specific kind of athletic tape you need.
You would not want to spend your money on a tape that doesn’t serve the purpose you buy it for. Moreover, using the wrong tape may not give you the support and protection you were hoping for. It might even aggravate an injury you were looking to protect. Athletic tapes are generally multi-purpose, especially good for the feet or good for the ankles.
Athletic Tapes for Ankles
Ankles are one of the most sensitive areas in the human body. The ankle is the region where the foot and the leg join together. This joint is crucial in the functional ability of the body, as it allows the movement and flexibility of the legs.
However, because of its delicate nature, as well as the crucial role it plays, it is more susceptible to injuries than other body parts. Especially during strenuous physical activities, ankles are at an increased risk of getting rolled or strained, which can be very painful.
Athletic tapes for ankles are proven to be highly useful in this regard. These tapes provide adequate support to the ankles, as they help keep the ankles within a safe range of motion. On top of that, they prevent rolling of ankles and subsequent injuries.
Athletic Tapes for Feet
Feet are one of the most pressurized body parts during any physical activity. One cannot think of doing many kinds of training, exercise, or physical activity without involving the use of feet. As a result, feet are prone to injuries, aches, and strains, which impacts athletes on a regular basis.
Consequently, it is crucial to protect the feet as much as possible. One solution is to tape the feet using dedicated athletic tapes. If you feel any discomfort or issues in your feet, properly applied dedicated tape might make a huge difference to help you improve your game and minimize your risk of injury. This also will prevent you from aggravating any existing injury.
There are a lot of athletic tapes for feet available on the market. We have shortlisted some of the best below.
Multi-Purpose Athletic Tapes
As we discussed above, there are different kinds of athletic tape. The most common are the multi-purpose tapes. These tapes are generally designed in such a way that they could be used for different body parts. (This is largely due to their flexibility.)
Here are a few things to consider when buying athletic tapes:
Purpose of Buying
As you know, athletic tapes have multiple purposes. They can be used to protect (and support) injuries like ankle sprains, shin splints, back pain, etc. They can also be used as a precaution to prevent future injuries.
Based on your requirements, you should buy a tape manufactured to serve the specific purpose of the user. For example, if you have an ankle sprain, you will want to buy the best athletic tape for ankles. If your back hurts, then you should look for the best athletic tape for back support.
Athletic tapes are usually made up of different materials. While some are made of cotton, others are made of polyester. Some add zinc oxide, while others are zinc free. Some are more durable, while others are less durable.
On the other hand, some use stretchable material, while others are rigid. Based on factors like skin sensitivity, the required duration, as well as the purpose and the area of application, one must buy an athletic tape that fits within all of these parameters.
Some athletic tapes are more flexible, while some barely stretch. If you require an athletic tape for a pull, a strain, or any injury to soft tissue, then you might want to buy an athletic tape with high elasticity.
This elasticity gives users multiple degrees of compression. Elastic athletic tapes make the healing process much more natural, comfortable, and smooth. For preventing injuries, less flexible tapes might work best.
Value for Money
Since the tapes come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, their prices vary. They usually come in rolls and bundles. Some of the sports tapes also come in pre-cut strips, for easy application.
While buying an athletic tape, the user must definitely look to derive the utmost value. One should check out a few products and analyze how much usable tape they get. When possible, shop for bundles and packs, since they tend to be the cheaper option, such as Hampton White Medical Tap.
However, keep in mind that the price of the tape doesn’t necessarily translate into quality.
The adhesive used on athletic tapes is of various types and quality. Some have a very strong adhesive that stays on for a long time. Others have a gentle adhesive, which is less durable.
Besides, some adhesives make the peeling process much harder. They cause skin rashes and pain while peeling. Others can be peeled off easily.
Whether you want an athletic tape that is waterproof or not comes down to personal preference. However, it’s a great addition. Many people use athletic tapes to keep an injured area dry. They do not want to expose the area to sweat or water that might aggravate the injury. If that is your situation, it is important to buy a tape that is waterproof, like Physix Gear Athletic Tape.
On top of that, waterproof tapes last longer. They keep their grip even during high-intensity training sessions.
This might not be a very important factor while buying a sports tape, but it’s still an attraction. There are a lot of white tapes on the market, and they tend to quickly acquire a very dirty appearance. This leads to multiple (and frequent) changes.
Colored tapes, on the other hand, are a bit more stylish and can be matched with the outfit you wear. It can also highlight the body part which is injured, so others on the field are more careful around you.
Although this depends on individuals and their choices, if you like colored tapes, you should factor this into your purchase decision.
This is the most important factor whenever you choose an athletic tape. If the tape is itchy, too tight, hurts, doesn’t suit the skin, or isn’t made of the best materials, then you will struggle. Instead of helping yourself, you might be making yourself miserable.
The perfect tape is the one that provides comfort. Healing can only happen if you feel comfortable wearing the tape. Comfort also ensures that, even while doing physical exercises, your natural movement is unhindered. This helps to deliver optimal performances.
It is of the utmost importance to apply the tape for a limited period of time. Besides, tapes should never be used unnecessarily. Simply put, you should only buy a sports tape when you need to protect yourself, support part of your body, or prevent an injury.
You should select those tapes which are highly durable. They should be durable enough to hold and support the affected body part. If it is less durable and comes off early, then it might not serve its purpose. It might not give much protection or support.
If you want more information regarding athletic tapes, here is a helpful summary.
In the video, Physiotherapist Neal Reynolds explains the different materials which are used in athletic tapes, and how they can impact your buying decision. He also discusses the correct way to use the tapes, proper application, duration of use, and safe ways of removing tape.