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Best Kinesiology Tape

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 7 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 114 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best kinesiology tape

    Last Updated December 2018

    For anyone who works out regularly or plays a sport, injuries are part of life. But no one likes to take a break from their usual workout routine while waiting for an injury to heal, which is why kinesiology tape can be such a handy addition to your gym bag.

    But if you want to recover as quickly as possible, you have to choose the right kinesiology tape. That means deciding on the best features to make sure you’re able to work out effectively even when you’re recovering. Considering how many kinesiology tapes there are on the market, sorting through all the choices can get confusing.

    At BestReviews, we want to make shopping as simple as possible. We do all the research so you can understand the items inside and out and find the best products for your needs. If you’re in the market for kinesiology tape, you’ll find plenty of tips and advice in our shopping guide.

    Kinesiology tape isn’t just for treating injuries. It’s also ideal for individuals who experience joint pain due to arthritis or osteoarthritis.

    What is kinesiology tape?

    Kinesiology tape is an elastic body tape made for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. One side has an adhesive that enables it to stick to the skin. The tape stretches with the body to help provide stability and support for your joints and muscles. The tape can be used to treat and prevent injuries and may be worn for several days at a time.

    Kinesiology tape benefits

    There are several key benefits to using kinesiology tape during your workout or sports activity, including the following:

    • Relieves pain: Kinesiology tape can relieve pressure on muscle and joint injuries to help ease any pain you might be feeling.

    • Reduces inflammation: When you suffer sports and workout injuries, it’s common for the affected area to become inflamed and swollen. Kinesiology tape helps stretch the area to promote drainage of the fluid under the skin so your injury can heal more quickly.

    • Fades bruises: If the injured area is bruised, kinesiology tape can help get rid of accumulated blood under the skin so bruises heal more quickly.

    • Supports muscle recovery: Lactic acid can build up in your muscles after a workout, causing a sore, stiff feeling. Kinesiology tape helps remove lactic acid buildup in your muscles for faster recovery.

    • Prevents cramps: Kinesiology tape helps promote better blood circulation, which means you’re less likely to experience muscle spasms or cramps during a workout.

    • Enables continued workouts: Because kinesiology tape helps reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as support your muscles and relieve pain, it enables you to work out while you’re recovering from an injury.
    CAUTION

    Individuals with deep vein thrombosis, clotting issues, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, cancer, or other serious health conditions shouldn’t use kinesiology tape. Consult your doctor if you’re unsure whether you can safely use it.

    Kinesiology tape features to consider

    Material

    Kinesiology tape is made up of two layered materials. Plastic is the most common inner material because it helps to provide support for injured muscles or joints. Cotton, nylon, and other synthetic materials are typically used for the outer layer.

    • Cotton is an excellent material for the outer layer because it’s able to stretch a great deal. It’s also lightweight and highly breathable, so you don’t have to worry about getting hot or sweaty when you’re wearing it.

    • Synthetic outer layers are preferred by some users because they tend to be more durable, which means you can wear the tape longer. Synthetic material has better water resistance, too.
       

    Adhesive

    The adhesive on kinesiology tape is a key detail to note because you want the tape to adhere to your skin as securely as possible. Look for tape that offers a strong adhesive so you can stretch it as much as necessary without worrying about the tape coming loose.

    Keep in mind that kinesiology tape is meant to be worn for several days at a time. The adhesive should be water resistant so you can wear it in the shower. If you want to wear it while swimming, opt for tape with waterproof adhesive so it won’t come loose when submerged.

    Elasticity

    The elasticity of kinesiology tape determines how much it will stretch as you position it on your body, as well as the range of motion you’ll have when you’re wearing it. Extremely elastic tape is the easiest to use, so look for kinesiology tape with an elasticity rating of at least 160% (it can stretch up to 160% of its original length). For the best performance, choose a tape with an elasticity rating of 180%. Not only is it easier to apply but you’ll also have the greatest range of motion when working out or playing your favorite sport.

    Precut strips

    For the easiest application, you can find precut strips of kinesiology tape. The strips have rounded edges to prevent fraying. These machine-cut strips are often designed to fit specific areas of the body, making them a good option for anyone new to using the tape because they take the guesswork out of applying it. Precut kinesiology tape can also be good to have on hand for unexpected injuries that occur during sporting events or as part of a first aid kit.

    Most kinesiology tape adhesive is activated by heat. After you apply the tape to your skin, rub your hand over it to help the tape adhere better.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Kinesiology tape prices

    The price of kinesiology tape varies based on the elasticity rating, size, and whether it’s a roll or precut strips. Most single rolls are about 16 feet long, enough for about ten uses. The tape ranges from one to four inches wide and is available in a variety of colors and patterns. In most cases, you can expect to pay $5 to $75.

    Bulk rolls of kinesiology tape are the equivalent of six or seven single rolls, typically from 105 to 115 feet, enough tape for about 100 uses. If you use kinesiology tape regularly, you can save money by purchasing it in bulk.

    Inexpensive: A roll of kinesiology tape that’s two inches wide with an elasticity rating of 120% costs between $5 and $20.

    Mid-range: A roll of kinesiology tape that’s two inches wide with an elasticity rating of 140% to 160% costs between $20 and $35. Precut strips approximately ten inches long with an elasticity rating of 160% range from $22 to $40.

    Expensive: A roll of kinesiology tape that’s two inches wide with an elasticity rating of 180% costs between $35 and $45. A roll of kinesiology tape that’s four inches wide with an elasticity rating of 160% to 180% costs between $40 and $50. Precut strips approximately ten inches long with an elasticity rating of 180% range from $40 to $75.

    EXPERT TIP

    Depending on where you’re injured or experiencing pain, you might need help when applying kinesiology tape.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips

    Wash and dry skin. Kinesiology tape should be applied to clean, dry skin, so it adheres as well as possible.

    Shave or clip hair. Thick or long body hair can prevent kinesiology tape from sticking properly. Shave or clip your hair so it’s just 1/8 inch long to make sure it adheres as well as possible.

    Stretch muscles. Before applying kinesiology tape, stretch out any sore muscles so they’re as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

    Bend the joint. If you’re applying kinesiology tape to a joint, make sure that the joint is bent when you place the tape on the skin.

    Avoid touching the adhesive. Try to touch the adhesive side of kinesiology tape as little as possible before placing it on the body. That will help it stick better to the skin.

    Don’t stretch tape ends. Avoid stretching the ends of kinesiology tape when you apply it. Only the center portion of the tape should be stretched.

    For best results, apply kinesiology tape 30 to 60 minutes before you start working out or engaging in any physical activity.

    FAQ

    Q. How long does kinesiology tape last once it’s applied to the skin?

    A. Kinesiology tape will typically adhere to the skin for up to five days. Most people wear it for three to four days. If you plan to shower or swim, make sure to purchase a water-resistant or waterproof tape, so the tape won’t come off when it gets wet.

    Q. Does kinesiology tape irritate the skin?

    A. Kinesiology tape is usually nonirritating because it’s made with hypoallergenic adhesive. However, you shouldn’t apply the tape over damaged skin, such as infections, scratches, scrapes, cuts, burns, or rashes, or you could make the existing irritation worse. If you have a latex allergy, choose a latex-free tape. In the event of any skin irritation, remove the tape immediately.

    Q. What types of injuries can kinesiology tape help treat?

    A. Kinesiology tape is often used to help relieve the pain and swelling associated with injuries in the shoulder, elbows, wrists, hamstrings, calves, shins, and ankles. It can often help alleviate back pain that results from repetitive motion, too.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer

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