BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details

Best Athletic Tape

Updated April 2023
Bottom line
Best of the Best
KT Tape Original Cotton Elastic Kinesiology Therapeutic Sports Tape
KT Tape
Original Cotton Elastic Kinesiology Therapeutic Sports Tape
Check Price
Best for Experts
Bottom Line

Perfect for added support, our medical expert recommends this to anyone wanting to explore alternate ways to reduce injury and improve healing, as there are little to no side effects.


Licensee of the USA Olympic teams. Stays on in the water; stays on for days if you need it to. Moisture-wicking, breathable, and sweat-proof. Comes in eight unique colors. Includes instruction video. Comes in pre-cut strips.


Each roll of this tape is nearly three times as expensive as other tapes on our list.

Best Bang for the Buck
Hampton Adams White Athletic Sports Tape
Hampton Adams
White Athletic Sports Tape
Check Price
Most Versatile
Bottom Line

A number one choice for athletes and athletic and medical trainers that our expert calls a great way to reduce unwanted joint mobility.


Glue adhesive won't rub off on skin and leave a sticky residue. Perfect for weightlifters, boxers, and other athletes that need wrist support and full flexibility. Tears easily with fingers without the need for scissors. Comes in black or white.


Customers commented that it's not great when ripped into smaller strips for fingers.

Sparthos Kinesiology Tape
Kinesiology Tape
Check Price
Best for Beginners
Bottom Line

This easy-to-use kinesiology tape comes with a free "how-to" guide to speed up recovery and obtain the best results, and it's a great alternative for sensitive skin or those with a latex allergy.


Comes in 16 unique color options. Speeds up recovery from injury. Designed for the toughest athletes. Will stay on even during CrossFit workouts. Comes with a free taping manual. Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.


Caused itchiness and skin reactions for some.

Care Science Waterproof Kinesiology Tape
Care Science
Waterproof Kinesiology Tape
Check Price
Durable & Rugged
Bottom Line

This waterproof tape comes in black so as to stay subtle and is approved by our medical expert.


It’s good for assisting your muscles and joints when they’re in need of relief or support. It can be worn for up to three days without being removed. It can even stay on through a shower or laps in the pool.


It can leave a residue behind once finally removed and the edges can fray.

Mueller Sports Medicine Athletic Tape
Sports Medicine Athletic Tape
Check Price
Bottom Line

This tape is excellent for several issues, including ankle support, and our medical expert recommends it.


Two rolls are included that are made of hospital-grade cotton. It unwinds easily and has a high strength to provide maximum support. It comes in 12 colors such as black, green, and purple.


The adhesive is a little weak, so it won’t last for days like other brands can.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About 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.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

Category cover

Buying guide for Best athletic tapes

For competitive and casual athletes alike, having the right equipment impacts the quality of every game and/or training session. In fact, the accessories you wear have a great deal of influence on your performance, which is why athletic tape is embraced by so many athletes. When wrapped correctly, athletic tape provides support, increases circulation, and reduces swelling.

While athletic tape is often associated with contact sport players, any athlete can benefit from wrapping. The thin, self-sticking support is an ideal alternative to bulky, poorly fitting braces. As it’s applied directly onto the body, tape is less noticeable and less obstructive. It allows for a completely customized wrap, and with proper wrapping techniques, you’ll feel an immediate difference when it comes to support. After you complete your training, it’s easy to remove the tape before you hit the shower.

If you’re ready to take your games or training sessions to the next level, it’s time to consider athletic tape. Whether you’re thinking about traditional or kinesiology tape, we have a complete buying guide to assist you in making a choice.

Content Image
To achieve precise placement of kinesiology tape, enlist the help of another person. They can navigate awkward angles and hard-to-reach areas.

Key considerations

Traditional tape

Traditional tape aims to immobilize parts of the body that are weakened or injured. It’s also used as a preventive measure, in which athletes wrap areas that are highly susceptible to injury due to the nature of their sport. Taut wraps compress bones and tissues, especially in contact sports like boxing, and offer additional protection during impact. To apply a traditional wrap, it’s recommended to apply a pre-wrap first, followed by the traditional wrap. It takes some practice to master an effective wrap, especially on yourself, though it’s well worth the learning curve.

Traditional tape is removed and discarded immediately after you complete your game or training session. If it’s not a self-tearing or peelable style of tape, you’ll need scissors to remove it.

Expert tip
Change athletic tape after each use, and if it becomes damp, throw it away.
BestReviews Medical Expert


For those who use regular tape, it’s not recommended to apply it directly to your skin. Instead, pre-wrap, also called underwrap, is wrapped in its place first. Pre-wrap is a thin, stretchy foam roll and costs about the same amount as athletic tape. The tape sticks to this wrap instead of your skin, which means a reduced risk of skin irritation, chafing, and slippage from sweat.

Kinesiology tape

Kinesiology tape, unlike traditional tape, allows for flexibility through dynamic support. It also promotes good circulation, which cuts down inflammation and swelling that can limit or weigh down your body. Kinesiology tape is constructed with a degree of elasticity so your range of motion isn’t inhibited, which is especially important if your performance has a high focus on consistent form. Instead of pre-wrapping and wrapping, this tape is applied in strips directly onto the skin. It’s is also worn for between one to five days at a time, so it’s waterproof and sweatproof, offering greater therapeutic benefits.

Content Image
For your safety
For those with athletic tape that requires scissors, be sure to clean them often. Wipe down scissors with alcohol to make sure you don’t transfer any debris or dirt from the blades to the tape for a clean wrap every time.



Athletic tape is comprised of material and adhesive. Traditional athletic tape is made of cotton or cotton blend, whereas kinesiology tape could have cotton in its material blend but also features other synthetic materials for elasticity and long-lasting wear. As far as adhesive goes, there are options for hypoallergenic, latex-free, or medical-grade tape for those with sensitive skin.


Traditional athletic tape comes mostly in white and, while harder to find, black. Kinesiology tape, however, has quite a color variety. Kinesiology tape comes in over 10 colors per most brands, so if you’re looking for a splash of style or are trying to match your team colors, you’ll likely find one that works. Some kinesiology tape goes beyond solid color and incorporates patterns and designs, including stripes and camo.

Cut method

When it comes to removing athletic tape, both from the roll and your body, there are some options to choose from. Some regular athletic and kinesiology tape products require scissors for a clean cut, as their fabric weaves aren’t designed to simply rip apart. There are, however, some types of athletic tape that do have easy-rip features, which are popular for athletes who need to detach pieces from a roll with one hand. Some kinesiology tape also comes pre-cut and may be uniquely shaped to fit certain areas of the body, such as a wishbone shape to support the shin and knee. They may also come in individual strips that can be overlapped and applied with ease.

Expert tip
If the athletic tape is too tight with numbness in the applied area, remove it immediately as it may cut off your blood supply.
BestReviews Medical Expert

Athletic tape prices

Athletic tape generally costs between $10 and $20.


At the low end, between $10 and $13, you can expect to purchase a single roll of kinesiology tape or a value pack that includes a couple rolls of regular tape.


Products in the middle of the range are priced between $14 and $16 and include value packs of both kinesiology and regular tape.


At the top of the range, between $17 and $20, is where you get the most for your money in a value pack. These packs often include e-book instructions, carry cases, and a variation in the size of the tape.


  • Give athletic tape as a gift. For the dedicated athlete, a gift of quality athletic tape will be greatly appreciated and most definitely used.

  • Keep scissors with your tape kit. Even if your athletic tape rips off the roll and is designed for easy removal, it’s a good idea to have scissors on hand anyway. In the event you need to remove the wrap immediately, scissors speed up the process.

  • Store athletic tape in a dust-free container. For a smooth, solid stick every application, keep athletic tape in a dust-free container. If dust particles accumulate, the adhesive could be less effective.

  • Have someone show you proper wrapping technique. To make sure you’re using athletic tape properly, have an expert show you the right methods of wrapping.

  • Learn anatomy. Familiarize yourself with human anatomy, particularly the areas where you expect to use athletic tape. Once you educate yourself on locations of all the bones and muscles groups, it’s easier to understand the importance of wrapping as well as correct placement of the tape.
For your safety
If pain persists or even worsens while using athletic tape, stop the exercises immediately and consult a physical therapist or doctor for the pain.
BestReviews Medical Expert
Content Image
Always keep your pre-wrap and athletic tape together, especially in your gym bag. That way, you’ll never have sub-optimal training sessions due to lack of adequate wraps.


Q. Am I allowed to wear athletic tape during sports games?

A. It depends on the rules and regulations of the league as well as the referee. For intramural sports, you’ll most likely be allowed to wear regular and kinesiology tape. For competitive sports at the high school, collegiate, and semi-pro levels, the answer is a bit more involved. Some leagues allow it, whereas others only allow it in cases where it’s deemed medically necessary, which will usually require thorough documentation from a doctor prior to a game or competition.

Q. I think I’m burning through a lot of athletic tape. What are my options to save money?

A. First, check whether you’ve overwrapping, as you could be using significantly more tape than you need. On the other hand, you should also make sure you don’t underwrap and risk injury, especially for the sake of saving money. It’s worth considering buying tape in bulk, but make sure you’re totally decided on a tape brand and style that has consistently performed well. First, purchase a single roll to determine whether a bulk order is worthwhile.

Q. I’ve been wrapping my wrist/ankle/foot with regular athletic tape, and I’d like to switch to using kinesiology tape. Do I wrap it the same way?

A. No. Regular tape and kinesiology tape are not only designed differently, they serve different purposes. If you try to wrap kinesiology tape the same way, you’ll burn through a role within a couple uses. More importantly, you could sustain an injury due to improper application. To get used to a new wrapping style with kinesiology tape, defer to a doctor or trainer to get you on the right track.