10 Best Kinesiology Tape Products Reviewed

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Searching for Kinesiology tape also called Muscle tape? Take a look at the best KT-tape of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying it online or in a store.

Have you ever heard about Kinesiology Tape? It was invented in Japan around 40 years ago by Kenzo Kase. Since then, this tape was helping millions of people and athletes of course. But what is it for?
This is a tape that you use if you want to provide relief to your muscles, ligaments and tendons. They do not only provide pain relief but also support. Whenever your muscles are damaged and you need healing, the tape will be a great option. Many athletes say that it helps also to reduce stress on muscles and tendons. It will prevent the further damage. There are many products available on the market but it’s obvious that you want only the best of the best. That’s why we’ve made a list of our top 10 Kinesiology Tapes to make the choice easier for you. If you want to feel pain relief, you should check it out. There are quite a few different brands that manufacture Kinesio tape, there is also a variety of the different types of tape. We’ll walk you through some of these nuances and provide our recommendations for 10 of the best types of Kinesiology tape for runners.

Last Updated: March 24, 2017
By Brian Price:

Check out the newest additions to our list, including top picks from KT Tape, UberTape, and KG. We'll keep up to date whenever we find something new that we like.

Beast Tape
  • Beast Tape
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Heat activated adhesive & waterproof material make it great for triathlons
  • Price: See Here
StrengthTape Kinesiology Kit
  • StrengthTape Kinesiology Kit
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stays on for 5-7 days and is water resistant
  • Price: See Here
Vara Kinesiology Tape
  • Vara Kinesiology Tape
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Made of lightweight, breathable high grade cotton
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Kinesiology Tape Products

 

Master of Muscle - Beast Tape

Designed to keep you going longer and at full speed, Beast Tape gets it done by providing adequate recoverability and the reduction of pain. Functionality is even increased when applied appropriately. This option is ideal for those longer distance and triathlon runners, due to the tape's heat activated adhesive and excellent waterproof properties. Runners who are allergic to latex don't have to worry either, this tape is latex free. It really works well for just about any athletic activity, including swimming.

If you're not satisfied, instead of a money back guarantee, the company will actually refund your money and send another roll of tape for free.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Heat activated adhesive stays attached
  • Ideal for injury recovery and pain relief
  • A great choice for triathletes
Cons
  • Like some other products, there were a few suggestions of skin irritation

StrengthTape

Simplicity is in short supply these days. One of the greatest things about the StrengthTape taping kit is that it’s very simple. They sell individualized pre cut kits for specific body parts. So if you know you’ll only use it for knee issues then buy the knee kit, slap it on and be done it with. No cutting, or configuring, no hassle.
Pros
  • Pre cut brace like tape strips specified for a wide range of body parts
  • Strong, extremely durable, can last up to 5 days
  • Includes two applications per package
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Infused with Ion Health Technology
Cons
  • May not be ideal for hardcore sports

YOtape

Designed specifically with the female athlete in mind Yotape is another great variation of k-tape to consider. It’s the first (and perhaps only) k-tape made specifically for women, with its precut strips going on smooth and staying in place. Help keep your blood flowing through circulation points, reduces inflammation, and gives you that tiny bit of support just where you need it. Yotape is a great choice whether you are a world champion athlete or an occasional jogger.
Pros

 

  • Supports motion while reducing muscle pain
  • Pump up your run with bright colors
  • Helpful in preventing injuries
  • Has a lifetime satisfaction guarantee
  • Breathes well and is latex free

 

Cons
  • May not stay on when wet

Vara

Vara makes the bold claim that its tape lasts up 7 days at a time. While this is longer than many similar products and is debatable situation to situation — one things certain, this is great K-tape. The tape comes without precut splices so how you sculpt it is as you desire. It’s made from high quality cotton and has shown tremendous ability to resist fraying along the edges.
Pros
  • Molds easily to the area where it is being applied
  • Provides pain relief from a wide range of injuries
  • Supports stronger blood flow to the muscles
  • Does well with sweat/water — can be worn in the pool
  • Non Skin irritating & FDA approved
Cons
  • Some of the adhesive may stay on the skin after tape is removed

TheraBand

TheraBands K-tape is another solid choice if you’re looking to add a bit of support to a body part. All K-tape should stick pretty well, but this is precisely where TheraBand excels. Their tape uses Cramer Sports Medicine’s state of the art adhesion to ensure the tape remains in good contact. Beyond that you can expect a high grade durable tape product that is easy to apply and comes to a wide range of styles from subtle all the way to flashy.
Pros

 

  • 100% latex free product
  • Composed of 0% tension off paper
  • Hassle-free dispenser
  • XactStretch Technology, makes application foolproof
  • Very firmly constructed

 

Cons
  • It will stay on through your run, but may not stay stuck all day

RockTape

Another staple of the KT market, RockTape is strong, useful, and engineered to perform at the maximum. As the name implies RockTape is heavy duty and designed to function well in a variety of harsh environments. A nice blend of high grade cotton mixed with 6% nylon, RockTape hugs you skin while providing just the right amount of tactile support and fluidity.
Pros
  • Adheres really well to skin
  • Hypoallergenic materials
  • Decent water resistance
  • reduced chance of irritation
Cons
  • Water resistance works well in rain, but may not hold up when swimming

KT Tape Original

This is an original kinesiology type created in 70’s. It’s really great for people who need very breathable tape and it’s supportive as well. It’s made of cotton so wearing it is very comfortable. It was firstly created by doctor and was meant for people practicing high performance sports. It comes in one size, the strips are cut so you don’t need to do it on your own. The strips length is 254 mm. Producers says that it will last 1 to 3 days. It was designed for athletes so it will be very helpful with injuries and other problems. They’re not very expensive and the price also depends on the color. It is available in 8 colors. This is latex-free product.
Pros

The original product

It stays on

Provides real relief

Pre-cut

Cons

Some users had little problem with rash on the skin

Aollop

This one will provide very fast relief and it also supports muscles. It’s a blend of cotton and spandex but cotton is 95% of the material. The material which is very lightweight enhances the breathability. This type is also water-resistant, even when you’re wet or sweat a lot, it still stays in place. You need to cut the type before usage- for some people, it’s a waste of time and they prefer to buy pre-cut tape. But for many, this is a great option as you can choose the shape and size of the type and adjust it to your needs. The time of lasting is also long- it’s about 5 days. It’s made with hypoallergenic materials so there shouldn’t be any skin irritation. The measurements are 2 in. x 16.4 ft. It’s available in 6 colors.
Pros

Very comfortable to wear

Good pricing

Breathable

Cons

A few runners had itching

UberTape

You won’t need any braces or bandages with this tape. It provides real pain relief and also helps to boost the blood circulation in the applied area. The adhesion is also at high level, the tape stays in place. Even if you sweat a lot, the tape stays in place. You can also wear it while taking a shower. It’s made of latex-free materials, reviewers pointed out that they didn’t have any skin irritation. Buyers can download taping application guide for free. There are many illustrations that can help to use it, reduce pain and boost your performance. There’s a possibility of getting your money back if you’re not happy with your purchase. The tape is available in 7 different color versions. It’s not very expensive. It can last up to 12 baths.
Pros

The tape sticks very well

No allergic reaction even if you have very sensitive skin

Good quality

Cons

Form some users, it wasn’t supportive enough

KG Physio

If you want to prevent any injuries or cure the present ones, this tape will be a good option. With this kinesiology tape, there will be significant reduction of swelling. Your issues will be much faster healed with the tape. The product is FDA and CE approved but the producer says openly that people with very sensitive skin may get skin irritation. You can also use it if you want to offload the areas which are injured. It will provide pain relief. There are 7 colors to choose from.
The product is adored by many reviewers also because of the price. High-quality product like this can be purchased for a low price.
Pros

It provides a lot of support

The tape is very flexible and it’s easy to exercise with it

Great price

Cons

Not great for people with very sensitive skin

The tape itself is constructed from 100% elastic/cotton fibers that generally contain no latex. On the surface of the tape there is a wave-like pattern, which is purportedly put there to mimic fingerprints. So what exactly is KT indicated for? What’s its best use? To name a few K-tape is used for: ITBS, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tennis elbow, knee pain, muscle strains, chronic pain and even menstrual cramps. Results of each individual will of course be different, but a great discussion on its efficiency can be found in our sources below.


The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation of the Best Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape is more than just a sticky roll of stuff you slap on your skin and hope that it helps you perform better. There is a lot of science that goes into the creation and application of kinesiology tape and there are factors that need to be considered before you choose and use this aid to help improve your runs.

There is a set of metrics we applied when choosing the kinesiology tapes that made our list. The metrics we used are based on product research and reviews about the kinesiology tapes that are available on the market, as well as questions that are commonly asked about kinesiology tape.  Each of the key factors in creating our list of the best kinesiology tapes is explained below.

How easy is this tape to apply?

Not only are there different brands of kinesiology tape, but there are different types of adhesives. These adhesives are an important factor in how easy the tape is to apply in terms of both time and effort. Some tapes required adhesive activation through a heat source while others do not. Most types of kinesio tape require that you shave the area of skin that will be covered by the tape prior to application- this takes extra time. Reading the label of the tape you are purchasing will help you determine what goes into the application of the tape.

How well does the adhesive work?

The purpose of kinesiology tape is for it to stick to your skin and provide relief to muscles and tendons. If it doesn’t stick, what the point of applying it? The effectiveness of the adhesive was an important factor when considering the k-tapes that made our list.

Is this tape pre-cut or available in a roll?

Some k-tapes are sold in roll form, like traditional sports tape or an ACE bandage. Other k-tapes are sold in body area kits and are pre-cut to specific lengths. Both types have their advantages.

A roll of kinesiology tape can be cut to the length needed for any area of your body. The roll helps keep the tape organized and is easy to store and transport.

Pre-cut k-tapes are great for runners with a history of a specific injury, because you know the tape will fit the exact area on which it will be applied. It also saves you the time and hassle of having to cut the tape yourself.

Convenience and versatility were two important factors considered when creating our list of the best kinesiology tapes.

How well does this tape stand up to sweat and water?

Let’s be honest- we sweat alot when we run. And, if you are a triathlete, not only will you sweat, you will also get soaked during the swimming portion of your race or training regimen.

So, if you need to use k-tape to help prevent an injury, it is really important that the tape remains adhered to your body while you sweat or are swimming.

Some k-tapes are strong enough to hold up to sweat. However, not all kinesiology tapes are waterproof, so they won’t stay on your body once submerged in water, like when you swim or crawl through the mud during a Spartan Race. Different types of adhesives have different sticking capabilities, so be sure to read the label to make sure the tape you choose can handle whatever it is that you are going to put it through.

The ability to adhere to skin even when sweaty and/or wet was an important factor when selecting k-tapes for our list.


Other Important Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Kinesiology Tape

There are other details that you should consider when selecting a kinesiology tape to use as an injury and pain prevention measure. The purchase you make should provide you with a kinesiology tape that helps you run at your best, but adheres well and will stand up to the elements you will face during your workout or race.

To help make this decision a little easier, below are some extra features you should consider when shopping for kinesiology tape:

  • Sensitive Skin

You may have sensitive skin if your skin is easily irritated by topical products or environmental factors. Since k-tape uses an adhesive to stick to your skin, it may cause irritation on the skin, but especially so if you have sensitive skin. There is also a greater risk of irritation if you have other skin-related medical conditions, such as eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis. If you are aware of ingredients or products that irritate your skin, make sure you read the labels on available k-tapes prior to making your selection. This will help ensure that the product will not irritate your skin.

  • Allergies

Reading labels of medical products is a very important step in avoiding contact with known allergens. K-tape adhesives vary, so make sure you check what adhesive your specific k-tape uses so you can avoid any topical allergens you might react to.

Another important allergen to look out for is latex. Latex allergies can become very serious very fast, and some k-tapes contain latex as an component. Check the label for latex if you have this allergy.

If you do have a reaction to k-tape that you have applied, seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

  • Terrrain/Race Environment

It is important to remember that not all k-tapes are waterproof. If you plan on participating in training or a race that involves submersion in water, make sure you purchase a kinesiology tape that can stand up to being wet.


FAQ

 

Q: What exactly is kinesiology tape?

A: Kinesiology tape, or k-tape, was developed by a Japanese chiropractor and accupunturist named Kenzo Kase. He wanted an alternative to rigid tape that would move naturally with the body to help it heal and maintain full range of motion while also providing support and stability.

K-tape feels very similarly to your skin, and is engineered to move the same way, too. When you apply k-tape, it lifts your skin in a microscopic way, allowing increased blood and lymph flow, which increases circulation. Increased circulation helps to reduce pain. The tape also helps with muscle relaxation and joint stabilization.

 

Q: What is the difference between kinesiology tape and regular sports tape?

A: Well, there are quite a few differences, since there are quite a few different types of athletic tape! For your convenience, here they are, listed and explained:

  • Kinesiology tape (aka k-tape): This ultra-flexible tape adjusts to the movement of your skin and glides with you during physical activity. It is commonly used for both injury management and prevention.
  • Rigid tape: This very stiff tape is most commonly made with a zinc oxide glue adhesive. It is used to reduce joint movement.
  • Under tape: Used to create a layer of protection between rigid tape and your skin.
  • Elastic tape: This very flexible cotton tape moves with your body. Since it is made of cotton, it is very breathable. However, this also means that as it lets moisture out, it also let’s moisture in, so it definitely isn’t waterproof.
  • Felt tape: This tape is used as a barrier between environmental factors and your skin. It does not use an adhesive to stick, but can stick to itself.
  • Cohesive tape/bandages: This type of tape/bandage also does not contain an adhesive because it can stick to itself. It is soft and flexible, and is used to provide support to weak or injured joints and muscles.

 

Q: What is the benefit of using kinesiology tape?

A: K-tape, when applied correctly, has many benefits, including:

  • Increased blood and lymph flow
  • Increased circulation
  • Reduced pain
  • Joint stability
  • Relaxation of the muscles

Q: How do I apply k-tape?

A: To get the best results out of your k-tape, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Clean the area where the tape will be applied. It must be dry, and free of lotions and oils. If you are hairy, shave the area of application, or else the tape will not stick to your skin.
  2. Put the area of application in a stretched position.
  3. Apply the tape to your skin, pressing down 2-inch sections at a time, making sure there is no tension in the ends of the tape.
  4. After applying the tape to your skin, use the palm of your hand to rub the tape vigorously to activate the adhesive.
  5. Wait at least 30 minutes after applying the tape to begin physical activity.

Here is a short video on applying ankle support:

Q: How long does the tape last?

A: Kinesiology tape can stay on the skin for 3-5 days. However, there are factors that can prevent it from adhering well. Keep the following things in mind during and after applying your tape:

  • Shave the area to be taped. If you don’t, the tape won’t stick to your skin.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after applying the tape before you begin training or competition. This allows the tape to become fully activated, and therefore fully adhered, to your skin.
  • Don’t go outside into very cold temperatures immediately after the application of your tape. The cold temperatures and extreme temperature change will keep the adhesive from sticking to your skin.
  • Wait at least one hour after application to get the taped area wet. This includes swimming and showering. If you get the tape wet any sooner than this, it won’t adhere.

Here is a list of sources we used when conducting our research on the best kinesiology tapes:

We utilize many different resources while trying to provide the best information to our readers. Some are scholarly or clinical sources, some are information provided by medical and dietary professionals, and some sources are even other sites which may specialize in information that is relevant to our topic.

Sources

  1. Julia Kirtland, Let's Go to the Tape, Informational Running Website, May 08, 2012
  2. San Diego Running Institute, Various Brands and Types of Kinesiotape, Running and Medical Website, Dec 16, 2013
  3. Laura E. Marusinec, MD, 9 Signs of Sensitive Skin, Informational Health Website, Dec 02, 2015
  4. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, Latex Allergy, University Medical Website,
  5. Jonathan Flynn, How, When, and Why to Use Athletic Tape, Informational Fitness Website, May 21, 2015
  6. Physical Sports First Aid, Six Good Reasons to Use Cohesive Bandage as a Strapping Tape, Informational Health and Fitness Website, Jan 16, 2014
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