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.

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.


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.

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