The Best Kinesiology Tape: The 8 Best KTs You Can Grab Right Now

woman using kt tape


When you tune into any athletic competition, it is almost inevitable that you will see someone sporting strips of kinesiology tape in nifty patterns on some part of their body. Whether it's being worn on an Olympic swimmer or high school soccer player, kinesiology tape has made a name in sports as a therapeutic and preventive aid.

First created in the 1970s, this flexible tape was designed to help improve mobility, reduce inflammation, and support joints, muscles, and tendons. Now, kinesiology tape has become a staple in the athletic arena used by professional athletes, everyday gym-goers, and those rehabilitating a body part. Taping has become more commonplace in a gym than less flexible support tools such as knee braces because of its convenience and versatility.

Kinesiology tape works by improving the interaction between the skin and muscles as the biomechanical taping creates a space between the skin and structures behind it. This can help increase blood flow and decrease swelling and pain, thus improving performance. Similar to handheld massage guns, kinesiology tape supports recovery and eases muscular soreness between workout sessions.

There is a myriad of brands that now make kinesiology tape. It can be found just about anywhere—a supermarket, the doctor's office, Amazon, or your local drugstore. So, how do you know which KT is right for you? Don't worry, we have done all the research for you and rounded up a list of the very best tapes to meet a variety of needs.

Read on for all info you need on the best kinesiology tape and what to look for before buying.

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The Best Kinesiology Tape - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for When Shopping for Kinesiology Tape

When you're hunting for kinesiology tape, the choices can be overwhelming, so it is important to know what to search for. Finding one that is comfortable, durable, water-resistant, and will effectively provide flexible support is of utmost importance. Here are the key areas you want to consider before making your purchase.

Adhesiveness and Elasticity

Kinesiology tape is intended to be sticky, flexible, and used for multiple days. You should be able wear it when sleeping, working out, and even while showering. The strength of the adhesiveness on your kinesiology tape is probably the greatest feature to consider as you want to ensure that it will adhere to your skin.

The elasticity in kinesiology tape dictates how much range of motion you will have when wearing it on certain parts of your body. Experts recommend a minimum elasticity rating of 160-percent, so it is easier to use and will move with your body. This is particularly important when worn during exercise to encourage proper form without limiting range of motion.

Fit

Your insoles shouldn't slide around or be too thin or thick for your shoes. Dr. Scholl's insoles can be trimmed down to fit inside your shoe and come in different lengths depending on the area you want to target. Heel length fits snug around the heel of the shoe, three-quarter goes from the heel to the ball of the foot, and full-length covers the entire shoe to provide support from heel to toe. Also, keep in mind some insoles are for men's or women's shoes, so you can choose which will fit you best.

Water Resistance

Kinesiology tape is designed for wear during sweaty workouts and showers, so the vast majority of tape has some level of water resistance. Most kinesiology tape is made from a mixture of cotton, adhesive, and spandex, allowing it to dry quickly while maintaining adhesive properties. Some are made from synthetic material but share the same quick-drying and water-resistant properties. There are also some newer options with additional water resistance, which come in handy for swimmers and those who produce a lot of sweat.

Roll Up, Pre-cut, or Strips

Since its inception, kinesiology tape has evolved and can be purchased pre-cut or in strip patterns rather than the traditional rollout type. There are benefits to each with the greatest difference revolving around ease of use. Pre-cut and strip kinesiology tape was created to offer more taping freedom as the application takes considerably less time than roll tape.

Pre-cut and strip kinesiology tape typically come with step-by-step instructions for application that make the process not only easier but more precise. This type of tape allows the average person to correctly apply it to reap the most benefits. Strips come in a variety of design patterns specific to areas of the body where they will be applied. Both options are much more portable making it easy to toss a few strips or pre-cut pieces in a gym bag and apply when out and about.

However, roll tape is the clear winner when it comes to cost and versatility. With rolls of kinesiology tape, it is possible to cut any length or shape. Essentially, pre-cut and strip tape allows for minimal customization. For those who are either very small or very large, having the ability to cut the tape to any length or shape is beneficial. Kinesiology tape is also cheaper than pre-cut or strips.

For most potential kinesiology users, the pre-cut and strip varieties have the edge over roll tape. But, as with most things, it really comes down to your individual needs and preferences.

Best Overall Kinesiology Tape - SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape

SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape

SPECS

  • Strip dimensions: 2"W x 16.4'L
  • Product variety options: Roll (2" wide, XL, XXL, bulk, pro); Pre-cut (18 choices designed for specific body parts); Strips (i-strips, x-spider, y-spider, mini i-strips, mini x-spider, golf tape)
  • Adhesion information: 100% poly-acrylic adhesive
  • Water resistant:Yes
  • Fabric material: High-grade cotton-elastic blend
  • Allergen warnings: Latex-free and hypoallergenic
  • Intended uses: Targeted pain relief, customized placement option with continuous roll, and support for joint stability

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SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape is an incredibly versatile, well-made, highly-effective, and affordable tape. Made from high-grade cotton-elastic material and a 100-percent poly-acrylic adhesive, this traditional two-inch-wide roll allows for customized placement anywhere on your body. The SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape Roll was made for active lifestyles with a water-resistant and breathable material engineered to mimic the elasticity of human skin.

Available in seven colors, the continuous, unbroken roll helps provide joint stability, improved circulation, decreased pain, and eased soreness while ensuring a solid range of motion. It was designed to be worn even during intense exercise, and the poly-acrylic adhesive works well to keep the tape in place for multiple days. Users appreciate how easily cuttable the tape is, the low price point, and the moderate elasticity that provides support and stability.

SpiderTech is also the pioneer for pre-cut and strip kinesiology tape. Developed by medical professionals, this technology provides targeted pain relief and makes application extremely easy and accessible. There are 18 body part specific designs and a large variety of pre-cut strips. This is especially great for those looking to tape a complex area such as the knee.

PROS

  • Developed by medical professionals
  • Affordable
  • Easy to cut and use
  • Moderate elasticity
  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic
  • Free shipping in the continental US
  • 30-day money back guarantee

CONS

  • Edges have a tendency to roll up
  • Backing can be difficult to remove

BUY: SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape Roll

Best for Sensitive Skin - Theraband Kinesiology Tape

Theraband Kinesiology Tape

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 2"W x 16.4'L
  • Product variety options: 10 color combination options
  • Adhesion information: Non-latex, acrylic adhesive designed to last 5 days
  • Fabric material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex
  • Allergen warnings: Latex-free, non-irritating, allergy-tested, non-latex
  • Intended uses: Targeted pain relief, enable enhanced performance, joint, and muscular support

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If you have sensitive skin, finding a brand of kinesiology tape that will not irritate it just got easier thanks to Theraband Kinesiology Tape's non-irritating, allergy-tested, and non-latex material. Made with 98-percent cotton and two-percent spandex, this tape uses a high-quality acrylic adhesive to provide clinically tested pain relief for up to five days without causing skin irritation. Users appreciate how comfortable it feels on the skin and its non-synthetic support.

Unique to Theraband, their kinesiology tape uses a visual application guide to make the application easy and accurate. These XactStretch Indicators utilize printed shapes to ensure the correct stretch amounts, typically 25 to 50 percent. They appear as hexagons and get bigger as you stretch them to the appropriate length. Additionally, included directions make it easy to apply the tape. This physio tape is available in ten color varieties, designed to support muscles and joints without limiting the range of motion.

Theraband provides its users an analysis of over 200 research studies—available on their website—and taping guidance from clinical experts. The transparency of this information is a testament to how Theraband stands behind the efficacy of its kinesiology tape.

PROS

  • Good for sensitive skin
  • ExactStretch Indicators guides appropriate application and stretch
  • Multiple color combinations
  • Latex-free
  • Clinically shown to last up to 5 days
  • Versatile

CONS

  • Prices vary greatly by color
  • Does not provide as much support as synthetic blends

BUY: Theraband Kinesiology Tape

Best Knee Tape - SpiderTech Full Knee One Piece Pre-Cut Tape

SpiderTech Full Knee One Piece Pre-Cut Tape

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 1-piece, pre-cut design for knee
  • Product variety options: 4 color options, 1 sensitive skin option
  • Adhesion strength: 100% poly-acrylic adhesive
  • Fabric material: High-grade cotton-elastic material
  • Allergen warnings: Hypoallergenic, sensitive option available
  • Intended uses: Targeted pain relief for knee

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Taping your knee to alleviate pain and provide support can be especially tricky. It typically involves some complex pattern with multiple strips of tape. But, SpiderTech's full-knee one-piece pre-cut kinesiology tape takes out all the guesswork and complexity in the application.

Specifically designed to support your entire knee, this one-piece is functional and easy to apply, and with its moderate elasticity mimics the thickness, weight, and elasticity of human skin.

Available in four colors, SpiderTech's full-knee tape was made from high-grade cotton-elastic material with 100-percent poly-acrylic adhesive engineered to adhere to the skin providing functional support. Users report that the knee tape stays in place for up to five days, which encourages faster recovery and provides ongoing joint support throughout your daily activities.

Step-by-step directions and a video tutorial are available on SpiderTech's website. The first application may take some time to figure out, but it becomes easier as you progress.

PROS

  • Takes out all the guesswork of taping the knee
  • Effectively provides support and relieves pain
  • Available in a sensitive option
  • Targeted relief
  • Free shipping in continental US
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Included instructions and video tutorial

CONS

  • First application can be tricky

BUY: SpiderTech Full Knee One Piece Pre-Cut Tape

Best Shoulder Tape - KT Tape Pro

KT Tape Pro

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 2"W x 10" long strips
  • Product variety options: 10 color options
  • Adhesive information: Adhesive formulated to last 4 to 7 days
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Fabric material: 100% synthetic fabric
  • Allergen warnings: Hypoallergenic, latex-free, natural rubber-free
  • Intended uses: Flexible support to maintain full range of motion

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Shoulders are one of the more complex joints often subject to instability, mobility issues, and pain. Every person uses their shoulders on a regular basis and for those who workout, shoulders are more often under stress. The use of KT Tape Pro on the shoulder can greatly assist in providing support and relieving pain. Designed to stay in place through the toughest workouts, KT Tape Pro is created with synthetic performance fibers that are fast-drying, water resistant, and offer a great deal of strength and stretch.

One of the most important things to look for in a kinesiology tape intended to be used on the shoulder area is adhesiveness. Shoulders move quite a bit throughout the day so having a tape that will stay put is important. KT Tape Pro offers that with their re-engineered adhesive formulated to stay on for four to seven days. In addition, KT Tape Pro features a strong elastic core designed to provide better support to muscle, joints, and tendons while retaining its elasticity.

KT Tape Pro comes pre-cut which streamlines application. Each of the 20 pre-cut strips come with rounded corners intended to reduce the chances of them catching on something. Each strip measures ten-inches long and two-inches wide. This length lends itself to the shoulder area so if you are on the hunt for strong and long-lasting shoulder support, KT Pro may be for you. Included in your purchase is a step-by-step instructional book as well as a plastic carrying case.

PROS

  • Pre-cut strips
  • Synthetic blend is generally stronger and more adhesive than cotton counterparts
  • Provides good shoulder support during workouts and recovery
  • Stays in place for up to 7 days
  • Durable and versatile

CONS

  • Due to the extra adhesiveness, you will feel the tape pulling at skin during a workout which may be a drawback for some

BUY: KT Tape Pro

Best Tape for Swimming - KT Tape Pro Extreme

KT Tape Pro Extreme

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 2"W x 10"L strips
  • Product variety options: 2 color options
  • Adhesive information: Extra strength adhesive formulated to last 4-7 days
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Fabric material: 100% synthetic fabric
  • Allergen warnings: Hypoallergenic, latex-free, natural rubber-free
  • Intended uses: Extra adhesiveness to stay in place in water

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If you tuned into any of the Olympics, you likely saw many swimmers wearing brightly colored kinesiology tape which begs the question, what tape not only stays in place but provides support when submerged in water. KT Tape Pro Extreme, for one, is a kinesiology tape specifically formulated to maintain its adhesiveness and elasticity in water. The extra-strength adhesive is designed to stay securely on the skin through extreme weather conditions as well as in the pool, shower, or any body of water.

The durable 100-percent synthetic fabric is more rigid than cotton however it provides flexible support during any activity. The synthetic fibers are fast-drying, water resistant, and offer superior strength, neurological feedback, and stretch. KT Tape Pro Extreme comes with a strong elastic core that effectively supports without restricting range of motion. This elastic core allows the tape to maintain its elasticity in the water and for longer periods of time.

KT Tape Pro Extreme comes pre-cut with rounded edges for longer wear and ease of application. The pre-cut strips allow for targeted pain relief and are all hypoallergenic, latex-free, and natural rubber-free. Each purchase comes with a step-by-step guide as well as a plastic case so you can bring your tape with you on the go.

PROS

  • Retains elasticity in water
  • Designed to stay in place in water and extreme conditions
  • Highly adhesive
  • Synthetic fibers are generally more supportive than cotton

CONS

  • The strength of the adhesiveness may be too much for some users who prefer a more natural feel

BUY: KT Tape Pro Extreme

Best Budget Tape: Pro-Tec Athletics

Massaging Gel Advanced Insoles

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 3.39" x 2.13" x 2.05" (package dimensions)
  • Product variety options: 3 color options
  • Adhesive information: Designed to last several days
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Fabric material: Not specified
  • Allergen warnings: Not specified
  • Intended uses: Helps manage pain and swelling, multi-directional stretch and support

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Pro-Tech Athletics Kinesiology Tape provides all the benefits found in biomechanical taping at an affordable price. The multi-directional stretch allows for an excellent range of motion and provides a high level of support. Each package comes with ten pre-cut strips for more targeted application to effectively manage pain and swelling often associated with soft tissue injuries.

Simple application instructions come included, but an even more detailed guide is available on Pro-Tech's website. Pro-Tech asserts that it uses a strong adhesive, but, according to user reports, it does not stay in place for prolonged periods. It is water-resistant, but consumers found it loses some of its supportive properties once wet.

PROS

  • Supportive
  • Multi-directional stretch
  • Affordable option
  • Actively promotes circulation

CONS

  • Some users report it feels heavy
  • Adhesive not super strong
  • No information provided on allergens or material

BUY: Pro-Tech Kinesiology Tape

Best Tape for Running - Sparthos Kinesiology Tape

Sparthos Kinesiology Tape

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 4.13" x 2.99" x 1.77" (package dimensions)
  • Product variety options: 20 color options
  • Adhesive information: Designed to last several days
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Fabric material: A mix of natural cotton and hypoallergenic adhesive
  • Stretch: Up to 180% to mimic your skin
  • Allergen warnings: Hypoallergenic adhesive
  • Intended uses: Muscular support and increased blood flow to reduce inflammation

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Any avid runner has likely struggled with muscular or ligament pain or strain. Sparthos Kinesiology Tape is engineered to battle these common running issues with a lightweight tape that stretches up to 180-percent and was designed to flex with your muscles and joints without restricting your range of motion. This tape works by creating separation between the skin and deeper tissue to help decompress pain receptors and enhance blood flow.

Sparthos kinesiology taping system is made with athletes in mind to assist with pain during a run or workout session, and encourage faster recovery. When properly applied, this tape should stay on for up to five days, even through intense workouts, showers, and daily living activities. Sparthos provides a 41-page taping manual providing step-by-step application directions to ensure that anyone can appropriately place the tape to reap its rehabilitative and recovery benefits.

This tape features a waterproof and lightweight technology intended to go unnoticed once applied. But, several reviews report the adhesive is too strong, sometimes ripping skin when taken off. Be sure to follow the guidance in the instruction manual on taking the tape off correctly to avoid this issue.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • 180% stretch to move with you
  • Good for runners and athletes who need a greater range of motion
  • Lower cost

CONS

  • Adhesive is too strong for some
  • May cause irritation for some

BUY: Sparthos Kinesiology Tape

Best Tape for Lifting - OK Tape Kinesiology Tape

OK Tape Kinesiology Tape

SPECS

  • Product dimensions: 2"W x 16.4'L
  • Product variety options: 10 color options
  • Adhesive information: Professional grade acrylic glue
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Fabric material: 93% cotton, 7% spandex, mesh design and precut
  • Stretch: Up to 180%
  • Allergen warnings: Hypoallergenic adhesive, latex-free
  • Intended uses: Targeted muscular support , relax soft tissue, and to enhance joint stability

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When headed to the gym for a good pump, it is important to give your joints the stability needed to hit the weights you want. OK Tape Kinesiology Tape can not only enhance joint stability so you can lift with confidence, but it works to relax soft tissue and improve form. Made with a mixture of cotton and spandex and featuring a water wave design, OK tape has a 180-percent elastic ratio to provide support without restricting the range of motion.

OK Tape uses a medical-grade adhesive with an acrylic glue base for maximum adhesion and breathability. This tape can last up to three days and is hypoallergenic to prevent skin irritation. The OK Tape is thinner than tapes made with synthetic material, benefitting those who want to lift without feeling it against their skin. If you appreciate the tactile feedback to perfect form when lifting, the OK Tape may not be a good fit.

Each package of OK Tape comes with 20 pre-cut strips featuring rounded corners to prevent fraying and make application easier. OK Tape Kinesiology Tape is one of the more affordable options on the market, making it a good option for lifters on a budget.

PROS

  • 10 color options
  • Medical grade acrylic glue for superior adhesion
  • Affordable
  • Feels lightweight against the skin
  • Effectively provides joint stability
  • Water weave design improves breathability

CONS

  • Some reports of the glue leaving blisters
  • Not as strong as some synthetic options

BUY: OK Tape Kinesiology Tape

FAQs About Kinesiology Tape


What does kinesiology tape do?

Kinesiology tape (or KT) is typically used for various therapeutic and preventative measures. Pain relief, joint and ligament support, faster recovery, and enhanced performance are among the top reasons for its use. KT also works to help reduce swelling and improve mobility both during and after exercise or when rehabilitating an injury.

Kinesiology tape works to gently lift the skin from underlying structures providing relief to tissues and the lymphatic system. By creating a space between the skin and structures beneath it, kinesiology tape helps increase blood flow to the affected areas, which can help facilitate healing. Joint stability is also enhanced with kinesiology tape as it provides flexible support while not limiting range of motion. The tactile feedback from the tape can also help encourage better form and recruitment of muscles.

How long are you supposed to leave the kinesiology tape on?

Kinesiology tape comes with a strong adhesive that is typically waterproof and can be worn for several days. With proper application, the majority of kinesiology tape brands can be left on your skin anywhere from three to seven days. Be sure to follow the application instructions provided with your purchase. Or, a simple google search can provide application guidance.

How do you know if you need to use kinesiology tape?

There are many reasons that one may need to use kinesiology tape. It can be used to prevent or treat a variety of issues, including strains, muscular soreness, joint instability, and improved recovery. If you are struggling with these concerns, kinesiology tape may be helpful to you.

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