The 12 Best Kinesiology Tapes of 2021

Keep your muscles and joints protected with these tapes

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Our Top Picks
A best-in-class option available at a very reasonable price point, it's crafted from lightweight, breathable cotton.
OK TAPE’s Kinesiology Tape provides relief from aches and pains at a budget-friendly price point.
It comes with two rolls of kinesiology tape, both of which promise to be latex-free and hypoallergenic.
Latex-free and non-irritating, it should be a pretty versatile pick, and its unique design sets it apart.
Though its adhesive may not be as strong or sticky as some other options, it's designed to be much gentler on your skin.
Finished with a water-resistant coating, it holds up to all your favorite underwater workouts.
It's crafted to move with you as you exercise, so you shouldn’t have to worry about adjusting it or reapplying it mid-run.
The tape boasts a super-sticky adhesive that will get you through all your favorite activities.
The stretchy tape is water-resistant and latex-free, meaning it should stay strong for multiple days at a time.
The tape is cut into compact cross-shaped patches that you can use in smaller areas, like on your shoulders and along your feet.

There are many different interventions in the world of physical therapy, and one relatively popular option is kinesiology tape. Kinesiology tape is a generally flexible tape designed to relieve pain and improve circulation without restricting movement. This characteristic sets it apart from athletic tape, which is designed to offer stability and support.

While the use of kinesiology tape is relatively new—and studies are still being conducted behind its use—it is thought to have some physical benefits.

“There are some mechanical effects from kinesiology tape that can reduce swelling, provide pain relief, and reduce muscle spasms,” Dr. Christine M. Scarano Ward, D.P.T., Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor at Sports Performance Lab, says. She adds that kinesiology tape may affect the nervous system as well. “If you use kinesiology tape correctly, you can influence your brain to perceive that everything is good and the body should work ‘business as usual,’” Dr. Scarano Ward says. This may also help reduce pain.

We looked into the wear, material, and style of kinesiology tapes to help you find one that fits your needs.

Here are the best kinesiology tapes on the market.

Best Overall: KT Tape Original Cotton Elastic Kinesiology Therapeutic Athletic Tape

Pros
  • Cotton is soft and breathable

  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • Adhesive may not last long

  • May be painful to remove

KT Tape’s Original Cotton Athletic Tape is a best-in-class option available at a very reasonable price point. The kinesiology tape is crafted from lightweight, breathable cotton, and since it’s latex-free and hypoallergenic, it promises to be suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The tape is available in eight different colors, and since it comes in rolls lined with precut strips, it's designed for easy application. Use a strip anywhere you need some extra support and watch as the kinesiology tape stays on for up to three days at a time—even when exposed to sweat and water.

Wear Length: One to three days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Cotton | Precut: Yes

Best Budget: OK TAPE Kinesiology Tape

Pros
  • Stretchy and soft material

  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • Removal may be painful

  • May irritate sensitive skin

If you're searching for a roll of kinesiology tape that’s both useful and budget-friendly, OK TAPE’s Kinesiology Tape could be a good choice. The tape is crafted from a combination of cotton and spandex, so it should feel both stretchy and soft. And since it’s latex-free and hypoallergenic, it shouldn't irritate sensitive skin.

Each roll of kinesiology tape comes with 20 precut strips, which make the application process simple. You can find the rolls in ten different colors, and the tape is water-resistant for up to three days at a time.

Wear Length: One to three days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Cotton, spandex | Precut: Yes

Best Two-Pack: Hampton Adams Kinesiology Tape for Physical Therapy Sports Athletes

Pros
  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic

  • Available in multiple colors

  • Water-resistant

  • May last up to ten days

Cons
  • Tape material not specified

  • Removal may be painful

The Hampton Adams Kinesiology Tape set comes with two rolls of kinesiology tape, both of which are latex-free and hypoallergenic. The long-lasting tape is designed to stay on your skin for up to ten days at a time, and it's crafted to outlast sweat and water.

The tape comes in a continuous roll that allows you to use as much or as little as you want, and it comes in six colors.

Wear Length: Three to ten days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Not specified | Precut: No

Best for Beginners: TheraBand Kinesiology Tape

Pros
  • Soft and stretchy material

  • Latex-free and non-irritating

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • Removal may be painful

  • May irritate sensitive skin

If you’re just getting started with kinesiology tape, you need something that’ll be easy to apply. TheraBand’s Kinesiology Tape comes in a roll of precut strips with XactStretch indicators to guide you through proper application. These guides are crafted to help you understand how much you should stretch your tape to get the amount of support you need.

It's is crafted from a blend of cotton and spandex, and since it promises to be both latex-free and non-irritating, it can work on a variety of skin types. It also comes in nine colors.

Wear Length: One to five days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Cotton, spandex | Precut: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin: KT Tape Pro Synthetic Kinesiology Therapeutic Sports Tape

Pros
  • Performance fabric composition

  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • Adhesive may not last long

  • Adhesive may be irritating

Designed with sensitive skin in mind, KT Tape’s Synthetic Kinesiology Tape is made with synthetic performance fabric that is lightweight, latex-free, and hypoallergenic. Although the adhesive may not be as strong or sticky as some options, it's designed to be gentle on your skin.

The tape is available in ten colors, and you can find it in a wide option for additional coverage.Since the tape promises to be moisture-wicking, it should keep you comfortable, even as you work up a sweat. 

Wear Length: Four to seven days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Synthetic performance fabric | Precut: Yes

Best for Swimming: RockTape H2O Edge Highly Water-Resistant Kinesiology Tape

Pros
  • Material is soft and stretchy

  • Has a water-resistant coating

  • Hypoallergenic

Cons
  • Continuous roll may be difficult to use

  • Adhesive may wear easily

The H2O Kinesiology Tape from TockTape is a fan-favorite, water-resistant option. It's crafted with a stretchy blend of cotton and nylon, and since it's finished with a water-repelling coating, it will stay in place during underwater workouts.

The tape is lined with hypoallergenic adhesive, and since it's extra sticky, it can stay on your skin for up to seven days at a time. Find it in four colors, including beige, black, blue, and pink.

Wear Length: Two to seven days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Cotton, nylon | Precut: No

Best for Running: Sparthos Kinesiology Tape

Pros
  • Made with soft cotton

  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic

  • Available in multiple colors

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • Adhesive may irritate sensitive skin

Lightweight, long-lasting, and incredibly stretchy, Sparthos Kinesiology Tape is made for highly active runners. It's made with soft, breathable cotton and it's designed to move freely with your body—meaning you won't have to adjust it or replace it mid-run.

The tape comes lined with a hypoallergenic adhesive that can last up to five days at a time, and since it's waterproof, you can wear it in high-humidity situations and in the shower.

Wear Length: Three to five days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Cotton | Precut: Not listed

Best for Lifting: RockTape RockTape Original 2-Inch Water-Resistant Kinesiology Tape

Pros
  • Material is soft and stretchy

  • Latex-free and hypoallergenic

  • Two application options

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • No wear length specified

  • May not last as long as others

Crafted with a flexible fit, RockTape’s Water-Resistant Kinesiology Tape is a go-to for sports, workouts, and other activities. It's made with a blend of cotton and stretchy nylon, and it's designed to stay in place no matter how active you are.

It has a super sticky adhesive and it's available in 15 colors. The tape also comes in both precut strips and a continuous roll, meaning you can find an option that works well for your lifestyle.

Wear Length: Not listed | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Cotton, nylon | Precut: Yes (also available in continuous rolls)

Best for Athletes: Master of Muscle Kinesiology Tape Kinesiology Tape

Pros
  • Latex-free

  • Continuous roll design

  • Water-resistant

  • Available in multiple colors

Cons
  • Adhesive may irritate sensitive skin

  • May not last as long as others

Looking for a roll of kinesiology tape that can withstand the wear and tear of your toughest workouts? Master of Muscle’s Kinesiology Tape will get the job done. The stretchy tape is water-resistant and latex-free, and thanks to its sweat-proof adhesive, it should keep you going for up to three days at a time.

It comes in a continuous roll so you can use as much or as little as you need, and it's fairly affordable so that even the most active individuals can stock up. Tested for performance and durability, Master of Muscle will offer you a full refund if you're not satisfied with the tape.

Wear Length: One to three days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Not listed | Precut: No

Best for Bunions: KT Tape PRO X Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape

KT Tape
Pros
  • Compact design

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • May not last as long as others

  • May be painful to remove

If you have bunions, extra kinesiology tape in your shoes can be a painful issue. Since KT Tape's PRO X Kinesiology Tape is cut into compact, cross-shaped patches, it won't bunch up or take up extra room in your shoes.

You can use it in smaller areas, like on your shoulders and along your feet since each patch is lightweight and stretchy. And since they’re designed for ultimate durability and water resistance, you can wear the tape for up to three days at a time.

Wear Length: One to three days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Not listed | Precut: Yes

Best for Shoulders: Kinesio Pre-Cut Application Shoulder Tape

Pros
  • Unique shape for shoulders

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Long-lasting

Cons
  • Only single-use packets available

  • Material unknown

  • Water resistance unknown

Precut strips of kinesiology tape can easily be used on larger body parts, like your back or legs, but they can be tough to use on smaller body parts, like your shoulders. That’s why Kinesio’s Pre-Cut Shoulder Tape features a unique design to fit snugly over your shoulder.

It will stay in place as you move around and the adhesive allows it to stay on your skin for up to three days at a time. Each set comes with three strips of kinesiology tape, which you can customize to suit the size and shape of your shoulders.

Wear Length: One to three days | Water-Resistant: Not listed | Material: Not listed | Precut: Yes

Best for Knee: KT Tape KT Flex Reinforced Adhesive Strips for Knees

Pros
  • Designed for your knee

  • Reinforced for support and stability

  • Comes in precut strips

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • May not last as long as others

  • May be less flexible

KT Tape’s Flex Adhesive Strips may look like classic kinesiology tape strips, but they're designed specifically for your knees. The kinesiology tape promises to be as lightweight, comfortable, and stretchy as any other, but each strip comes reinforced with KT Tape’s FreeFlex technology—meaning that it will lend extra support and stability to your knees.

Hypoallergenic and latex-free, it's great for sensitive skin and it can last for up to three days at a time.

Wear Length: One to three days | Water-Resistant: Yes | Material: Not listed | Precut: Yes

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a versatile and easy-to-use roll of kinesiology tape, KT Tape’s Original Cotton Athletic Tape (view at Amazon) is a solid pick. The tape is lightweight, breathable, and stretchy, and since it comes in precut strips, it's crafted for easy application—even if you’re using kinesiology tape for the first time.

What to Look for in a Kinesiology Tape

Wear Length

Kinesiology tape is designed to be sticky, strong, and long-lasting. And it’s typically designed to last anywhere between one and ten days. If you prefer to use kinesiology tape for short periods of time, you don't have to worry as much about wear length. However, if you need your kinesiology tape to last for days on end—or if you don't want to replace it frequently—look for a long-lasting option.

Water Resistance

Kinesiology tape is often worn during workouts, so you want it to hold up to a little wear and tear—and a lot of sweat. Thankfully, most kinesiology tape options are designed to be water-resistant, though some options are crafted with additional water resistance for swimming or underwater sports.

Material

Kinesiology tape can be crafted from cotton, spandex, nylon, and other stretchy performance fibers. Most of these options tend to be both flexible and breathable. But if you have a fabric preference, be sure to double-check the material of the tape prior to making your purchase.

Precut

Kinesiology tape is typically available in either precut strips or continuous rolls. Precut strips are more beginner-friendly because they cut down on the guesswork of how much to use at once. With that said, continuous rolls can be a great option for those who know how much (or how little) kinesiology tape they’d like to use at a time.

FAQs

How to apply kinesiology tape

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to kinesiology tape. That's because the tape should be used differently depending on your recovery or workout needs. This is why it's important to contact a physical therapist about kinesiology tape use prior to buying.

With that said, there are a few steps you can expect to follow no matter how or why you're using kinesiology tape. “Before applying tape, the skin needs to be clean, dry, and free of any oil or moisturizers,” Dr. Scarano Ward says. These steps can help you ensure the tape properly adheres to your skin. 

How does kinesiology tape work?

Kinesiology tape applies light pressure to your skin, and as you move around, the tape recoils and that pressure lessens—altering the stimulation you’re experiencing.

“The cut, tension, and direction of tape is ‘dosed’ to provide a therapeutic recoil of the tape,” Dr. Scarano Ward says. “This can address pain, swelling, joint stability, muscle spasm, posture cues, or biofeedback." She adds that the tape can also stimulate your nervous system, potentially reducing pain. 

Can you reuse kinesiology tape?

When kinesiology tape has been removed, you reapply it. “The adhesive picks up oil and sloughed-off skin cells,” Dr. Scarano Ward says. “So once it's adhered to something, there's no way to re-stick it."

How to remove kinesiology tape

There are several steps you can take to remove kinesiology tape without hurting yourself. "First, make sure the skin of the taped area is stretched, says Dr. Scarano Ward. "Second, use one hand to put direct pressure on the tape, and use your other hand to slowly peel the tape off in the direction of hair growth."

She notes that if you tear the tape off or pull it away from the body it can actually cause skin damage. Dr. Scarano Ward adds that you can cut down on pain from removal by applying oil or lotion to the taped area prior to removing the tape.

Can I shower with kinesiology tape?

Many kinesiology tapes are designed to withstand sweat, showers, and other forms of water. So yes, typically you can wear kinesiology tape in the shower. Double-check that the kinesiology tape you’re using is water-resistant, and remember that it may not last as long when exposed to a lot of water.

How long do you leave kinesiology tape on?

Some kinesiology tapes are designed to last longer than others, however many can be used for up to three days at a time. Stickier and more durable options can last up to ten days but set your expectations by double-checking the wear length—especially if you're wearing the tape underwater.

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