The Epic Battle!
There is much debate as to which athletic tape is the best. People want to know which one really works, which one sticks the best, which brand is better for a particular injury or sport? With so many different brands out there, how do you know what you’re getting and if it will actually work? When athletes finally choose a particular type of tape they tend to be very passionate and vocal about it. Some have compared this passion to a college football rivalry where people are picking one brand over the other and defending it in lengthy debate. Well the good news is we narrowed our search down to two products that seem to be at the top of every list!
UNDERSTANDING ATHLETIC TAPE
IIt’s important to understand what modern athletic tape can do for you. With medical tape the goal was to prevent movement so it was created with none stretching material. This technology is now considered to be outdated but medical tape is still used to prevent injuries, mostly in the wrist and ankle areas. Modern athletic tape has an elastic property weaved into the material to promote movement. Movement has been proven to help speed up recovery and increase blood flow to the injured area. Blood flow to your injury is great because blood carries oxygen, and oxygen can help repair damage to the body. A good athletic tape will stretch length wise but not width wise. This is to offer your body full range of movement but also give support to the muscle, joint or ligament. It can be used to compress or decompress a certain applied area and will create a microscopic lifting affect of the skin. What this does is help remove any by-products from swelling or inflammation “by allowing congested or compressed blood vessels (capillaries, lymph vessels, arteries, veins) to flow more freely”. Athletic tape can also delay fatigue by distributing the work load from an applied area to surrounding muscles, joints or ligaments. If the athletic tape has kinesiology in the fabric some people have said that it helps reduce the pain they feel in that area.
SO WHAT DID WE DISCOVER?
We sent a sample of each the Rock Tape and the KT Tape Pro to Sarah Daley of Farmington Utah who is a certified person trainer and loves weigh lifting, swimming, cycling and running. Here is what she had to say:
Overall I am a healthy and active person who loves to run and have completed several local races. I am however, plagued with a tight IT band which is hard to relieve once it flairs up. I stretch, warm up and it usually isn’t too bad, but everyone once in awhile my IT band will stop me in my tracks. I have tried a few different athletic tapes and even just medical tape. But had yet to find a tape that I am 100% satisfied with, unit now.
First off, I love the colors I received, and if I am going to be running around with straps of tape on my legs, it might as well add to my ensemble. Both Rock Tape and KT Tape instructions were thorough and had detailed pictures with videos on how to apply the tape correctly. I love how Rock Tape came in one continuous roll which allowed me to cut the exact length of tape I needed each time. KT Tape came in pre-cut strips which had to be cut in half for smaller applications and left a little bit of material wasted. It’s important to note that with both tape, when applied correctly they will work as you need them to. Both tapes come in one single width and not split down the middle like some other brands we tested. This made application easier to not have to deal with two skinnier strips to cover one area. The material could easily be torn down the middle if the area and application needed that type of wrapping.
I put Rock Tape and KT Tape to the test side by side and to against other competitors. Since we are still talking about Rock Tape and KT Tape it’s safe to say the other brands didn’t make the cut. I taped both my IT bands, one brand on each side. First thing I noticed was that Rock Tape has a much better adhesive than KT Tape. After walking around my house for about five minutes, getting ready for my run, KT Tape started to lift up from its applied area (an annoying problem I have had in the past) while Rock Tape stayed put.
I went out for a quick 5k run and the Rock Tape stayed strong and held tight. It was so light weight, I actually forgot it was on and it never peeled or bunch up like the KT Tape started doing. The other bonus to forgetting was that I didn’t feel the pain from my IT band. It was a miracle!! After having what I call, a chronic “twanging” in my IT band, it was a relief to finish my run strong! The Rock Rape stood the test of time and reduced the pain so that I could run with no problems. Removing both tape was pretty easy, it came of very clean and didn’t leave those weird sticky patches all over my leg. As a side note if you have hair on the area where the tape is applied it might not remove as easy as if the area is shaved. Hence the whole reason cyclists and swimmers shave their legs and arms…just saying! So all in all, I prefer Rock Tape over KT Tape. I recommend following the instructions, stretch the middle not the ends, round the corners, and you will get a tape worth the money! I will definitely be investing in Rock Tape over any other brand. Can’t wait for the 2015 running season to start!
THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY!
So we tested the Rock Tape (rocktape.com) against the KT Tape Pro (kttape.com) and several other brands that didn’t make it for at least two good reasons or more. We felt these two brands definitely deserved to be at the top of every list and sometimes comes down to a matter of preference. Starting with Rock Tape we noticed that it adheres a little better than KT Tape, however KT Tape does offer a spray to help make their tape stick better. This spray comes in a bottle and is applied prior to putting the KT Tape on. It’s designed to make the tape stick even in water. Of course this comes with an additional cost to your bill. Both tapes cost around the same price which we feel is a little steep, but if it helps you through your marathon or long distance event then $20 isn’t a bad price to pay. We weren’t 100% convinced that the tape helps interrupt the pain signals to your brain or if the suggestion of that feature put the idea in our head. These tapes were used for IT band issues, knee issues and foot/ankle issues. Both websites were easy to navigate with plenty of help for you to correctly apply each product. When visiting their websites you will notice that Rock Tape has several other cool products to help with weight lifting or cross fit style workouts. KT Tape offers a less expensive version of the Pro tape at $13 a roll.
HOW DID THEY RATE?
We rated this item under four categories, each with a maximum of 5 stars:
OVERALL RATING of both tapes is 3.75 Stars and will be a matter of preference if you use an athletic tape
The overall rating of each brand will be equal because each had their own value with separate qualities. It really came down to the type of activity you are involved in and if you believe in the power of kinesiology. What we recommend is testing the products out yourself to see if works for you and the specific activity you’re involved with. If we had to recommend one over the other we would say Rock Tape took this victory! This would be based on the fact that it really did stick with no additional spray.