This past weekend I was able to finally use a sample pack of KT Tape I had in my gym bag. I ran my first 5K wearing my Vibrams and thought “what the heck, may as well try this out, too!”
KT Tape, in a nutshell, is a cotton tape similar to medical tape. It comes in strips that you use to create a temporary brace. The most common types of braces used are for your knees, ankles, and wrists. However, you can use them just about anywhere. You can create a brace on your lower back, shoulders, elbows, even your calves! This is really hand for runners.
One of the pros of this system is that you don’t have a clunky brace inhibiting your movement. Since it’s basically just thin strips of cotton you can really move around more naturally. Another benefit is that you can wear this under clothes, from normal work attire to compression clothing for workouts.
I used my KT tape to support my knee after my run. I was having some minor pain on the side. So I followed the directions to “lift” my knee into support. The tape worked really well! I instantly felt great support, and could really move my knee without stressing it. Another nice thing is that I didn’t have a large, HOT brace on my leg! Living in Florida, if I wear a brace for more than about half an hour the area under the brace gets soaked. KT Tape is way more comfortable and way more sanitary.
I did run into a few cons, however. First being that this is fairly complex to put on. It comes with great directions with both written and picture instructions. The website also has video instructions on how to apply it. However, that’s a lot of work just to support my knee. I can also see how you would need a second person if you wanted to do something like your back or shoulders.
Another con I found was you have to pretty much be shaved clean for this stuff to stick. Being a guy I have some pretty hairy legs. The tape stuck for about an hour in the Florida heat and humidity before starting to come off. It would certainly never survive a run. However, I’m confident the performance would have been much better with a good, smooth surface to stick to.
All in all KT Tape is a GREAT tool for athletes and people that just don’t want to wear a giant brace all the time. I can really see this coming in handy for office workers with wrist problems. Just wrap in the morning and go all day without your wrist getting hot and sweaty. At the end of the day just remove and throw it out. No more dirty, gross wrist guards sitting on your desk, freaking out your cube mates!