Product Review: KT Tape Pro
When it comes to kinesiology tape, the options seem endless. Some of them are available through retailers and websites, while others are only available through health care offices. The prices vary, but does the quality?
Kinesiology tape has been shown to provide pain relief, improve range of motion, increased blood flow, increased lymphatic drainage, proprioceptive and supportive properties. Read my previous post about kinesiology tape for a more thorough explanation.
Recently, KT Tape brand was kind enough to send us a sample of their product KT Tape Pro so we could give it a try. They currently have two different types of tape: KT Tape (original) and KT Tape Pro.
It’s my understanding that the primary differences between the two options is in the adhesive and the material. The KT Tape Pro adhesive is advertised to last for up to 7 days, through “daily showers, runs, humidity and cold,” while the KT Tape original is advertised to last just 1-3 days. The fibers of the KT Tape Pro are also 100% synthetic microfibers, which they claim provide “superior weight-to-strength ratios” and are “fast drying” while also being anti-microbial. The original is made of cotton fibers.
KT Tape recommends using their website for videos of applications for specific injuries. Their instructions for applications are easy to follow, and the rolls of tape also come with a paper version of common applications and instructions.
My Experience with KT Tape Pro
Following their instructions, I applied tape to my calf prior to a couple of my short runs. I’ve been dealing with a calf issue lately, so I figured it’d be a good area to test out their product. After wearing it on my runs, here is a quick pros/cons list to summarize my feedback.
- Protective Container. The tape comes in a cool little container to protect it while in a gym bag or purse, which is nice. I have wasted a lot of good rolls after they’ve taken a good beating in my gym bag.
- Pre-Cut Strips. The tape comes in 20 pre-cut 10 inch “I” strips, which means you don’t have to carry scissors with you to use it. And let’s be honest, who carries scissors with them?
- Reflective. The KT Tape Pro comes with reflective coloring. This is good for those of you who prefer the dawn or dusk runs, even though most running gear has reflective features these days.
- Price. The price is good. Well, kind of. The KT Tape Pro retails for $19.99 on their website, but I’ve seen it for cheaper at other sites. Any price less than $19.99 seems like a pro to me (see “Cons” list below).
- Availability. You can find this stuff just about anywhere: Target, Walgreens, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Amazon. If you find yourself in some random city and realize you forgot your tape at home, you should be able to run to just about any store and pick up a roll of this stuff, no matter what time of day it is.
- Longevity. While I followed all of the directions perfectly, the tape started to peel off within a couple of miles. It’s supposed to last up to 7 days.
- Support. Now, I’m not saying the tape didn’t provide any support, but it wasn’t as supportive as other tapes I’ve used. I could definitely notice the benefits of the tape, but there are more supportive tapes out there. If given the choice between KT Tape Pro and no tape, I’ll take KT Tape Pro any day.
- Application. The material of KT Tape Pro wasn’t as easy to manipulate while applying it. It has a different feel to it. It’s almost slippery and doesn’t have the same amount of pliability. If you’ve applied a lot of kinesiology tape, you’ll know what I’m talking about if you try this.
- Price. I know I already listed this as a “Pro” but if you buy this at $19.99, I consider it a “Con”. RockTape retails for $20. If you have them next to each other on the shelf, I’m going to spend the extra penny. I think $15/roll for KT Tape Pro would be more appropriate retail pricing.
- Pre-Cut Strips. While pre-cut saves time and hassle, it also limits your application options and may cause you to use more tape than you need to for some conditions. Plantar fasciitis does not require a 10 inch application, like they instruct. Sure you can still cut the pre-cut strips down but then you can get stuck with a small 4 inch piece that you have no use for. It can also limit your ability to treat conditions in areas you’d maybe prefer longer pieces, like the spine and upper leg injuries. In the end, I’d rather cut my own pieces, but that’s just me. Some people get frustrated cutting tape. For those people, the pre-cut option is a definite “Pro”.
After trying KT Tape Pro, I was neither disappointed nor impressed. I came away with a very neutral feeling towards KT Tape. I don’t like it as much as the tape that I use in my clinic, but for the occasional at-home application, I could see this being an adequate option.
Like I said above, at the $19.99 price point, I think there are higher quality tapes. But if I found myself in a situation without my regular tape, I’d use KT Tape Pro without hesitation.