Kinesiology Tape vs. Athletic Tape vs. QUICK TAPE® Foot Support Straps: Which is better for plantar fasciitis?
You wake up, ready to start a new day. But as soon as your foot hits the floor, the pain reminds you that your plantar fasciitis is still there—and you have a full day of work and play ahead of you. Plantar fasciitis (also known as plantar fasciosis) is notoriously difficult to treat, as the affected tendon, which runs along the bottom of your foot from the ball to the heel, is involved in literally every single step you take. One treatment that does help many plantar fasciitis sufferers is taping the foot.
How does taping help plantar fasciitis?
When this tendon is injured or inflamed, what it needs is rest to heal properly—easier said than done considering this tendon is involved in literally every single step you take. Taping the foot to support the plantar fascia is one way to give the plantar fascia the support and rest it needs to heal and become pain-free while maintaining an active lifestyle.
The question then becomes, which tape should I use? Certain products and techniques are better than others for achieving the level of tendon support needed to relieve plantar fasciitis pain while still allowing for full mobility. Let’s take a look at a few popular options now: kinesiology tape, “regular” athletic tape, and QUICK TAPE® foot support straps.
A stretchy (and often brightly colored) tape made with a wavy-patterned adhesive, kinesiology tape is designed to gently pull up on the skin around an injured joint or muscle, which is thought to help flush out excess lymphatic fluid (inflammation) from the area and thus reduce pain. It’s also said to enhance proprioception (the communication between nerves in muscles, joints and skin that aids in mobility) as well as inhibit pain pathways between the brain and injured tissues.
- Durable. Lasts for days when applied properly.
- Comfortable. Since it stretches and moves with your body, you won’t feel restricted.
- Reasonably priced. Most kinesiology tape costs less than $10/application
- Offers minimal support. Because it’s so stretchy, kinesiology tape doesn’t offer much support, especially for tendons and joints under heavier loads (such as the plantar fascia).
- Application can be tricky. Kinesiology tape needs to be applied in a specific pattern to be effective, even with pre-cut strips. In addition, it needs to be applied with the correct amount of “stretch” over certain areas to achieve the desired effects.
- Wide variations in quality. There are several brands, cuts, and thicknesses available; some last longer than others.
Does kinesiology tape work for plantar fasciitis?
While kinesiology tape is marketed for plantar fasciitis, and some practitioners use it, there’s not enough evidence to show it has any effect beyond possible mild pain relief for some patients. It’s just too stretchy to take enough pressure off the plantar fascia tendon to allow it to rest.
“Normal” Athletic Tape
Cotton and synthetic athletic tape has been used for decades for injured bones, joints and muscles. Traditional athletic tape has very little stretch and is primarily used for support, rather than to induce sensory benefits as with kinesiology tape. Like kinesiology tape, it must be applied in a specific pattern for optimal effects. For example, the Low Dye technique, which has been used for over 35 years, has been shown to effectively help with plantar fasciitis.
- Tried and true support. When applied correctly, athletic tape can be an effective way to support joints, relieve pain and facilitate healing.
- Customizable. Athletic tape can be cut to any length to treat a variety of issues.
- Inexpensive. Normal athletic tape is usually the cheapest taping option (but keep in mind that you’ll need to use a LOT of it to tape for plantar fasciitis).
- Application is tricky and time consuming. Athletic tape must be cut into pieces to the correct length and applied in a specific pattern, to have the optimal effect. It’s common for 10 to 20 pieces of tape to be used for one body part! To see what we mean, watch this video of the aforementioned Low Dye method (it’s 6 minutes long).
- Doesn’t hold up well to sweat, water, and movement. Athletic tape must be reapplied every 1 to 2 days on the feet.
- Can restrict motion and circulation if taped too tightly. Traditional athletic tape isn’t the most comfortable option and can limit mobility because it is so rigid—especially when many layers are used. When it comes to taping for foot pain, full mobility is important to retain a normal gait during activity (altering the gait can lead to more problems, such as knee and hip pain).
Does athletic tape work for plantar fasciitis?
When applied using the Low Dye technique, athletic tape can provide excellent support to the plantar fascia. However, it has its drawbacks—unless you’re a seasoned pro, you might spend up to 20 minutes a day taping your foot.
QUICK TAPE® Foot Support Straps
QUICK TAPE® foot support straps are thin, 1-piece peel-and-stick tapes made from hypoallergenic, latex-free fabric athletic tape. Based on the proven Low Dye method, they are specifically designed to take pressure off the plantar fascia, support the arch and relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. They eliminate the time-consuming process of cutting and layering pieces of tape, and many podiatrists are now using QUICK TAPE® support straps instead of Low Dye taping.
- Easy to use. Instead of 10 to 12 separate pieces, there is just one piece that wraps around the heel and arch on either foot.
- Very durable. Each QUICK TAPE® support strap is water-resistant, sweat-resistant, and lasts up to 1 week, and can be left on when showering, sleeping, or playing sports.
- Provides both support and mobility. QUICK TAPE® support straps don’t stretch, providing maximum support along the plantar fascia tendon and holding the arch in place even better while standing than the Low Dye method. Since there’s only one piece instead of many layers of tape, the foot can still move freely.
- Comfortable with any footwear. The single-piece straps are thin enough to wear comfortably with any type of footwear (with or without socks), orthotics or braces. Sneakers, sandals and dress shoes fit like they do on your bare foot.
- Affordably priced. QUICK TAPE® support straps cost about $10 per strap, less than many other plantar fasciitis tape products on the market. And, while plain athletic tape is cheaper up front, consider this: most people only need one QUICK TAPE® support strap per foot, per week. You’d go through yards of athletic tape over the same time span. Add in time spent each day retaping—and any cost savings start to disappear quickly.
- Can only be used on the feet.
- May take a little practice to apply perfectly. There’s a quick learning curve, but anyone can master the application after watching a short instructional video.
Do QUICK TAPE® foot support straps work for plantar fasciitis?
Yes! The strap provides optimal tendon and arch support, allowing it to effectively rest even when you’re on your feet all day. Restoring this support and aiding in the realignment of the foot can also help alleviate foot arthritis, bunions, shin splints and other common foot ailments. For maximum benefit, the straps need to be worn 24/7 for 6 to 8 weeks, until pain resides, and then can be worn as needed or preventatively during heavier or longer training sessions or marathons. Read our reviews to see how QUICK TAPE® support straps have helped real people!
Tried everything for plantar fasciitis? Try QUICK TAPE® foot support straps now
We know how frustrating plantar fasciitis can be—our co-founder suffered from it for years (and nearly resorted to having surgery) before developing the QUICK TAPE® support strap. While other tapes may offer some relief, QUICK TAPE® support straps combine the comfort and durability of kinesiology tape with the superior support of athletic tape, and offers fast pain relief without the time-consuming application process.
If you’re ready to find an effective solution to foot pain, we invite you to try QUICK TAPE® foot support straps. Our 3-pack sample size is perfect for those new to the product. Many physicians throughout the US and worldwide offer the QUICK TAPE® foot support strap. Click here to find a provider near you. Or, go ahead and buy now online.