8 Tips for Excellent Adhesion

wendshoulderIt’s summer and things are heating up and getting sweaty.  So, it’s a good thing that KT Tape is specially designed to withstand the elements and stay on for the long haul.  For the ultimate in muscle and joint pain relief, follow these eight tips to ensure you are getting all the hold KT Tape is designed to give.

1.  Skin Prep:

At least one hour before exercise, clean and dry skin vigorously to completely remove lotion, dirt, oils or  excess hair (rubbing alcohol works well).  If in humid climate, apply tape indoors to ensure moisture does not interfere with adhesive while it sets.  Clip excessive hair to 1/8” long for better adhesion.

2.  Time Prep:

Apply tape at least 30 minutes before athletic activity or showering.  An hour is optimal.

3. Round All Corners:

For any application that requires cutting, make round cuts.  Round corners stay on skin longer and reduce fraying in the tape.

4.  Proper Body Position:

Before applying tape, stretch the part of the body where the pain is presenting, according to instructions.  Failure to follow directions may cause the tape to pull excessively, resulting in premature loosening.

5.  Remove Backer Paper:

Rip the paper on the back of tape to remove for application.  When removing paper from tape, rip the back and only remove as needed for application – don’t touch the sticky side of the tape.

6.  Tape Placement:

Apply directly to skin – not on other pieces of tape – for stronger and longer lasting applications.

7.  No Stretch on Tape Ends:

Do NOT stretch the ends of the tape.  The first and last 1.5 to 2 inches of tape should always be applied with no stretch.

8.  Activate Adhesive:

Before moving the taped body part out of position, use the waxy side of the backer paper to rub vigorously around all areas of the tape.  Heat created from this friction rub activates the adhesive.

To find application instructions for your specific injury click here.

107 replies
    • jim
      jim says:

      If you have a lot of hair on your legs then trimming the hair is a good idea- especially on the ends- so the tape sticks properly. Thx.

  1. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I have followed these instructions and still the tape starts to peel off after a run or best case a few hours. Any other hints?

  2. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Jim, I am applying the tape to my ankle. The part that comes off first is the up side of the high tape. Note not covered by my sock. I want to say this tape is great and really does help I just wish I could get more than one use out of an application.

  3. Frank A
    Frank A says:

    I have found that if I apply the tape the night before a run or activity it gives it time to really adhere to the skin. When I do that, it stays on for days! Even through multiple runs and showers.

    • Jim Jenson
      Jim Jenson says:

      One of the best tricks is to spray the skin with regular hair spray first, let it dry, and then apply. Works like a charm. Also, we just released a brand new version of KT Tape called KT Tape PRO that has serious extra strength adhesive. If you’d like to learn more click here- http://www.kttape.com/store/KT-Tape-Pro/. thx

  4. JoshuaA
    JoshuaA says:

    I apply the tape on my knee, and the end happen to come off although i don’t apply any stretch on the ends. And i would love for the tape to stay on my knee for upto three days, any reason why the ends peel off?

  5. Jimmy
    Jimmy says:

    We follow these instructions to the dot and use kt tape pro but it still only lasts about half a run before the ends start turning up sometimes longer. We have tried applying with tuffskin which works alot better, but still after some running and sweating it starts to peel off. After paying so much for it, apposed to kinesio i just want it to work. does anyone have any secrets? Its a shoulder application

  6. Crystal
    Crystal says:

    Hello I bought a roll of the blue KT tape it doesn’t stick at all. I put it on shortly after showering. Making sure I did not use any lotion. I make sure not to stretch the ends and rubbed the tape to activate the adhesive. But it will not stick. I work in Emergency Medical Services and have suffered a back injury I was really hoping this tape would help but it doesn’t stick. Is this a common problem? Is there anything else I can try to make it stick? I’ve tried emailing support@kttape.com and info@kttap.com they both came back undeliverable??

  7. Kameron
    Kameron says:

    Have been trying to get the regular to stick and it doesn’t even last an hour so I can get to my run. I have shaved cleaned with alcohol and still nothing. I did try the orange pro tape and it lasted better and I didn’t even shave my legs. Did the make the regular stuff worse so you would have to buy the pro. This stuff works great when it sticks. Seems like they need to work on the adhesive. Cuz I’m not wasting anymore money on the stuff.

  8. Jaymes
    Jaymes says:

    Taking this tape back to the running store tomorrow. Purchased the red tape, shaved my knee, used alcohol to clean skin, rounded the corners of the tape, stretched legs before applying, did not stretch the ends of the tape, used the wax paper to “vigorously” rub the tape to activate the adhesive, watched the KT Tape application videos……..and the tape falls off after mile 2. Tried this on 2 runs, same result. I am extremely disappointed. I was really counting on this tape to minimize my runner’s knee pain, but it won’t stick long enough to reveal its potential effectiveness.

  9. David
    David says:

    I recently purchased KT pro strips for an ACS injury I incurred competing in Judo and 8 was very excited I instantly began to feel relief but am deeply disappointed in the quality of the adhesive as it almost instantly begins to come undone. It’s even more frustrating considering how much a roll is and especially so when I here how well it has worked for others. I followed the application directions to the tee. I wonder if I just purchased a bad batch or what but being that I need four strips per application I really would like to be able to use the KT Pro for more than one use at a time. I also kickbox and my regular wrapping tape adheres much better.

  10. John
    John says:

    Bought several roles of the tape. Watch videos to apply. Have yet to get it to stick once. I have serious questions about the legitimacy of this product! And not happy about how much money I spent on the several rolls of this product!

  11. Jules
    Jules says:

    So i thought i’d give KT pro a go. Followed all the instructions, i even shaved the area. Applied the tape on my knee and after a few minutes of running, sweat eventually got the better of the tape. Now, i have been a fan of athletic tapes and have been using another brand. The brand (not KT) sticks for days even in shower and i did not have to purchase an adhesive spray or do hairdryer stuff and i didnt even have to shave anything. KT tape should work on its adhesion issues and research why other brands (rock) sticks better.

  12. GregB
    GregB says:


    I can assure you that we can fix the problem and get you tape that will stick. Our previous adhesive was more heat sensitive and our new adhesive is not nearly as sensitive. However, we cannot help you if you won’t email us with your address. I would love to send you replacement tape. If you still don’t like it, you haven’t lost out on anything. We will replace any and all rolls you’ve had problems with and ship them to you immediately. I completely understand your frustration and I would feel the same way. If you will allow us to replace your product you will see that we have addressed the issue. Thank you for your time. Again, if you will please send us an email to the address I gave you previously we will take care of you with new tape or if you’d like I am sure we can refund the money you spent on the defective tape.

  13. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I purchased two of the pro rolls for a half marathon I have on Sunday… One of the apps I need to use is the IT band at the hip.. I found that using a hairdryer on medium heat after applying keeps it from coming off, even where the bands overlap. Definitely worth a try if you are having problems getting them to stick. I also used a hairdryer after getting out of the shower, and it dried them off and got the ends to stick down.

  14. Lark
    Lark says:

    I bought some black KT tape and have gone through six strips trying to get them to stick. They came off five minutes into the run. That’s a lot of dinero down the drain.

  15. CareyB
    CareyB says:

    This is the 3rd brand of tape we have tried. I’ve previously used KinesioTape and Rock Tape – both which have worked wonderfully! We decided to try KT tape because we could get the exact match to my daughter’s club colour. However, she can’t even get to practice before the KT tape starts coming off. We have read all the feedback, tried the hair dyer and hairspray, but nothing is working. I paid $20 + tax for this tape and can’t seem to get it to stick. Very unfortunate considering I did no special prep (rubbing alcohol, etc) with the other brands and had them stick for days.

    Very disappointing to have spent this much money for a product that does seem to work as well as the others on the market.

  16. Dave
    Dave says:

    I’ve wasted nearly 4 full roles (regular, then pro) of this stuff. Used to use some for shin splints, which would only stay on 50% of the time, for maybe a day max. Other times used it for an adductor tear, but it wouldn’t last through the lightest of workouts. Tried it on my knee a few weeks after a sprain, but it wouldn’t even stick for 2 minutes.

    I’ve cleaned the skin, shaved, etc. Still nothing. I’ve looked at a lot of tips too, hoping the result would change, and have seen claims that this stuff has lasted over 5 days. After browsing a lot of these forums though, I see plenty of people with the exact same problem as me. Is there some kind of expiry date on this tape or something?

    • GregB
      GregB says:


      I believe your tape was exposed to heat during transit from our warehouse to wherever you purchased it. We will gladly replace it with new tape. We have updated our adhesive formula to make it heat tolerant so this won’t be an issue going forward. Please send an email to support@kttape.com and they will replace all of your bad tape with fresh brand new tape.

  17. Kirk
    Kirk says:

    I e-mailed support@kttape.com separately. But I too have experienced all of the same issues with the tape not sticking (both regular and Pro). See Band-Aid…make it like that! Simple…been sticking to skin for a hundred years!

  18. Janee
    Janee says:

    What Kirk said! Band-Aids stick so well that they last several showers . . . and then rip off the scab. So, Band-Aids stick when we don’t want them to, but KT Tape doesn’t stick when we do want it to?? Oh, what a world! 🙁

  19. DebbieK
    DebbieK says:

    Have gone through 2 rolls of tape for plantar fasciitis and cannot get the tape going up my ankle bone to stick longer than 2 miles into my run. I have followed the instructions on the videos but have had no luck 🙁 Want to use it for an upcoming 1/2 marathon but not too keen on the fact it will be flapping around for 8-9 miles.

  20. Carman
    Carman says:

    My chiropractor has used Rock Tape on me in the past, but I bought a roll of KT tape. The Rock Tape has always stayed on for days, but I’m really disappointed in the KT tape. I’ve tried applying it twice. I’ve cleaned the area, applied inside, stretched first, etc., but I still can’t get the stuff to stay on. Last time I taped my knee it started peeling off even before I’d finished taping!! I’m really thinking that something’s wrong with this roll. I’ve used a ton of this expensive roll with no results. Can you help?

  21. Fanni Simmons
    Fanni Simmons says:

    I was looking online to find tips that would help keep the KT Tape on my shoulder. I tried lot find the product suffskin with no luck. I don’t use hairspray but I know I can find that product. Before I add to my expenses, will the hairspray work or it may help? I only have a few strips left and I want to make the best of them! I’m a id tennis player and really need the support the tape offers. Will extra hold hairspray be the best to buy?

  22. Fanni Simmons
    Fanni Simmons says:

    I was looking online to find tips that would help keep the KT Tape on my shoulder. I tried lot find the product suffskin with no luck. I don’t use hairspray but I know I can find that product. Before I add to my expenses, will the hairspray work or it may help? I only have a few strips left and I want to make the best of them! Will extra hold hairspray be the best to buy?

  23. Fabio
    Fabio says:

    I live in Italy and this is the first time I use Kt TAPE Pro. I’ve used a lot of tapes of other brands with quite good results but with yours I’ve had no chance. They don’t last a single training session, they begin to peel off in an hour. Maybe is it one of a bad batch ? It is for my daughter, she does athetics, long and high jump. She is a bit disappointed … and she has told me to change brand … I thought that KT Tape was a lot better than others tapes but it seems I am wrong ! Very disapponted 🙁

  24. Fabio
    Fabio says:

    I hope your customer care service is better than what actually we have here !!! (I don’t mean your brand)
    Well, so I trust you and I’ll try to write to your support
    Thank you

  25. Fabio
    Fabio says:

    I would like to thank Mr. Paul, director at KT Europe, for is kind answer to my mail.
    Your customer care service is great.
    This is the right way a firm takes care of its customers.
    Thank you Paul and thank you KTtape

  26. Shi
    Shi says:

    I have used KT tape for a couple of years with excellent results. However, my last three roles have been a disaster. They do not stick for very long. In the past they have adhered for up to a week with no problem. Now it is a few hours. It appears to be a quality issue. I will be trying a different brand.

  27. Mimi
    Mimi says:

    So I use KT tape on my arms in such a fashion that my physical therapist has instructed me to. Two strips up to belly of the arm to the elbow, and then around the wrist (like the videos instruct) but the tape doesn’t stick for any time at all. I put it on and rub it to activate it, and immediately it comes off and rolls up and doesn’t stick at all. Any idea what I can do?

  28. josh sisk
    josh sisk says:

    This is my first time using kt tape pro and it doesnt stick as well as i thought it would. I watched video online and did everything it said but it still didnt stick. I would like some more ideas if there are any.

  29. Ron
    Ron says:

    Hi, just bought KT tape pro to use in relief from shin splints. Watch the videos and followed instructions for prep but the tape keeps rolling down within 5 minutes..Tried twice and wasted 4 strips no go 🙁 Any help is appreciated. Upon reading more reviews, I found that many recommend Rock Tape over this. Just wasted $ 20 for this. Oh well..

  30. CW
    CW says:

    I’ve tried KT tape of various types multiple times. The initial tape first available (years ago) stuck really well and helped a lot – probably stuck too well as a few times it ripped my skin off. Since then no KT tape I’ve bought will stick. I’ve tried every tip possible and followed the instructions to the letter. Despite this it peels off within about 5 minutes and usually before this. This stuff is to be honest absolutely useless and yet so expensive – especially when I have so little use from each application. I’m so disappointed by it. If only the adhesive problem could be addressed this tape would be great. As it is I recommend zinc oxide tape – much cheaper and sticks for far longer. I’m afraid I cannot and will not recommend such an inferior product to any one. Avoid it!

  31. cindy
    cindy says:

    I am so glad (but not) that other people have had the same problem! I bought a roll to use for my daughter’s groin injury so she could get through soccer tryouts but we couldn’t keep the tape on more than 10 minutes. I tried to tape the ends with regular athletic tape, but it wasn’t enough. Same thing happened with my other daughters quad injury. So frustrating and expensive!

  32. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    As a member of Team USA Duathlon, and someone who trains twice a day, you can imagine I have a lot of minor and nagging injuries. I used your tape a few times, followed your directions to the letter. My legs are shaved and I apply for an hour before..etc..Your product doesn’t adhere for the first 15 min of any workout I do…very disappointed.

  33. Stacey
    Stacey says:

    I bought 3 different colours of KT tape (blue, pink, red) at the same time for my children and their various injuries. I have followed all the directions and 2 out of the 3 rolls begin to peel within 15 minutes into their games. I spent a lot of money on these rolls and am very disappointed that my kids can not utilize this product for the length on their game. I will trying another product next time.

  34. Allison
    Allison says:

    I am trying to use the KT tape pro on my knee’s. The tape won’t stay on and when I rub it to activate it nothing happens. Any suggestions?

  35. AJ
    AJ says:

    Using the “Pro” version on my wrist. Shaved my arm completely. Washed, dried, and alcohol applied. After fully dry the tape still comes lose from the back of my hand and from top of forearm. I can’t get the wrist wraps, cut in two pieces with rounded edges to sick at all. They last for and 5-10 minutes. I love this tape. It works wonderfully, but this is the first location that I have had trouble applying. Any advice would be great.

  36. Salomeh Ghorbani
    Salomeh Ghorbani says:

    Sticking issues here are well. I use alcohol and let it dry before applying….do not have any tension near the ends….yet I can not get through a 2-4 hour bike ride with the tape intact. It is a knee application and I’ve tried a few different techniques including the one in your video. No joy. I bought purple, blue and pink…..very disappointed.

  37. Peter rolon
    Peter rolon says:

    I bought the tan kt pro tape for my shin splits and 30 minutes in my workout I see the tape peeling. I followed the directions and watch many instructional videos on how to put it on. It is really expensive to not work like it says. Really disappointed I spend a lot of money to help cure my shin spouts with this tape but didn’t cooperate with me.

  38. Gail Estrin
    Gail Estrin says:

    Hello, just purchased some pink tape @ shoppers drug mart in Abbotsford, bc while travelling. Put it properly on me knee and prepped the skin, etc as per instructions. The tape stayed on for four hours and is now starting to unstick. But it really felt terrific and gave great support for that short time. What can I do to make it stick better? I can see this is going to be pretty costly … Maybe spirit gum will work? Could use some pointers please.

  39. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    I bought 2 rolls of KT Pro – tan and pink. I have a 50+ year old knee that just sometimes needs a little extra support for leg day at the gym, or running a 5k/10k/obstacle course, etc. I have tried so many ways to get this to stick and nothing has worked longer than 1 day – shaved legs, no lotions, washed the area with alcohol, rubbed with the slick side of the paper backer, hair dryer, etc. The first 2 times (1 each color) I only washed with alcohol and applied it and it didn’t last even 15 minutes into my run. The 3rd time I did all of the above and it did initially stick, but only because I used clear medical tape on all the ends for 2-3 hours prior to the run, taking it off prior to running. That time it did stay on the remainder of that day, but later that night when I showered, the entire application edges looked rippled and by morning it was peeling off. It works great when I can get it to stick, but costly at $20 a roll (20 pieces) when each knee application takes 3 pieces and only lasts 1 day at best (so far).

  40. Peter Chebi
    Peter Chebi says:

    URGENT: I bought KT Tape and KT Tape Pro. I taped my wrist just as shown on the website. I shaved the area, cleaned it with water and rubbing alcohol and dried it prior to applying KT Tape. Both KT Tape and KT Tape Pro peal within an hour of playing basketball and sweating, especially over the areas tape is overlapping itself. This is disappointing as I spent $50 and have already used up half of what I bought in two days. Please let me know what I can do for the tape to stick better. This is urgent as KT Tape is the only way I can play basketball pain free. I’ve already contacted support@kttape.com but have not yet received a response.

    • ccarroll
      ccarroll says:

      Peter, I have replied thru the support email. I need some more info from you and we will get you taken care of.

  41. Eric Bertrand
    Eric Bertrand says:

    I recently bought two rolls of KT tape. The girl at the store told me to also get the cleaning product and the spraying glue as sticking was a problem. Have tried these products but I still cannot get the tapes to stay more than a few minutes when playing tennis. I have used the tape for my arm and knee with each application requiring 3 pieces. The product definitely helps when first applied but is too expensive for what I am getting in returns.

  42. Minh
    Minh says:

    I should have read the comments before purchasing this brand but it seems I can’t find any other brands in stores near me. I used the KT tape on me and a friend this week and it peeled off within the hour. It’s definitely inferior to the brand my physiotherapist uses because that tape stays on my skin for almost a week. Too bad I cannot purchase the kind she has. Disappointed customer.

  43. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    I purchased a pack of tape in the UK..I have used 5 pieces so far and haven’t managed to get out of the house before the tape comes off. Im using it for my Achilles area. How can I keep the tape on especially on the underfoot.

  44. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    After reading all of these complaints about defective tape and wasting a great deal of money on defective tape myself I have to wonder if the manufacturers are serious about dealing with the real problem, your defective product. Your product is not cheap and many of us who use KT don’t have the money to waste on what is often a useless product. KT needs to get serious about fixing the problem.

  45. Nora DeGaa
    Nora DeGaa says:

    I just purchased Laser Blue KT tape and it WILL NOT STICK AT ALL. Very unhappy with the Laser Blue. I have in the past purchased Dark Blue KT tape and it stuck very well, last for days.
    My recommendation is NOT to buy Laser Blue KT Tape!

  46. Noah Castleberry
    Noah Castleberry says:

    I have purchased 3 different rolls of the KT Tape Pro. I love the tape, but it will not stick to my skin or even to itself. I have done all the skin preps recommended and it still doesn’t stick. I bowl twice a week and use it to wrap my wrist, so I don’t need it to last more than those to days (which are back to back days.) What I started doing is using some athletic tape on top of the kt tape but that gets very annoying. Does the regular Kt tape stick any better than the pro?

    • ccarroll
      ccarroll says:

      This is Jil at KT Tape, and I would love to help you. Please contact me at support@kttape.com and I will work with you so your tape helps your wrist then you can bowl without having to use the athletic tape.

  47. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I’m on my second roll of tape. The first tape, blue, worked awesome. Really helped with a bad case of shin splints. My second roll, black, won’t stay on and falls off in the shower.

  48. Alan
    Alan says:

    Just bought kt tape products to try and help with my sons ankle problems and followed all the instructions to find that it comes off quite quickly even though your supposed to be able to swim with it on it falls off after 5 minutes. What a waste of money and time

  49. Susan Kirkland
    Susan Kirkland says:

    I bought a roll of KT Tape at my local Vitamin Shoppe today. What disappointment! If doesn’t stick at all! I actually did clean my arm with alcohol before I even read this. I couldn’t even get it to stick enough to rub it to heat it up. Huge disappointment!

    • ccarroll
      ccarroll says:

      I am sorry you are having a problem with the tape sticking please contact me at support@kttape so I can help.

  50. Dale Gardner
    Dale Gardner says:

    You know, I’ve tried all these things and continue to have poor results. The tape doesn’t stick for more than a few hours, if that long. Frustrating and disappointing.

  51. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Oviously if I am looking here the tape is not sticking. My child is 8 years old, he does not have hair on his legs or any excess body stuff, yet the tape does not stick. He plays baseball and has an ankle sprain… I paid good money for this tape… 21.00 + tax. I am open to any suggestions before returning it.


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