An Insider’s Guide to getting KT Taped at a race

If you’ve ever stopped by the KT Tape booth at a marathon, triathlon, or other sports event you know the line to be taped can take well over an hour. We recently spoke with KT Tape expert Joseph McCaleb, PT about what people could do to come prepared to the expo to get taped so we can take care of them as quickly as possible. Joe has staffed 14 races in the past year so he was able to provide some quick answers that will make your next taping experience even better.

1. What to wear. Be prepared by wearing clothing which will allow easy access to your area you need taped. For example, if you need to have your knee or IT band taped, you need to wear shorts. As you can see from the picture, the tape will come up in the mid thigh area for most people and no matter how hard you try those stretchy jeans just DON’T pull up far enough.

Gals that want to have their backs or shoulders taped should wear sports bras. However, it’s far easier to apply the back and shoulder applications at home by a trusted person without the clothing getting in the way.

2. Skin Prep. Make sure your skin is clean, dry and that you have no lotions or oils of any type as the tape will not stick if you have lotion on. It is preferable that you shower the morning of the expo to make sure the lotion you applied yesterday is completely cleaned from the skin.

Guys- if you have a lot of hair in the area you want taped you probably need to shave before being taped. The tape is designed to stick directly to the skin. If you have excessive hair that prevents the tape from getting a good grip on the skin, the tape won’t stay on properly. If you need a shave we will happily do it for you, but it’s much faster if you come to the expo already preped with soft and supple skin.

One last thing. We try to keep things ‘family friendly’ at the expos as much as possible. There are a few apps that you’re on your own to apply such as hip flexor or glute pain. We’re sure you understand.

3. How much does it cost? How does a taping session work? Taping at the expos is free. We consider it a service to the athletes and we don’t charge at the events. We will ask questions to try and identify the best application but in most cases the KT Tape staff are not medical professionals and are not diagnosing the condition or trying to determine root cause. We are simply addressing the immediate pain. If you have questions about your specific condition you should see a licensed professional. You can also post a question on our Ask an Expert forum.

Have you been taped at an event before? Leave a comment and let us know if you have any other tips. Thx

To find out if KT Tape will be at your next event check here.

4 replies
  1. Henrik Wist
    Henrik Wist says:

    I had my first KT Tape applied at the expo for the Vienna City Marathon, to support a pulled harmstring before my first ever half marathon. It helped a lot, mostly (I guess) in the head, knowing there is support “attached”. Great job, keep it up!

  2. Craig
    Craig says:

    Frank from KTTape did an awesome job for my 10-year old daughter at the SF Marathon. She had been training for 4 months to run the half-marathon and in the last week her heel had started to hurt and she was very depressed. Frank listened to her and asked questions – he treated her like an Elite – and she soaked up all the advice as she got her Achilles taped. She was bubbling with excitement and confidence as we left the Expo – as if the tape was a bulletproof vest for her foot! We had a great run and owe it to the tape (and Frank)! Customer for life!

  3. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I love KT tape and always love stopping by the booth at expos, however, I am done. The wait time is ridiculously long and most of the time, in my experience, it is filled with non-runners and/or runners and their family monopolizing their time. My past few times at race expos, I have stopped and KT taped told me they no longer do free tapings and individuals are required to purchase tape in order to be taped at the expo. I am glad they implemented this change. The larger races were becoming out of hand. I, however, do thank my many stops at the KT booth for the assistance in guiding me to learn how to tape my own back and knees properly.

  4. Derral
    Derral says:

    I love the KT tape. I stopped by the booth prior to a 5K to get a hamstring taped. I was unprepared with the clothing I was wearing and was told they could not apply tape because I was wearing pants. I told them it would not bother me to drop them, but of course that was probably not cool because it was a family event. The booth experts gave me some tape pieces to take with me. A little dejected I walked away and continued to visit other booths at the expo. Fortunately a booth I visited had running shorts on sale. I hurriedly bought the shorts, changed into them and quickly made my way back to the KT booth. They taped me up and the next day I had a pain free race. Love this product but I would advise all to be prepared with the clothing you’re wearing.


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