Are you looking for some guide about ankle tapes for soccer?
You're in the right place! I had an ankle sprain 7 times, and throughout my soccer career, I used probably hundreds of different tapes.
I think I am more than qualified to write a complete guide about these tapes 🤓
Here's what I'm going to cover in this guide:
Ankle tape is used to stabilize the ankle, give it more support and that way prevent the player's ankle from a sprain. An ankle sprain is a very common injury in soccer, and once a player suffers from this injury, there's a high chance he will get this injury again. That's when ankle tape is used, as prevention.
Some players are also using it if they have swollen ankle from the previous injury. That way they feel more stability in the ankle, and it gives them the confidence to play on 100%.
Trust me, I had an ankle sprain 7 times - and every time I played without ankle tape, I felt very uncomfortable. Of course, using tape for your ankles is not good for long-term reasons, which I will list later in this article.
Here is a great tape pack that you can get for a really great price. I used these personally:
Now onto another question people have about taping the ankles for soccer. Especially when now you can just wear an ankle brace.
Should you tape your ankles for soccer?
If you are after a serious injury like an ankle sprain, you should definitely tape your ankle for a couple of first training sessions. It is recommended though, that you don't tape your ankles longer than 1 month because your ankle will get weaker and the probability of getting injured again will get higher.
It's absolutely fine when you use it for the first month after an injury is healed while doing all kinds of rehabilitation sessions and strengthening exercises.
The main reason why we use tape after healing from an ankle injury is that the muscles and tendons need to get stronger before you play on 100% match. There is a risk of getting the same injury back if you don't give it a proper time to heal.
But - while you are taping your ankle every time you play soccer, you must do some kind of strengthening exercises. It is actually crucial if you don't want to get injured again.
Because you cannot wear ankle tape for too long. There will be a time when you will have to give up one using ankle tape. And that brings me to another topic:
If taping is done for too long, it can lead to weaker ankle tendons and muscles. The reason why is because the ankle tape reduces the stress of these muscles when you play. That means they are not being used, so they will become weaker, and that way the risk of getting injured again is high.
That's the reason why I recommend doing strengthening exercises while using tape. While tape is a great aid, it's not a long-term solution.
Here is a great video showing you exercises for your ankle after injury:
You really need to strengthen your ankle to the point, that after one month of use you will be able to play without it.
I've made this mistake before. I wasn't really doing any exercises, and the only way I was treating my ankle was with taping.
After 2 months of using tape, I decided once to go play without it - and guess what!
I got the same injury back.
Do not underestimate the power of rehabilitation - no matter how boring it is.
Taping is slightly better than wearing a brace, simply because it's much easier to play the sport with taped ankle. While it's a little bit more difficult to play the sport while wearing an ankle brace, there are situations and injuries, when wearing an ankle brace is the best option.
For example in soccer, you can't actually play an official match with an ankle brace. For the training sessions, it's a little bit uncomfortable to put your foot with a brace in the soccer cleats.
But, as I said if you are after a very serious injury, you might want to wear the brace rather than taping an ankle.
This is something you should definitely consult with your doctor.
When it comes to taping, there are certain cons and pros that you want to consider first.
Pros of wearing an ankle tape:
Cons of taping the ankle:
So there you have it.
When it comes to the cost of taping an ankle, depending on the frequency of your training sessions and matches, you will want to buy tape every week or month. The cost of one tape is usualyl around $3, but it's much better to buy them in bulk and that way save up some money.
I usually bought a whole pack of tapes, so I can get a cheaper price per one.
I used to buy these a lot:
If you don't need so many, just buy this small package that also comes with the band that is being used right under the white tape. Trust me, it's not comfortable if you are not shaved on your legs and you tape it directly on your skin.
For taping an ankle, you want to follow one of these videos:
Check this video below to tape it by yourself.