When it comes to kinesiology tape, adhesion is everything; the better the stick, the longer the subject can reap the benefits of the tape application. Armed with curiosity and a duty to inform the masses, researchers Etnoyer-Slaski et al. embarked on a quest to find out which popular kinesiology taping brand provided the best adhesion to the skin.

The purpose the study was to compare the rate of adhesion over five days of TheraBand™ Kinesiology Tape (TKT) with either KT Tape® (KT) or Kinesio® Tex Gold™ (KTEX) under 25% elongation. Two groups of subjects were randomly assigned to receive applications of two brands of tape to their lower back. Data were collected at one hour, three days and five days following the initial application of the tape. The subjects and the raters were blinded to the tape brand. The percent of the tape that remained adhered was assessed and averaged to arrive at a percentage of tape adhesion for each brand.

The results

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Per the results, the researches noted:

No differences in adhesion between the TKT and KTEX at any data collection point although statistical analysis indicated that the KTEX brand declined from Day 1 (97%) to Day 3 (74%) and to Day 5 (59%) while the TKT tape did not significantly change in adhesion over the duration of the study (97%, 86%, 70%).

Analysis with the second group of subjects indicated a significant interaction effect with the KT brand (99%, 67%, 35%) declining over the course of the study and exhibiting lower adhesion than the TKT (99%, 83%, 76%) brand at D3 and D5. Adhesion of the TKT tape did not decline in the second group either.

In the first group, the TKT and the KTEX exhibited similar adhesion at D1 and did not significantly differ in adhesion over the five day protocol. When examining the adhesion brands individually over time, the KTEX exhibited a significant decline of 22.85% between D1 to D3 followed by an additional decline of 14.83% between D3 to D5. This is in contrast to the TKT brand applied at the same time to the same individuals, which did not significantly decline in adhesion over these data collection points. Thus, the KTEX brand significantly declined in adhesion over the five day trial while the TKT did not decline in adhesion although there was no statistical differences in adhesion between these two brands over the duration of the study.

Similar to group 1, the TKT and KT brands applied to the second group exhibited similar adhesion at D1. The TKT brand did not significantly decline from this level of adhesion over the 5 day duration of the study. The KT brand significantly declined in adhesion from the D1 to D3 by 32.34%, followed by an additional significant decline of 31.16% between D3 and D5. The KT brand exhibited significantly lower adhesion than the TKT at both D3 and D5. Thus, the KT brand exhibited significant declines in adhesion over the trial to values that were significantly lower than the TKT brad at D3 and at D5, while the TKT brand did not significantly decline in adhesion over the trial.

The findings of this study provide evidence for selecting different brands of kinesiology tape to the clinician based upon the brands’ adhesion to the skin over five days.


Etnoyer-Slaski JL et al. Comparing adhesion over five days between three brands of elastic therapeutic tape (Abstract). 2016. J Athl Train 51(6):S-57-8.

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