How to Apply Kinesiology Tape Without Touching the Adhesive

K Tape Adhesive PatternOne of the things that makes kinesiology tape unique is its acrylic adhesive. As soon as you remove the paper backing and look at the sticky side of the tape, you'll know you've got something special. Instead of covering the entire surface of the tape, the adhesive is applied in a wave-like pattern that allows air and moisture to easily flow through. It is thicker and softer and much easier on the skin than the adhesive on regular athletic or medical tape. While these adhesive features are critical to the wonderful benefits of kinesiology tape, they do make the tape significantly less sticky than most other types of tape. Kinesiology tape is designed to be applied once and worn for several days. Once it has been removed, it isn't sticky enough to be reapplied. Even touching the adhesive side of the tape during application can make it less sticky as skin oils coat the surface of the adhesive. This is why it is recommended to not touch the adhesive while applying kinesiology tape. In principle, this sounds simple, but in practice, it can be a bit of a challenge. Kinesiology tape is very thin and flexible, making it a bit difficult to hold on to once the backing has been removed. Applying it on specific locations in the recommended patterns can be challenging when also attempting to touch only the fabric side of the tape. Take heart though - read the rest of this post and follow the 2 simple techniques we present and you will become an expert at how to apply kinesiology tape without touching the adhesive.

Taping Method #1 - Anchor End Application

The most common way to apply kinesiology tape is to begin at one end and continue laying down the tape until the entire strip has been applied. You may have seen videos suggesting you use your finger to peel the end of the tape off the backing and work from there, but this is impossible to do without touching the sticky side. Here is a foolproof way to do your anchor end application and never contact the adhesive with your fingers.

Step 1 - Tear the Backing Step 1: Fold the tape to create a crease in the backing paper approximately 2 inches from the end. Then, carefully tear the paper all the way across the fold until the backing has been separated into 2 pieces.
Step 2 - Remove Anchor End Backing Step 2: Turn the fabric sides of the tape toward each other so the torn ends of the backing are facing up. Gently stretch the tape until the backing paper begins to pull away, then completely remove the small piece of backing from the short (anchor) end.
Step 3 - Apply Anchor End Step 3: Place the short (anchor) end of the tape over the application area and smooth onto the skin with one hand while the other hand holds the rest of the tape.
Step 4 - Apply Other End Step 4: Holding that end against the skin, stretch the tape again to release the other torn end of the backing paper. When it separates from the tape, grasp the paper with one hand and begin smoothing the tape onto the skin with the other hand.
Step 5 - Complete Application Step 5: Continue peeling the paper away and applying the tape until the entire strip is down. Rub the tape briskly from the center toward the ends to activate the adhesive.

Taping Method #2 - Center Stretch Application

A center stretch application is used directly over pain points or hot spots. To increase the lifting action of the tape, the center portion is stretched before being applied to the skin, then the 2 anchor ends are applied with no stretch. This application is usually done with shorter strips of tape, approximately 6" - 8" long. This might sound complicated, but following the simple steps below will have you applying this tape as easily as peeling a banana!

Fold Tape in Half Step 1: Fold the tape in half with the fabric sides facing in. Press along the fold to create a crease in the backing paper, then carefully tear the paper all the way across the fold until the backing has been completely separated.
Separate the backing Step 2: Turn the fabric sides of the tape toward each other so the torn ends of the backing are facing up. With your fingers on the fabric side and your thumbs on the paper side, gently stretch the tape until the backing paper pops up on both sides.
Peel Backing Away from Center Step 3: Grasp the torn ends of the paper and peel them back to expose the center of the tape. When approximately 2" is left at each end, pull gently to lightly stretch the tape.
Apply Center of Tape Step 4: Maintaining the stretch, apply the exposed part of the tape directly over the most painful area. To prevent skin irritation, be sure to apply the final 2" at each end with zero stretch. Rub the tape briskly from the center toward the ends to activate the adhesive.

 Final Notes

For the longest lasting applications, in addition to applying the tape without touching the adhesive, it is important to prepare the skin properly. Theratape, the Kinesiology Tape Experts have covered that and more in Tips for Applying and Removing Kinesiology Tape. Feel free to print it and keep it on hand so you too will become a "kinesiology taping expert!"

How to Apply Kinesiology Tape Without Touching the Adhesive

There are 147 products.

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KT Tape Pro Wide - 10 Precut Strips - Jet Black

$18.67 $19.99

Need support that will endure your toughest workout? KT TAPE PRO is just what the trainer ordered. It will keep you pain free and supported exactly where you need it. KT TAPE PRO will stay in place through multiple demanding workouts for up to seven days. KT TAPE PRO will stick with you in the harshest conditions including daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool. Wide is perfect for larger application areas, like the lower back, thighs, shoulders, or calves.



    • 100% synthetic microfiber tape with reflective pattern

    • ultra-strong SecondSkin adhesive lasts up to 7 days

    • hard plastic carrying case with twist on lid

    • convenient, precut "I" strips - no scissors needed

    • latex and zinc-free

    • 10 brilliant colors to mix and match



Each roll contains 10 precut 10" strips of synthetic kinesiology tape and includes a Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions for common injuries.

Availability: Sold Out

SpiderTech Precut Full Knee Tape

$6.99

The SpiderTech Full Knee Spider relieves pain and inflammation from a wide variety of knee conditions. It provides full coverage above and below the knee to support the most serious injuries. It can help with:



  • Runner\'s, Jumper\'s, Cyclist\'s Knee
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Arthritis or bursitis of the knee
  • Kneecap pain
  • Degenerated or torn cartilage/meniscus
  • Strained knee ligaments
  • Recovery after knee surgery



* Contains 1 single-use application with 3-5 day wear-time.

KT Tape Pro Extreme Single Roll - 20 Precut Strips

$22.99

KT Tape Pro Extreme is the toughest, stickiest kinesiology tape in the entire KT Tape product line. Pro Extreme\'s extra-strength adhesive was formulated to deal with kinesiology taping\'s worst enemies - high heat, high humidity, wet conditions, oily skin, or any combination thereof.



    • 100% synthetic microfiber tape with reflective pattern

    • ultra-strong adhesive lasts up to 7 days

    • hard plastic carrying case protects your tape

    • convenient, precut "I" strips - no scissors needed

    • latex and zinc-free



Each roll contains 20 precut 10" strips of KT Tape Pro Extreme kinesiology tape and includes a Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions for common injuries.

Availability: Product available with different options
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KT Tape Pro Extreme Jumbo Roll - 150 Precut Strips

$79.99 $95.99

KT Tape Pro Extreme is the toughest, stickiest kinesiology tape in the entire KT Tape product line. Pro Extreme\'s extra-strength adhesive was formulated to deal with kinesiology taping\'s worst enemies - high heat, high humidity, wet conditions, oily skin, or any combination thereof.



    • 100% synthetic microfiber tape with reflective pattern

    • ultra-strong adhesive lasts up to 7 days

    • extra large jumbo roll with 150 precut 10" strips

    • no scissors needed - just tear off strips and apply

    • latex and zinc-free



Each roll contains 150 precut 10" strips of KT Tape Pro Extreme kinesiology tape and includes a Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions for common injuries.

PerformTex Kinesiology Tape Scissors

$30.00

PerformTex Kinesiology Tape Scissors are super sleek and super sharp - the ideal combination for kinesiology taping. Constructed from premium grade stainless steel with florin-resin coating on the blades, these scissors will allow you to cut the narrowest strips and perfectly rounded corners without fraying or raveling.


Light weight and perfectly balanced, these are the scissors of choice of skilled kinesiology taping practitioners.



  • premium grade stainless steel construction with razor sharp blades

  • florin resin coated blades to prevent adhesive build up

  • perfectly balanced for precision cutting

  • protective carrying case included

Availability: Sold Out
  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Calf & Achilles Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for calf or achilles tendon pain. Illustrated step by step instructions in every package. Great for:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Strained or fatigued calf muscles
  • Calf cramps or spasms
  • Ruptured or torn plantaris
  • Recovery after surgery
Availability: Product available with different options
  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Elbow Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for elbow pain. Can be applied to inner, outer or back of elbow. Great for:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer\'s elbow
  • Bursitis or arthritis
  • Tendon or ligament injuries
  • Recovery after elbow surgery

Availability: Sold Out
  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Knee Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for knee pain and inflammation. Illustrated step by step instructions in every package. Great for:

  • Runner\'s jumper\'s or cyclist\'s knee
  • Arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis
  • Cartilage or meniscus injuries
  • Ligament or tendon injuries
  • Recovery after back surgery
Availability: Sold Out
  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Lower Back Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for the lower back. Illustrated step by step instructions in every package. Great for:

  • Lower back pain, stiffness or spasms
  • Strained lower back muscles
  • Back fatigue or weakness
  • Arthritis or disc-related pain
  • Recovery after surgery

Availability: Product available with different options
  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Neck Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for pain, spasms or stiffness in the neck, upper back or upper shoulder area. Illustrated step by step instructions in every package. Great for:

  • Neck pain, stiffness or spasms
  • Strained or fatigued neck muscles
  • Cervical disc disease or arthritis
  • Weak or imbalanced neck muscles
  • Recovery after surgery

  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Shoulder Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for shoulder or upper arm pain. Illustrated step by step instructions in every package. Great for:

  • Deltoid strain or overuse
  • Tendinitis in the shoulder or upper arm
  • Arthritis or bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Recovery after surgery
  • -$0.00

Kindmax Precut Wrist Tape

$4.49 $6.99

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for wrist pain. Can be applied to top or bottom of wrist. Great for::

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sprained or strained wrist
  • Arthritis in wrist or hand
  • Tendinitis in wrist flexor or extensor muscles
  • Recovery after wrist surgery
Availability: Sold Out

SpiderTech Precut Ankle, Achilles, Shin Tape

$6.99

The SpiderTech Ankle Spider is a precut kinesiology tape for the ankle, shin and achilles tendon. It covers the shin, top of the foot, bottom of the foot, heel and Achilles tendon. It can help with:



  • shin splints
  • Achille\'s tendinitis
  • plantar fasciitis
  • tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Achille\'s tendon enthesopathy
  • ankle sprains
  • ankle instability
  • recovery from surgery



* Contains 1 single-use application with 3-5 day wear time.

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SpiderTech PreCut Elbow Tape

$6.99

The SpiderTech Elbow Spider is a precut kinesiology tape for the elbow and forearm. It can be worn on either the inside or outside of the elbow. It can help with:



  • tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • golfer\'s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • muscle, ligament or tendon injuries of the elbow or forearm
  • olecranon bursitis
  • arthritis or bursitis of the elbow
  • elbow enthesopathy
  • cubital tunnel syndrome



* Contains 1 single-use application with 3-5 day wear time.

RockSauce Fire Skin Prep and Pain Reliever

$43.00

Say hello to hot! RockSauce is a topical pain relief cream that works by providing incredibly strong heating sensations that last for hours – with powerful ingredients like menthol and capsaicin that work together to soothe sore joints and muscles. Best of all, it can be used with RockTape – it soaks right through, without compromising stickiness – delivering pain relief in combination with the power of kinesiology tape. Available in 2 sizes:



    • 6% menthol - stronger than other topical analgesics

    • cooling sensation lasts for hours after application

    • store in the fridge for extra-strength relief

    • can be used as skin prep before taping or applied through tape without affecting adhesive

    • 3 oz Roll-On - keeps your hands clean and clear of the powerful active ingredients. Take it anywhere, apply it anytime with no mess and no hassle

    • 32 oz Pump Bottle - ideal for busy clinics, athletic trainers and other high volume users

5-Pack Kindmax Precut Foot Tape

$34.95

Easy-to-apply kinesiology tape support for foot and arch pain. Illustrated step by step instructions in every package. Great for:



  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Arch pain, fallen arches

  • Tendinitis or arthritis in the foot

  • Swollen, aching or tired feet

  • Recovery after foot surgery


* Contains 5 packages, each with 2 single-use applications with a wear time of 3-5 days.

Availability: Sold Out