Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rock Tape vs. Kinesio Tape Field Test

Coming off my marathon training, this is probably a good time for me to share my experiences using the two different tapes: RockTape and Kinesio Tape.

As many of you know, my left Achilles tendon was aggravated a little over five weeks ago. On suggestion from another runner, I checked into the Kinesio Tape.

Then, after wearing the Kinesio tape for a couple of weeks, I posted my feedback on my blog. Scott Regan a representative of RockTape saw my post. He offered to send me a sample of the RockTape to test.

Over the past week I have been wearing the Rock Tape including in my marathon this past weekend.

I decided to use the RockTape during the marathon based on reading the information on the RockTape website. Specifically, I liked that is was designed for endurance athletes. Interestingly enough, I was wearing the RockTape at the Expo on Saturday afternoon and a number of people came up to me asking about it. I shared my reasoning for wearing it and the help that I thought the tape was providing.

RockTape and Kinesio come packaged in several different ways. I started with the standard 5 meter in roll of Kinesio Tape that I purchased. For RockTape, I used the 1.5 meter strip which Scott sent to me.

The Kinesio tape cost about roughly 12 dollars for the 5 meter roll. RockTape cost about 18 dollars for the same 5 meter length.

I did the wrapping myself. For the Kinesio taping I used the following link: I found this link via a Google search.

For the RockTape, I use the following link: RockTape provides a number of videos for taping various injuries. The videos are well worth the time to watch in case you ever get injured.

Both videos illustrate wrapping the Achilles tendon in the similar ways, but there are some settle differences.

In all fairness, I spent more time using the Kinesio Tape so there were more opportunities for research.

Also, I wanted to note that once I applied the tape whether RockTape or Kinesio Tape, I didn't remove it for 7 days. In the case of the Kinesio Tape, I did have to trim the edges of the tape regularly as it started to peel off.

Here's my likes and dislikes for Kinesio


  • Likes:
    • Easy and simple to apply
    • Cost
  • Dislikes
    • Tends to come off it rub against. I guess that I toss and turn at night. The bed covers would rub against the Kinesio tape and cause it to peel off.
    • No explanation on wrapping techniques from the vender's web site.
    • If you don't apply it correctly the first time, pulling it off and reapplying decreases the tapes ability to stick.

Here's my likes and dislikes for the RockTape

  • Likes
    • Sticks very well and easy to apply
    • Good videos to show you how to apply it.
  • Dislikes
    • Where the tape is trimmed with scissors, little strings start to unravel from the tape. Not a huge issue, you can just clip them off.
    • 18 dollars vs. 12 dollars in the budget minded economy will probably send lots of people to Kinesio


A clear winner is difficult to choose. For my every day workouts, I might go with the Kinesio tape because of the cost, but on race day, I would probably switch out to the RockTape. The RockTape tends to stick better and stand the stress of the workout better.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner


Alex said...

Any idea if i can get a free sample to try out on my pulled groin? Email me at

abw said...

I would suggest you visit if you would like more information on the product and its proper application. The advantages of Kinesio Tex Tape over all other elastic tapes have little to do with price. If you know the theory behind it, and anatomy, and biomechanics, you can apply the tape in many different ways, with various degrees of stretch, to accomplish improvement in circulation, muscle facilitation or inhibition, fascial matrix homeostasis, tendon and ligament support, changes in joint biomechanics and scar reduction. If you don't know the human body and how it works, or how and why the tape works, your application will not be successful. Because Kinesio Tex Tape is very forgiving in that you will get some results despite sloppy or inappropriate application, you felt a little better when you applied it. But had you applied it correctly, it would not have rolled off your leg in bed, nor would it have rolled off during your marathon. Olympic athletes use the tape sucessfully, so there is no reason why you shouldn't. The reason they are successful is because it is applied by people who have been trained in its application.

Cool Down said...

abw, thanks for your comments. Any information that helps us keep enjoying our choosen activity is always welcome.

My post was based on my personal experience and my willing to learn about taping my self.

Aryk... said...

I am a rugby player and cyclist and LOVE kinesio tape... but I have the same problem with it rubbing off all the time. I apply it correctly, shaved leg, washed with alcohol, dry, etc. The regular KT Tex tape (presegmented) isn't any good, but if you get Kinesio Gold, it is better. But it still rolls off. And it isn't nearly as waterproof as suggested.

I am going to try RockTape based off this blog post. Thanks! I hope it holds up as well as it did for you.

Cool Down Runner said...

I am always interested in what other people learn during their trials.

Let me know how your test go?

drkevin said...

Hey Cool Down, I was very interested in reading your thoughts. I'm a sports chiropractor in Toronto and I've been certified in kinseiotaping for the last 5 years. I thought you'd like to know that the kinesio tape made in the states went through a change in its manufacturing when they released kinesio gold. All of my colleagues found that the tape didnt stick as well and i ended up throwing away the rolls i had. Patients would find the tape coming off in one or two days. The company may have corrected the problem, but in the mean time we found that the "kinseiology tape" brand to work quite well. I buy huge rolls of tape of 103' for around $80-100 dollers so that might make the cost come down over the long run.
Recently I've been using the rock tape both for injuries as well as performance taping and i find it to be great. It comes in different widths, which can be useful and the adhesive is great. Also, the tape has more elasticity which can be good too.
I would recommend looking into larger rols of the rock tape to see if you can lower the price to save some money. Im not sure if they make it like that, but i wouldnt be surprised.
Hope this helps!

Cool Down Runner said...

drkevin, thanks for the info. The best thing about the internet is the sharing of information.

In reading your comment, I realized something. I only used the tape when I had a injury that I thought it would help.

What I didn't do was use it strictly for a performance gain.

Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to take a 2nd look at it from this perspective.

dorothy said...

Just to clarify, the pre-segmented tape Aryk is talking about (called KT Tape) is not the same brand as Kinesio Tex Tape. It is a completely unrelated product. This sounds like what DrKevin is talking about as well. The real Kinesio Tex Gold may not be as "heavy duty" as RockTape but it stays on quite well nevertheless.