The taping demonstrated in this guide is used to decrease the likelihood of sustaining injury to the lateral (outside of
foot) ligaments of the ankle, which is the most common injury sustained at the ankle.
This step-by-step guide does not take into account individual circumstances and as such you are recommended to
seek health professional advice to determine whether this form of taping is appropriate for you.
Some people may experience a reaction to strapping tape. A reaction will usually take the form of redness around
the tape, blotchiness or raised lumps on the skin and warmth to the touch. In some individuals this may occur
immediately upon tape application and in others may take many hours to occur. If you notice any of these signs, you
are advised to remove the tape immediately and if symptoms remain seek medical advice.
If you have never used strapping tape previously, it may be wise to use a small strip on your skin and monitor to
determine whether any reaction occurs before applying a full strapping to your ankle.
If you know that you experience a reaction, you may wish to apply a hypoallergenic tape (e.g. fixamull) underneath
the strapping tape to eliminate any reaction. Be sure to cover all skin areas to which strapping tape will be applied.
Irrespective of whether you experience a reaction to tape or not, it is not advisable to leave tape on for longer than
48 hours.
38mm or 50mm strapping tape (this a up to personal
preference – most prefer 38mm),
Hypoallergenic adhesive tape e.g.fixmull (if you experience a
reaction to strapping tape alone),
Scissors (optional if using strapping tape alone as it is hand
tearable; essential if using hypoallergenic adhesive tape)
The application of tape should NOT be done with the tape under tension “pulling” the ankle into the desired
position. If the ankle is positioned correctly, the tape only needs to be placed onto the skin.
It is much easier to have someone else apply the tape to your ankle than attempt to maintain the correct
ankle position and apply the tape yourself.
Do not apply the tape too tightly as it is possible for the edge of the tape to cut into your skin, cut-off
circulation to your foot or unnecessarily restrict motion at your ankle.
The most important part of taping an ankle is to maintain the ankle in the correct position throughout the entire
taping. The correct position is holding the ankle up such that there is a 90° bend at the ankle. The ankle/foot should
be neither turned in nor turned out.
Practice tearing tape before trying it whilst taping an ankle.
Pull some tape off the roll before applying it to the ankle. If you apply it by winding it directly off the roll, it
will usually be too firm.
Do not try to pull the tape in a direction it just doesn’t want to go. Remove it and start again. If you have the
ankle positioned correctly and start the tape in the right place and going in the right direction it should
continue to go where you want it.
Shaving of the ankle prior to application can improve the ability of the tape to adhere to the skin and hence
its effectiveness. Not to mention decreasing the discomfort of removing the tape!
For those who experience discomfort over their Achilles tendon with taping, it may be advisable to attempt
taping without a heel sling or heel lock.
Try to avoid placing tape (especially too tightly) over the
indentation behind the bony bit on the outside of the foot (see
picture right) as this can be quite painful.
Some people find that they get irritation over a tendon at the
front of their ankle with tape. If you pull your foot up towards
your head, you may notice a tendon protruding at the front of
your ankle which can rub underneath tape with activity (area
marked in picture right).
A solution to this problem is to take a piece of tape and
partially fold it back on itself (as pictured right).
Stick this piece of tape on the front of the ankle, so as to
create a flap over the circled area above (pictured right).
Continue to tape ankle over this as per normal.
If you choose to apply hypoallergenic adhesive tape, this should be done to ensure that all areas that will be covered
by strapping tape have hypoallergenic adhesive tape applied. No specific method needs to be used to apply this tape
as this tape has no impact on the effectiveness of the strapping.
Apply a piece a tape around the lower leg approximately 10cm above the bony bits on the inside or outside of your
ankle. This tape can be applied in either direction around the leg.
Tip: due to the shape of the leg if you try to place the tape circumferentially around the leg, you will end up with the
tape crinkled at the back of the leg. Start with the tape angled slightly downwards as per the pictures below and you
should end up back where you started without any crinkles.
Start the stirrup on the medial (inside) side of the leg from the anchor. Ensure the tape passes directly under the
heel and then straight up the outside of the ankle to meet with the anchor. In most cases you would apply 2 stirrups
such that the second stirrup half overlapped the first stirrup.
Start the figure 6 from the medial side (inside) of the ankle at the anchor with the tape slightly angled forward
compared to the stirrups. Place the tape under the heel, come up the outside of the foot and then over the top of
the ankle to meet the same bit of tape back on the medial side of the ankle. In most cases you would apply 2 figure
6’s with the second one overlapping the first by half the tape width.
Note: figure 6’s will only look like a 6 when applied to the left ankle and will look like a back-to-front 6 when applied
to the right ankle!
Heel locks are the part of an ankle strapping that many people find challenging. Heel locks when correctly applied do
offer a large amount of support. Many people treat heel locks as optional and choose not to apply it, especially if not
wanting a strapping quite as supportive. The following will take you through a heel lock in 3 stages.
Stage 1: Start the tape on the upper medial side (inside) of the ankle bringing the tape in a lateral direction (towards
the outside of the foot) such that it passes over the Achilles tendon and then passes down under the heel on the
medial side.
Stage 2: Continue bringing the tape under the heel coming up on the lateral side, then over the top of the foot/ankle
continuing around to the medial side of the ankle, over the Achilles tendon and then downwards on the lateral side
heading towards the underside of the heel.
Stage 3: Continue bringing the tape under the heel, pulling it up on the medial side and finishing on the top of the
ankle just beyond where you started.
Given the complexity of the heel lock, pictures with numbers on a finished heel lock showing which way it should be
applied are below.
Start the heel sling on the front lateral (outside) side of the ankle, angling backwards towards the Achilles tendon.
Pass the tape over the Achilles tendon, around the heel on the medial side, under the heel and then back up on the
lateral side of the ankle to meet where the tape started.
Complete the strapping with an anchor identical to the one applied to commence the strapping. This is to hold all the
bits of tape secure.
The pictures below show a finished strapping including:
1 x anchor, 2 x stirrups, 2 x figure 6’s, 1 x heel lock, 1 x heel sling and 1 x anchor.
Shave your ankle.
Remove the tape as quickly as possible after activity whilst you are still sweaty.
Remove the tape in the same direction as your hair follicles i.e. downwards.
If you continue to have issues, liquid tape removers can be purchased to easily pull the tape off.