Leukotape Sports Tape is a sticky blister prevention tape with a strong zinc oxide adhesive that won’t come off, even in very wet conditions. It’s also highly breathable, so it can be safely worn by runners and backpackers for several days at a time. It’s best used as a preventative barrier over potential hot spots, especially when you’re breaking in a new pair of running shoes, hiking boots, or are starting an exercise program. Leukotape is not intended for use on pre-existing blisters, however, because the adhesive can pull off loose and broken skin.
Priced under $10/roll, Leukotape is much less expensive and more effective than other blister prevention tape products like moleskin or duct tape. It’s also very different from Kinesotape products like KT Tape or Rocktape, because it’s non-elastic and has no stretch to it. Leukotape’s non-stretch quality makes it ideal for joint immobilization and it’s used widely for patellofemoral taping and therapeutic shoulder realignment.
Although Leukotape is sticky, it’s quite easy to pull off by hand and won’t tear healthy skin off when you remove it. Some people also coat their feet using Tincture of Benzoin before applying Leukotape to make their skin even stickier, but I haven’t found that to be necessary and just use the tape by itself.
How to Use
It’s awkward to carry a bulky roll of Leukotape, so most people carry strips of it stuck to release paper, the shiny paper that adhesive mailing labels come on. To make your own, run a few lengths of Leukotape across the paper. Then cut it into strips and carry them in a sandwich bag. They’ll remain sticky in that form for 1 year.
If you always develop blisters in the same place when running or hiking, pre-tape your feet with Leukotape. Trim a strip with scissors by rounding the edges at the corners. This reduces the chance of catching a corner and bunching the tape or peeling it off on clothing.
Apply it to the hot spot and rub it gently with your finger to warm it up and help the adhesive set. It’s best to apply several hours before exercise if possible to get a really tight bond, but not strictly necessary. I’ve often applied it while hiking and then resumed my trip without mishap.
Notes on Use
Many companies sell Leukotape with natural latex in their formulation. Make sure to check the product contents carefully if you are allergic to it. If the Leukotape adhesive gums up your socks, medical adhesive remover is all you need to dissolve it.
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