Waterproof athletic tape that actually stays on in the water or extremely sweaty situations is nearly impossible to find. I have spent years suffering through terrible tape that falls off in just about every situation.
My swim coach used to wrap injured joints with what felt like half of a roll of athletic tape, and it would all have fallen off long before we got out of the pool. I was queen of sweating off ankle tape in the middle of basketball games.
I accidentally found my favorite waterproof athletic tape.
Back when I was healthy, one of my CrossFit friends taped my hands with tape made to protect my palms during endless pull-ups. I was massively skeptical. The weird tape had goats all over it. But it stayed put like nothing I’d ever tried.
The hold was impressive. It outlasted the entire CrossFit workout and my shower after.
I’ve never gone back.
The Best Waterproof Athletic Tape: Scary Sticky Goat Tape
Goat Tape stays on no matter what I throw at it. A hot, sweaty, dirty hike in the middle of the summer? No problem. An hour and a half swim with endless kick sets and sprints? You bet. Hot yoga? Totally chill.
To be extremely clear, this tape is not like Kinesio Tape. It does not stretch with you, and it’s not used in the same way. Goat Tape is more of a traditional, stiff athletic tape that is used to stabilize joints and limit range of motion. It has been a life-saver post surgery, especially in the early days when I couldn’t even stand the pull of the water on my ankle while swimming.
Important things to know:
Goat Tape is extremely sticky. It’s in the name, and they mean it. If you have body hair, you will need to use pre-wrap to prevent an acutely painful, unexpected wax. My brother and I learned this the hard way when I taped his arches… but I bet his feet looked better in sandals!
I purposefully tape my ankle without any pre-wrap. I feel like it gives me a better hold, but there are pre-wraps with adhesives that would likely give you the same feel. Or you can just shave. No judgements here.
Like any tape, your skin needs to be clean and dry before applying or it won’t stick. If you sunscreen or even put lotion on hours before, the tape won’t stick to your skin once you start sweating or swimming. It will, however, still stick to itself.
Always wrap your tape longer than you need. I tend to add an inch or two to the end of the tape to allow for it to unravel slightly in the water without causing critical failure. The end doesn’t always come undone, but it gives me piece of mind that an inch or so can loosen and I won’t have any problems while swimming. This isn’t necessary if you aren’t going to submerge it in water.