Introduction: How to Tape an Ankle

 If your taping skills need a  little touch up, here is are some simple steps to help. This instructable is designed to teach you how to properly tape an ankle. Inside you will find the materials that you will need, along with a step by step process and videos to complete the procedure. Be sure that the tape job is for the athlete and that taping the ankle is approved for the athlete by the Athletic Trainer, or other health care professional.


Step 1: Materials Needed

1.      Make sure you have the correct materials:

-1.5 in. thick white athletic tape( see below)

-Pre-wrap ( see picture below)

-Quick Dissolving Adhesive spray, also known as tape adherent ( recommended but not needed) See Below.

-Heel and Lace pads (. Recommended but not needed)


Step 2: Preparing the Athlete

1.  1. Make sure the athlete is comfortable.

2.They should be sitting straight up, with the leg that needs to be taped extended out. The bottom 1/3 of the leg should be hanging off of the table. Their foot should be pointed straight up in a 90 degree angle.

3..Make sure the skin is clean and dry.

4. (optional) Spray tape adherent from the mid foot to the first 1/3 of the leg.

5.(optional) Apply two heel and lace pads to the places shown below(Figure 1).
6. The last step of preparing the ankle, is applying the pre-wrap. You should start at the mid foot and work your way up to the first 1/3 of the leg. (See Video)object width="425" height="344">



Step 3: Applying the Anchor Strips


Next you will apply the anchor strips.

Warning : be careful to not apply the strips to tightly because it could cut off their circulation and cause injury

1. Apply 2-3 anchor strips. The first anchor should be at the top of the pre-wrap, right below the calf muscle. (see Video)

2.The anchor strips following should over lap the one before it and should be half the distance of the width of the tape down the leg. Those are the called the "proximal anchors. " (see video)

3.The "distal anchor" is applied right around the mid foot, or at the bottom of the pre-wrap.  (see video)


Step 4: Applying Stirrups and Horse Shoes

1.   You now need to apply the stirrups.

1 There will be three of these. They should start from the top of the first anchor strip on the medial (inside) of the leg pull over the *medial malleolus, under the foot, over the *lateral malleolus and end on the lateral(outside) of the leg at the top anchor strip.(See Video)

CAUTION: Make sure to pull the tape tightly in the direction that you are going in order to ensure that the ankle is stable. 

You now need to apply a horse shoe. You need to start at the inside of the mid foot anchor, back across the Achilles tendon, and end on the outside of the mid foot anchor. (See Video)


3.  3.Create a second stirrup that should be slightly above the first and overlap ½ the width of the tape. And apply another horse shoe that should be above the first by half the width of the tape.(See Video)


4. 4.Your third and final stirrup should be slightly below the first and overlap ½ the width of the tape. The last horse shoe should be above the previous by half the width of the tape.(See Video)


* Medial Malleolus is the bony protuberance on the inside of the ankle
* Lateral Malleolus is the bony protuberance on the outside of the ankle


Step 5: Apply Closure Steps

1.      You now need to apply the closure strips.

1.These should be very similar to the proximal anchor strips. They should start at the top of the tape job and work down so that there is no open skin present except for the back bottom portion of the heel(see Video)

2. There can be  from 2-6 of these.(see video)


Step 6: Applying the Figure 8

Warning: Be careful to not be to tight so as to not cut off the circulation of the foot.

1.start at the lateral(outside) portion of the foot,bring the tape over to the medial(inside) part of the foot while going in a slight downward diagonal,over to the medial (inside) arch of the foot, underneath the foot, around the back of the ankle, and finish where you started. (See video)

2. You need to perform 2 of these


Step 7: Applying the Heel Lock

Caution: Be careful not to tape too tight as to cut off circulation

1. First you need to start about where you started the figure 8.

2. You then bring the tape over the middle side of the arch of the foot,under the foot, and then UP the outside of the heel at about a 45 degree angle. YOu finish by bringing the tape around the Achilles tendon and back to the front of the ankle. (See Video)

3. You need to do this twice in this direction.

4. You then switch directions and do it the opposite way, two times.


Step 8: Closing the Tape Procedure.

The last thing that you need to do is apply the second strip of closure strips.

1. These are again very similar to the anchor strips

2. You apply these strips in a circular fashion around the leg to ensure that there is no open space showing.(see video)

3. You can apply as many as needed, however it is usually around 2-6