How Do I Tape My Injured Ankle?

1. Gather your materials

You will need 1 1/2" athletic tape, quick-drying tape adhesive, two 2" x 2" non-adhesive pads (to prevent blistering), and pre-wrap.

2. Prepare and pre-wrap the ankle.

Place one pad over the front of the ankle and the other over the back of the ankle. These pads will help prevent blisters. Then cover the foot and ankle with pre-wrap, starting from the arch of the foot and going up to the bottom of the calf muscle. Use the spray adhesive to help secure the pre-wrap. Apply the spray adhesive according to the manufacturer's instructions, and only apply as high as the pre-wrap will be placed.

Ankle covered in pre-wrap

3. Place two anchors of athletic tape at either end of the pre-wrap.

Two anchors of athletic tape at ends of pre-wrap

4. Add "stirrups" of athletic tape.

Create one stirrup that starts on the inside of the ankle, goes under the heel, and attaches to the other side of the anchor of athletic tape. Add two more stirrups of athletic tape over the same area so you have 3 total.

Stirrup of athletic tape
Stirrup of athletic tape

5. Close up all areas of pre-wrap.

Close up areas of pre-wrap

6. Create a figure 8 with the tape.

Starting on the inside, wrap the tape around the lower leg, then cros over the top of the ankle and continue to wrap under the arch.

Create a figure 8
Create a figure 8

7. Tape around the heel for a "heel lock."

You can alternate either inside or outside, but make sure to do two "heel locks" for each side.

Taping around heel
Taping around heel

8. Complete another figure 8.

Taping a figure 8
Taping a figure 8

9. Close up any open areas of tape.

If you continue to experience pain or other problems with your ankle, make an appointment with a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.

Close up open areas of tape


Contributors/Reviewers: Jason Tartaglione, MD; Hui Zhang, MD

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images, and graphics, is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments. If you need medical advice, use the "Find a Surgeon" search to locate a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.