How to Tape an Ankle

Here are step-by-step instructions for taping an ankle, courtesy of orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists.  

1. Materials needed: 1½" athletic tape, Tuf-Skin/Quick Drying Adhesive, 
two pads to help prevent blistering (2" x 2" non-adhesive dressing), and pre-wrap




2. Ankle is ready for taping.


3. 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
going from the arch of the foot up to the start 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.


4. Place two anchors of athletic tape at either end of the pre-wrap as shown. 


5a_Ankle_Taping_Stirrup_(Medial)_new8.12.14.jpg5b_Ankle_Taping_Stirrup (Lateral)_8.12.14.JPG
5. Place a stirrup of athletic tape starting from the inside of the ankle, under the heel
and attaching to the other side of the anchor of athletic tape. Add two more stirrups
of athletic tape so you have three total.


6. Close up all areas of pre-wrap.


7a_Ankle_Taping_Figure_8_(Medial)_new_8.12.14.jpg7b_Ankle_Taping_Figure 8 (Lateral)_8.12.14.JPG
7. Create a figure 8 by starting on the inside and wrapping around the lower leg, then
crossing over the top of the ankle and continuing to wrap under the arch.
        ​8a_Ankle_Taping_HeelLock (Lateral)_8.12.14.JPG8b_Ankle_Taping_Heel_Lock_(Medial)_new_8.12.14.jpg
8. 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.


9a_Ankle_Taping_ Figure 8 (Anterior)_8.12.14.JPG9b_Ankle_Taping_Figure_8_(Lateral)new_8.12.14.jpg
9. Complete another figure 8.
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10. Close up any open areas of tape and you are finished.

Next, read about How to Use Crutches.

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 an Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon" tool at the top of this page or contact your primary doctor.