High Quality Feet Pre-Taping

August 1, 2013 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Foot Care Products, Footcare 

Over my years of taping feet, I have seen techniques improve to where pre-taping is more helpful then ever before.

Often times, in the middle of a race, one cannot take the time necessary to do a high-quality tape job. Things may be rushed. The runner may be in a huge hurry to make a cut-off. The feet and skin may be wet. Conditions may be less than ideal – lightening, set-up, workable access/angle to the feet, supplies, etc.

Bad Tape Job

Bad Tape Job

However, before a race, a hike, or run, there is more time to do a high quality pre-tape job. It’s also the time to practice your skills and learn how to do a really good tape job. The first photo here shows a pretty poor tape job on toes. In this photo, the tape will probably peel off from sock changes and general wear. If any one of the pieces comes off, the now untapped toe will be subject to the roughness of the tape on the neighboring toe. It looks like Leukotape, which sticks well, but does not conform to the curves of toes and other places on the foot. It is possible to do a great tape job on toes with Leukotape – but it take time and practice. I must admit I like Leukotape for certain conditions and tape jobs.

Bogies taped right foot after 157 miles

Bogies taped right foot after 157 miles


A good, high-quality pre-tape job should hold up well, for several days if necessary, and cared for. In this next photo, you can see the right foot of Bogie Dumitrescu after finishing a solo, self-supported crossing of Death Valley followed by up and down to Mt Whitney. You can see how the tape has held for 157 miles in the extremes of Death Valley. It’s hot on the valley floor, but there are two long uphill’s climbs followed by long downhill’s over two passes. An 11-mile trail hike follows that up to and another 11 back down Whitney. The tape job held for 157 miles! In fact it looks perfect.

The tape is Kenesio-Tex on the heels, balls of the feet and big toes. Hypafix tape is used in a figure eight cut to anchor the tape at the forward edge of the ball of the foot, between the toes, and anchored again on top of the foot. This prevents the forward edge of the tape from rolling.

Bogie's feet after 157 miles!

Bogie’s feet after 157 miles!

The next photo shows Bogie’s two feet after the tape was removed. No blisters. One of the reasons the tape held is that Bogie managed his feet well. He kept them as dry as possible. This is important in Death Valley where often Badwater runners get their feet wet when they are sprayed or doused with water in an effort to cool them.

Bogie was fortunate to have his feet taped by Denise Jones, the Badwater Blister Queen. Denise is a master at taping feet and does a precision tape job. This is not a 30-minute tape job. It takes as long as it takes to do it right. Denise and I tape almost identically. If we apply a piece of tape and it looks or feels wrong, we remove it and retape. Our aim is to get the runners on the course and able to finish with good feet.

Danny's Feet Taped Before Badwater

Danny’s Feet Taped Before Badwater

The point of this blog post is to show a good tape job that can hold up over multiple days. The final photo shows Danny Westergaard’s feet that Denise taped for Badwater three weeks ago. Danny’s feet are taped perfectly. You can see the small strip of Hypafix that Denise wrapped around Danny’s big toes to further secure the tape edges.

I commend Bogie and Danny for their runs. Bogie completed his solo self-supported Badwater crossing the week before the official Badwater ultramarathon. Danny completed his 7th Badwater, went to the summit of Whitney and then reversed direction and went back to the start for his 7th Badwater Double.

And I commend Denise Jones for her care of runner’s feet.  She’s a class act. Thanks Denise.

Kinesio, Leukotape and Hypafix tapes, as well as Compound Tincture of Benzoin and other foot care supplies are available at Zombierunner.com.

Disclosure: When you purchase through this link, I make an affiliate small amount of each sale.

A Perfect Foot Taping Job

July 18, 2011 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care 

A question I am often asked is how to tape one’s feet. This is not a simple question. Some people are better at taping than others. Some can’t self-tape because of the hard to reach areas of their feet. Some simply don’t have the patience for it. Others have the wrong tape, or

Denise Jones with Shannon's taped feet

Denise Jones with Shannon's taped feet

have not read the how-to’s that I and others have written on the topic.

Today I want to share two pictures from Badwater. The lady pictured is Denise Jones, and I consider her one of the best at taping. She loves helping runners and has loads of patience – both of which are important. It can easily take at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete a full tape job that includes heels, balls of the feet, and toes. It can also be a backbreaking job.

The feet shown here belong to Shannon Farar-Greifer. Denise did the tape job on Wednesday – after Shannon cut her Badwater run short due to hydration/stomach issues. The taping was in preparation for Shannon’s run on Saturday at the Vermont 100. The tape held and Shannon completed Vermont.

A bottom view of Shannon's feet

A bottom view of Shannon's feet

A well-done tape job will hold for several days. The second photo shows the tape job from the bottom of the feet. You can see the detail in taping the toes. Denise is a master at taping.

For those wondering how to tape, I am working on creating a DVD showing many of the things I teach in my foot care clinics. Stay tuned here for details as I work on this project over the coming months.

The tape used is Kinesio Tex tape with a strip of Hypafix between the toes. A good tape job involves cleaning the skin, prepping the skin with Compound Tincture of Benzoin, then cutting and layering the tape in a specific order, rubbing the tape to activate the bonding character of the tape’s adhesive, applying a light power to cut and remaining stickiness of the benzoin, and finally, rolling the socks on the foot. You can shop for tape and other supplies at Zombierunner.com.

Gifts for Christmas to Keep Your Feet Happy

November 24, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

How about being nice to your feet this Christmas and giving them a gift. In fact, be nice to a freind and give them a gift for happy feet. Here are a few suggestions. These can easily be found through a Google search—but many of the items are available at ZombieRunner.com (marked with an *).

Fixingyourfeet_3A copy of the 4th edition of Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes. If you have the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition – you are out of date.

A copy of my Happy Feet booklet. A short 36 page booklet for those who don’t need the full book.

Hydropel_1   *  A tube of Hydropel  –  Hydropel is especially good at controlling moisture and maceration. Used by many adventure racers and ultrarunners.

* A tube of BodyGlide

* A container of BlisterShield Powder or Roll-On

Outdoor_quarter   *  A pair of Injinji Tetrasok socks with Nuwool – These toe socks are popular with many runners, ultrarunners and adventure racers.

    A pair of Smartwool socks

Eco_poly_quarter_sock_2x2  *  A pair of ecologically safe Teco Ecopoly or EcoMerino wool socks. These socks are made by a compamy that walks the walk of eco-friendly products.

Sub24  A pair of Dirty Girl gaiters. Lightweight gaiters made in a multiude of patterns and colors. Unisex. 

Engopackagefront  *  A pack of Engo Blister Prevention Patches


*  A pack of Spenco Blister Pads


* A pack of Spenco QuikStik Adhesive Blister Dressings

Zeasorb  *  A container of Zeasorb Super Absorbent powder. My favorite foot powder.

  A callus file from your local drug store. Use every few days to control those pasky calluses.

  A good nail file, not the throw away kind, from your local drug store

Kinesio_beige_2inch_1  *  A few rolls of Kinesio-Tex tape. This tape is quickly becoming the tape of choice for foot taping.

  A pair ShockDoctor insoles

Related_sole_ultra  *  A pair of SofSole heat moldable insoles. Pop them in the oven to heat, stand on them to mold, and they fit your feet.


*  A gift certificate from ZombieRunner.com

Tape for Taping Your Feet

September 13, 2006 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Years ago, back in the early 90’s,I learned how to duct tape my feet at the 72-hour Gibson Ranch Multiday Runs. Back then, duct tape was the best and is still preferred by many athletes. Since then other tapes have come to the forefront and in some cases, have edged out duct tape as the tape of choice. Here are the most popular, in no certain order:

•    Athletic sports tape can be found in most sporting goods stores, it should be avoided except for taping sprained ankles. One width. Not very sticky.
Hd_6122_b1jpg•    Duct tape is easy to find and inexpensive. Buy a quality brand. Non-breathable so over many days can cause skin issues. Some people may be allergic to the adhesive. One width. In addition to the every popular silver, now comes in colors and even transparent. Very sticky and long lasting when others fall off. Not recommended for extreme heat.

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