Why do football players tape their ankles?

If you watch football often you have likely noticed that many football players will tape their ankles and shoes before a game. This leaves a lot of football fans wondering why football players wear this tape.

Football players tape their ankles for several different reasons. It is primarily done in order to provide more support for their ankles though it can also help with reducing blisters and helping recovery from injuries.

Below we will break down all the main reasons that football players tape their ankles and shoes.

Supporting their ankles

The main reason that football players tape their ankles is to give them more support. When playing the game of football it is fairly common to suffer from ankle injuries.

By taping heavily around your ankle and shoe players can reduce their risk of developing these injuries.

The tape itself adds a level of protection that players don’t typically have. This way if their ankle is bending in an unnatural way the tape will help prevent that from happening.

Trainers will generally be the ones to tape up a player’s ankle before the game. This way it is properly done so that it can help prevent ankle injuries.

Limit their movement

Another common reason that football players tape their ankles when playing football is to limit the movement in their ankles.

When players are playing on an injured ankle it is often the bending of the ankle that causes pain. The further the ankle bends the more pain a player may be put in.

By placing tape around the ankle and shoes players are able to restrict the movement of the ankle. This can keep it from flexing to the point where it causes pain.

This method is referred to as spatting and is done by many football players from high school to professional leagues.

Keep shoes firmly on (blisters)

Another reason will tape their ankles and cleats in football is to avoid blisters. By taping their ankles to their shoes they can firmly secure their feet in their shows.

This will prevent the rubbing of a player’s foot against his shoes.

During a game, players will often develop blisters on their heels and toes. This can be quite painful and prevent players from playing their best.

By keeping their feet in place via tape they can avoid blisters altogether.

Negatives of taping your ankles in football

Now that you know all the benefits of taping your ankles in football you may be wondering what the downsides are.

Lack of mobility

One of the main downsides of spatting your ankles in football is the lack of mobility. Though this can be helpful for players that have ankle injuries it can also hamper a players ability to perform.

Players like defensive ends need mobility in their ankles in order to do their job effectively. These players must display bend by flexing their ankles in order to get lower to the ground.

By taping their ankles the pass rush of defensive end will be affected. This sort of performance effect can be seen in many different football positions.

For this reason, many football athletes prefer not to tape their ankles when they play.

Covering sponsors

Another interesting issue of taping your ankles and cleats in football is the issue of covering sponsors. Professional and college teams sign deals with shoe companies in order to wear their equipment.

Taping around your cleats is going to cover up this logo, something sponsors aren’t so kean on.

In fact, some sponsors have gone as far as contacting the team telling them fewer players are able to spat their ankles.

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