How to - Taping the ball of your foot.

Last week's post on fire tape was so well received that I thought I would share another taping method with you this week.

This is a trick I picked up the first time I represented Ireland, at the 2010 European Kendo Championship in Hungary.

During warm up practice I got a large blister on my foot. One of my team mates very kindly showed me this method for taping the ball of the foot. I've used it ever since!

Finished! This is a really good tape job 

What makes this method worth sharing? Keep reading to find out!

For this tape job I recommend you use elasticated sports tape. It should be available for less than 5 of your money. Dollars or Euros or whatever.

You can use non elastic tape, it's cheaper, and more readily available but I don't think it is as comfortable.

Another tip is to use a wider tape if possible. Below is the tape I use, I actually bought this before coming to Japan.

Tape used is slightly adhesive and should be elastic. 

Start off  by wrapping a length of tape around your foot three or four times. Cut the tape from the roll and leave the backing on. Cut another smaller strip, about 10 cm long.

You will need enough tape to wrap around your foot 3 or 4 times. And a smaller, maybe 10cm strip of tape. 
It is important when applying the tape to make sure it overlaps like in the image below. Start winding the tape from the back of your foot towards your toes. This makes sure the tape will not peel back while you slide your foot forwards.

Tape overlapped so that it will not peel off while moving forward. 

Its time to begin taping! Stick the tape to the top of your foot, above the arch. Start winding towards the outside. Wrap the tape around your foot, being sure to overlap the last piece of tape slightly. Stretch the tape a little but not too much so that it feels tight. We want the tape to remain flexible for comfort once on our foot.

Start from the top of your foot above the arch. Wrap towards the outside.

I've wrapped my foot right up to my toes. I've made sure to overlap each piece slightly.

Wrap around your foot, ensuring the tape overlaps. 
OK! Now for the trick that makes this a great taping method. Most people have probably taped up their foot before, stopping at this point and having an OK, but not great tape job.

Don't fully wrap the tape around your foot. Leave a small piece unwound and still covered with the backing paper. This will be placed on the top of your foot last and will help secure the next piece of tape.

Don't fully wrap your foot at this stage, leave a small strip for the top. 
I noticed that I left a sharp edge poking out. Take your scissors and cut any sharp edges off. This will stop them sticking to your hakama and peeling off. Also trim your hairy hobbit feet while you're at it!

Cut off sharp corners with a scissors.  
Cut any sharp corners off. 

Now lets go back to the smaller piece of tape that we cut earlier. Take your scissors and cut down the middle of the strip. Cut almost as far as half way.

Cut down the middle of the short strip of tape. 

Take the uncut part and stick it to the bottom of your foot. Try to line up the end of the tape smoothly. Don't over stretch this piece as it needs to stick securely so as not to come off.

Attach the un cut piece to the bottom of your foot.
The two small pieces are brought up between two of your toes. Stretch them a little as you bring them up.

Press them down firmly onto the top of your foot.

Bring the two cut pieces up between your toes.

Our final step is to take the piece of tape we left earlier while wrapping around the foot. Remove the backing paper and use it to cover over the small pieces of tape. Again don't over stretch this piece as we want it to be secure. 

Use the remaining tape to cover the small strips. 

Try not to leave any bits sticking out. I've brought this piece right to the edge of my foot and really made sure that it is stuck down solidly. 

Make sure to push the tape into your whole foot. Rub the tape all over, this will heat it up, which apparently helps the glue stick better. 

Finished! This is a really good tape job 

What makes this taping method really special is the aditional piece of tape. This piece really helps keep the rest of the tape on. It provides a smooth surface for use to slide our foot on.

From the bottom, Make sure to really press the tape into your skin to make a good bond.

You can leave this piece off if you prefer. But I find that it really helps to prevent the tape from peeling. Once this starts to happen its only a matter of time before the tape comes off completely. 

I have used this method to cover blisters, blood blisters and cuts or cracks. It lasts a long time, making it ideal for seminars or training camps. 

Depending on your tape, it may even hold after a shower. If you do shower, dry it carefully, and maybe avoid pulling your socks on and off. Roll them on so as not to disrupt the tape. 

Too much information there with the socks thing? Maybe, but hey this tape isn't cheap if you are a student, and it takes time to put on. So you want to take care of it, right??

That's it for this post! I hope you find this taping method as useful as I did. I am eternally grateful to my sempai for teaching me this!