Sock tape is the name of a variety of tapes used by football players to hold socks and shin guards in place Many players prefer the light cohesive style tapes while others use coloured zinc oxide, or the more traditional electrical insulating tape.

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What is sock tape?

Sock tape, football tape, or soccer tape in the US is generally a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) sports tape designed to hold socks and shin guards in place during a football match.

It is generally applied below the shin pad, above the shin guard as a wrap around the pad in the middle to hold the socks and shin guard in place.

This style of sports tape has been adapted from electrical insulating tape which is also widely used as a fixative tape for bandages in rugby where it is most often seen holding an elastic adhesive bandage in place around the head of the locks and props.

How to choose between sock tapes?

Professional football teams who can afford premier sock tape often choose to use coloured zinc oxide tape as their sock tape.

Since the UEFA directive stipulating that European football teams must wear sock tape which is the same colour as the socks, coloured Mueller M Tape and Vivotape have become very popular.

An alternative taping technique for securing shin pads to the calf is to use cohesive tape to wrap around the shin guard securing it directly to the skin.

Cohesive tape is a stretchy compression bandage which sticks to itself but not the skin, making it a perfect sports tape for taping the shin pad directly to the skin.