As you know, I have to wear some sort of knee brace when I run due to my patellafemoral pain syndrome.  I used to rely on knee sleeves to keep  my patella bone from laterally tracking, and now I use athletic tape.

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I have been asked to compare knee sleeves vs. athletic tape, so here’s my review!

 

Athletic Tape:  You need two tapes to tape your knees – the cover tape to protect your skin (available here in a variety of sizes; I use 2 inch x 10 yards) and the firmer athletic tape (available here).

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Knee Sleeves:  There are a variety of knee sleeves available, but I wear this kind by Pro-Tech Athletics.

Pro-Tec Athletics Short Knee Sleeve

Here is a point by point analysis of athletic tape vs. knee sleeves.  This analysis assumes you wear the tape or sleeves on both legs:

 

  Athletic Tape Knee Sleeves
Cost $22.9 for the two types of tape $40.00 ($20.00 each)
Life* 2.5 months 4 months
Cost Per Use* $0.75 $0.84
Effectiveness High Moderate
Skill You need a professional to show you how to use it. No skill required – you just pull them on.
Comfort High – the tape allows the back of your knees to breathe Moderate – the sleeves get very hot
Appearance Looks like you’re wearing band-aids Pretty ugly
Allergy Info The tape contains latex.  I’m mildly allergic but have not had a reaction. If you are very sensitive, it would be an issue. The sleeves contain neoprene.
Overall Impression Worth the cost and trouble if you have really bad knees. Great and low-cost tool for managing mild knee pain.

*Assumes you run three times a week.

 

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Overall, I love the knee tape but once my leg muscles get stronger, I will probably rely on the sleeves for shorter runs just because they are easier to put on and cheaper in the long-term.

 

Remember, if you have knee pain, SEE A DOCTOR to get a proper diagnosis and ask what options are best for your condition.

 

On that note, I woke up really early (5:30) to do some blog work on Operation Beautiful.  I snacked on toast with PB and coffee while I worked:

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And once I was done, I went on a very pleasant 3.0 mile run!  It is so fun to get back into running on a regular basis.   I’m loving it!

 

  • Duration:  31 minutes
  • Distance: 3.0 miles
  • Calories Burned: 240 (estimate)

 

I was a hot and sweaty mess by the time I got home, so I made a yummy and cold bowl of Oikos yogurt.

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My bowl contained:

 

  • 1 serving Oikos yogurt
  • Blackberries
  • 1 crushed Kashi TLC bar
  • Cashews
  • Sliced Banana

 

So GOOD!

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Off to work I go!

 

But first, thank you to the following ladies who contributed to my Team in Training efforts:

 

  • Kristen
  • Angelina
{ 25 comments }

 

  • recipesforcreativity July 2, 2009, 5:52 am

    My bf has knee trouble, I wonder if either of those things would help him. He really just doesn't run anymore because of it.

    Have a great day!

  • Anonymous July 2, 2009, 6:04 am

    Hi,
    Since you have 3-D glasses – you might want to consider taking a friend or two to see the movie "UP". It's a cartoon but I heard it made 2 grown women laugh and cry! The 3-D effects were fun.
    I loved the article of you in the Orlando Sentinel! The movement just keeps growing…which means it is meaningful to many. Keep the word out there – POST IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous July 2, 2009, 6:06 am

    The comparison of the knee taping vs the knee sleeves was wonderful. So many of my friends complain of knee pain, but do nothing about it.

  • MarathonVal July 2, 2009, 6:12 am

    So when is your marathon, and what training plan are you going to use, if you know yet?

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 2, 2009, 6:14 am

    val – its in 6 months so i have time to sort it all out. i want to meet with TNT to see what plans they suggest too! if you have any suggestions let me know.

  • brandi July 2, 2009, 6:17 am

    i'm glad the tape is helping and yay for a good run šŸ™‚

    the yogurt bowl looks great!

    are you on the news this morning? if they put it up online, you should post the link so we can see you!

    good luck! you'll be great šŸ™‚

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 2, 2009, 6:22 am

    brandi – i will be on the news on monday and i'll try to get a video!

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write July 2, 2009, 6:28 am

    My husband has knee pain after running too. I'm curious if doctors would advise not running at all (doing something else) or if the tape or brace actually helps enough to prevent further knee damage?… Just curious.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 2, 2009, 6:34 am

    mrs meyers – i can only tell you what my doctors told me. if i do the strength training moves suggested (i'll give those tomorrow) and i wear tape, i can run even if i have "mild discomfort" but no pain because my discomfort is caused by my patellar bone tracking out of alignment, which just causes swelling with no permanent damage. if you are experiencing pain even though you are wearin orthitics, doing PT exercises, and wearing tape/sleeves, its a good idea not to run. but i dont think the majority of us can run long distances without putting some thought into injury prevention!

  • K from ksgoodeats July 2, 2009, 6:39 am

    Thanks for the comparison! As I've said before I have the same knee issue so this is good to know šŸ™‚

  • katherine July 2, 2009, 6:43 am

    Thanks so much for your review of the sleeves vs. tape!

    I hope you can get a link to your interview – can't wait to see it!

  • roseyrebecca July 2, 2009, 6:49 am

    I'm glad you had a nice run! I had a dream that I was running and it made me so happy!

    I love Oikos!!

  • runnerskitchen July 2, 2009, 7:06 am

    Congrats on the 3 mile run! I've recently started running with an IT band strap made by the same brand as your knee sleeves and it's been helping. Maybe we can go for a jog together in Boston? šŸ™‚

  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) July 2, 2009, 7:08 am

    Your yogurt combo looks delicious! It's always what I'm in the mood for after a sweaty run…so cold and refreshing! šŸ˜€

  • Sam July 2, 2009, 7:13 am

    That comparison was really helpful, especially for someone like me who also had dodgy knees, so thanks. Knee sleeves definitely get uncomfortably hot in the summer!

  • Peanut Butter Swirl July 2, 2009, 7:16 am

    yogurt messes are the best summer breakfast šŸ™‚

  • Matt July 2, 2009, 8:44 am

    My dad has been getting some knee pain on his walk/runs so I will suggest the sleeves to him. There is no way he will hassle with that tape!

  • Trainer T.s Fitness July 2, 2009, 9:21 am

    Thanks for the comparison, I have been using the sleeves. I use them for step class as well and they do work up a sweat but for the money its good.

    I can also wash them so there is no problem there. I was suprised you said 4months life span, I have had mine a year and they still work fine to me.

    Thanks I will check into the tape.

  • Amanda July 2, 2009, 11:20 am

    I had a bad knee injury skiing bumps when I was much younger. I still from time to time get lots of knee pain that requires PT. I get taped too with the same kind of tape you use. I love it! The sleeves don't really work for me. I leave the tape on for a few days actually and just blow dry it with my hair drier.

  • princessvalecia July 2, 2009, 1:11 pm

    I'm starting to run a bit and I'm getting constant knee pain behind that…I really need one…glad I read this Thanks!

  • Orla July 2, 2009, 3:28 pm

    I envy your skinny little getaway sticks!! lol

  • leslie July 2, 2009, 5:17 pm

    thank you for posting this. it was really helpful!

    i just caught up on your posts and wanted to congratulate you times a MILLION for all the press operation beautiful is getting! so exciting, and you should be so so proud!

  • Oh She Glows July 2, 2009, 6:52 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for that review!!!!

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) November 13, 2009, 1:50 pm

    thaaaaaaank you for this

  • Lisa September 17, 2010, 6:02 pm

    Thanks for the review. When I get back to running I need to figure out what to use…brace, sleeve, wrap, tape…sooo confusing!

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