The Effect of Taping on Foot Structure, Functional Foot Stability and Running Gait Patterns of the Foot

Malia Ho, John Cher Chay Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Running related foot injuries are associated with excessive foot movements due to malaligned foot structure and poor functional foot stability. Clinicians tape the foot to alleviate pain and prevent further injuries, whilst allowing the athlete to continue training. However, the effect of taping is not conclusive. The purpose of this study is to investigate if taping effectively improves foot structure, functional foot stability and reduces excessive foot movements during running. Twenty-two subjects had their foot structure identified as: flat foot stable, flat foot unstable and normal arched unstable according to the FPI (foot posture index) and the Modified Romberg’s Test with the BESS (balance error scoring system) criteria. The subjects ran on an instrumented treadmill barefooted with their feet taped and untaped. Running kinetic and kinematic data were collected and analysed using a paired t-test and 3x2 ANOVA. Taping improved foot structure but not functional foot stability. During running, taping significantly reduced rearfoot eversion. Taping increased the loading rate in the flat foot and normal arched unstable groups but reduced the loading rate for the flat foot stable group. Implication on the appropriate use of foot taping was discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Running related injuries
  • flat feet
  • functional foot stability
  • three dimensional motion analysis
  • foot taping
  • instrumented treadmill

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