Hockey Tape vs Athletic Tape – Discover the Differences

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When it comes to sports like hockey, tape plays a crucial role in providing support, grip, and protection for players. However, there is often confusion about whether to use hockey tape vs athletic tape.

In the following article, we’ll analyze the distinctions between two sorts of tape and assist you in figuring out which one is more appropriate for your requirements.

Compare Hockey Tape vs Athletic Tape

🏒 Looking for the perfect tape for your sports needs? Let’s compare hockey tape vs athletic tape to help you decide!

Hockey Tape:

✅ Designed for hockey players to enhance grip and control on the stick.
✅ Made of durable cloth material that can withstand heavy use.
✅ Provides excellent grip even in wet or cold conditions.
✅ Ideal for wrapping around hockey sticks to prevent slipping.
✅ Texture is rough and grippy, offering a secure hold during gameplay.
✅ Widely available in sports stores.

Athletic Tape:

✅ Offers support and stability for joints and muscles during physical activities.
✅ Made of adhesive fabric or foam material.
✅ Can be used for taping ankles, wrists, and other body parts.
✅ Provides flexibility and can be applied anywhere on the body.
✅ Smooth and uniform texture for comfortable application.
✅ Available in both sports and medical supply outlets.

⚖️ Ultimately, the choice between hockey tape vs athletic tape depends on your specific needs:

Choose hockey tape if you:

Choose athletic tape if you:

  • Engage in various physical activities and need support for joints and muscles.
  • Want flexibility in application and require taping for different body parts.
  • Prefer smooth and comfortable tape for all-day wear.

🌟 Both hockey tape vs athletic tape have their unique benefits. Assess your requirements and make an informed decision based on the sport you play and the support you need!


The first thing to understand is the primary purpose of each tape.

Hockey tape:

It is specifically designed for use in hockey and is mainly used to enhance grip on the stick. The texture and thickness of hockey tape provide a secure hold, even during intense gameplay. It helps players maintain control over their stick and execute accurate shots.

Athletic tape:

On the other hand, athletic tape is more versatile and used extensively across various sports. Its primary function is to provide support and stability to joints, muscles, and ligaments. Athletic tape is commonly used for injury prevention, immobilization, and compression.

Material and Texture

Another significant aspect to consider is the material and texture of the tape.

Hockey tape:

Typically made of cloth, hockey tape has a tacky adhesive side that provides excellent grip on the stick shaft. Its texture, which may feature ridges or waves, allows players to have a secure hold even with gloved hands. The cloth material makes it durable and resistant to wear and tear, ensuring it withstands the rigors of the game.

Athletic tape:

Athletic tape, either made of cloth or elastic material, offers different options depending on the level of support required. It has a smoother texture and a slightly elastic nature, allowing for flexibility during movement. The adhesive side of athletic tape provides a secure hold, ensuring that it stays in place during athletic activities.


The usage scenarios for hockey tape vs athletic tape also differ based on specific needs.

Hockey tape:

As mentioned earlier, hockey tape is primarily used on the stick, providing players with a reliable grip. It can also be wrapped around the blade for puck control and shooting accuracy. Additionally, some players use hockey tape to secure their equipment, such as shin guards or elbow pads, in place.

Athletic tape:

Athletic tape finds widespread application in various sports. It is commonly used in taping ankles, wrists, fingers, or other joints to provide stability and minimize the risk of injuries. Athletic tape can also be employed to secure padding or bandages during recovery.

Flexibility and Comfort

Flexibility and comfort are crucial factors to consider when choosing between hockey tape and athletic tape.

Hockey tape:

While hockey tape provides an excellent grip, it is not as flexible as athletic tape. The thickness and texture of hockey tape may limit the range of motion of the hand while handling the stick. However, for most players, the advantages in grip and control outweigh the slightly reduced flexibility.

Athletic tape:

Athletic tape offers more flexibility, making it suitable for wrapping joints and providing support without restricting movement. This makes it ideal for athletes who require a greater range of motion, such as basketball or soccer players.

Personal Preference

Personal preference plays a role in the choice between hockey tape and athletic tape. Some players have grown accustomed to the feel and grip of hockey tape, while others may prefer the versatility of athletic tape. It’s important to consider your unique needs and preferences when making your decision.

While hockey tape vs athletic tape share some similarities, they serve different purposes. Hockey tape excels in enhancing grip on the stick, whereas athletic tape is more versatile for injury prevention and support. Consider the specific requirements of your sport and your personal preferences to determine which tape is best for you. Whether you’re looking for a secure grip on your hockey stick or reliable support for your joints, choosing the right tape will undoubtedly enhance your performance and keep you at the top of your game.

Comparison Table : Hockey Tape vs Athletic Tape

Hockey TapeAthletic Tape
PurposeProvides grip and control on stickOffers support and stability
MaterialClothAdhesive fabric or foam
TextureRough and grippySmooth and uniform
UsageWrapping around hockey stickTaping joints or muscles
FlexibilityConforms to stick shapeFlexible and can be applied anywhere
DurabilityLong-lasting and withstands useMay need to be replaced more often
WeatherExcellent grip in cold and wet conditionsMay lose grip in moisture
ApplicationRequires specific wrapping techniqueCan be applied with basic taping skills
AvailabilityWidely available in sports storesFound in sports and medical supply outlets

Additional Information:

1. Cost

Another important factor to consider when selecting between hockey tape and athletic tape is the cost. Generally, hockey tape is less expensive than athletic tape, especially top-quality brands and models. The cost of athletic tape, however, can vary depending on the material, thickness, and amount needed. So, depending on your budget and the level of support you require, it may be more cost-effective to choose between the two options.

2. Residue

One key drawback of hockey tape is its sticky residue that can be left on your gloves and stick after extended use. It can be frustrating for some players to clean up the residue every time they remove the tape from their stick. Athletic tape, on the other hand, generally leaves little to no residue behind, making it easy to remove and replace as needed.

3.  Durability

Another factor to consider is the skill or technique required for applying each type of tape. Hockey tape is typically applied by wrapping it around the stick or blade in a specific pattern to ensure a secure hold. While this technique may take some practice to perfect, many players find it relatively straightforward to learn. On the other hand, applying athletic tape to joints or muscles can be a bit more challenging, particularly when it comes to achieving the right level of support and stability. It may be necessary to learn proper taping techniques or seek guidance from a trainer or healthcare professional to ensure the tape is applied correctly for maximum benefit.

Both hockey tape and athletic tape are generally durable and able to withstand the wear and tear that comes with athletic activities. However, hockey tape may wear out faster than athletic tape, especially if it’s wrapped around the blade of the stick frequently. The sticky residue may also weaken the adhesion of the tape over time, requiring more frequent replacements. Athletic tape tends to be longer lasting, especially when applied correctly, so less needs to be used over a more extended period of time.

4. Weather Conditions

When considering hockey tape versus athletic tape, it’s important to take into account the weather conditions in which you’ll be playing. Hockey tape tends to provide better grip and control in cold or wet conditions. The cloth material of hockey tape can absorb moisture, allowing players to maintain a secure hold on their stick even when their hands may be wet or sweaty. This can be especially beneficial when playing in outdoor or ice rink settings where the temperature is low. On the other hand, athletic tape may not have the same level of grip in these conditions, as it may become slick or lose its adhesive properties when exposed to moisture.

5. Application Techniques

Availability and Accessibility

The availability and accessibility of each type of tape may also play a role in your decision. Hockey tape is widely available at sporting goods stores and online retailers, making it easily accessible for players of all levels. It can be found in various colors and designs, allowing players to customize their equipment to their liking. Athletic tape is also commonly found in sporting goods stores and medical supply outlets, but it may be less commonly used in certain sports compared to hockey tape. However, it is still readily available for athletes who require additional support and stability in their chosen sport.

Pros and Cons

Hockey Tape:


  • Provides excellent grip and control while handling the stick
  • Absorbs moisture, making it ideal for use in wet or cold conditions
  • Durable and long-lasting


  • Can leave residue on the stick after prolonged use
  • May need to be replaced more frequently

Athletic Tape:


  • Offers support and stability to joints and muscles
  • Versatile and can be applied to various body parts
  • Widely available in sports and medical stores


  • May not provide the same level of grip as hockey tape
  • Might lose its adhesive properties when exposed to moisture

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I use hockey tape for taping my joints?

A: No, hockey tape is specifically designed for wrapping around hockey sticks. Athletic tape is more suitable for taping joints and muscles.

2. Will athletic tape provide the same grip as hockey tape?

A: Athletic tape is not designed for grip on sticks. It offers support and stability for joints and muscles instead.

3. Can hockey tape be used in warm weather conditions?

A: Hockey tape can be used in warm weather conditions, but it may not provide the same grip as in cold or wet conditions.

4. How frequently should I replace hockey tape?

A: The frequency of replacing hockey tape depends on usage and wear. It may need to be replaced when it becomes worn or loses its grip.

5. Does athletic tape leave residue on the skin?

A: Athletic tape typically does not leave residue on the skin when properly applied and removed.

6. Can I use hockey tape for taping my ankle?

A: Hockey tape is not recommended for taping joints. Athletic tape provides better support and stability for ankles.

7. Will athletic tape absorb moisture like hockey tape?

A: No, athletic tape does not absorb moisture like hockey tape. It does not provide the same level of grip when exposed to moistur

8. Can I find both types of tape at sporting goods stores?

A: Yes, both types can be commonly found in sporting goods stores, but hockey tape is more specific to hockey while athletic tape is more versatile.


In the debate between hockey tape vs athletic tape, there is no definitive right or wrong answer. The choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the demands of your sport. Hockey tape excels in providing a secure grip on the stick, especially in cold and wet conditions, while athletic tape offers versatility and support for joints and muscles. Consider factors such as cost, residue, durability, weather conditions, application techniques, and availability when making your decision. Ultimately, the tape that best meets your requirements will ensure that you can perform at your best and enjoy your chosen sport to the fullest.

In summary, both hockey tape and athletic tape are useful for different purposes, materials, and functions. Deciding which one is best for your needs will depend on the level of support you require, usage, personal preference, cost, and durability. However, both tapes can enhance your performance by providing the necessary support and grip for your particular sport. Ready to give each tape a trial? Buy both, experiments, and decide what works best for you!

Nazrul Islam: Nazrul is an established author and the esteemed Sports Editor of the ADT Canada Russia Challenge. His passion for sports journalism is evident in each article he crafts, giving life to statistics and scores.
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