Football Spats

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Why do Football Players Tape Their Cleats?

There’s a lot of gear needed to play on the gridiron. And while most football equipment may have obvious uses, there are others that may leave you scratching your head.

Taping your cleats, or “spatting,” isn’t necessarily a new concept in football, but many fans, and even players, don’t understand why it’s done. Does spatting support your ankles? Is it just a cool ritual or tradition? Well, it’s really a combination of both.

Spatting is mainly performed to help players lessen the risk of rolling or twisting their ankles during gameplay. In fact, a player or an athletic trainer might even use so much tape that it looks like a small leg cast! This can also help support a player’s ankle for better body movement and coordination when running and making tight, pinpoint turns on the gridiron.

While injury prevention and improved mobility are two major benefits of spatting, some players simply like the feeling of knowing that their cleats are more secure and less likely to come off during a play.

So, what sort of tape should you use?

Stretch tape, or elastic adhesive tape, is the preferred spatting tape. It’s lighter and much easier to put on and take off by yourself, without the need for a scissor-like tool. You can also apply it in one continuous motion so you don’t have to constantly tear off pieces. Elastic adhesive tape stretches to form around your foot so you not only get a cleaner result, but also more comfort and less bulk.


Why do Football Players Tape Their Cleats?