How to prevent new finger injuries and heal existing injuries with finger tape
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grip-heavy martial art where practitioners often use their fingers to grab their opponent’s gi to complete sweeps, escapes and submissions. Gripping onto a piece of fabric while your opponent violently tries to remove your fingers can hurt your finger ligaments by rotating or moving them into ranges where they don’t have much support.
Best finger tape for BJJ: Hampton Adams Premium Jiu Jitsu and Climber Finger Tape
A rigid cotton substrate tape which is a good width for fingers and will stay on during sweaty training sessions.
Best finger tapes for BJJ summary
- Hampton Adams Premium Jiu Jitsu and Climber Finger Tape
- Gold BJJ Jiu Jitsu Tape
- Monkey Tape
- Meister StickElite 1/2″ Athletic Tape
- Armadillo Skin Finger Tape 0.3in
- Fuji Sports Finger Tape
Why you can trust this list
This list of BJJ finger tapes and the information below is the result of over seven hours of research across 20 brands. We researched different finger tape products on the market which fit our criteria and aggregated user reviews on sites like Amazon and BJJ Fight Gear. We also took into account user opinions on Reddit, and filtered products through Fakespot to exclude products with suspicious reviews.
Read more about our methodology further down in the article.
The best finger tapes for BJJ
1. Hampton Adams Premium Jiu Jitsu and Climber Finger Tape
- Material: Cotton substrate
- Width: ⅜ inches / 0.95 cm
- Length: 45 feet / 13.7 m
Hampton Adams Finger Tape is made from cotton substrate, and is soft but non-elastic. It can also be torn off by hand, so you don’t have to pack a pair of scissors into your training bag.
Customer reviews of this tape consistently mention how it stays on during training, presents good value due to the eight rolls included in each box, and is the right width for wrapping around fingers.
Hampton Adams’ Finger Tape also offers a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied, which is great for peace of mind.
2. Gold BJJ Jiu Jitsu Tape
- Width: ½ inch / 1.27 cm
- Length: 30 feet / 9.1 m
Gold BJJ’s finger tape product is sweat resistant and uses a new and improved adhesive which is strong enough to keep the tape on your fingers during a class but doesn’t leave behind a residue.
Customer reviews frequently mention how strong and sticky this tape is and some also praise the lack of sticky residue left behind.
Gold BJJ manufacturers a range of different BJJ gear including gis, no gi clothing, bags, supplements and more.
3. Monkey Tape
- Width: 0.2 – 0.3 inches / 0.51 – 0.76 cm
- Length: 45 feet / 13.7 m
Monkey Tape is a well loved brand of BJJ finger tape for good reason. Many customer reviews mention its strength and stickiness.
It comes in four colors: white, black, pink and tan, and two widths suitable for finger taping, 0.2 inches (0.51 cm) and 0.3 inches (0.76 cm). It also uses a latex-free residue which doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue.
In addition to finger tape, Monkey Tape also sells other size tapes for different body parts.
4. Meister StickElite 1/2″ Athletic Tape
Width: ½ inch / 1.27 cm
Length: 15 yds / 13.7 m
Meister StickElite is a latex-free finger tape designed for hard sports like jiu jitsu, rock climbing and volleyball.
It’s 0.5 inches thick (1.27 cm), so it’s slightly wider than some of the other tapes on this list, and it comes with a zig zag edge for easy hand tearing.
StickElite also has a porous design with micro holes across the surface of the tape, which reportedly helps reduce sweating under the tape, leading to a stronger adhesion.
Meister sells StickElite in rolls 15 yards long (13.7m), and sells 2 and 4 packs in addition to many other types of athletic tapes.
5. Armadillo Skin Finger Tape
- Material: Cotton substrate
- Width: 0.3 inches / 0.76 cm
- Length: 45 feet / 13.7m
Armadillo Skin Finger tape is a cotton substrate tape with a zinc oxide adhesive. This means the tape is rigid but also sticky enough to stay on your fingers during drilling and rolling.
It’s also good value with each box including six rolls, and each roll is slightly longer than many other brands at 45 feet / 13.7m.
Armadillo Skin Finger Tape also comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.
Previous customers have mentioned this tape is strong, doesn’t leave behind any residue, and is good value due to the six rolls it comes with.
6. Fuji Sports Finger Tape
- Width: 0.5 inches / 1.27 cm
- Length: 30 feet / 9.1 m
Fuji Sports Finger Tape is a sweat resistant tape which leaves behind no residue, and is easy to tear off the roll, meaning you don’t need to bring scissors with you.
This tape is also great because it comes with its own carry case so your tape is protected when in your training bag.
User reviews are positive about this tape, with many customers noting how it stays on when rolling.
Table of contents
- What is finger tape and why is it useful?
- What features do the best BJJ finger tapes have?
- How we picked these finger tapes
- How to tape your fingers for BJJ
- What else can you do to protect your fingers in BJJ?
- Are there any alternatives to finger taping for BJJ?
What is finger tape and why is it useful?
Finger tape is basically a rigid cotton or cotton-like strip of fabric with an adhesive. It’s used to tape around a sore or injured finger for extra support and stability, or used to tape an injured finger to another finger for extra support. It can also be used for taping toes.
Finger tape can also protect against cuts and scrapes, protect injured knuckles and fingers, and support and stabilise sore joints. Some even think taping your fingers can strengthen your grip, although many warn against using tape all the time if you’re not injured, as it can prevent you from building up your own finger strength.
The main difference between regular sports strapping tape and BJJ finger tape is that it’s purposely made at a narrower width to suit fingers (usually 0.3 inches / 8 – 9mm), and is built to stay on your fingers during sweaty and intense training sessions.
What features do the best BJJ finger tapes have?
The best finger tapes for BJJ generally have the following characteristics:
- Strong adhesive. The best tapes have a strong enough adhesive to stay on your fingers during rolling sessions and don’t fall off because of sweat. Many of the best tapes often use zinc oxide adhesive which is very sticky and is latex free.
- Rigid. Quality finger tapes are generally made from rigid cotton or similar materials like rayon which give support to your fingers. You don’t want an elastic tape like kinesiology tape as these tapes don’t give much support.
- Doesn’t leave behind residue. The best tapes won’t leave behind a sticky residue once you take them off, making your clean up easier.
- Appropriately sized. Finger tape specifically made for grapplers is usually wide enough for fingers and will be approximately 0.3 inches / 8 – 9mm wide. This means you don’t need to waste time cutting tape strips down to size like you do with regular sports tape.
- Good value. Many of the best brands sell value packs with multiple rolls, and some even throw in a carry case. Tapes with good value generally have a roll length over 10 yards / 30 feet / 9.1 meters. Some will even be as long as 15 yards / 45 feet / 13.7 meters.
- Money back guarantee. Many of the best tapes offer money back guarantees of 60 days or even longer where you can get a refund if you’re not satisfied.
How we picked these finger tapes: our methodology explained
- We compared tapes from 20 brands.
- We read and analyzed customer reviews on sites like Amazon, popular online BJJ stores like BJJ Fightgear, Reddit and the brands’ own websites to create a list of popular tapes.
- We evaluated finger tapes based not only on customer reviews but also features
- We weighed up the pros and cons for each finger tape using customer reviews. Information was collected in January 2022. Fakespot was used to analyze and exclude products on Amazon with suspicious reviews.
How to tape your fingers for BJJ
The specific method to tape your fingers depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what injury you have. Below are some specific methods taught by physiotherapists and well known athletes.
This taping is used to give support to sore or injured knuckles. You simply tape around your finger 1 – 2 times on the joint above the sore knuckle and then tape 1 – 2 times around your finger on the joint below the sore knuckle.
X taping is used to help protect fingers which have been bent too far back or forward during rolling. To x tape a finger, you anchor some tape around the phalange bones of your fingers (the non-knuckle parts of your fingers) and then diagonally tape over the underside of the knuckle. You then tape around the next phalange and diagonally back the other way to form an “X” pattern. This gives you stability in your finger but avoids taping over the knuckle and restricting your movement.
Double helix taping
This method is similar to x taping but straps the tape diagonally multiple times instead of the two times with an x tape. Elite BJJ athlete Keenan Cornelius has a great video showing how it’s done below.
Buddy taping refers to when you tape an injured finger to another finger for added support. This helps reduce the chance of the injured finger bending in any ways which might cause pain or worsen the injury.
Buddy taping usually requires you to x tape the injured finger and the finger you intend to tape it to. You then make another x tape over the two fingers.
How to tape your toes in BJJ
Toes can be taped just as you would tape your fingers. You can also buddy tape an injured toe to another toe. The video below from physiotherapist Carlos Berio explains how to do it.
General taping tips
- Don’t tape too tight. If your finger is turning purple your tape might be cutting off your circulation.
- Create a tape tab. When you’ve finished taping your finger, fold the very end of the tape in on itself. This makes it easy to find the end of the tape when class is finished.
- Don’t tape directly over the knuckle. The tape will restrict your movement and it will usually fall off during your class.
What else can you do to protect your fingers in BJJ?
Many finger injuries in BJJ are a result of grabbing your opponent’s gi and then having your grips suddenly broken. This can force your fingers into awkward positions. Other times you might land from a sweep or takedown awkwardly and hyperextend your fingers.
Regardless, here are some tips to avoid injuring your fingers in BJJ:
- Avoid grip dominant guards like spider guard and De La Riva guard. These guards require practitioners to get strong grips on their opponents, so opponents will obviously fight to break these grips. Constant gripping can cause wear and tear on your fingers, in addition to injuries from repeatedly having your grips broken. If you play a lot of spider and De La Riva guards and are experiencing sore fingers, try other guards. This has the added benefit of getting you out of your comfort zone.
- Avoid “death gripping”. Death gripping refers to gripping with all of your strength during rolls. This can be dangerous to your fingers if your opponent violently tries to break your grips. Letting go of grips when opponents try to break your grips can help you avoid injuries.
- Practice more no gi. Finger injuries aren’t exclusive to grappling in a gi, but it’s more common due to the increased gripping onto collars and sleeves. If your fingers are sore because of gi-dominant grip styles, consider attending more no gi classes. This helps you balance your game out anyway.
- Strengthen your fingers regularly. Strengthening your fingers can help you avoid injuries. You can strengthen your fingers with specific BJJ grip trainers like JitsGrips, regular finger trainers, or you can try activities like rock climbing.
- Stretch your fingers regularly. There are plenty of finger stretching routines available online, which can help you take care of your fingers.
Are there any alternatives to finger taping for BJJ?
If you want to avoid finger taping but still need support for an injured finger, you can buy splint gloves. These achieve a similar effect to buddy taping but use a compression material glove instead of tape. Two of these types of products are mentioned below:
- Grappz. Grappz sells splint compression gloves specifically for grappling. Its gloves have an open palm and thumb to keep your hand ventilated, but give added support to your fingers, and can be washed and reused every night.
- GRIPP TāP. GRIPP TāP by Luta Gear is a finger sleeve made from a washable fabric which is designed to replace tape while still offering the same support. It’s offered in a range of different sizes and types from a single finger sleeve, all the way up to four fingers.
Did we miss a finger tape you think is the best? Let us know below!