The Verdict Behind 5 Popular Running Tools

Shape—October 3, 2014

For something you could (hypothetically) do barefoot and naked, running sure does come with a lot of paraphernalia. But will it help you run or just hurt your wallet? We tapped the sport’s top experts as well as the latest research to find out how well five so-hot-right-now pieces of gear really work.

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Kinesio Athletic Tape

When you take to any race’s start line, you’re bound to see people covered in these strips of brightly colored tape that promises to help you run through shin splints, bad knees, and other injuries with minimal pain. Spanning from one end to the other of a given muscle, it is said to either facilitate or inhibit that muscle from firing by giving it sensory feedback, according to physical therapist Michael Silverman, coordinator of the Tisch Performance Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery. "If a muscle is working too much, you shut it off. Or vise versa."

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