The Five Best Ankle Weights On The Market
Ankle weights attach at your ankles and are worn during exercise. The added weight gives resistance to your motions and increases strength in your glutes, quads, and calves. Over time, this leads to additional muscle mass and toning in those areas.
In the short term, wearing ankle weights while exercising results in a higher caloric burn. In some instances, ankle weights are also ideal to aid in rehabbing an injury.
Ankle weights are sold in pairs, with most pairs weighing between 1 lb. and 20 lbs. per pair (0.5 to 10 pounds per ankle).
The 5 Best Ankle Weights
1. Nordic Lifting Ankle/Wrist Weights
Price: $22 – $35
These ankle/wrist weights by Nordic are fan favorites because they are comfortable and easy to use..Made from neoprene with reinforced stitching, they stay securely in place and feel natural.
Unlike some, the weight in this set is comprised of very small weighted pellets spread throughout the neoprene band. Having the weight evenly distributed cuts down on the likelihood of hot spots.
These are available in weights ranging from 1 lb. to 5 lb. (2 to 10 pounds per set), and they are versatile in that they are designed to be used both on ankles or wrists. Their relatively lightweight and snug fit make them ideal if you’re looking to use them for walking or jogging.
Their prices range from $22 – $35 depending on the weight you select. Though certainly not the cheapest option on the market, adding them to your fitness equipment collection won’t break the bank.
In hindsight, some users have called their durability into question. While Nordic does offer a 1-year warranty, there have been issues with the weighted pellets leaking out due to a small puncture or a rip in the stitching. Because of this, this set may not be suitable for some activity levels.
- Comfortable neoprene construction with reinforced stitching
- Evenly dispersed weight
- Can be used on ankles or wrists
- Some durability issues
2. Gaiam Fitness Ankle Weights
One of the cheaper options on the market is the Gaiam Fitness Ankle Weights. The set has a fixed weight of 2.5 lbs. (5 pounds per set) that features soft fabric and large velcro closure. Like the Nordic set, they are filled with small, weighted pellets for a balanced and comfortable fit.
They are best suited for walking, step exercises, dancing, or rehabbing an injury. At just $12, they are an excellent option for anyone interested who wants an extra challenge to their fitness routine with minimal investment.
One drawback with this pair is that unlike some other sets on the market, they are too large to double as wrist weights. Given their relatively lightweight, it would be ideal if they could pull double duty.
- Soft, comfortable fabric
- Large velcro closure
- Evenly dispersed weight
- Too large to double as wrist weights
3. Healthy Model Life Ankle Weight Sets
The Healthy Model Life Ankle Weight Sets are marketed to women as “worn by Victoria Secret Models angels”. However, they are one of the best options in the market for either gender so long as you don’t mind the pink accents.
Featuring a wide velcro closure and thick, stretchy material, these weights are some of the most comfortable on the market. They stay snugly in place and the sand-like filling disperses the weight evenly around the ankle, preventing hot spots.
Offering 1 lb., 2 lbs., 5 lbs., and 8 lbs., there’s an ideal weight for everyone no matter your fitness goals.
The only drawback of this set is the price. Prices range from $12 for the 1 lb. weight but can go up to $36 for a set of 8 pounders.
If you only intend on purchasing one pair, these might be ideal. But if you’re looking for an entire set, you’re better off choosing another ankle weights.
- Very comfortable
- Wide velcro closure for a snug fit
- Good variety of weights available
- One of the pricier options
4. CAP Barbell 20-Pound Adjustable Ankle Weights
The CAP Ankle Weights are a great option if you’re looking to build strength and/or switch up the weight you’re using for specific exercises.
Each weight in this set contains five removable weights that weigh 2 lbs. per piece, allowing you to adjust each ankle weight from 2 to 10 pounds based on your want.
Weights are easy to remove while in use through individual external pockets. The hook-and-loop adjustable velcro closure provides a snug comfortable fit. Because of both their weight and their construction, they are not ideal for cardio activities.
However, they are one of the best choices if you’re looking to add some resistance to strength exercises. At $32, you won’t be able to buy a set of five different ankle weights to cover the 2-10 lb. range, so this set is very budget-friendly.
As far as cons go, due to the nature of having removable weights, this is not the most comfortable set of ankle weights for prolonged use. Also, some users have complained about durability issues with the external pockets when the weights are frequently removed and added.
- Adjustable from 2-10 lbs. per ankle
- Weight can be added/removed while in use
- Budget-friendly given its versatility
- Not comfortable for extended periods of use
- Some durability issues
5. ProSource Ankle/Wrist Weights
The ProSource Ankle/Wrist Weights are another great budget option. They are made of comfortable neoprene material, have a hook-and-loop velcro closure, and the weight is evenly distributed throughout the band.
Weights range from 1 lb. to 5 pounds and prices start at just $11 for 1-pound weights and top out at $22 for 5 lb. weights. Their size allows them to comfortably be worn on either ankles or wrists for added versatility. The weights are color-coded, making things easy should you want to purchase more than one pair. These are best suited for mild cardio and basic strength training.
The only cons to this set are the closure. Because the velcro strap is on the narrow side, it allows some movement and isn’t the most comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Some users have also complained that the velcro strap started to wear out over time.
- Made of comfortable neoprene material
- Can be worn on either wrists or ankles
- Closure allows some movement and wears out over time
What To Look For When Buying Ankle Weights?
When buying the best ankle weights, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration.
The first thing to assess is the material. Unless you wear full-length leggings or tall socks to work out, these weights will be in direct contact with your skin.
Choose something that’s comfortable to wear and won’t cause chafing or hot spots. Make sure that it is moisture absorbing and breathable.
Since the straps are the only things holding these ankle weights on your legs, they are important components. Depending on your workouts, you may want your them to be fixed or adjustable strap.
They need to fasten securely and be substantial enough to keep them from moving around during exercise. Generally, the broader the closure, the more comfortable and secure it will be on your ankles.
Selecting the appropriate amount of weight for your fitness level is also very important. While it may seem like heavier is better, wearing too much weight on your ankles can result in strained muscles or overstressed joints.
Especially if you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to start with a small amount (just 1 or 2 lbs.) and build your way up from there.
If you plan on wearing them during muscle-building exercises like leg raises or lunges, weight from 5-20 lbs. is recommended based on your fitness level.
Most experts caution against wearing ankle weights while jogging or running because of the stress already placed on your joints/ However, if you feel you can do ankle-weighted cardio without injury, it’s advised to wear no more 5 lbs. (2.5 per ankle).
For most rehab applications, a lighter weight of 1-3 lbs. per leg is advised.
Fixed or Adjustable?
Ankle weights come in two different varieties: fixed and adjustable. As the name implies, the weight on fixed-weight ankle weights cannot be altered. These are ideal for individuals on a maintenance workout routine.
For those looking to build strength and muscle mass, an adjustable set could be more ideal so that weight can be added as strength increases. Additionally, adjustable sets allow users to do easy weight changes for specific exercises.
While any of these ankle weights are excellent choices, the best all-around option in terms of versatility and comfort are the Nordic Lifting Ankle/Wrist Weights. The variety of weights available combined with the comfort of use and the ability to double as wrist weights make this an ideal choice if you’re looking to add ankle weights to your workout routine.
If you’re looking for multiple weights, the CAP Barbell 20-Pound Adjustable Ankle Weights are the way to go. With five removable 2 lb. weights, they are essentially five pairs of ankle weights in one and an excellent solution so long as you don’t intend to use them for running or cardio applications.
Ankle weights are one of the best ways to step up your workout regiment, so hopefully by using the information provided in this post you can pick out a set that best meets your needs.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.