The Best Ankle Weights of 2023 for All Types of Workouts

People using ankle weights


Ankle weights are a great way to target hip and leg muscles to increase strength and tone. When you add that extra weight to your ankles, it forces muscles that would not otherwise engage by simply lifting the leg, to become activated. The resistance that the weight adds will encourage your muscles to work against the load which results in an increase in strength over time. Using ankle weights paired with other exercises may also improve your stability and lower leg strength.

When considering which ankle weights will best suit your needs, you should consider what weight you would like to try as weights can range anywhere from 0.5 to 25 pounds each. You may also want to consider what material you would like your ankle weights to be made up of and what size would best fit your ankle.

If you’re struggling to figure out how exactly to find the right pair of ankle weights for you, you’re in luck. We researched the 10 best ankle weights for women, dividing them into categories that can suit a variety of training needs and goals.

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The Best Ankle Weights - Our Top Picks

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Best Ankle Weights Overall - P. Volve Ankle Weights

P. Volve Ankle Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1.5 - 3 lbs.
  • Dimensions: Not specified, adjustable fit
  • Material: Neoprene, Velcro, and sand

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P.volve's ankle weights bundle consists of a set of 1.5 and 3-pound ankle weights. These weights are light enough to allow for use on a regular basis but heavy enough that you will get just enough resistance to start building up strength in your legs, glutes, and thighs. The weights are hand filled with sand. The ankle weights include a strap that is adjustable so that you are sure to have a proper fit that is both comfortable and locked into place.

Whether you are completing your cardio routine or testing out a new strength regime, these ankle weights will be sure to challenge you. We also like that these specific ankle weights have a slim profile that allows you to move with ease, practicing careful rotations and working on your mind and body connection.

What We Like

  • Free 30-day trial to P.volve's method and platform classes
  • Sand filled for a comfortable fit
  • Small business product

What We Don't Like

  • Limited product reviews available
  • Can be purchased in a set of 2 on Amazon

BUY: P. Volve Ankle Weights

Best Ankle Weights for Running - adidas Performance Weights

adidas Performance Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1-4 lbs.
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Material: Polyester, sand, suede, and Velcro ‎

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Challenging yourself is part of the fun when starting new workout programs. If you are starting a new workout program, you will likely feel excited and want to purchase new equipment that will be of benefit to the fitness journey. Adding a pair of ankle weights like the adidas Performance Weights is a great way to spice up your program. These weights can be worn on both your ankles and wrists and have a soft suede interior that feels comfortable against the skin and prevents any scratching or pinching from occurring. The weighted pouches also face outward so that the weights are wrapped comfortably around your ankles and do not feel too bulky or tight, allowing you to push hard without worrying about adjusting the weights.

You can use these weights when completing simple bodyweight movements like squats, leg raises, v-ups, or donkey kicks. The adidas Performance Weights are also light and compact enough that they will not add too much strain or discomfort to your joints but will add enough resistance to improve strength and mobility. Plus, the sleek and comfortable fit of these weights makes this set perfect to wear when running.

What We Like

  • For ankle and wrist use
  • Outer-facing weight for reduced weight shift
  • Suede lining for extra comfort

What We Don't Like

  • Weight shifts on smaller ankles
  • Slightly bulky fit

BUY:adidas Performance Weights

Best Budget Ankle Weights - BalanceForm GoFit Weights

BalanceFrom GoFit Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1-5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Material: Neoprene, nylon and Velcro

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Whether you are doing a workout at home, going for a walk with your dogs, or heading out for a jog, these budget-friendly ankle weights are a great add-on to your routine. They are great for cross-training, aerobics, and your traditional gym routines. If you are looking for a way to improve leg strength and increase your fat-burning abilities, pop these ankle weights on and get to moving. These ankle weights will make your cardio and weight-training workouts more effective than ever.

For just under $15 for a set, these weights are a steal. They have a neoprene exterior and are very durable. There is a reinforced stitching pattern that has been added to increase durability so although the price tag may be cheap, the design is not. And the inner material will absorb any moisture created from sweat to keep you comfortable and the weights secure.

What We Like

  • Variety of color options
  • Oversized Velcro pad, easy to put on and off.
  • Soft fabric

What We Don't Like

  • May not fit snuggly
  • Bulky fit

BUY: BalanceFrom GoFit Weights

Best Ankle Weights for Women – Bala bangles

Bala bangles

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1 lb.
  • Dimensions: 13" x 3" x ½" per bangle
  • Material: Silicone and alloy steel

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Bala Bangles might just be the most stylish set of ankle weights for women on the market. They provide a comfortable and consistent fit so that you can look and feel good while adding resistance to your workout or everyday routines. These weights are super versatile and can be worn on either your ankles or wrists. They are so sleek and nice looking that even if you want to wear them to your favorite group workout, people will hardly notice. They might even ask about your new attractive accessories.

Take your workout anywhere without any questions. Try boxing, yoga, rehab programs, or core training routines while wearing these ankle weights. Plus, the smooth silicone material makes them easy to wash which will keep them smelling fresh and looking crisp.

What We Like

  • Variety of colors available
  • Unique style
  • Hook-and-loop fasteners for a secure fit

What We Don't Like

  • Silicone may grab onto hair
  • May slide down when sweaty

BUY: Bala Bangles

Best Ankle Weights for Walking - ProSource Ankle Weights

ProSource Ankle Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1-5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 4 x 1.25 inches
  • Material: Neoprene

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For many people, walking is a part of their daily routine. Whether you are someone who wants to simply improve lower leg stability or someone who has bigger goals of toning, these ProSource Ankle Weights are a great addition to your walks. Adding ankle weights to your walks can even increase calorie burn which is a bonus for those who are working on staying or getting into shape. Great for use indoors walking on the treadmill or taking a stroll along your favorite trail. These weights would be ideal for someone who has been dealing with an injury or lower body weaknesses and is trying to get back to their previous activity or strength level but does not have a lot of extra time for rehab exercises.

The outer part of the weights is made up of a soft and comfortable neoprene material that gently wraps around your ankle for a snug fit. This material allows for sweat absorption and keeps chafing away. And the durable Velcro straps and metal loop closure allow for customized adjustment to your ankles so that you can fasten them before you start your walk and do not have to worry about adjusting them later.

What We Like

  • Adjustable, secure fit
  • 6 different weight options are color-coded
  • Limited lifetime warranty included

What We Don't Like

  • May not be comfortable on bare skin
  • Not a good fit for small ankles

BUY: ProSource Ankle Weights

Best Adjustable Ankle Weights - Sportneer ankle weights

Sportneer ankle weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1.1-3.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11.22 x 5.71 x 2.6 inches
  • Material: Neoprene

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If you are going to strap ankle weights on you are probably hoping for a set that is adjustable and can accommodate both your ankle size and resistance needs. While many ankle weight sets claim to be one size fits all, that is not always the case. While the actual fit of the weight around the ankle is important, having the right weight for your needs and goals is also important. The Sportneer ankle weights allow you to add and take away weight as you need. Each ankle weight has five removable sand packets, each weighing 0.6 pounds.

The ability to adjust these ankle weights gives you more freedom when it comes to your workouts. Having just one set of ankle weights to meet all your needs is great and quite unique to the Sportneer ankle weights. Not only is the weight adjustable, but these weights have also extended-length Velcro which allows a comfortable fit for even the largest of ankles. Whether you are wearing these ankle weights at their lightest or heaviest, you are sure to feel comfortable as the interior material is made to absorb moisture but is soft and breathable as well.

What We Like

  • 1-size fits all
  • Breathable fabric
  • Anti-fray trim

What We Don't Like

  • Item gets dusty from filling
  • Hard to remove individual weight packs

BUY: Sportneer Ankle Weights

Best Ankle and Wrist Weights - BONA Fitness Ankle Weights

BONA Fitness Ankle Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1 lb.
  • Dimensions: 12.4“x 3.0" x 0.9"
  • Material: Neoprene and iron

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Most ankle weights can be used on both your ankles and wrists but not every design is ideal for multi-use. The BONA Fitness Ankle Weights, however, have a fabulous design that makes them ideal for use on both your ankles and your wrists if you are wanting to use them for both. They have a sleek fashionable design, with a reflective edging, these ankle and wrist weights are great for moving outside at night. The reflective edging design makes sure you are seen by other people using the streets, trails, and sidewalks at night.

In addition to being a great multi-use and nighttime-use approved piece of fitness equipment, these ankle and wrist weights are also designed with your comfort in mind. The soft and stretchy lycra used to make these weights provides moisture absorption, stretchiness, and skin-friendly contact.

What We Like

  • Reflective trim
  • Adjustable Velcro closure
  • Weights manual included

What We Don't Like

  • Not a good fit for small ankles
  • Fabric is not very durable

BUY: BONA Fitness Ankle Weights

Best Ankle Weights for Men - Fragraim Ankle Weights

Fragraim Ankle Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 1 lb.
  • Dimensions: 17.4" × 3.74"x 1.3"
  • Material: Mercerized cotton and neoprene

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Most ankle weights are suitable for both men and women, but not all will survive use by both. More importantly, some ankle weights might be viewed as just a bit too flashy or stylish for many men. The Fraigraim Ankle Weights are a great choice for men who are looking for a durable and comfortable set of ankle weights to add to their fitness routine. These ankle weights are soft and stretchy, made up of mercerized cotton, and men with leg hair will not need to worry about uncomfortable hair pulling. These weights will not cause chaffing and will absorb any moisture that might be created by the added weight against your skin.

The stretchiness of the material and adjustable strap closure makes it easy to strap the weights into place and move about with confidence that they will stay put. While some men may have smaller ankles, men with a history of ankle injuries from sports often have bigger ankles and the extra-long Velcro strap of these ankle weights makes a snug and secure fit possible. They are plenty easy to get on and off and even easier to throw in your gym bag to take on the go.

What We Like

  • Adjustable straps with nylon fastening closure
  • Breathable and comfortable to wear
  • Portable and lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • May be hard to tighten
  • May scratch skin

BUY: Fragraim Ankle Weights

Most Comfortable Ankle Weights - Gaiam Restore Ankle Weights

Gaiam Restore Ankle Weights

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 2.5 or 5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Material: Neoprene, polyester, mesh, and sand

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When you decide to add weight to your lower body workouts or everyday routines, you are most likely looking to add something that you hardly know is there. The more you must fidget around, readjusting and moving the weights, the more obvious it will be that the weights are present and that is not ideal. The Gaiam Restore Ankle Weights are perfect if comfort is at the forefront of your mind. At a minimum weight of 2.5 pounds each, these weights are sure to get the job done but not make you feel weighed down in a bad way. Once you strap these on, you should be able to participate in your favorite Pilates, yoga, or dance class without thinking twice about what is on your ankles.

Gaiam advertises these ankle weights as being one size fits most, while they are designed to be a comfortable fit for most, they will not be the perfect solution for all. Keep in mind that there is also a set of 5-pound weights available and comfort level may vary depending on the weight you choose as well. That being said, both pairs are made up of a soft anti-chafe neoprene fabric that allows for a soft gentle feel on the skin. These ankle weights have an easily adjustable fit so that you can get as close to the perfect fit as possible. It may be hard to get a great comfortable fit on smaller ankles and the weight may shift a bit if you cannot tighten them properly.

What We Like

  • Soft anti-chafe neoprene fabric for comfort
  • Customized, adjustable fit
  • Durable with quality stitching

What We Don't Like

  • Not a good fit for small ankles
  • Weight may shuffle on the ankle

BUY: Gaiam Restore Ankle Weights

Best Ankle Weights for Beginners - The Cuff

The Cuff

SPECS

  • Weight per ankle: 0.25 - 25 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10 x 3.75 x .25 inches
  • Material: Vinyl and Velcro

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If you are a beginner when it comes to using ankle weights, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the questions that you are probably thinking about the most is what weight you should use. The Cuff ankle weight sets start at just 0.5 pounds for a pair and go all the way up to 25 pounds. They are color-coded by weight and the variety in weights allows for versatile use no matter what your experience with ankle weights is. The best part about one single brand having so many weight options is that if you decide the brand is a good fit for you, you do not have to go searching for another one when you want to move up in weight. Simply buy a higher weight from the same line. You can purchase a variety of weights and customize your workout routine to use one or multiple weights.

As a beginner you might be hoping for weights that are easy to take on the go, these ankle weights are very portable and can be used in your hotel, on bike rides, and even for long walks or easy jogs. Add the resistance you want to whatever workout you want and be prepared to up your caloric burn while toning your lower body. Ankle weights are a great option for people who are new to working out and feel intimidated when it comes to adding dumbbells or barbells to their workouts.

What We Like

  • 20 color-coded ankle weights
  • Heavy-duty materials and double stitching
  • Strong, durable hook and loop fasteners

What We Don't Like

  • Fits loosely
  • Stiff fit

BUY: The Cuff

What to Look for in Ankle Weights


Weight

Ankle weights can vary greatly in weight. While some start at 0.05 pounds each, they may be in the house while cleaning or throughout the day while doing errands, it would be wise to start at a lower weight and work your way up as you get more comfortable. Also, you should be sure not to jump in too quickly. Slowly build up the number of minutes or hours per day that you are going to be wearing them. If you are someone who wants to use the ankle weights for a specific workout routine or has been assigned specific exercises by a professional to do with ankle weights on, then you may be okay using a heavier weight. However, if you are wanting to wear them around for multiple hours throughout the day, you should consider starting with a lighter weight so that you do not put too much strain on your lower legs too quickly and cause unnecessary aches and pains. You can move up in weight over time as you become accustomed to the new stimulus.

Materials

The majority of ankle weights are made up of neoprene and have Velcro closures, but you may also see some made of vinyl, silicone, cotton, or polyester. While materials like silicone and vinyl are less common, they do have their perks. These two materials are not moisture-absorbing like more breathable fabrics. Though this may cause them to slip or overheat your ankles, you will be able to worry less about them smelling over time. Materials like cotton, neoprene, and polyester are more breathable and absorb moisture so ankle weights made of these are less likely to slide around. The downside is that because the sweat is being absorbed, it may get smelly over time. However, these materials are better known for being comfortable and soft against the skin and you should not have to worry about pulling on hair or being scratched by the material.

Dimensions

You may notice that many of the ankle weights you find do not list dimensions. While this is helpful if you have ankles that you feel are smaller or larger than most and want to be sure the product will fit, most ankle weights are extremely adjustable and can accommodate your needs. If you feel you have ankles that are bigger or smaller than average, check for products that advertise having an extra-large or long Velcro pad. This typically means that the product can accommodate a large range of ankle sizes. However, it certainly is helpful to measure your ankles and specifically search out products that do specify dimensions if you feel particularly concerned about proper fit.

FAQs About Ankle Weights


Do ankle weights actually work?

Yes! If you wear ankle weights responsibly, they can benefit your overall lower body strength, balance, and tone. Wearing ankle weights promotes activation of your butt and leg muscles that might otherwise not be encouraged to work unless specifically targeting them in workouts.

Is it good to walk with weights on your ankle?

Wearing ankle weights while walking does have benefits. However, it is important to ease into use and listen to your body so that you do not overdo it and cause injury. Consult a professional if you have any concerns or notice unusual aches and pains in your feet or ankles after starting use.

Do ankle weights strengthen knees?

Using ankle weights can improve strength in the hamstrings and quadriceps, while this is not the knee directly, improving strength in these large muscle groups is beneficial to the function of the knee. You may notice improved knee function and decreased knee pain.

How heavy should my ankle weights be?

How heavy your ankle weights should be is dependent on your current fitness level and lower body strength. Everyone should start with a lighter weight and gradually work their way up regardless. Adding extra strain and impact on your joints should be done cautiously. If you are new to fitness you should start with 1 pound or less unless directed to do otherwise by a professional. If you are recovering from injury, you may even consider using 0.5 pounds. or less to start.

About the Author

Amber Nelson

Amber holds an MS in Social Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Her background in psychology combined with her experience in lifestyle change and her own personal fitness transformation keeps her excited about interacting with other people who want to learn more about health and fitness.

See More from Karla

Amber holds an MS in Social Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Her background in psychology combined with her experience in lifestyle change and her own personal fitness transformation keeps her excited about interacting with other people who want to learn more about health and fitness.

See More from Karla

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