In the land of home exercise equipment, ankle weights are one of the more accessible yet oft forgotten options. However, these “lower-body bracelets” should not be overlooked as they can definitely add a major boost to even the most mundane workouts.
There is a caveat to keep in mind, however. Ankle weights are not meant to be added to a walking or running workout. The extra weight can throw off your gait putting unnecessary stress on your knees and hip joints, as well as your back, which could lead to injury. However, for lower body toning, strengthening, or rehabilitation exercises, ankle weights could be just what your workout was missing. And in many cases, they can double as wrist or arm weights making them a versatile piece of equipment to add to your arsenal.
To help you find the best ankle weights for your home workouts, we put some of the most popular pairs to the sweat test. We tested them during a number of different workouts and looked for how comfortable they were, how easy they were to adjust, and how well they stayed in place on the ankle. Read on to find our top picks for the best ankle weights on the market.
Looking for workout inspiration? Here's the best ankle weights workout to sculpt your entire body.
What are the best ankle weights?
The best overall ankle weights are the All Pro Contour-Foam Weight Adjustable Ankle Weights. During testing, we found them to be extremely comfortable, with strong velcro to keep the weights in place during exercises. As the name suggests, there’s also the option to adjust the weight, which gives them a great amount of versatility.
If you’re worried about how you look in the gym, the best ankle weights for style are the Bala Bangles. They look great, and have a comfortable and versatile design. The downside, however, is that they aren’t adjustable and only come in two different weight options.
Finally, if you’re looking for a no-frills, affordable pair of ankle weights, the ProsourceFit ankle weights might be for you. They’re soft and comfortable against the skin and have a super-secure attachment which means the weights won’t move, however they’re not as stylish as others on the list.
The best ankle weights 2022
These ankle weights have a lot going for them — the trademarked contour-foam that encircles your ankles when you strap these on makes the All Pro variety among the most comfortable of the styles we tested. The padding keeps the weights away from all seven of your ankle bones, so you don’t feel any rubbing from the 10 iron bars encased in each weight.
If you put the weights on according to the enclosed instructions with the All Pro logo facing front, they have an ingenious little notch right above the heel in the back so they don’t clank into your Achilles tendon while you work out. This is a major bonus if you wear these while doing anything more cardio-centric like aerobics or kickboxing.
The heavy-duty Velcro almost all the way across the weights helps keep them securely in place. However, if you have particularly thin ankles, you may still struggle to get these quite as tight as you’d like, which could lead to some shifting of the iron bars.
Speaking of which, the iron bars are removable and allow you to customize the ankle weights. The 5-lb. pair we reviewed (2 ½ lbs. on each ankle), had 10 iron bars in each weight. That means each bar comes in at ¼ lb. You can remove bars if you want to make the weights lighter. The heavier All Pro ankle weights (5-20 lbs.) follow the same principle, but each individual iron bar weighs more. This versatility makes it like you’re getting several weights in one.
Originally created by an occupational therapist, these ankle weights are intelligently designed and heavy on the function. As for the aesthetic, these aren’t horrible looking — they’re just extremely utilitarian in nature. But quite frankly, that’s a good thing — especially if you’re looking for ankle weights you’re really going to use a lot for rehab or functional fitness.
Verdict: If you want a high quality, comfortable ankle weight with good flexibility for a decent price point, you just can’t go wrong with the All Pro brand.
At the intersection of beauty and booty is Bala bangles. These ankle/wrist weights were created with the aesthete in mind. The patented design is meant to be functional and fashionable, and they live up to that concept.
Each bangle is made of a hardcore piece of athletic elastic adorned with eight equal-sized 3 ½” bars of industrial steel encased in a super soft silicone. Four of the bars are fairly rigid in their spacing thanks to a hook-and-loop design that keeps them in place; the other four can be spread out across the rest of the elastic, giving them a flexible fit.
There is an industrial strength Velcro patch stitched to the elastic that encases the four relatively immobile bars. This patch is responsible for keeping the weights on your body and it definitely sticks. Whether or not that connection will ever loosen with repeated use remains to be seen, but out the box, these fit tight against the body.
Without watching a tutorial, it took a second to figure out the best way to put on the Bala Bangles. The easiest method is to wrap the extra athletic elastic part around your ankle first, hold that in place and then wrap the weights around and attach the Velcro. Make sure they’re high and tight enough that they don’t slip down because, from experience, it hurts if one of the bars hits your ankle bone.
Bala Bangles are available in 1 lb. and 2 lb. options. We got the 2 lb. pair and they’re perfect for adding a little extra challenge when doing leg lifts, especially when on all fours. They’re also an excellent addition to lower abs exercises (reverse curls take on a whole different meaning when wearing these). The 1 lb. variety is probably great for low impact aerobics. These are definitely usable as wrist weights as well.
On a fashion note, the super fun color options allow people to personalize their weight attire. They have lovely tones including blush, sage, heather, charcoal, sea, and sand, as well as a sparkle option. They come with a matching mesh carrying pouch, which is a nice touch. That said, like many “hot fashion” items, however, these come with a rather hefty price tag per pound.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a sleek-looking pair of ankle or wrist weights and money is no object, Bala Bangles are the bomb.
If you could care less what your weights look like then the ProsourceFit variety may be your jam. These weights are of the get-it-done variety. No frills, hardcore, created for a purpose.
However, because of the emphasis on functionality, these ankle weights are also among the best on this list. It can be difficult to find heavier ankle weights that are high quality, so we ordered the 5 lb. variety to test for this reason. The verdict is they’re solid — if you’re looking to really make resistance training gains, or rehab an injury with ankle weights, these are perfect thanks to the no-nonsense design and extra poundage (which is thanks to the iron-sand filling).
Though ProsourceFit also offers a range of lighter ankle weight options in colorful neoprene materials, the exterior on their heaviest 5 lb. pair is a tough black nylon. The only downside of this material is that it makes them slightly slippery, or sweaty on your ankles if you’re not wearing socks.
The best part is the super safe and effective double attachment straps. Not only are there two adjustable straps on each ankle weight, but they are also Velcro lined and have a metal clasp. This means that even though these weights are heavy, they don’t come off once you have them secured.
And because these are heavy, they’re excellent for exercises like single-leg knee extensions to activate the quad muscle (especially if you’re rehabbing from a knee surgery). They are also good for quad and hamstring activation exercises like kickbacks.
Though the ProsourceFit variety aren’t great as wrist weights, you can roll them up and use them for upper body toning in a pinch (biceps curls were a breeze to do holding these in hand).
Verdict: The ProSource Fit ankle weights are a lot of bang for the buck and perfect for people who like a clang-and-bang kind of conditioning workout.
To be fair, when we ordered these to review, they did say “bracelets”, but, like many of the ankle weights on this list, we were thinking that they might double as anklets. Though people with small bones might be able to slip on a pair of the large ones as ankle weights, upon receiving these it was clear that they are definitely best used as wrist weights
That being said, these are really fun and a sneaky way to work in a little extra upper body toning without anyone even knowing. Weighing in at ¼ lb. per bracelet, you will have to stack these for it to add up to anything significant. But, they’re super cute and if they didn’t know, people would just think you were wearing chunky costume jewelry.
That’s part of the reason the company says these are usable as a lifestyle accessory and a workout tool. If you put them on and go about your day, you may end up with some extra toning without even trying. But if you want to wear them for a workout, they’d be fantastic for a barre-style class — adding just enough extra oomph to make things harder without getting in the way of the flow of movement.
Made of a soft-touch silicone, each bracelet is composed of 8 “beads” that are strung together by a woven elastic band with a high tensile strength. This means unlike many of the other costume jewelry bracelets with an elastic core, you’re highly unlikely to break these going about your day-to-day activities.
There are three different sizes. We got the small and for this reviewer’s child-sized wrists, they fit perfectly! There is a size guide if you’re not sure where you fall on the spectrum, but the company also offers a fit guarantee — if you order and they don’t feel right, you can exchange them for a different size.
Since they feel rather light one at a time, we didn’t expect to feel much wearing these. However, put two bracelets on each wrist in the morning (you get four bracelets in a set) and go about your daily routine and trust us, you’ll feel your arms by the evening. It gives an unexpectedly nice burn and calorie boost with no real effort.
During a workout, they stay on well, and are moisture resistant — so a little sweat or wet won’t mess them up. They also come in a slew of fun color combos including black/white, mint/blush, ruby/bone and the ultra-chic “evening” version which is metallic black or gold.
Verdict: These are functional fashion with a side of unexpected strength building.
When it comes to adjustable ankle weights, you have two options: bars or bags. We already sang the praises of the All Pro adjustable weights above because they won’t ever leak sand and the bars are easily removable, and that’s one of the only reasons these weights rank lower — the sandbags are a struggle.
The upside to the sandbags is that they’re very comfortable and you can feel the sand molding around your ankles when you put these on. However, if you decide to change the weight by removing any of the one-pound sandbags (there were five of them in each of the weights in the pair we tested), good luck getting them back in. We eventually did it but wow, it was work.
That being said, the neoprene exterior is sturdy and well-stitched, and meant to hold things in place, which it absolutely does. Plus, the neoprene feels really nice and stretchy while also being soft against your skin. We walked around the house in them sock-free for quite a while with no rubbing — that’s a definite bonus for weights that can go up to 10 pounds.
We tested a 5-lb. pair and they felt very secure when strapped on — they don’t slip around and will fit tiny and ample ankles alike since they can be adjusted from 5.9”-14.5” in circumference. Plus, the super strong D-ring loop coupled with a hefty amount of Velcro means these aren’t going anywhere.
A huge plus with this ankle weight is that it can be washed — just pop out the weights (though as previously aforementioned, it will be a fight to get them back in) and you can wash the remaining neoprene sleeve.
If you don’t want to go to the hassle of all that, however, the good news is that the neoprene covering these weights is a breathable material to begin with—so you probably won’t find yourself sweating much in these even during your toughest workouts.
Verdict: A good, comfortable option, if you don’t plan on regularly removing weights.
These are like the slightly more budget-friendly version of the Bala Bangle, and they work just as well. About 30% less expensive than the Bala, the NoorFit Why Weights Power Pink Set is sleek and unobtrusive thanks to the compact design.
A long piece of athletic elastic holds eight silicone covered bars that can be moved across the strap for comfort. Two of the bars are looped into the elastic such that they form a solid base onto which a Velcro tab is attached.
This is where the quality differences between the NoorFit and Bala become apparent — for example, the Velcro attachment square is half the size of the one on the Bala Bangle and it doesn’t seem as sturdy. But it still absolutely does the trick.
The best method to put on these weights is to first wrap the excess elastic around your ankle — or wrist — and then circle the rest of the weight around until the Velcro grabs to secure it in place. These are great for small-boned people who can’t typically get ankle weights tight enough to stay in place, but they also work just as well for plus-sized individuals. They definitely fulfill the one-size-fits-all idea successfully.
The weights on both the Bala Bangles and the NoorFit version are covered in silicone, but the silicone on the NoorFit feels softer and smoother against the skin. This makes these weights really comfortable when you put them on, and they also are flatter in construction which allows them to lay gently against the skin. This is one pair of ankle weights where socks aren’t necessary.
Downsides are that there are only two color options (pink or black) and one weight option (1 lb. per weight). While they have a “carrying case”, it’s more like a cheap plastic pencil bag than the bag the Bala Bangles comes with.
Verdict: These weights are great for all light toning exercises — on your ankles or your wrists. And the more reasonable price tag means you end up doing a little less heavy financial lifting for this style.
This is like the OG of ankle weights — if you’ve ever been to physical therapy, this is most likely what they had for patients to use. These are no frills and basically feel like a type of medical equipment. And that’s because really, that’s exactly what they are. The Cuff has been used in hospitals for over 30 years and it even says “therapy weight” right on it.
If you’re looking for safety and functionality in a huge range of weights, The Cuff has got you covered. However, these aren’t really the prettiest ankle weights on the market.
Made of a very durable vinyl covering, they are color-coded for each of the 20 weight options (though the weights also list pounds and kilograms on each so you know what you’re strapping on). The heavy-duty materials not only look industrial, but they also make the weight feel a little bulky (especially as you increase the pounds).
We ordered a 5 lb. option and one black vinyl weight arrived. If you’re considering this brand, be aware that whatever price you see listed is for one ankle weight and not a pair.
While the vinyl is sturdy and can handle a lot of wear and tear, it is not really comfortable. The edges are rigid and can kind of poke into your foot if you’re not in shoes. The material can also get really sweaty, so you’ll definitely need to wear socks with these. Plus, the vinyl isn’t very “bendy” so if you’re smaller boned, it can be tough to get The Cuff as tight as you want it.
On the positive side, however, these will really stay put once you strap them on. There is an extra-long closure strap attached (we’re talking 19.5” long). Additionally, there are three Velcro patches attached to the weight itself — the long strap plus the extra Velcro patches means these feel secure.
Each The Cuff ankle weight also has a grommet, so if you’re collecting many different weights, you can hang them on any peg-board weight rack (which is convenient for storage).
Verdict: On the whole, The Cuff is like ankle weights 101— nothing fancy or advanced, just the basics.
One size fits most — that’s what the website says, but honestly, it’s probably like “one size fits few.” These are actually pretty big for ankle weights and that leads to problems, which is too bad since these are pretty comfy and a decent price point.
The Gaiam Restore brand of ankle weights look promising coming out of the box. They’re a colorful blend of lime green mesh and charcoal gray neoprene with black detailing. The edges are reinforced with strong stitching, and the sand filling feels solidly packed into five separate compartments to give it good weight distribution. Each ankle weight is 2.5 lbs. (thus the 5 lb. set).
The downside is, however, that these ankle weights just don’t stay on. Sadly, the Velcro tab is simply not big enough to provide adequate staying power unless you have ankles that are just the right circumference (which we’re guessing is about 10” around from our measurements taken on the inside of the ankle weights with the Velcro tabs attached at their strongest connection point), these fall off if you do anything more than a couple leg lifts.
Interestingly, after making this discovery ourselves, we checked the website reviews and many people had the same complaint. The company suggested that people who found them too large try wearing them with sneakers, but that doesn’t really solve the issue of the Velcro not sticking (and you may not always want to wear sneakers with your ankle weights).
Also, although the box says you can find all kinds of free workouts and how-to-videos on the website at GaiamRestore.com, the irony is that none of them actually incorporate ankle weights in the workouts.
That being said, if you’re just using these for say restorative yoga exercises (where the weights are simply used to help you get deeper into a stretch), they would be fine. The quality is good, they are comfortable, and the Gaiam name is well reputed.
Verdict: If you have small ankles, these are not the right choice for you.
How we tested the ankle weights
We tested these ankle weights by putting them on and putting them through their paces. We’re talking fire hydrants, hanging abs, leg lifts, and so on. We also tested the Velcro and how well they stayed put!
We looked for how the ankle weights fit, whether they rubbed or knocked against the ankle bone during exercises, and how easy they were to adjust. We also noted how easy it was to add or remove weights, how sweat-wicking the materials were, and how easy they were to clean after extended wear.
How to choose the best ankle weights for you
When it comes to choosing the right ankle weights for your home workouts, there are a few things to consider:
Weight: Obviously, the heavier the weight, the harder you’ll be forcing your leg muscles to work. Choosing ankle weights that have the option to add or remove weight is a great option if you’re not sure, or you’re a beginner, as you’ll be able to add weight as you progress, without having to buy a second pair.
Style: If you’re going to be wearing your ankle weights in the gym, or for home workouts on Zoom and you want them to look more discreet, you’ll probably want to choose a smaller pair, that fit closer to the skin.
Fastening: Some of the weights on this list fasten by velcro, and are mainly a neoprene material, others are made from silicone and sit around an elastic band. If you’re allergic to silicone, you’ll want to opt for neoprene weights.
Size: Finally, if you have particularly small ankles or wrists, you’ll want to check the size range for the weights to ensure you can fasten them tight enough to prevent them from slipping as you move.