- Ankle Weights: A Key to Functional Leg Strength
- Best Ankle Weights: The Contenders
- In depth Ankle Weight Reviews
- ListofFit Best Pick: Thera-Band Comfort Fit Ankle Cuff Weights
- Factors Considered in Ankle Weight Ratings
- Why Selecting a Quality Ankle Weight Matters
- Types of Ankle Weights
- Ankle Weight Sizes
Ankle Weights: A Key to Functional Leg Strength
Strong legs are important for any sport that requires running, jumping, and quick changes in direction. These include basketball, football, running, hockey, and soccer among others. To perform at these sports many athletes and coaches alike promote static type of exercises to work the legs such as leg extensions, squats, and lunges. Certainly there is value in these types of strength building exercises, but many of these athletes miss out on the benefits of functional leg strength. Doing similar movements in your strength training to what you would do in your preferred sport will not only improve results, but will make you better. Ankle weights can be a critical piece of equipment for those implementing a functional leg strength routine.
Best Ankle Weights: The Contenders
- Pros: Material in the ankle weights is soft and flexible creating a snug fit around the ankle. Terrycloth interior prevents rubbing and provides superior cushioning.
- Cons: Weight is not adjustable. Thera-band logo makes it look like you are the star in an 80's workout video, which is not a good thing.
- Bottom Line: The quality is definitely there when it comes to the Thera-Band Ankle Weights. Snug fit and terrycloth makes these the most comfortable ankle weights.
- Pros: Heavy duty build with materials that will last. All Pro Ankle Weights have removable weights so that the weight can be adjusted.
- Cons: Due to the rigid nature of the removable weights these are not as comfortable as ankle weights that feature softer more flexible weight materials.
- Bottom Line: The All Pro Ankle Weights are best for static exercises, but will be uncomfortable if you use during prolonged activities like running.
- Pros: Adidas Ankle Weights have removable weight sacks that allow you to adjust weight. Have a strong zipper mechanism that keeps the weight sacks in place.
- Cons: Not as comfortable as those ankle weights that use soft materials that are not adjustable (i.e. Thera-Band).
- Bottom Line: The Adidas Adjustable ankle weights work to give you the flexibility of weight adjustment with the comfort of soft packing material.
- Pros: Have a nice soft material that feels comfortable when worn on the ankle. Have six different ankle weight sizes to choose from.
- Cons: Do not feature the terrycloth interior as is seen on the Thera-Band Ankle Weights.
- Bottom Line: Comfortable and affordable, the Da Vinci Ankle Weights are a solid choice if you are looking for a conventional non weight adjusting ankle weight.
- Pros: Only ankle weight that we have reviewed that has a click in strap that enhances the stability of the ankle weight when worn.
- Cons: Comfort is not at the level of some other ankle weight options on this list.
- Bottom Line: A really great choice with some unique features. A little on the pricey side.
In depth Ankle Weight Reviews
Thera-Band is a name brand maker of premium ankle weights, as well as other fitness products. They come in 2, 3, and 5 pound options. The most unique feature of these ankle weights is the terrycloth material that encompasses the inside on the weight. When putting on the Thera-Band Ankle Weights you quickly notice how comfortable they are due to the terrycloth. The weight sack consists of a soft sand-like filling that molds to your ankle allowing for a snug fit. Thera-Band Ankle Weights have a strong velcro strap that was secure under active testing.
The price point of the Thera-Band Ankle Weights are similar to other non-weight adjusting sets. If you go with the 5 pound pair per weight set then expect to pay somewhere in the mid $20 range. For a name brand product with unique features, Thera-Band Ankle Weights are overall a really good value.
Obviously the biggest drawback on the Thera-Band Ankle Weights is that they are not weight adjustable. If you want to use different weight amounts for specific exercises then be prepared to purchase multiple sets. On the plus side, these ankle weights are extremely comfortable and fit securely to the ankle giving you confidence to go all out during your workouts. The terrycloth felt great throughout our test workout and did not rub or irritate the skin. Velcro strapping is also top grade and did not loosen even during running exercises. If you buy these ankle weights you will notice that they do not ride up and down the ankle and stay put throughout effective workout movements.
All Pro Weight Adjustable Ankle Weights
If you are looking for the ultimate flexibility in ankle weights then the All Pro Weight Adjustable Ankle Weights may be the perfect choice. All Pro Ankle Weights feature individual iron weights that can be removed via slots in the back of the ankle weight. This way you can adjust the resistance for specific exercises to get the most out of your workout. Strong velcro straps keep the ankle weights in place. The cover material is a bit more rigid and textured than other ankle weights.
At around $40, the All Pro Ankle Weights are more expensive than any other ankle weight on our list. Having the adjustability is a plus, but we are not convinced that it justifies paying more than a third more than other ankle weights that were tested to be more comfortable.
The All Pro Ankle Weights look great and certainly are the most weight flexible ankle weight on our list. But the weight adjustment is a double edged sword. Because of the rigid nature of the iron weights the All Pro Ankle Weights do not fit as snug and securely around your ankle as do ankle weights without the capacity for weight adjustment. A less snug fit causes the ankle weight to move more during exercises making irritation on the ankle and leg more likely. This is what we noticed during our testing. Because of this we think these are a great ankle weight for static exercises that do not require fast and prolonged movement.
Adidas Adjustable Ankle Weights
Adidas is one of the biggest athletic goods brands in the world. They also sell an ankle weight that is weight adjustable and has a zipper. The zipper in particular helps to keep the individual weight sacks from falling out. The outer cover is similar to the All Pro in that it is harder and more textured than other ankle weights. The styling of these ankle weights make them look more stylish than the other options on our best ankle weights list.
Being priced in the higher $20’s range makes these ankle weights a good value. With the ability of weight adjustment and the soft feel of the weight filling these ankle weights do have some characteristics that are not found in the competition.
The softer filling material on these ankle weights do make them fit more snug than the other weight adjustable ankle weights on our list, the All Pro’s. However, similar to the All Pro’s the Adidas Ankle Weights also have a tendency to move up and down the leg with cardio based exercises. We are not a fan of the textured material due to the irritation that can occur due to rubbing. However, this material does feel durable and may last longer than softer alternatives.
Da Vinci Ankle Weights
Da Vinci is not a household name but they do make a popular ankle weight. The outer cover is the softest out of all the ankle weights we tested. While extremely comfortable we have concerns about the long term durability of this material. The ankle weight utilizes a hook and loop with a velcro strap to keep them on your ankle. Da Vinci also claims that the interior material absorbs moisture helping to keep your leg from becoming overheated.
These ankle weights are generally priced similarly to the Thera-Band Ankle Weights. What makes the Da Vinci Ankle Weights less of a value in comparison is that we rate the materials of the Thera-Band’s higher. That is not to say that the Da Vinci’s materials are junk, but just not quiet at the same standard.
The Da Vinci ankle weights are maybe the most comfortable ankle weight we tested. They feel like little pillows on your ankles. Other longer term wearers have however complained about the soft cover material breaking down making the inside weight material leak out. Due to this concern about quality we have to decrease our rating on the performance indicator for the Da Vinci Ankle Weights.
Keifer Ankle Weights
We found the materials on the Kiefer Ankle Weights to be comparable to the Da Vinci’s as far as the outer material and weight filler is concerned. However, Kiefer Ankle Weights are specialized in that they lock in with an actual plastic buckle rather than the hook and loop velcro straps found on many of the other ankle weight options. Each size ankle weight comes in a different color so if you buy multiple you won’t have to waste time looking to look for a number.
Kiefer Ankle Weights are a good value especially if you prefer ankle weights with an actual buckle. They are generally priced similar to the Thera-Band and Da Vinci ankle weights.
The Kiefer Ankle Weights are not weight adjustable, but do have inseams that run along the inside of the ankle weight. This does cause them to not fit quite as well as the Thera-Bands, but they still fit pretty snug. Due to the buckle mechanism, Kiefer Ankle Weights can be combined by clipping them together making them more flexible in terms of the possible exercises they can be used for. Not only that they are the only ankle weight we’ve seen that can be used for aquatic exercises. These ankle weights certainly will be the best choice if you find you want flexibility in your ankle weights and the ability to use them in a pool environment.
ListofFit Best Pick: Thera-Band Comfort Fit Ankle Cuff Weights
It is important for anyone considering buying ankle weights to consider the individual characteristics and features of each ankle weight for sale as there are differences as we’ve described in this post. Still, if you are looking for ankle weights for general use then you really can’t go wrong with the Thera-Band Ankle Weights. The terry cloth inside outer layer makes these support comfortable and snug, minimizing any irritation that may occur from other ankle weights. While Da Vinci Ankle Weights are similar, Thera-Band Ankle Weights have not had the leaking issues that reviewers have complained about in regard to the Da Vinci’s. Overall, knowing what you want in an ankle will be most important. A close second however is quality and performance, and no other ankle weight maker can match Thera-Band Ankle Weights.
Get Latest Price and Reviews of the Thera-Band Comfort Ankle Cuff Weights
Factors Considered in Ankle Weight Ratings
Ankle Weights need to feel comfortable and fit snugly to the ankle or wrist. A softer material on the outside layer will be preferable as textured or less forgiving materials are more likely to rub against the ankle causing scratches and abrasions. How the ankle weight straps is also an important element. We considered if they use a hook and loop with a velcro strap, or if there is an actual buckle. Lastly, we wanted to know if the ankle weights were weight adjustable, and what the weight material was made of.
Pricing on the ankle weights can range in the low teens to over $30 depending on the quality and size of the ankle weight. If the ankle weight is weight adjustable that adds a lot of value as this only requires you to buy one set of ankle weights as opposed to several to meet all your different weight needs. At ListofFit, we try to see the balance between quality and price in our value rankings.
When we tested each ankle weight our goal was to see how the ankle weight performed in several different ankle weight exercises. We ran with each ankle weight we tested and did other compound exercises. We also performed static exercises such as leg extensions to see how they performed for this type of movement. It is important to also consider long term user reviews to see how the ankle weights hold up over time.
Why Selecting a Quality Ankle Weight Matters
Ankle weights have been used for many years to build leg and core strength. Having quality ankle weights can help your functional sports strength especially for sports like basketball, football, and soccer where footwork and leg strength are an important component of success. With cheaper or poorly designed ankle weights you will find that with movement the ankle weights will irritate your skin and not fit snug. We believe that if the ankle weights you buy are not comfortable then you will be less likely to wear them and won’t enjoy their training benefits.
Types of Ankle Weights
Ankle weights generally come in two different types: weight adjustable ankle weights and ankle weights that are not weight adjustable. Weight adjustable ankle weights usually have individual weight packs or iron pellets that can be removed or added to either increase or decrease the weight. Ankle weights that are non weight adjustable generally have a single weight sack that takes up the entire size of the ankle weight. In general non-weight adjustable ankle weights are more comfortable than weight adjusting ankle weights.
Ankle Weight Sizes
Ankle weights come in many different sizes, generally based on their weight. If you are elderly or just beginning to workout you may want to choose a smaller 1 or 2 pound ankle weight to make sure you can benefit from the extra resistance the ankle weight provides without becoming injured. For those who are fit and want maximum strength building benefits then you can get 5 and even 10 pound ankle weights. When deciding on an ankle weight size think about your own fitness less and what you will use the ankle weights for. If you plan to run and do other prolonged exercise movements then we recommend going with a lighter ankle weight. For those who will use their ankle weights primarily for static exercises a heavier weight may be best.