These Super Chic Ankle Weights Will Take Your Workouts to the Next Level

Bala Bangles

If you’re shopping for ankle weights that’ll take your at-home workouts and leg exercises to the next level, you’re probably expecting to find very un-sexy and bulky accessories that look like they belong in an ’80s exercise video. Well, surprise! Some of the world’s most popular fitness studios and gym equipment brands have launched new and improved versions of the retro staple that are so chic and sleek, you’ll actually want to wear them. Like all the time (whether you’re exercising, running errands, doing chores around the house, or just going for a walk).

Oh, and did we mention they’re incredibly effective?! Using ankle weights during a workout will create resistance, which improves strength, performance, and overall fitness level, explains professional dancer, MIRROR trainer, and Lululemon ambassador Amanda Robinson. So go ahead and shop our list of the best ankle weights on the market, below, for a must-have addition to your gym bag.

Our picks for the best ankle weights of 2022

Based on comfort level, flexibility, security, durability, aesthetics, and price point, scroll on to see more ankle weights we think you’ll love.

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best worth-the-hype

Bala Bangles

  • Available in seven cute colorways
  • Come with a color-matched carrying case for easy storage
  • Some reviewers said they scratch or dig into your ankles if they’re too tight

There’s a reason why these pretty ankle weights are all over your Instagram feed, believe me. Made from recycled steel wrapped in super-soft silicone, Bala Bangles feature elastic and hook and loop fasteners to ensure a secure and comfortable fit every time.

best high-tech

Lululemon x MIRROR Ankle Weight

  • Feature a sleek metallic chrome finish

If you invested in Mirror’s smart home gym (and fell in love with it), wait ’til you try these flexible, soft-touch ankle weights. They pair seamlessly with your Mirror for an “intelligent and personalized workout experience for all fitness levels,” MIRROR Trainer and lululemon Ambassador Amanda Robinson says, adding that the smart system will “provide real-time rep tracking, form correction, and recommended amount of weight to use with specific workouts.” Suddenly, $80 doesn’t seem all that bad! (P.S. You don’t have to own the $$$ Mirror to incorporate these ankle weights into your workouts.)

Best Barely-There ankle weights

P.volve 3 lb. Ankle Weights

  • Compact and easy to put on
  • Might be too heavy for some people

From the people who brought us the P.volve method—which combines functional training and physical therapy-inspired movements to sculpt, tone, and increase mobility—come these lower-body essentials.

Best stylish ankle weights

Equipt Uwrap Vegan Leather Ankle/Wrist Weights

  • Available in 1.5- and 3-pound options
  • Great for everyday wear

Who knew ankle weights could be this…stylish? I mean, the black vegan leather and gold hardware combo is pretty freaking chic. Plus, they’re stuffed with metal balls instead of sand for more comfort and security during your workouts.

Best for high-intensity workouts

Nike 2.5-Pound Ankle Weights

  • Some reviewers say they might be too tight on larger ankles

Attention serious athletes: These 2.5-pound ankle weights feature a sweat-wicking lining to help you stay nice and dry during a high-intensity workout. They’ve also got adjustable straps with hook and loop closures for maximum comfort and security.

Best for yoga

B Yoga The Tone Ankle Weights

It’s no surprise that these ankle weights are crafted from durable and high-tech material (B Yoga equipment is ~elite~). The interior is a super-soft neoprene, while the exterior is chic faux leather.

Best Breathable Ankle Weights

Euadalia FitTech Wrist and Ankle Weights

  • Also available in blue and green
  • Available for two-day shipping with Amazon Prime
  • Some reviewers says they might be too big for smaller ankles

They’re mildew-resistant, and the interior features a bump design that makes them super breathable (so if you sweat a lot, these ankle weights might be your new best friend).

Best Color

Koral Logo Ankle Weights

  • Good for high-intensity workouts
  • Only available in one size

Great for high-performance, these fit nice and snug around the ankles (or wrists!) thanks to a pull-strap and D-ring system. They also come with a mesh bag for easy storing!

What does putting weights on your ankles do?

Putting weights on your ankles “will increase the load on your muscles, thus creating more resistance during a workout,” Robinson explains. “This will help to improve your strength, performance, and fitness level.”

Plus, ankle weights are super versatile! I wear them to the grocery store, on my hot girl walks, while I do dishes, and during at-home workouts. “You can also use them as wrist weights, which is a fun way to switch things up, add variety to your routine, and keep your hands free during a workout,” Robinson says.

If ya really want a challenge, try adding a resistance band around your thighs (we love this Neon Garden Booty Band Set) while wearing your fave ankle weights and doing leg lifts. Trust me, your glutes will be on fireeeee.

How heavy should my ankle weights be?

I’m glad you asked! Because ankle weights should not be very heavy. Even if you’re just starting your fitness journey, the ankle weights on this list probably seem pretty light. But believe me, strapping on an extra one to two pounds for your entire workout makes a big difference…huge, actually! That’s why Robinson says you should “definitely go lightweight” when it comes to ankle weights. “Anywhere from one to five pounds per weight is a great starting point to level-up bodyweight workouts,” she adds.

Since something too heavy will strain your muscles and potentially cause your form to break down, we suggest starting with one- or two-pound ankle weights and gradually working your way up.

How to choose the best ankle weights

Consider your fitness level

As I mentioned earlier, don’t go crazy with heavy ones if you’re new to the fitness game! If you lift weights regularly, you’ll like the three-pound ankle weights on this list. If not, you’ll definitely feel the burn from the one- or two-pound options.

Shop based on your exercise preferences

Do you like high-intensity cardio workouts like HIIT or kick-boxing? Then try compact one ankle weights that feature a secure hook and loop closure—like these Nike 2.5-Pound Ankle Weights, which also have a sweat-wicking lining—to make sure they won’t slide off while you’re in the zone. If you prefer low-impact exercises like pilates or barre, you’ll probably want a comfortable and flexible option like Bala Bangles!

Amanda Robinson is a professional dancer, wellness coach, MIRROR Trainer, and Lululemon Ambassador from Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. She’s a veteran NBA Dancer and a classically trained ballerina who helps people find health and wellness through an active, athletic lifestyle.

Hanna Flanagan is the associate shopping editor at Cosmopolitan with four years of experience researching, writing, and editing stories that range from the best high-waisted jeans for women to Bridgerton season 2 lingerie dupes. She’s an authority in all fashion and lifestyle categories but is an expert when it comes to finding pieces that are stylish, functional, comfortable, and fit like a glove. She regularly tests and analyzes clothes and undergarments, while working with the industry’s top experts to assess new launches and spot trends.

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