The best adjustable ankle weights can turn even the simplest of movements into a workout. Whether you’re a runner, love step aerobics, or you’re looking for a way to up your resistance band workouts, they can help you increase the difficulty.
While adjustable wraps cost more, they also allow you to decrease and increase load according to your level, your workout, or the type of exercise you’re performing. Combine them with a weighted vest and weighted wrist straps and you’ve got a serious resistance workout.
As you might expect, there are a lot of adjustable ankle weights available to buy online, but if you’ve never owned one, it can be difficult to decide on the best set. We looked at dozens of adjustable ankle weights and reviewed the best 5. We’ve also included a guide to help you decide which one is right for you.
5 Best Adjustable Ankle Weights
There are several sets of All Pro adjustable ankle weights available, each with different maximum load. The 5lb set may not be the heaviest, but they are ideal if you are into running or step aerobics and want to enhance resistance while exercising.
Weight can be increased by 0.5lb at a time, by adding small metal weight plates into separate pockets. The pockets have a Velcro strap to hold the weight in place, and they have a cushioned strap to ensure comfort. They are easy to adjust, the 5lb set are really cheap, but you might feel as though the weights are escaping the Velcro when you reach the top end of the scale.
The 5lb set includes two ankle straps, each of which holds 2.5lbs making 5lbs in total. Although buyer reviews are generally very positive right across the board, some runners have complained that they can be uncomfortable when at full load. They should be ideal for walking, physio, and to add a little extra resistance to strength training.
- 5lb weight increments
- Solid metal weights don’t leak
- Velcro can feel insecure with full weight
- Not comfortable for all runners
The Sportneer adjustable ankle weights have double the weight limit of the All Pro set so offer a maximum load of 5 lbs for each ankle. Rather than using metal weight plates, they have 1lb sand pockets that slide in and out of the cuff.
The weights have a neoprene exterior and reinforced stitching to ensure durability and they fit around ankles or wrists with a circumference between 6 and 14.5 inches. Do check your wrist or ankle size before buying, because there have been complaints that the straps are too big for some wrists and too small for larger ankles.
Unfortunately, although these ankle weights get generally good reviews, some buyers have complained that the material wears easily.
- Maximum 5lb weight per ankle
- Sand weight is more comfortable than metal
- Some complaints of wear after limited use
The CAP Barbell 20 pound adjustable ankle weights cost more than most of the items in this list, but they also have more weight inserts, allowing up to 10 pounds on each ankle and offering some serious resistance when running, walking, or exercising.
Weight can be adjusted in 2lb increments, and the weight inserts are small packs of sand so they wrap around better than metal. The external weight pockets are easy to get to, so you can adjust resistance mid-workout, if required. The weight and the design mean that these ankle weights are better suited for leg lifts and donkey kicks rather than aerobic work.
There have been some complaints over the design of the product. The Velcro has worn quickly for some buyers. There are also complaints that the item is very bulky but won’t fit on larger ankles. Finally, the weight bags that hold the sand have been described as being garbage bag material that splits too easily.
- 20lb ankle weight set
- Good for strength training
- Not suitable for running or walking
- Struggle to fit
- Complaints of poor-quality materials
AmazonBasics adjustable ankle weights offer up to 5lb of weight per ankle. They are made from polyester and nylon and utilize sandbag weights. They have double straps to help ensure that the weights stay in place during use, and the Velcro fastening is quick and easy to secure.
The weights can be attached to ankles or wrists, according to the type of exercise you’re performing. These weights are inexpensive, but there are several buyer complaints about the quality of the materials used in their construction. As well as complaints of the sandbag material, some buyers have also reported that the bags are difficult to get in and out of the pouches that hold them.
- Suitable for running and walking
- Flimsy materials
- Difficult to get sandbags back in
The Henkelion adjustable weight sets are available in a variety of maximum weights from 2lb per ankle to 5lb per ankle. Whatever maximum weight you choose, the strap has five pockets containing sand bags so that you can adjust the weight up and down accordingly. They are suitable for running and walking, and the cotton used to make the straps is breathable so should be extremely comfortable.
There are no D rings, simply wrap the cuff around your ankle, and you’re ready to go. Not everybody likes this style of fastening, however, preferring the additional security of a D ring. There have been some complaints of the stitching and material wearing out, but these cuffs seem to perform better than most.
- Comfortable material
- Choice of weights
- No D ring
- No D ring
- A few complaints of torn stitching
Buyer’s Guide To The Best Ankle Weights
Adjustable ankle weights can be used to ramp up cardio and strength training workouts. They should fix easily to your ankle, remain stable, and because they’re adjustable they allow you to add and remove weight incrementally.
To ensure the best experience, they need to be comfortable and secure. Metal weight plates digging into your ankle can cause injury and prevent you from exercising, and if they slip off or slide around your leg, this can also lead to injury and strain.
You can wear ankle weights when doing your morning yoga or even wear them while doing household chores. They are also suitable for rehabilitation exercises, enabling you to incrementally add resistance and strengthen your muscles and joints.
When choosing ankle weights, consider how you intend to use them and buy the set that meets these needs. For running, you need a comfortable set that won’t dig in and will sit comfortably around the ankle. For strength and resistance training, you will need heavier cuffs that might be bulkier and a little less comfortable.
Type Of Weight
There are two types of weight that are used in adjustable ankle weights:
- Sand – Sand is relatively heavy by volume and it is almost fluid in its movement. This means that the sandbags will wrap around your ankle and form whatever shape is required for the best fit. However, in a lot of the reviews and buyer reviews we have read, sandbags can be flimsy. Some are difficult to remove and replace in their pockets. Despite these potential pitfalls, sand is the preferred style of weight because it is also cheaper than metal so keeps costs down.
- Metal – Ankle weights are light when compared to dumbbells and other weight equipment. As such, metal plates do not have to be large to fit in this type of equipment. However, the plates can have sharp edges and they will bob around more than sandbags when you run. There isn’t the potential problem of split sand spilling everywhere though. Metal plates tend to be more expensive than sandbags.
Amount Of Weight
The big benefit of adjustable ankle weights is that you can add and remove smaller weights to reach your target. This enables you to start with a modest 1lb or 2lb weight on each ankle and increase until you reach the maximum. Most of the models we reviewed have 5 weight pouches on either ankle, and can provide a weight of up to 10lb per leg.
It stands to reason that the heavier the ankle weight, the bigger it will be. But you don’t want ankle cuffs that are so cumbersome you can’t move, especially for activities like running. When buying, try to consider the bulk of the anklet as well as the length of the strap. Strap length determines the size of ankle that the weight is suitable for.
Ankle weights need to fasten firmly without constricting your movement. Most adjustable ankle and wrist weights use a Velcro fastening, because good quality Velcro is strong and resilient while being quick and easy to adjust. Some models simply wrap around while others use a D ring that you have to pass the Velcro strap through before fastening.
Buying The Best Adjustable Ankle Weight
Adjustable ankle weights are a great way to increase resistance and the difficulty of your training. They can be used for strength or cardio training, use metal or sand as the weight, and come in a variety of maximum weights.
Choose a comfortable set that will securely fix to your ankle and tone your legs while increasing your cardio workout efforts. Combine them with equipment like skipping ropes, yoga mats and balls, and resistance bands, to create a unique workout that is specific to your needs and goals.