What to Look Out for When Picking the Best Leg Warmers
In the 80s, leg warmers were all the trend. You were limited to knitted, colorful socks that stretched (and sagged!) from your ankles to your knees. You normally wore them to fit in with the crowd, although ballet dancers used them for more practical reasons.
Today, you can wear these practical leg warmers to keep you warm while playing sports, doing yoga, and spending leisure time in the wild. Leg warmers are versatile in that they keep your legs warm but can be taken off when you no longer need their protection.
To help you pick the best leg warmers for your purpose, use the key features listed below to tick all the boxes when buying your next pair.
Type of Fabric
Leg warmers are made from cotton, acrylic or other synthetic fibers, wool, and even chenille. Sometimes, they’re made with a combination of cotton and synthetic fibers. Durability of the fabric is essential for outdoor activities.
Knitted ribbed yarn looks good on girls while thermal-type leg warmers work well on both men and women. Thermal material is great for both wet and cold weather conditions. Make sure you factor in the density of the fabric used. A thicker fabric or one lined with fleece is better suited for very cold climates while a thinner fabric is perfect for cooler days.
The type of fabric also determines whether the leg warmers need to be hand-washed, can be washed in the machine, and if they’re tumble dryer-safe. And, if you have a sensitive skin then hypoallergenic fabric is your best pick.
The Design: Short or Long?
Cyclists, runners, and mountain bike riders like to wear thigh-high leg warmers. They’re also known as leg sleeves. This length is also popular with dancers although many will opt for the shorter types that go from the ankle to below the knee. You can also get leg warmers that stretch from the ankle to just above the knee.
Thigh-high leg warmers will keep your legs protected from wind, rain, and even offer UVA protection from the sun. Shorter leg warmers are ideal for keeping the lower leg warm, protecting the calf muscles and the ankle area.
If your knees are prone to arthritis, then picking leg warmers that stretch to above your knees will help keep them warm and flexible when out in the chill.
Functionality: Open or Close?
Another key feature of leg warmers that guarantee their functionality is picking between the open vs closed designs. Leg warmers can be cut-off at the ankle, have the stirrup style on the foot, cover or not cover the heel, or cover the whole foot like socks.
Stirrup leg warmers are great when you want to keep the warmers in place while doing yoga, dancing, or at the gym. Your toes and heels are bare for extra grip.
Cut-off at the ankle leg warmers are perfect for wearing with your hiking boots, or when you want to go bare feet while dancing or exercising.
Leg warmers that close over the foot completely give you added warmth and prevent any creep up of the fabric from the bottom. You can also find leg warmers with zippered parts at the ankle. This is ideal for those tight-fitting leg warmers you use for cycling or running.
The Look: Male or Female and Color
Manufacturers of this piece of outdoor gear have got clever with the design and style of functional leg warmers. Most of them have been designed to be unisex so you’re safe wearing them whether you’re male or female. Unisex leg warmers are often used by cyclists, runners, and hikers. The colors are normally neutral, suited for both genders.
However, if you’re particular about wearing pretty colors and cool prints, then you might want to opt for the leg warmers designed specifically for women. Leg warmers for men are not as adventurous when it comes to wild colors or funky patterns.