women getting ready to run

15 Best Leg Warmers for the Colder Seasons - 2021 Review

If you grew up in the 1980s, you’ll remember wearing those funky, neon-colored knitted leg warmers. We had stars such as Olivia Newton-John and Jane Fonda to thank for giving us these “fashionable” long socks. It was cool to be seen wearing these leg warmers at the local ice rink!

Jokes aside though, leg warmers are actually very practical items and both women and men enjoy wearing them today. Leg warmers are used to cover the lower part of the legs to protect from colder weather. They’re particularly useful in preventing the legs from getting muscle cramps or other injuries.

Leg warmers have long been associated with ballet dancers who wear them to protect their calf tendons from injury while warming up for class. But, you’ll find these leg sleeves being used by outdoor sports enthusiasts such as cyclists, hockey, and soccer players, and yes, even professional ice skaters wear them.

With the advancement in fabric technology, modern-day leg warmers can be made of cotton, chenille, synthetic fibers, and sheep wool. They vary in sizes and designs and are mostly worn between the ankle and below the knee.

However, some leg warmers do cover the foot and have pads on the bottom to prevent slipping. Other leg warmers may even extend beyond the knees to the upper thigh. Whatever your needs or sense of style, you’ll be able to find the right leg warmers without feeling you’re living in the 80s!

Whether you’re camping, playing an outdoor sport, doing yoga under the stars, or hiking in sub-zero temperatures, adding a pair or two of leg warmers to your inventory of outdoor gear won’t go amiss. We’ve done the research for you, so read on and find out how to pick the best leg warmers for your outdoor activities.

Featured Leg Warmers

1. Przewalski  - Bike Leg Warmer

2. Rock Bros - Cycling Leg Warmers

3. Santo - Unisex Leg Warmers

Table of Contents

Selecting and Reviewing Our Leg Warmers: Methodology

When we research outdoor gear, we make sure every feature is taken into consideration. Outdoor clothing needs to be comfortable, stylish (no need to look sloppy because you’re riding your mountain bike), functional, and safe.

For leg warmers, key features such as design, the type of fabric used, and the purpose they’ve been developed for all play a big role in selecting the right pair. We’ve also taken into consideration gender and colors. We looked at unisex designs and ones specifically for women and men.

We checked out the materials used to construct leg warmers and looked out for breathability, and durability of the fabric (does it hold up to long days spent on the hiking trail?), and quality. We also looked at how to care for your leg warmers – how easy are they to keep clean?

The design and its functionality are important. Do you want your feet covered and need non-slip padding for grip? Or, do you want leg warmers that reach up to your thighs with grippers?

We looked at sizing and lastly, we looked at the purpose of specific leg warmers. If you’re looking for a pair of leg warmers to keep your legs warm while hiking, you don’t want to be looking at lace designs intended for evenings at the nightclub!

Our 15 best leg warmers have been reviewed according to these key features. We also listened to what other people said about wearing these lengthy socks, both the pros and the cons. Before heading on down to our reviews, find out how to pick the best leg warmers for you and your outdoor needs.

15 Best Leg Warmers of 2021

These thigh-high leg sleeves are designed for road cyclists and mountain bike riders. They come with a 2.5 cm gripper keeping them up while you’re cycling. The non-slip design includes small silicone dots on an elastic band, securing the leg warmers exactly where they need to be.

The exterior fabric is made with 85% polyamide and 15% spandex, making them stretchy and breathable while cycling. The inner fabric is fleece, giving added warmth when out in the cold. The yarn is tight and close to the skin, allowing for good blood circulation.

Przewalski  – Calf Compression Bike Leg Warmer

These thigh-high leg sleeves are designed for road cyclists and mountain bike riders. They come with a 2.5 cm gripper keeping them up while you’re cycling. The non-slip design includes small silicone dots on an elastic band, securing the leg warmers exactly where they need to be.

The exterior fabric is made with 85% polyamide and 15% spandex, making them stretchy and breathable while cycling. The inner fabric is fleece, giving added warmth when out in the cold. The yarn is tight and close to the skin, allowing for good blood circulation.

PROS

CONS

ROCK BROS –  Cycling Leg Warmers

These long-leg sleeves are ideal for those cold morning rides or run on the road. They’re cut off at the ankle and reach up to the top of the thigh. They’re made with soft thermal with an inner lining of fleece, giving you extra warmth when riding or running against a bitterly cold wind.

These leg warmers are made with breathable 84% nylon and 16% spandex which means they have high elasticity. This gives added comfort and a close fit at the same time. What’s more, the fabric is moisture-wicking, drawing the sweat away from your body keeping you dry.

With a silicone, elastic band on the top part of the leg warmers, you won’t need to worry about these leg sleeves falling down. And, the material is durable enough to handle most activities including football, basketball, and even hiking outdoors.

PROS

CONS

Santwo – Unisex Adult Over Knee Thermal Leg Warmers

If you’re looking for thigh-high leg warmers for dancing or for yoga, you’ll love these ones. They’re made from a blend of acrylic and cotton, making them warm and comfortable. The step on foot design, also similar to the stirrup style, keeps your heels and toes free.

The extra-stretch ribbing yarn allows for more elasticity which is ideal for those bends and stretches you need to do.

They come in a wide range of colors including black, gray, cyan, and pale blue. These are designed to be unisex and one-size-fits-all with the overall length being 29.5 inches.

PROS

CONS

Marino Long Leg Warmers for Women

These knee-high leg warmers have been designed specifically for women. They’re constructed with 35% wool and 65% acrylic fabric creating that soft knit feel. These leg warmers do exactly that and keep your legs warm whether you’re exercising, walking outdoors in winter, or snuggling up next to the campfire.

They come in one-size-fits-all with a length of 18 inches and a flexible width of 10 inches. They can be worn scrunched or stretched up straight. They’re cut off at the ankle but have a cuff for a close, tight fit. The top-end also has a cuff-type band, designed to keep the top up and cold air out.

PROS

CONS

Durio Women’s Fashion Leg Warmers

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t look fashionable while being outdoors, no matter what sports you’re playing. These leg warmers will make any outdoor woman feel attractive while staying warm and comfortable. Made with breathable acrylic, these leg warmers are designed to fit from the ankle to below the knee.

One-size-fits-all and the length is 15.7 inches. They come in a range of beautiful chic colors. The leg warmers look stylish too with the ribbed pattern and have enough elasticity to stretch while you move. The fabric helps to retain the heat no matter how cold or windy it is outdoors.

PROS

CONS

Alygado Unisex Leg Warmers

Here’s a pair of unisex ankle-to-knee leg warmers that will keep your legs warm while you gear up for a game of soccer or hockey. You can even wear them when you go camping. They’re made of 100% acrylic and have a chunky, cable knit design.

These one-size-fits-all leg warmers are soft and comfortable and suitable for both men and women. They’re machine-washable in cold water but the manufacturers do recommend hand wash if you want to maintain their quality for longer.

PROS

CONS

Santic Cycling Leg Warmers

Here’s another pair of leg warmers for cyclists, runners, and anyone else who likes exercising outdoors in cold weather. They’re constructed with 85% polyester and 15% spandex with fleece inner lining. The fabric is breathable.

The silicone grippers prevent them from falling down and reflective logos make sure you get seen in low-light conditions. The design ensures good wind flow and their lightweight without compromising on giving you warmth.

PROS

CONS

BALEAF Cycling Leg Warmers for Men

You can use these for cycling but also for running and any other outdoor activity where you need to keep your legs warm. What’s more, these leg warmers offer protection against UV rays. They’re made with 75% nylon and 15% spandex.

The fabric is breathable and has high wicking while the flatlock seams protect against leg chaffing. Non-slip silicone grippers keep the leg warmers in place but are easy to take off when you want to strip down.

These thigh-high leg warmers are also good for compression, keeping your blood circulation healthy.

PROS

CONS

Ueerdand Leg Warmers for Women

These soft and warm leg warmers are ideal for those cold nights camping under the stars. They’re made with 80% acrylic, 12% nylon, and 8% spandex. The ribbed knit has high elasticity for stretch while still being breathable.

They’re durable enough for climbing, hiking, or running. The leg length is up to 16.5 inches and they’re designed for below-the-knee. These stylish leg warmers come in 4 neutral colors and one-size-fits-all.

PROS

CONS

Synergy Cycling Leg Warmers

Made with wind-blocking Italian thermolite fleece, you can be sure your legs wills stay warm with these thigh-high leg warmers. The streamlined design will suit both men and women who love to be outdoors no matter the season.

Flatlock seam construction gives added comfort and protection. Plus, makes these leg warmers durable for most outdoor sports. The zippered ankle makes it easy to put

PROS

CONS

American Apparel Women’s Long Leg Warmers

The no-fuss design of these leg warmers for women are perfect for layering. You can slip them under or over your hiking pants and they go from the ankles to just below the knees. They’re made with 98% acrylic, 1% nylon, and 1% spandex. They have enough elasticity to be comfortable but not to bunch.

They’re designed to fit different sizes ranging from XXS to XXL. You can order them in 4 different colors too. They’re machine-washable in cold water and can only be air-dried.

PROS

CONS

Lucky Staryuan – Wool Knit Women Leg Warmers

For women who like to add a bit of flair to their sports apparel, these patterned, ankle to knee leg warmers will do just that! Made with 30% wool and 70% acrylic, these leg warmers will keep your lower legs warm even on the coldest of days.

They’re one-size-fits-all with a length of approximately 19 inches. They can be worn scrunched, pulled up and even up over your knees if you bring them up higher. This is great for runners and cyclists who battle with knee joint problems.

PROS

CONS

Debra Weltzner – Women’s’ Knit Leg Warmers

These thermal leg warmers will keep you warm and dry. They’re made with moisture-wicking fabric so when you’re wearing them outdoors for hiking, mountain climbing, or skiing your sweat is pulled away from your body.

They’re constructed with 100% acrylic and designed with a ribbed knit look. They have enough elasticity to move with your body without sagging thanks to the cuff. One-size-fits-all and they can be washed on the cold cycle in the machine. They can be tumble-dried on low.

PROS

CONS

GORE WEAR – C3 Unisex Leg Warmers

These imported leg warmers are water-repellant, wind-resistant, and breathable. They’re perfect for any outdoor activity, keeping you warm and dry at all times. The streamlined design of these leg warmers include zippered ankles making it easy to put on and take off.

The silicone grippers keep these thigh-high leg warmers in place at all times. They’re marked for left and right legs, have reflective details keeping you safe in low-light conditions, and they’re machine-washable.

They come in sizes ranging from small to extra-large and they’re perfect for both men and women.

PROS

CONS

Kayhoma Extra Soft Over the Knee High Leg Warmers

These extra soft, knitted leg warmers are made with artificial wool that give you 30% more thickness and warmth. No matter how often they’re worn and washed, they don’t lose their shape. But, they have enough elasticity to stretch over your calves and knees.

They give enough resilience to offer compression while able to stay up no matter what activity you’re doing. They’re perfect for cycling, running, hiking, and even for skiing. They’re not itchy on soft skin and come in an assortment of colors. One-size-fits-all.

PROS

CONS

Leg Warmer Buying Guide

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.

FAQ

Sizing: Does it Matter?

While most leg warmers come in one-size-fits-all, manufacturers of these items for outdoor sports such as cycling do produce them in different sizes.

Sizing is generally standard and you can rely on the following measurements to help you pick the right size leg warmers for cycling and other outdoor activities:

  • Small: Leg that measures 20 to 21 inches around and 42 to 43 inches in length.
  • Medium: Thigh circumference of 21 to 22 inches and leg length of 43 to 44 inches.
  • Large: Leg circumference of 23 to 24 inches and leg length of 44 to 45 inches.

Getting the right size is essential if you want to avoid dealing with creeping leg warmers or those that sag. Comfort is vital especially when you’re out and about. The last thing you want to be worrying about is leg warmers that are too tight or too small.

Why Do You Want to Wear Leg Warmers?

The reason for wearing leg warmers is a key criterion when it comes down to picking the best leg warmers for you.

We’ve already mentioned the versatility of this nifty outdoor clothing. Depending on the type of activity you’re involved in, the type of leg warmers you get will either hinder or improve your experience.

It’s the purpose that’ll determine the type of fabric you pick, the length, their functionality, the style and color, and the right sizing. Here are some suggestions for picking the right leg warmers for a certain purpose or activity:

  • Cycling and running sports: Thigh-high leg warmers are often favored with waterproof, moisture-wicking They need to be well-fitting with no flapping pieces of material. Fabric breathability is essential to prevent overheating even on the coldest day. Over-the-knee leg warmers are also popular with riders or runner who have knee joints prone to pain caused by cold weather conditions.
  • Field sports: If you’re a soccer or hockey player, you know how cold it can get out on the open playing field. Warm-up time involves preparing your body for the game and these include stretching the legs and arms to warm up the muscles. Leg warmers are designed to keep your legs warm while you’re flexing the muscles. They also help to prevent leg cramps and other injuries.
  • Hiking: Thigh-high leg warmers are also popular especially if they’re easy to chuck off once the day warms up. But, many hikers also opt for the shorter lengths with cut off at the ankles. These can be worn over jeans and with hiking boots, keeping the lower leg parts warm. Cable knit leg warmers are perfect for early morning walks outdoors.
  • Dancing, yoga, gym: Stirrup style leg warmers work well for this type of activity as well as those cut off at the ankles. The shorter length is most popular made with breathable fabrics. Most times they’re worn until the person has warmed up and stretched sufficiently to remove the leg warmers.

Outro

With 15 great leg warmers to pick from, you’re spoilt for choice. We’ve given you leg warmers that are perfect for cyclists, runners, and hikers who like the thigh-high design. We’ve also found ankle to knee leg warmers which are ideal to wear with hiking boots or over your training leggings. And, if skiing is your idea of a thrilling outdoor activity, we’ve found the warmest leg warmers for you to pick from.

No matter which outdoor sports you’re taking part in, there’s the right leg warmers for you to keep your legs warm and protect you from the cold elements. Take advantage of this practical outdoor gear and make sure you keep a few in your wardrobe from now on.

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