A to Z of leg warmers

You may have often heard the word ‘leg warmer’ but may never have thought too much about them unless you are into some sort of sports, specially cycling. Leg warmers are worn under your shorts or with bib shorts, mostly worn from mid thigh to the ankle. Leg warmers are made of lycra and come with silicone grippers that help to hold these leg warmers in place and not distract you from your main sport.

A smaller version of leg warmers is called knee warmers and as the name suggests, they cover your knee joints and provide them that extra support to prevent injury and extra friction. Knee warmers are although less common and less popular than leg warmers, they can come in very handy under very specific conditions.

Leg warmers are really useful when you are into outdoor activities in areas where temperature fluctuates in a day – chilly mornings and evenings. Leg warmers help you in moving out in the cold weather while keeping your body enough warm. As you start to feel too warm, they can be quickly peeled off and put inside your backpack or jersey.

Benefits of leg warmers

Some people have questioned that wearing a pair of tights can also solve the same purpose. But you might want to rethink closely. A pair of tights can do the same job, but they are nowhere near leg warmers when it comes to the versatility that leg warmers offer. When weather is very erratic and unpredictable, when you start to ride it is mostly in the mornings when the temperature is a bit low, around 80C.

The fact that you can put the leg warmers on when you start in the chilly weather and peel them off as soon as you start to feel warm, that is a big benefit with this wear on. If you are into riding in the mountains, they are again very useful. Leaving sports aside, there are many other fields where leg warmers have proven to be very beneficial.

Leg warmers are used by dancers around the globe to keep their legs warm in order to prevent any injuries. They have been used for a very long time in the dancing industry and were also featured in famous movies such as Footloose and Flashdance.

Different types of leg warmers

Leg warmers come in a variety of materials and styles. Regardless of what type they are, visually they all look the same – a long sock minus a foot. They are knit from different types of materials such as nylon, silk, cotton, acrylic or lycra (this being the most common type of material for leg warmers). Some of them also come with stirrups that help the leg warmer to stay closer to the top of the foot always instead of sliding down. Apart from different types of materials that are used in making leg warmers, they also come in different lengths – covering only the ankles to reaching many inches above the knee.

  • For dancing purposes: different types of dance forms use different types of leg warmers to keep their leg muscles flexible and warm for vigorous dance forms. They can be worn to either cover the top of the foot or fit under the foot to prevent dancers from slipping.
  • For fashion: Woman can never leave an opportunity to look different from the rest of the crowd and they have lately been very inventive in using leg warmers to up their game with dressing up and fashion. They come in so many colors, fabric, lengths, etc., that you will always find one that will go perfectly with your fashion statement.
  • For athleticism: As mentioned before, leg warmers are extensively used in sports such as cycling, yoga, etc. to keep your muscles warm.

What to consider before buying a leg warmer?

There are a few things to consider when you are searching for the best leg warmer for yourself.

  • Ensure they allow for maximum freedom in terms of movement and maximum comfort.
  • They must be the same size as the shorts that you normally wear – neither smaller than that nor larger than that.
  • Keep a price range in mind. Single piece leg warmers are less costly than the ones that have multi-panel construction.
  • So they last for long, buy the ones that come with a water-repellent coating.
  • Check their ease of use too before buying one. The ones that come with a zip are much easier to be peeled off even with your shoes on.
  • If you want to add your personal touch, you can buy a leg warmer that lets you add your personal hydrophobic coating on top of the warmer.

Some of our best picks

Some of the best leg warmers that you can buy are made by the following famous brands:

  • Pearl Izumi ride elite thermal knee warmer
  • ZQXPP Z112 unisex cycling leg warmer
  • Ibex outdoor clothing merino wool leg warmer
  • Gore bike wear universal soft shell leg warmer
  • Optimum men’s cycling leg warmers
  • Castelli nano flex leg warmers
  • SheBeest women’s leg warmer.

How to buy your leg warmers?

Following is a list of some top things to consider on how to buy the best leg warmer to meet all your needs:

  • Know your legs: Most leg warmers have a stretchy material but that does not mean they can fit all. You should know what size will fit your legs best so they don’t fall repeatedly.
  • Check different stores: Check many stores, even the ones online like Amazon, to see the entire range available so you know you have checked all the material types, etc. before picking the one.
  • Chose the ones made from warm materials/fabric: Wearing a leg warmer made of wool or other warm fabric helps keep your muscles warm and prevent them from injuries and excessive wear and tear.

So now that you know a lot about what leg warmers are, when they are most used, what they are made of and where to buy them from, you are all set for your leg warmer shopping.


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