The Best Leg Warmers
Leg warmers, the cozy footless socks that you can wear with tights, leggings or shorts, are no longer a nostalgic throwback to the 1980s when everyone was a Flashdance wannabe. This simple piece of clothing, often worn by dancers to warm up their muscles during practice, have made a fashion comeback and are once again a practical and colorful way to add a layer of warmth to your ankles, knees and even your thighs.
Easy to slip on or off as needed, leg warmers can slouch down low on your ankles, rise up to just below or above your knees, or sit thigh-high on top of a pair of tights to add extra warmth to your legs. They are a really fun fashion accessory and are available in a multitude of colors, designs, lengths and fabric blends, all at relatively affordable price points so you can own one pair, or a bunch.
To help you sort through the leg warmer jungle, we’ve curated an array of different types so you can keep your legs warm, cozy and fashionable every day of the week.
What to look for when choosing leg warmers
You don’t have to be a dancer to want to include leg warmers in your accessories drawer. Of course, if you are a dancer, then you’ll need an array of leg warmers to get you through your practices. No matter what the purpose, if you are looking for leg warmers for yourself, your child or even as a gift, here are a number of factors to consider before choosing the best ones for your needs.
Like most things, how you will use something can be a defining factor in what you end up choosing. It’s not any different with leg warmers. If you are purchasing a pair to wear as part of a costume, and they will only be worn a handful of times, if that, then pretty much any brand of leg warmer will do and you should choose based on price, color and functionality. This means figure out if you are going to wear them slouched, above the knee or thigh high, if they will be against your bare skin or over tights, leggings or jeans, and choose accordingly.
If you are looking for leg warmers that you will wear on a regular basis, whether in dance class or out on the street, then look closely at the fabric blend and the care instructions. Make sure the leg warmers have enough elastic in the fabric blend to stretch as you need them, with an elastic on the top to help them stay up on bare legs. Always follow the care instructions. If you are not into hand washing and air drying, find a pair that are machine washable. Otherwise, you may be disappointed when those hand-wash-only leg warmers lose their color and shrink after a spin in the washing machine and dryer.
Top 5 Best Leg Warmers
Editor’s Choice – V28 Women’s Men's Long Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers
80% Viscose And 20% Nylon
Machine Wash, Hang Dry, No Bleach, Do Not Iron
Best Budget Buy – Sarfel Leg Warmers for Women
Hand Wash Suggested, Maximum Machine Wash Temperature 104 Degrees Fahrenheit, Air Dry, Non-chlorine Bleach, Do Not Iron, Do Not Dry Clean
Best for Cold Weather – Marino Long Leg Warmers for Women
65% Acrylic, 35% Wool
Machine Wash/dry On Gentle Cycle With Like Colors
Best Value – Syhood 80s Women Neon Knit Ribbed Leg Warmers
Hand Wash, Air Dry, Do Not Bleach Or Machine Wash
Best Thigh-High – Foot Traffic Women's Cable-Knit Leg Warmers, Warm & Long Footless Thigh-Highs
70% Acrylic, 30% Nylon
Machine Wash, Tumble Dry
1. Editor’s Choice – V28 Women’s Men's Long Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers
Stirrup-style leg warmers give the instep of your foot an added touch of warmth to keep you comfy during a dance practice or yoga session. Some leg warmers are designed with stirrups at the end that wrap around the insole of your feet. This type is ideal if you are thinking of taking a dance class or starting yoga, since the stirrup keeps the leg warmers in place while giving an added touch of warmth to your bare foot when it’s in contact with the floor.
These leg warmers from V28 are available in three different lengths — 24 inches, 28 inches and 32 inches — a great advantage in terms of finding the fit that’s right for you. Made from a stretchy knit yarn comprised of 80 percent viscose and 20 percent nylon, they are easy to pull on over tights or leggings and will feel soft on your skin if you are bare-legged. The leg warmers are machine washable but need to be hung to dry and should not be bleached or ironed. And, with 41 different color options to choose from, you’re bound to find a pair — or three — to suit your taste.
2. Best Budget Buy – Sarfel Leg Warmers for Women
Easy to wear, easy to care for, these budget-priced leg warmers are also easy on the wallet. Living within a budget isn’t aways fun, but thankfully there are enough items out there at budget-minded prices to allow us to pamper the fashionista in us while still remaining practical. These affordable leg warmers from Sarfel are super comfortable and will add an extra layer of warmth to your legs without leaving too much of a dent in your bank account
The leg warmers are soft on your skin and made from elastic, 100 percent acrylic fibers with a knit crocheted vertical-line design, which makes them stretchy enough to rise above your knees, or slouch down to your ankle, switching up the look to suit your mood and style. Each leg warmer measures 17.7 inches long and 3.5 inches in width, making it suitable to wear with boots, sneakers, a skirt or over leggings or tights. While these leg warmers are a great price, the one drawback is that they are only available in six different colors.
3. Best for Cold Weather – Marino Long Leg Warmers for Women
These leg warmers are comprised of a wool blend for an added level of warmth on a cold day. When it comes to natural fabrics, few can match the warmth of wool. That being said, a garment made of 100 percent wool can feel scratchy against sensitive skin. However, when blended with a soft synthetic like acrylic, that uncomfortable wool fabric is transformed into a soft and warm piece of clothing, or in this case, leg warmers.
These leg warmers from Marino Ave are made from 35 percent wool and 65 percent acrylic, a blend that will protect against cold, retain warmth and feel good if you decide to wear them against your bare skin. Of course, they have enough stretch to easily be worn over socks, stockings or leggings, with boots and even under pants or jeans for an extra layer of warmth and dryness on wet days.
They measure 18 inches long and can be stretched to reach well above the knee or slouched to around 10 inches. The shrink-free and fade-resistant leg warmers are available in nine different jewel and earthy tones.
4. Best Value – Syhood 80s Women Neon Knit Ribbed Leg Warmers
When you need a lot of leg warmers in different colors, there’s added value to buying in bulk. Leg warmers can be worn on many occasions to accessorize a variety of clothing and situations but the one place they have been traditionally used is in dance class. If you, your child or children take multiple classes a week, then you’ll want to be changing up your leg warmers and will need to have a few on hand. That’s when it makes economic sense to purchase packages of two, three, four or even five pair of leg warmers at a time.
With these leg warmers from Syhood, whether you choose a pack of two or a pack of five, you get a nice mix of colors, with a choice of regular shades of black, rose red, blue, orange and purple and neon options that include fluorescent yellow and green.
The stretchy leg warmers are made of acrylic elastic fibers with a knit crocheted vertical line design. Each one measures 16 inches high and approximately 3.5 inches wide and can be pulled high above the knee or slouched around the ankle, which ever look suits the need.
5. Best Thigh-High – Foot Traffic Women's Cable-Knit Leg Warmers, Warm & Long Footless Thigh-Highs
For the ultimate in warmth, these long leg warmers keep you covered from ankle to thigh. Perhaps the biggest complaint some people have with leg warmers, is the length of the fit. This is especially true from wearers who are tall, have long legs or wear a plus size. That’s why we included these leg warmers from Foot Traffic that are available in three different sizes — long, extra-long and a super long size that measures 39 inches.
Crafted from 70 percent acrylic and 30 percent nylon, the cable knit leg warmers are soft, breathable and warm. Suitable for wearing over bare legs, tights, leggings and jeans, the top of the leg warmers can be folded down into a cuff for a stylish adjustment if your legs are a bit short. These are a great choice for dancing or just keeping warm while lounging about. The machine-washable leg warmers are available in 14 different colors, although not all colors are available in all three sizes.