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The best Apple Watch bands to show off your style
Our quick picks for the best Apple Watch bands:
- Best for working out: Apple Sport Loop — See it on Amazon
- Breathable nylon and stylish designs make this great for sport and business alike.
- Best leather: Nomad Modern Band — See it on Nomad Goods
- This Horween leather band will develop an attractive patina over time.
- Best metal: Nomad Steel Band — See it on Nomad Goods
- It won’t run cheap, but this stainless steel band will last you a lifetime.
- Best rugged: Spigen Rugged Armor Pro Band — See it on Amazon
- Protect your Apple Watch with this rugged band from trusted brand Spigen.
- Best custom: Casetify Saffiano Leather Band — See it on Casetify
- Customize your Apple Watch band with your initials in a variety of colors.
The Apple Watch is one of the most versatile and stylish smart watches you can buy, but the default band leaves a bit to be desired. To help you take your watch to the next level, we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff and done the research for you to pick out the best Apple Watch bands on the market.
Our picks include sport bands, leather bands, rugged bands, and more. Looking for more accessories for your new Apple Watch? Check out our other guides below.
Editor’s note: We’ll update this list of the best Apple Watch bands as new options launch.
Best Apple Watch band for working out: Apple Sport Loop
- Light and comfortable
- Breathable nylon material
- Large variety of colors
- Somewhat pricey
- Feels cold in winter
When it comes to the best Apple Watch band for working out, the new Apple Sport Loop is unbeatable. The breathable nylon material ensures sweat won’t accumulate on your wrist, and the new color options make it a stylish companion outside of the gym, as well. Since it’s an official Apple product, it run at tad pricey at roughly $50, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Looking for more Apple Watch workout band options? We also recommend:
Best leather Apple Watch band: Nomad Modern Band
- Quality Horween leather
- Develops patina over time
- Hardy stainless steel fittings
- Only two colorways, both dark
- Quite masculine
The Nomad Modern Apple Watch band features a high-quality leather that’s hard to find in this price range. This particular model has a streamlined look, but the company also offers a Modern Slim version that will fit better on smaller wrists, a bulkier Traditional version, and a waterproof Active Band Pro version. All of them are built to last and will develop an attractive patina over time.
Looking for more leather Apple Watch band options? We also recommend:
Best metal Apple Watch band: Nomad Steel band
- Classic metal-link look
- High-grade stainless steel
- Scratch-resistant coating
- No feminine options
- Cold in winter
When it comes to metal bands, you have some excellent options. Our top pick is the beefy Nomad Steel band, which comes in silver and graphite for that timeless metal-link look. There’s also an even sturdier titanium model, but that will put you back a pretty penny.
Looking for more metal Apple Watch band options? We also recommend:
For a more modern style, Apple’s official stainless steel Milanese Loop band is a fantastic option. It’s still a durable stainless steel, but the tiny mesh loop pattern makes it feel as smooth as fabric. It’s unisex, extremely stylish, and although it’s still expensive, it’s still much cheaper than the option above.
Thankfully, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a great metal band. The Spigen Modern Fit runs a fraction of the cost of most other options, and still offers a quality stainless steel link design. It’s a bit bulkier and clearly less premium than other options, but for the price it can’t be beat.
Best rugged Apple Watch band: Spigen Rugged Armor Pro band
- Very affordable
- Durable and scratch resistant
- Raised edge protects watch face
- Strict compatibility
- Mediocre build quality
For fans of the popular G Shock watches, this rugged Apple Watch band should look familiar. It features the same hardy silicon design, which wraps around your Apple Watch face for added protection. Running only $20, it’s extremely affordable, but don’t expect quite the same premium build quality as you’d find in first-party options.
Looking for more rugged Apple Watch band options? We also recommend:
Best custom Apple Watch band: Casetify Saffiano Leather Band
- Customizable text and color
- Biodegradable materials
- Sleek, fashion-forward design
- Synthetic leather
- Somewhat limited customization
When it comes to custom Apple Watch bands, the best we’ve found is the Casetify Saffiano Leather band. While it’s technically faux leather, it is eco-friendly, recycled, and biodegradable, which goes in line with Apple’s own goals. Customization is limited to colors and initials, but the build quality and fashion-forward design more than justify the price.
How we test Apple Watch bands
We rigorously test smartphones, accessories, and other products in our reviews here at Android Authority, so why should Apple Watch bands be any different? There are plenty of factors we consider before recommending a phone case.
- Comfort: No matter if you’re working out or heading to a wedding, the best Apple Watch bands are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. In most cases, they can even be worn in bed without disrupting your sleep.
- Build materials and quality: Poor-quality bands are prone to cracking or breaking with extended use. Depending on the material, they may or may not be water-resistant or even waterproof.
- Compatibility: Most bands are compatible with all Apple Watch models, but we’ve checked to make sure the products selected fit the latest and most popular models, and noted in the text if this isn’t the case.
- Installation and removal: Swapping your band isn’t too much of a chore, but a reliable latch mechanism is a key feature for any watch. Some have no latch at all, which typically comes at the cost of comfort.
- Design and colorways: Design and color are personal choices, but it’s nice to have options. Most products we select come in a variety of colorways, and we’ve selected different styles to suit different tastes.
- Price: Expensive doesn’t always mean better. You can find excellent Apple Watch bands for less than $20, but the best options typically run $30-50. You’re paying for premium materials, better build quality, and, in the case of rugged bands in particular, better durability.