How to Choose the Best Apple Watch Bands

person wearing silver aluminum case apple watch with white sport band

Half the fun of owning a watch, any watch, is the ability to give it a whole new look by swapping out the strap. The Apple Watch is no different. There are numerous official bands from Apple and hundreds more if you venture into third-party territory. In this post, I will round up some of the best Apple Watch bands you can buy. There is something here for every style and budget, so if you’re ready new look, you’ve come to the right place.

Apple Sport Band

The Sport Band is the original band that Apple first introduced way back in 2015. It’s a popular choice with Apple Watch owners because it’s comfortable and versatile enough to wear in a variety of different environments. Although it looks like a silicone band, it’s actually made from high-performance fluoroelastomer. It comes with a pin and tuck fastener that is secure and easy to adjust. The Sport Band is available in a variety of different colors, with new varieties released twice a year. It’s perfect for workouts and everyday wear. This is my go-to band, and for me, it’s easily one of the best Apple Watch bands you can buy.

Sport Loop

The Sport Loop is a popular alternative for those who want a change from wearing the Sport Band. Made from woven nylon, it’s a soft, breathable band that is also very comfortable on the wrist. Adding to that comfort level is the velcro-style adjustment system that Apple calls their hook and loop fastener. This makes the Sport Loop infinitely adjustable. If you feel like you are always between sizes with other watch bands, then this is a great option for you. The Sport Loop is a little more casual looking compared to the Sport Band, but it’s available in some great color combinations so you are perhaps more likely to find one that will fit your outfit. I will often throw one of these on at the weekend.

Solo Loop

The Solo Loop is one of Apple’s newer bands. It was first unveiled in 2020 but has quickly garnered an enthusiastic following. It looks like a Sport Band, but with one important difference. The Solo Loop is made from liquid silicone rubber and has a one-piece design that stretches to fit your wrist without the need for any fasteners, clasps, or buckles. You simply side it over your wrist to put it on or take it off. The band comes in nine sizes so that you can get the optimal fit, (just makes sure you use the Apple measuring tool to size up your wrist). Wear this any time you would wear a Sport Band.

The (PRODUCT)RED Solo Loop and Atlantic Blue Braided Solo Loop

Braided Solo Loop

The Braided Solo Loop has a similar design to the Solo Loop. It has a single loop design with no fasteners and is available in nine different sizes. However, it’s made of a different material. The Braided Solo Loop has 16,000 polyester yarn filaments that are interwoven with thin silicone threads to provide a unique texture look that is both sweat and water-resistant. They are supremely comfortable on the wrist and versatile too. They wear well in most environments, but that versatility comes at a price. The Braided Solo Loop sells for $99, and in my opinion, that’s a lot to pay for a fabric watch band.

Leather

If you prefer more traditional materials on your watch band, Apple has a number of leather straps that you can buy. The Leather Link band features handcrafted French leather that has integrated magnets to ensure a good fit as it wraps around your wrist. The Leather Loop has a similar style but it wraps inside the band, like the Sport Band, and is only available for 42 or 44mm watches. With a similar design, the Apple Leather Buckle band is another fine choice. It uses a pin system to secure the band on the inside of the wrist and features a traditional buckle as part of the design. Leather bands are perfect for the workplace or more formal occasions where you still want to wear an Apple Watch.

The Black Leather Link Band

Stainless Steel

Another traditional watch band material is stainless steel. It has the benefit of being able to pass for sporty or dressy, depending on your need. On the dressier side of things, the Milanese Loop is a popular choice. It features a smooth, stainless steel mesh band that wraps around your wrist and attaches with a magnet. It looks equally at home on a male or female wrist. If you have the money, there is also the Apple Link Bracelet. It has a butterfly clasp, 316L stainless steel, and over 100 components in each band. The Link Bracelet can be adjusted to fit your wrist by removing unnecessary links and it pairs well with the stainless steel apple watch. It’s yours for just $350.

Best Third-Party Apple Watch Bands

When Apple creates a product, third-party manufacturers are quick to make their own off-brand accessories. As you can imagine, there are literally thousands of non-Apple watch bands on Amazon, eBay, and other online stores. In my experience, they are not the best Apple Watch bands you can buy, but if you are looking to save some money, you will surely find something that is close to the band that you are looking for. It might not last as long as an Apple band, but if you can get one at a good enough price, you may be able to replace it and still come out ahead.

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