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Best Apple Watch bands 2022: our pick of the greatest Apple wearable straps

Best Apple Watch bands
(Image credit: TechRadar / Apple)

The best Apple Watch band for you might not be the best one for someone else. In fact, ideal choice for everyone vary because it's a highly subjective matter. That's not to mention that there are thousands of options out there. Some straps are best suited for sport and working out while others are for casual wear and a handful are for professional or formal occasions.

Trust us; it's almost just as important to pick the right Apple Watch band as it is choosing the best Apple Watch for you. That's because using the wrong one can affect your overall experience. If your strap feels uncomfortable, for example, you might end up not wanting to wear your watch for long periods. 

Knowing the right kind of Apple Watch strap for you might involve purchasing a few different options to suit different days. But, if you don't have the resources to do so, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing one. You need to consider straps with a range of materials, prices, brands, and designs. It's also important to think about the style you want, along with whether or not it's good value for money and will last you a good while.

Most importantly, make sure you're buying the right size. The Apple Watch 7 uses 41mm (small) and 45mm (large) bands. Alternatively, the Apple Watch 4 through to the Apple Watch 6 uses 40mm (small) or 44mm (large) sizing, with older Apple Watches using either 38mm (small) or 42mm (large). 

We've tested all Apple Watches on the market, which means used more than our share of Apple Watch bands. So, we're the right people to give advice on what makes a good straps and which ones are worth considering. And, to help you choose, we picked out some of the very best Apple Watch bands around, reducing the seemingly limitless choice to a selection of the very best. 

We split these choices up according to categories, such as workout bands, leather bands, and even designer straps. We've also included an overview along with pros and cons. That way, you can find the one that most appeals and quickly. 

While you're treating yourself, check out the best Apple Watch accessories, the best Apple Watch charging stands, and the best Apple Watch screen protectors too. And, if it's your first time changing one, our how to change Apple Watch bands guide is a good step-by-step resource.

These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at. Our selections take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability or unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

Best everyday Apple Watch bands

Your Apple Watch is an everyday essential wearable, so you want some similarly everyday Apple Watch bands to go alongside it. These bands look good and are suitably durable, so they can withstand whatever you get up to. They might not be as stylish as an expensive designer option, but they'll look as appropriate on public transport as they will in the office. Think of these bands in the same way as your reliable favorite T-shirt or pair of jeans - just in smartwatch form. 

Apple Solo Loop band on a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Solo Loop

Effortlessly stylish, the Apple Solo Loop is the strap for every occasion

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of color choices
+
Comfortable to wear

Reasons to avoid

-
Need to get the right size

The Apple Solo Loop has developed a reputation for being the general all-day Apple Watch strap for a good reason - it's really nice. With plenty of colors to choose from, it's made from liquid silicone rubber so it has a unique stretchable design so you simply slip it onto your wrist.

Ultra-comfortable in every way, you'll need to make sure you buy the right size for your wrist. However, it covers all the bases throughout the day, including being sweat and swim proof.

This all makes it a great choice for pretty much any situation, so if you only want to buy one Apple Watch band, you won’t go wrong with the Apple Solo Loop. Being available in a wide range of colors means it’s also easy to find one that matches your style.

Apple Watch Braided Loop Solo band on a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Apple Braided Solo Loop

Comfortable to wear, the Apple Braided Solo Loop looks suitably smart

Reasons to buy

+
Very soft and comfortable
+
Easy to wear

Reasons to avoid

-
Need to get the right size
-
Expensive for what it is

The Apple Braided Solo Loop uses the same stretchy design as the Apple Solo Loop but this time, it's made from weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultra-thin silicone threads. It looks suitably smart thanks to that and it feels incredibly soft.

It's sweat and water resistant rather than swimproof, so don't take it in the pool but for everyday use, it looks delightful. That said, while it’s comfortable and reasonably stylish, the Apple Braided Solo Loop is quite expensive considering it’s not one of the smartest watch bands available, not made from one of the most premium materials on offer, and not suited to swimming.

Still, if you like the design and aren’t a dedicated diver, then it comes highly recommended. Plus, being made by Apple you can be confident of the quality.

Wepro Black Buckle against a white background

(Image credit: WePro)

3. Wepro Black Buckle

Cheap yet effective, the Wepro Black Buckle does the job

Reasons to buy

+
Low price
+
Looks like regular watch strap

Reasons to avoid

-
Durability could be an issue

If you want a watch strap that keeps things simple, the Wepro Black Buckle does the job admirably and at a very low price. It's made from silicone so it's sweat resistant and dirt proof, but it looks more like a traditional watch strap than most other silicone bands. It utilizes a classic buckle design which isn't as convenient as a pull-over method but means you can easily adjust it throughout the day. 

If we have a concern it’s that being so cheap durability could be an issue, as you do often get what you pay for. But then if you have to replace it down the line it shouldn’t be too much of a sting, because the price is so low to being with. So this could be a bit of a bargain, and while it’s not truly smart, it won’t look out of place in either a gym or a bar.

DigiHero Braided Solo Loop against a white background

(Image credit: DigiHero)

4. DigiHero Braided Solo Loop

A Braided Solo Loop design on a budget

Reasons to buy

+
Braided Solo Loop style experience for less
+
Stretchy buckle design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as well made as the official product

Embracing the Braided Solo Loop look for less, this DigiHero Braided Solo Loop strap looks pretty great for the price. It doesn't have the stretchiness of the official product so you'll need to make do with its loop buckle design instead but that's a small price to pay – and it’s still somewhat stretchy. Made from 100% recycled materials, it should feel good on your skin too with plenty of breathability.

This DigiHero Braided Solo Loop is unlikely to have quite the quality and polish of the official Apple version, but then it’s also available for a fraction of the price, so savvy shoppers may want to consider it. This also comes in a range of colors, so finding one that you like shouldn’t be a problem, and given the low cost you could even buy several and swap them according to your mood.

Tasikar Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Tasikar)

5. Tasikar Strap

Durable for a busy and active day

Reasons to buy

+
Strong magnetic strap
+
Durable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit chunky

If you want something a bit more eye catching and a little more durable, the Tasikar Strap is a good budget option. It uses magnetic straps to keep the band tightly together while still feeling comfortable around your wrist. You can flip it around too thereby enjoying two different color designs. That makes it the perfect watch strap for working hard before working out similarly hard at the end of the day.

It looks suitably vibrant too and seems to be built to last, though that durability comes at a cost – not in terms of money but in the sense that this watch strap is a little bit on the chunky side. The use of magnets means it’s a bit heavy too, so if you want something sleek and slim, this isn’t the strap for you.

Best Apple Watch bands for working out

When working out, you don't want an Apple Watch band that makes you feel sweaty or hot. Instead, you want something fairly breathable that's also water and sweat resistant. There are plenty of these out there so we've focused on the top choices. Each will look good so you can wear them in any setting but the focus is on comfort when working up a sweat.

Apple Sport Loop against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Sport Loop

Breathable and stylish, the Apple Sport Loop is ideal for sweaty activities

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable design
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for swimming

Designed for breathability, the Apple Sport Loop has a hook-and-loop fastener so you can loosen it any time you need a bit more space on your wrist. With a double-layer nylon weave, it looks good while still providing sufficient cushioning that leaves room for moisture to escape.

Durably designed, it won't falter while you're lifting either, thanks to attachment loops that are securely anchored. All that and it’s lightweight, so it won’t be a distraction while you’re exercising. That said, it’s not perfect for every activity, as it’s made from fabric, so it’s not great for swimming and other water activities, as it will take a while to try out.

Still, for activities on dry land the Apple Sport Loop should work very well. And, while you probably shouldn’t soak it, you can safely sweat on it.

Nike Sport Band against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Nike Sport Band

Durable and breathable, the Nike Sport Band keeps things simple

Reasons to buy

+
Very breathable design
+
Simple fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic looking

The Nike Sport Band for the Apple Watch doesn’t just carry a brand name, it also has a distinctive design, worthy of the brand it belongs to. It’s made of fluoroelastomer with compression-molded perforations (those little holes in it) which are there for breathability. It’s a design that screams exercise, but it should feel good whether you’re getting your sweat on in the gym or lazing on the couch, as it’s designed to be soft, smooth and comfortable – as well as durable and strong.

The Apple Watch Nike Sport Band is perhaps not the most premium-looking of Watch straps, which is all the more disappointing given its middling price. But the perforations ensure a distinct look, and you can get this in a range of different colors, including an extra eye-catching multi-colored Pride option.

Nike Sport Loop against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

3. Nike Sport Loop

Ideally suited for running thanks to a reflective thread

Reasons to buy

+
Reflective thread that illuminates
+
Breathable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited color options

If you often run in dim places or on dark nights, the Nike Sport Loop is a good option to help illuminate you a little. It has a nylon weave with reflective thread through it, so it's designed to shimmer when light strikes it.

You'll need other high-vis gear in the dark but it's a useful bonus for a lightweight and breathable watch strap. Its colors match with a line of Nike running shoes too, so you can coordinate your outfit if you’re a Nike fan.

It ticks other sporty boxes too, with dense loops on the side that’s against your skin designed to provide cushioning, while also letting moisture escape. There aren’t a huge number of color choices though, and most of the options are quite plain things like black or white.

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro against a white background

(Image credit: Supcase)

4. Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Rugged without being overwhelmingly tough

Reasons to buy

+
Shock absorption features
+
Raised bezel protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit chunky

If you're looking for a rugged Apple Watch band for when you're lifting without sacrificing too much style, the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is a good option. It protects your Apple Watch via a bumper that provides rugged shock absorption along with a raised bezel that protects the screen. Despite that, it doesn’t look terrible as Apple Watch bands go, it just has a bit more heft than its competitors.

That chunky look definitely won’t be for everyone, but if you’re doing the sorts of activities that put your Apple Watch at risk then it’s a compromise worth making, as this is a lot more protective than most sport bands. It’s also a fairly cheap option – though it looks quite cheap too, with a plasticky construction that isn’t likely to impress anyone visually. It’s not a bad look, but it’s not an overly stylish one either.

FortifiedNation Apple Watch Sport Armband on a table

(Image credit: FortifiedNation)

5. FortifiedNation Apple Watch Sport Armband

For wrapping around your bicep rather than wrist

Reasons to buy

+
Useful design for weightlifting
+
Comfy fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Specific purpose only

The FortifiedNation Apple Watch Sport Armband does things a little differently, as you wrap it around your bicep or arm rather than your wrist. That placement should mean more effective heart rate monitoring as well as a comfier fit if you're busy lifting weights and worried about knocking your wrist. Just don't count on this being ideal in other scenarios, as you definitely can't use it as a regular wrist band.

That makes this the rare Apple Watch band that only works as a secondary band – so you’ll need another option for when you’re not working out, and you’ll need to go through the minor hassle of swapping between them depending on what you’re doing.

Still, the FortifiedNation Apple Watch Sport Armband serves a useful purpose for certain types of users. There also aren’t a huge number of alternate Apple Watch armbands.

Best Apple Watch bands for swimming

The best Apple Watch bands for swimming have a lot in common with straps for working out. They're lightweight and comfortable while also being water-proof so you don't have to worry about them falling apart during your swim. Again, breathability is everything but you'll want to be able to wear them out of the pool too. Don't worry, you will.

Apple Sport Band against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Sport Band

Simple and to the point while you swim

Reasons to buy

+
Durable and strong
+
Comfy fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most stylish

Keeping it simple is the name of the game with the Apple Sport Band. It's made from a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer like many other sport bands, meaning it's durable and strong yet comfy on your skin too.

A pin and tuck closure system means it's easy to slip on before you head to the pool, and you won't have to worry about it soaking up any water. The main downside of this Apple Watch strap is simply that it’s a fairly plain, arguably even boring option – it’s certainly not the most stylish Apple Watch band choice, so you might want to consider a second strap for when you’re not at the pool.

But coming from Apple this should at least be well made and built to last. Of course, coming from Apple it’s also quite expensive for something so plain.

Kunyos 4 Pack against a white background

(Image credit: Kunyos)

2. Kunyos 4 Pack

Breathable for those on a slim budget

Reasons to buy

+
Good value for money
+
Easy to wear

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic looking

Accidents happen and odds are your swimming band is a little less essential than your everyday bands. Buy a pack of Kunyos straps and you get all the benefits of water resistance for a very low price, meaning it's not the end of the world if you end up damaging it in some way in the pool.

A pin and tuck closure system plus breathable holes means it feels good on your skin no matter how long it lasts, and with four in a pack, it’s likely that it will be a long time before you need to buy a new Apple Watch band, even if individually they don’t last long. Another benefit is that you get four different colors here, so you can regularly change up the appearance of your Apple Watch at a remarkably low price.

Nisto Silicone Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Nisto)

3. Nisto Silicone Strap

Designed with breathability in mind

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of air holes
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Not aimed at the office look

Another watch strap best for the pool but not the office, the Nisto Silicone Strap has plenty of air holes to ensure skin irritation is non-existent, and you won't have to worry about it soaking up water in the pool or sea. Made from silicone, it's lightweight too so you'll barely notice you're wearing it. It uses a straightforward clip to hold it tight to your wrist.

The Nisto Silicone Strap is about as sporty looking as an Apple Watch strap can get, for better or worse, but one design perk is that it’s available in a wide range of shades, so you’re sure to be able to find one that matches your style – or buy several and swap them based on your mood. It’s certainly cheap enough to justify doing that. That low price does make us call the durability into question, but it’s not like it will be an expensive loss if it doesn’t last long.

Epova Silicone Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Epova)

4. Epova Silicone Strap

Keeping it simple yet durable

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use design
+
Plenty of color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly basic

The Epova Silicone Strap is basically a regular Apple Sport Band but without the expensive price tag that comes with Apple branding. It's made from durable and soft silicone so it feels good around your wrist and should limit skin irritation massively. A buckle like design means it's fairly easy to attach too, although not quite as simple as some others here. Ultimately, it's all comfortably straightforward.

This is another strap that’s available in a wide range of colors too, and cheap enough that it could be worth picking up several in different shades, so you have multiple options that you can swap between. Inevitably with low price straps like this there’s an increased risk that they won’t last long, but if you have several then that needn’t be a problem either.

Best leather Apple Watch bands

Love a more traditional look for a watch strap? These leather Apple Watch bands have the classiness of a traditional watch with all the benefits of being for your Apple Watch. If you're worried about sustainability, we've even found one that uses vegan leather so you have peace of mind there. Leather is highly durable when you maintain it well so these are ideal for the workplace.

Casetify Tie Dye Blues against a white background

(Image credit: Casetify)

1. Casetify Tie Dye Blues

An animal-friendly version of leather, it looks good too

Reasons to buy

+
Vegan-friendly leather
+
Stylish looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Only sweat resistant

Love the look of leather but uncomfortable about the use of animal skin? This Casetify Tie Dye Blues uses Vegan leather so you get all the advantages and none of the cons. It looks good too, offering water and sweat resistance as well as being made from biodegradable material. Everything about it is ecologically friendly while also looking great.

Of course, just like a real leather strap this is no good for swimming – sweat is its limit. But it costs less than you might expect, and it’s available in a wide range of eye-catching colors. The only downside to the appearance is that tie dye definitely won’t be for everyone, but to those who like it, this will be a stylish, distinct and unusual Apple Watch band choice.

California Poppy Leather Link against a white background

(Image credit: California Poppy)
Made from French leather, this is an elegant strap

Reasons to buy

+
Made from French leather
+
Magnet attachment

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for exercise

Elegant in every way, the California Poppy Leather Link band is made from handcrafted Roux Granada leather made in France, so you know it'll look good. Alongside that, it uses flexible molded magnets that gently flex to wrap around your wrist and form a secure yet comfortable fit. It's subtle so there's no bulky buckle to worry about while still feeling safe at all times.

As with most leather straps this is a terrible choice for exercise – this is strictly a strap for making your Apple Watch look good, not for enduring a workout. It’s also rather expensive (which is another thing that a lot of leather straps have in common). But as long as you don’t sweat on it too much it should last well.

Black Leather Loop against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

3. Apple Leather Loop

Handcrafted leather from Italy for an extra classy touch

Reasons to buy

+
Handcrafted leather
+
Attractive look

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for exercising

Made from handcrafted leather from Italy, the Apple Leather Loop oozes a lot of class. Its leather is soft and quilted so it feels great on your wrist, with magnets that are concealed amongst it so you won't notice them. Best of all, neither will anyone else, so it almost feels like your watch is suspended around your wrist, albeit securely and precisely.

This is a premium choice that you won’t want to exercise in, and it’s only available in a few different colors. But if you find one that you like it’s a comfortable, great looking strap that’s ideal whether you’re going for a casual or smart look. It’s expensive but coming from Apple it’s likely to last a long time, so consider it an investment.

Modern Buckle against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

4. Apple Modern Buckle

A classic looking strap with some neat design

Reasons to buy

+
Buckle that isn't a buckle
+
Comfy fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for workouts

Want something that uses the same material as NASA use to make landing airbags? That's the Modern Buckle with its inner layer of Vectran weave for strength and stretch resistance. That bit isn’t leather of course, but the outer layer uses smooth top-grain leather, so this is a strap that focuses on both form and function – looking good and built to last.

It feels great too with a solid buckle that's actually a two-piece magnetic closure, giving it a classic look but modern sensibilities. It's classy in every way thanks to its high-quality leather from France. The usual leather caveat applies – this is no good for exercising with, despite its durable construction, and it’s not cheap even as leather straps go, but it’s Apple branded and well thought through.

Hermes Ebene Barenia Leather Single Tour Deployment Buckle against a white background

(Image credit: Hermes)

5. Hermes Ebene Barenia Leather Single Tour Deployment Buckle

Expensively decadent for those with money to spare

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly smart looking
+
Clever buckle design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Hermes 44mm Ebene Barenia Leather Single Tour Deployment Buckle is very expensive and a mouthful to say, but it's pretty classy. Using high-end leather, it has a hidden deployment buckle which opens with a click of the two side buttons, ensuring an incredibly secure fit that still feels comfortable. It's ideal if security is everything to you and money is no expense, but for many, it'll cost more than the watch itself.

The incredibly high price makes it hard to recommend for most buyers, but if you’ve got the money to spare and want a truly premium leather Apple Watch strap, then this Ebene Barenia Leather Single Tour Deployment Buckle from Hermes is a top choice – just don’t exercise in it.

Best unique Apple Watch bands

If you're keen to express yourself through your Apple Watch, these unique Apple Watch bands are the ones calling to you. We've included some of the gorgeous Pride designs that Apple has embraced in recent times, as well as some quirky designs that simply ensure you stand out from the crowd. These are the Apple Watch straps for anyone that wants something a little bit different from a regular watch strap.

Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop

Beautifully inclusive and comfy too

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Incredibly comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit expensive

Beautifully designed, the Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is inspired by the inclusive nature of Pride. It looks fantastic and it's similarly comfortable too thanks to being created by weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultra-thin silicone threads.

Soft yet textured, it's good for sweat and water resistance although don't use it in the pool. It’s easy to slip on and off your wrist but not in any danger of sliding off unexpectedly, and the Pride colors make it a bright, attractive option that’s sure to stand out from the crowd.

The Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is not cheap for what it is, but that’s typical of bands made by Apple itself. The flipside to that is that it’s likely built to last.

Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop

A more breathable way of being proud

Reasons to buy

+
Reflective rainbow yarn
+
Breathable design

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for swimming

Gorgeous to look at, the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop offers a nylon weave with reflective rainbow yarn. So, it shimmers when light strikes it, making it ideal for late night runs – though you’ll still want other reflective gear too.

Alongside that is a hook and loop fastener that's easy to adjust depending on how much room you need, but its breathable design means you'll never feel sweaty wearing it. Of course, being a fabric strap, this Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop isn’t something you should swim in – though it’s ideal for less water-based exercises. 

Shimmer aside, the Pride colors here look a bit more subdued than on some Pride straps. That could be either a good or a bad thing depending on your taste.

Wepro ThinRainbow Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Wepro)

3. Wepro ThinRainbow Strap

Pride on a budget with a bohemian twist

Reasons to buy

+
Great design
+
Low price

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as high quality as the official option

A little bohemian in style and a lot full of Pride, the Wepro ThinRainbow Strap is delightful for the price. It has a stretchy design made from woven elastic nylon so it's comfy and secure at all times. Its buckle further helps here, but it's fairly easy to arrange conveniently on your wrist. It's no good for exercise or swimming but other than that, it's a fun little party piece or for when you want to express yourself.

It looks similarly good to straps that cost five times as much too, and the product description promises that the colors won’t fade. That said, we’re always a little wary of straps that are this cheap as durability can be an issue, but only time will tell.

MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap against a white background

(Image credit: MobyFox)

4. MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap

For the Harry Potter fan who loves to express themselves

Reasons to buy

+
Harry Potter design
+
Durable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Very situational

We're not saying wear the MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap in the office, but if you fancy being a little nerdy then it's certainly tempting. Officially licensed, this appears well made, with sweat and UV-resistant silicone used to ensure the MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap is pretty tough and durable. There are numerous different designs too, so you can embrace your inner Harry Potter house.

This also isn’t overly expensive, which is ideal for a strap that you probably won’t want to wear everywhere. Obviously this isn’t one for non-Harry Potter fans, and even among fans it may not be ideal as your main or only Apple Watch strap, but it’s a fun novelty that’s a bit different to most Apple Watch bands you’ll see in the wild.

Casetify Doodles against a white background

(Image credit: Casetify)

5. Casetify Doodles

Cute and charming for the quirky amongst us

Reasons to buy

+
Fun designs
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Only useful for daily living

Best suited for downtime at the weekend or when you're not planning on heading to the gym, the Casetify Doodles Apple Watch strap is a ton of fun. It uses a design from British artist, Jon Burgerman, and is sure to make you smile every time you glance at it. It might not be the most durable for workouts or anything like that, or smart enough for certain situations, but it's a fun way to express yourself and is sure to stand out.

The Casetify Doodles Apple Watch strap also has a reasonably affordable price tag, so it’s one you can justify treating yourself to even if it’s not going to be your main or only Apple Watch band. You can also get iPhone, iPad and AirPod cases with Burgerman’s designs, so if you want a unified fun aesthetic across all your Apple gear that’s possible here too.

Apple 45mm Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop

(Image credit: Apple)

6. Apple 45mm Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop

Inclusive and delightful

Reasons to buy

+
Classy design
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for swimming

The Apple Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop offers a design that means you can feel proud and inclusive while also being a little more understated than other Pride based watch bands. Its rainbow colors still stand out but it blends more into your surroundings if you need a look that suits a professional appearance more so.

Soft and breathable, its nylon weave feels great on your skin. A hook-and-loop fastener makes it easy to adjust as needed, while the attachment loops on the back keep the strap secure throughout the day.

Apple 45mm Pride Edition Sport Loop

(Image credit: Apple)

7. Apple 45mm Pride Edition Sport Loop

Gorgeously proud

Reasons to buy

+
Three-dimensional texture
+
Comfy fit

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too vivid for some

The Apple Pride Edition Sport Loop is thoughtfully designed. Its colors unite the core Pride flag along with five new colors. Black and brown symbolize marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, as well as those currently living with HIV/AIDS and those who have died from it. Alongside that, light blue, pink, and white honor trans and gender nonconforming people so there's something to unite us all here. 

Its breathable double-layer nylon weave is made from soft textile loops with the Pride script made by removing some of these to produce a three-dimensional texture. It's an unique style that truly stands out thanks to looking so great.

Best designer Apple Watch bands

Designer Apple Watch bands can be very expensive but not always. We've covered a range of different designers so there's something for (nearly) every budget. If you want to spend more than your watch cost, you can, but there are still some very smart looking designer options for far less, and you can even create a bracelet style look from some examples here.

Kate Spade Floral Silicone Apple Watch Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Kate Spade)

1. Kate Spade Floral Silicone Apple Watch Strap

Stylishly cute with a traditional flourish

Reasons to buy

+
Elegant flowery design
+
Secure buckle

Reasons to avoid

-
Designed for older Apple Watches

Aimed at older Apple Watches that have 38mm bodies, the Kate Spade Floral Silicone Apple Watch Strap isn't for everyone, but it certainly looks charming. It offers a stylishly cute design that works well for those wanting to express themselves with a designer name without being too garish. A cute buckle means it looks a lot like a regular high-end watch strap too.

The main issue with this strap is simply that it doesn’t support newer Apple Watch models, so you can only use it if you’re rocking an older model – and it’s probably only worth buying if you won’t be upgrading anytime soon. It also doesn’t appear to be widely sold at the time of writing, but you can still find it if you shop around.

Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour against a white background

(Image credit: Hermes)

2. Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour

Attractively designed and even swim proof

Reasons to buy

+
Swimproof
+
Great use of textiles

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Often, designer watch straps aren't particularly durable, but the Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour is swimproof. Looking great thanks to its use of a textile that's been woven with a vibrant design, it looks exciting yet subtle enough for the workplace too.

Also, while we’re specifically highlighting the Kraft/Rouge de Coeur color here, this Hermes strap is available in a wide variety of other shades too, so there’s sure to be one you’ll like. It’s versatile and durable enough that whatever your needs you’ll probably only need this one strap, but that’s a good thing too, because it’s also exceedingly expensive. So even with everything we love about it, the Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour is going to be hard to justify for a lot of buyers.

Mintapple Limited Edition Genuine Exotic against a white background

(Image credit: Mintapple)

3. Mintapple Limited Edition Genuine Exotic

A crocodile skin leather option

Reasons to buy

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Crocodile skin leather
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Very durable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not exactly eco-friendly

If crocodile skin leather seems like the height of luxury, the Mintapple Limited Edition Genuine Exotic Apple Watch strap is for you. This designer watch strap from Mintapple looks distinctive in every way using this expensive form of leather alongside surgical grade 316L stainless steel that won't rust or tarnish. It's highly durable and intricately made thanks to being made to order.

Many will understandably not want a crocodile leather strap, but for those who do this is an undeniably classy choice, and while it’s certainly expensive it almost feels like a bargain compared to some of the designer straps that are available. Of course, as with other leather bands we wouldn’t take this one swimming – this is for wearing with suits, not swim shorts.

Kate Spade New York Apple Watch bracelet against a white background

(Image credit: Kate Spade)

4. Kate Spade New York Apple Watch bracelet

A bracelet that's also a watch strap

Reasons to buy

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Doubles up as jewelry
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Self-adjustable links

Reasons to avoid

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Pretty heavy

If you want to help your Apple Watch fit into your evening wear decor, then the Kate Spade New York Apple Watch bracelet is a good option. Made from polished stainless steel, it uses signature spade-shaped links that are easily adjustable by you to get the right fit for your wrist. It's a little heavy for workouts and other practical purposes but at night, it looks great.

It’s shiny, stylish and chic – so much so that it genuinely works as jewelry in its own right, and while it’s expensive by general Apple Watch strap standards, it’s not as pricey as some designer options. It also looks built to last, so you might not need to replace it for a long time.

Best metal Apple Watch bands

If you prefer the classic and cold stylings of a metal watch strap, it's easily achieved with a metal Apple Watch bands. Much like the designer range, things can get expensive but the handy thing about metal Apple Watch bands is they're incredibly robust. Consider these an investment and your watch will stay safe for a long time to come.

Gold Milanese Loop against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Gold Milanese Loop

Inspired by Italy and with extensive adjustability

Reasons to buy

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Beautiful design
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Distinctive finish

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for exercise

A little heavy it might be but the Gold Milanese Loop looks stunning. Woven on specialized Italian machines, its smooth stainless-steel mesh looks great and should feel suitably good on your wrist too.

It's fully magnetic so you can adjust it to your heart's content to get the perfect fit for your wrist. The use of a physical vapor deposition layer means it has an extra distinctive finish too.

Coming from Apple you can be sure of the quality as well – this thing will be a premium strap that’s designed to last. That said, it’s not going to be a great choice for exercising in. As well as gold, you can also get this Milanese Loop in silver or graphite shades, so there are a few different options, though not as many as some straps offer.

Silver Link Bracelet against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
Offering multiple different classy touches

Reasons to buy

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Intricately designed
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Secure custom butterfly closure

Reasons to avoid

-
Evening attire only

Utilizing more than 100 components, the Silver Link Bracelet takes advantage of a complex machining process that takes nine hours to cut the links for just one strap. That's nice peace of mind when purchasing an expensive strap and it's further enhanced by its custom butterfly closure that folds neatly within the bracelet.

Everything about the Silver Link Bracelet feels classy, with the option to switch out links yourself aiding the personalized feeling. Given how much work goes into making this strap though – coupled with the fact that it’s made by Apple – it’s inevitably very, very expensive. So this definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s also not one that you’ll want to work out in – the more formal the setting, the more at home you’ll be with this strap.

Pugo Top Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Pugo)

3. Pugo Top Strap

An inexpensive form of metal watch strap

Reasons to buy

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Cheap
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Stainless steel

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the classiest of finishes

The Pugo Top Strap doesn't look quite as classy as some metal straps but it's far, far cheaper than the competition. And it still uses premium stainless steel with a refined dual fold-over clasp design that's easy for you to adjust by removing or adding links.

The clasp closes securely so it feels snug around your wrist all day long. Looks wise, it could look more refined but it's certainly practical. It’s designed to be comfortable to wear too, and given the low price you could probably justify having one or more alternate straps, for different situations – which is especially good since this one won’t be ideal for exercising in.

We always worry about durability with cheaper straps. However, the flipside to that is that it’s not a major expense if the strap does need replacing.

Artche Watch Strap against a white background

(Image credit: Artche)

4. Artche Watch Strap

Durable and secure, this is one for the sporty

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable design
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Smart look

Reasons to avoid

-
Clasp might not be for everyone

The Artche Watch Strap is a secure fit for a good price. Made from stainless steel, it certainly looks the part. Where some may not be keen is with its double folding clasp that locks firmly but is a little awkward to set up compared to some alternative methods. Still, if you have a physical job, this will keep you feeling safe for less and it looks good too.

The Artche Watch Strap for Apple Watch also has an adjustable strap, and while it wouldn’t be our first choice to work out in, the product description lists exercise as something it’s suitable for. Still, given the low price you could easily get a bunch of different straps for different occasions.

How to choose the best Apple Watch band for you

When choosing an Apple Watch band the first two things you should consider are your budget and what you plan to do while wearing the Apple Watch - most notably whether you plan to exercise in it, whether you plan to swim in it, and whether you'll wear it somewhere smart.

With all those considerations in mind you can start to round down the best strap for you. Leather straps for example are no good for swimming, and if you plan to extensively exercise then a dedicated workout band might be the best choice.

If exercise isn't on the agenda then you can look to something classier, like a metal or leather band - and if money is no object then designer bands could be worth considering.