Great if you're strapped for cash
Your Apple Watch with the same black sports band looks quite boring. If you like accessorizing, you might want to switch between different bands and watch faces based on the occasion and your dressing. A stainless steel bracelet for work, a leather band for a night out, or a colorful nylon band for the weekend.
Apple themselves would be more than happy to sell you a band, or six. But Apple’s Sports bands start at $49, and a Milanese loop costs $99. But you don’t need to spend nearly as much to get a band that’s just as good. There are many third-party Apple Watch straps you can find in the $10-$50 range.
Apple Watch straps come in two sizes, the smaller one is for the 38mm/40mm models, and the larger one is for the 42/44mm models (these two sizes support the Apple Watch Series). And don’t worry, it only takes a couple of seconds to change these Watch straps, and it doesn’t require any tools (more on this later).
Here are the best third-party Apple Watch straps you should buy.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a nice watch strap is of course a leather band. There’s a huge variety when it comes to leather bands. You can go for different patterns and textures. But nothing beats a simple and supple tan finish.
Belkin offers a comfortable and lightweight leather band that costs under $10 and comes in three different colors.
If you’re looking for a thicker and more stylish leather band, take a look at Mifa’s Leather Band ($25). It’s made from genuine leather, is 3mm thick, and comes with a black buckle that gives it a classy look.
Apple’s official stainless steel Link Bracelet costs a whopping $349. But you don’t need to pay nearly as much if you go for a third-party option. Kades Stainless Steel Link Bracelet costs under $25 and looks almost exactly the same.
It comes in silver and black, has the classic double-button folding clasp which locks and hides firmly below the band. It is made from 304L stainless steel with a precision milling process.
This gives it a smooth finish while still being sturdy and durable. And just like Apple’s version, it comes with a link remover kit. So you can remove links and make the band shorter (or longer) for a better fit.
Usually, when you go with a classier steel band, you lose out on the colors. But MCORS’ Milanese Loop gives you a stylish look, along with eight color options (including Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, and Black).
MCORS Milanese Loop has a mesh design created from stainless steel and offers an adjustable magnetic enclosure. There’s no clasp here. The magnet holds the strap in place. At under $15, MCORS Milanese Loop is a fraction of the cost of Apple’s $99 Milanese Loop strap.
What’s better than one watch band? Four watch bands. Apple’s Nylon Sports Loop bands are known for their lightweight, breathable, and all-purpose design. And QIENGO’s Sports Loop bands offer the same features at a much lower price.
You can get a four-pack of these Apple watch straps, with different colors, and patterns for just $16 (the rainbow color is our favorite).
A nylon band is lightweight and absorbs moisture and sweat very well. This makes it easy to wear throughout the day. If you don’t like the Sports Loop design, and you prefer the classic buckle style, you’ll be glad to know that you can get a nylon version as well.
Fintie makes a very good nylon band for the 42mm/44mm Apple Watch models. They come in many different colors like Grey, Red, Black, Olive, Navy Blue, Camo, and more.
They are knitted from the same breathable Nylon material, and come with a black stainless steel buckle-style clasp. You can buy a Fintie Nylon Sport Band in any color for less than $11.
Apple Watch’s default Sports Band, with soft silicone, and a pin-and-tuck enclosure, became an instant classic. While it’s a great all-purpose band that comes in many colors, it’s also quite expensive at $49 per piece.
Tobif’s Silicone Band gives you the same Silicone soft finish along with the same pin-and-tuck mechanism for less than $13. And for that price, you get a four-pack of Apple watch straps. You’ll find many classic colors like Black, Navy Blue, Pink, Gray, Wine Red, and more.
With the Apple Nike Watch Band, Apple took its already popular Sport band and added air holes to them. This made the Silicone band even more breathable and created new opportunities for colorful patterns.
If you like this design, and don’t want to pay the exorbitant rates of Apple’s official straps, go for Zsuoop’s Sport Watch Band packs. You get two different bands in different colors and patterns (with different strap colors and accents for the air holes). A two-pack for various Apple Watch sizes comes in under $11.
How To Change The Apple Watch Strap
As we mentioned above, changing the Apple Watch strap takes a couple of seconds and you don’t need any special tools.
- Remove your Apple Watch from your wrist and turn it around.
- Hold the Band Release button that you’ll find right above the strap.
- Then simply slide off the strap to the left or the right to remove it.
- Now take the new strap and make sure that it’s the right way up. Press and hold the Band Release button and slide the new strap in place. Then let go of the Band Release button. You’ll hear a satisfying click. This tells you that the strap is secured in place.
- Now repeat the process for the other side.
And just like that, you have changed your Apple Watch strap. It’s easy, right? This is why you can buy multiple straps, and even carry them in your bag to change them depending on what you’re doing (it would be especially useful to carry a Sports Band to switch to when working out).
What is your favorite Apple Watch strap? Share with us in the comments below.