Like many on-the-go professionals, I have a handful of trusty outfits that take me from the office to the gym to social hour with minimal effort put into changing between each setting -- the rise of "athleisure" and the stack of black leggings in my closet have gotten me through many busy days.
When your Apple Watch serves as your right-hand -- er, wrist -- man, it's only natural to want the same flexible functionality from your watch straps.
Thanks to the surge in third-party bands for Apple Watch, you can easily flit between different purposes and aesthetics with watch straps. From office-acceptable (e.g., nylon, stainless steel) to ballroom-worthy (e.g., Italian leather, rose gold) to rugged and outdoorsy (e.g., Cordura fabric, a silicone band, or a sports band), Amazon has tens of thousands of Apple Watch bands to suit your different needs and watch sizes. Here are some of the best Apple Watch bands.
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For ultimate breathability, try this AdMaster band that features air holes throughout the entire band. Made of silicone, this band is soft, and the stainless steel buckle keeps it in place on your wrist. Most people who bought this band on Amazon consider it one of the best Apple Watch bands in terms of comfort, fit and price.
Generally speaking, any plain silicone band will serve well as a sport band for your Apple Watch. Many buyers reviewed this band as comparable to the Apple Watch Sport Band and one of the best Apple Watch bands in terms of flexibility, thickness, functionality and comfort. But the IYOU starts at just $5.99, while the official Apple band costs $49.
Again, Apple's official accessory bands are hardly cheap, but some are worth the price tag. The popular Milanese Loop band is a great choice when you want something more professional than silicone, but aren't into a leather strap or metal chain link designs. The Milanese Loop features a woven design of stainless steel, in rose gold, silver or black, that results in a flexible fit and comfortable yet sturdy band.
Looking to glam up your Apple Watch? Look no further than Tomazon's handmade jewelry Apple Watch bands, particularly this faux-pearl beaded one in a bracelet style. It comes in a few different color schemes, and it's fully elastic with no buckle, which makes it easy to slip on and off.
An official Apple accessory, the Apple Watch Sport Loop utilizes a double-layer nylon design that features extra cushion and comfort, making it ideal for many activities and all-day wear. Nylon is breathable, so you can wear this band straight from a morning workout to a morning meeting.
A protective case and band combo is a smart option for anyone who wears their Apple Watch while doing any sort of manual labor, high-intensity exercise with weights, outdoor activities like rock climbing, or any other activities that could damage your watch.
This protective Apple Watch band comes from Supcase, which has long made quality protective cases for the iPhone. The Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro doubles as a case, which snaps onto your Apple Watch to provide shock absorption, and the raised bezel design acts as screen protectors to help you avoid screen damage and scratches.
Looking for a sleek steel upgrade from the basic silicone band that your Apple Watch came with? Try stainless steel -- combined with an analog clock face, your smartwatch could look as classic as a high-end designer timepiece on your wrist. This Kades stainless steel band comes in a brushed metal finish that looks just as great with a casual outfit as it does with a formal one.
Apple manufactures its own suite of Barenia leather Apple Watch bands, but thanks partly to the high-quality leather, they're priced high enough to sticker shock most people. For a less expensive leather loop that's still high quality, highly rated and a comfortable fit, try this WFGEAL genuine leather band that comes in a variety of colors -- with more than 40 color combinations.
Sometimes, simplicity tops all else. This nylon strap from Modal combines the sturdiness of thick woven nylon with a simple design and classic belt loop-type buckle for a stylish yet comfortable fit.
There are a lot of silicone Apple Watch bands out there, but there aren't many with this thick, textured design. The tire-tread silicone on this Carterjett band makes it perfect for people who need durability in a band, and the rugged aesthetic is a bonus for outdoorsy or adventurous types.
If you have large wrists, and/or long or muscular arms, you might find that many watch bands look oddly minuscule on you. This steel band from eLander features a larger width and big links, making the metal band a heftier option.
On the other hand, many people feel that most watch bands fit too wide or thick. If you're looking for a thin wrist band, try this Secbolt leather watch band that comes in more than 20 colors and patterns. The genuine leather wrist strap with fine stitching conforms easily to small wrists, and the leather strap can be adjusted to wrist size thanks to the stainless steel buckle.
This story originally published on June 22, 2019 and has been updated with current pricing.