Apple watch

The best Apple Watch bands, according to CNET staff who wear them

Have the ability to swap bands on a apple watch is one of the most unique features of Apple’s signature smartwatch. Having this choice means that no matter what event you’re going to or what activity you’re engaged in, you can wear your Apple Watch, without needing to buy another watch. If you’re about to buy an Apple Watch, maybe these flashy bands will help you take the plunge.

CNET crew members use many different straps in their daily lives, and of course, we all have our favorites. Some of us like things to be super simple, while others like lots of variety and patterns. But all bands on this list are of excellent quality and well suited for our needs.

Read more: Apple Watch Series 8 rumors: Rugged ‘Pro’ version, fever detection and more


I’ve tried many different Apple Watch straps and have always liked the look and feel of the Nike Sport Band. But this one beats even that. It has a slightly less sporty and more rugged look, and the materials are premium and as if built to hold up well. There are several different color options, but I haven’t pulled off the navy blue yet since I got it.

The clasp holds well and securely so I don’t really have to worry about my watch falling off. I have been using this band for a few months now and recommend the product to everyone. I got more compliments on the band than I can remember. Nomad makes very high quality accessories for Apple equipment, and this is no exception.

–Jared Di Pane

Russell Holly/CNET

I’ve used just about every fitness watch band made by Apple and third parties, but I always come back to the standard Apple Sport Band. It’s not the most comfortable band I’ve ever worn, but it’s by far the easiest to clean, and the colors haven’t faded at all, despite my constant use in the sun.

–Russell Holly

John Falcone/CNET

I’ll be honest: I picked this bracelet pretty much at random because I loved the earthy distressed faux leather look in the photo – and the incredibly low price. But six months later, I really like it. It’s comfortable and it holds well, despite some involuntary soaking. What more could you ask for at such a low price?

–John P. Falcone

Sarah Mitroff/CNET

I need my Apple Watch band to be completely simple. I don’t want to mess with the loops – I just want to put my watch on and go. This inexpensive band is perfect for that. It’s a single band of elastic with no sliders or anything else to adjust. It’s soft and stretchy enough to hold the watch firmly against my wrist so the heart rate monitor sensors work properly, without being too tight.

I can only guarantee styles where the pattern is woven into the band (not the solid color or printed options). I first bought the Neon Orange color, and it’s the one I still use today. I bought a second band, the Wine solid color option, and it’s stiff and rough in comparison.

–Sarah Mitroff


When I’m not using the Nomad Sport Band mentioned above, my other go-to Apple Watch band is the Spigen Rugged Armor. The styling is totally different, but as a G-Shock watch enthusiast, I love the look and feel of this one. Instead of sliding the band on either side, you snap your Apple Watch into it, and it also protects the sides of the watch.

It comes in several different colors, and I think right now I own them all. It also doesn’t make the buttons harder to press, which is a huge plus. If you are someone who is hard on your Apple Watch, this is a great option to consider.

–Jared Di Pane