Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Apple Watch bands for dressing up, going running and everything in between
Stylish straps for your Apple Watch

Buying the best Apple Watch strap is the perfect way to pimp your smartwatch.

Whether you've got an original Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 2 or sports-centric Apple Watch Nike+, your smartwatch is primed for styling.

Read this: Apple Watch tips and tricks

If you've been put off by the prices of Apple's official bands, don't fear. There's a mass of third party bands up for grabs, and they can look the part while still being far cheaper than their official counterparts.

We're trying out as many bands as we can to really get a feel for what they're like to wear, customise and adjust, so keep coming for more diverse straps.

Clockwork Synergy Classic Nato

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

If you'd really like Apple's nylon bands but want something at about half the price, the Clockwork Synergy Classic Nato collection is for you. Not only are there 49 different colour variations, these are light and durable straps, plus they just look darn good. They feature more traditional nylon designs than Apple's crop too.

$24.95, clockworksynergy.com | Amazon

Strapple Crocodilus

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

If you'd like a nice leather strap for less than Apple's prices, the Strapple Crocodilus is your best bet. It's not actually crocodile leather, with Strapple instead using a fine Italian calfskin leather and embossed alligator pattern. Pair with a nice space black Apple Watch and you have something that screams luxury.

€119, strapple.com

Monowear Nylon Active

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

You want a nice nylon strap, but you want it to be a little different. Maybe you'd prefer if it wrapped around your wrist like Apple's leather or Milanese loops. That's when you'll turn to Monowear's Nylon Active, a nylon loop strap. There's a genuine leather strap on the back and stainless steel lugs, making this a good match for either the aluminum or stainless steel Apple Watch variations.

$19.99, monoweardesign.com


RuslieStraps Leather Band

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Using vegetable tanned leather, the RuslieStrap band offers a distinctive choice for those who are looking for a high quality leather feel but who aren't excited by plain old brown. It comes in 38mm and 42mm sizes and includes the Apple Watch connectors.

£53.27 | Etsy

Survival Strap paracord band

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

If you're looking for the ultimate Apple Watch band, one that'll stay on your wrist when you're on your most extreme adventures, then you have to look at Survival Strap's paracord band. They're tactical straps made out of authentic military paracord. You can also customize it to your heart's content, over 40 different color combinations.

$49.99, survivalstraps.com


Colebrook light tan leather band

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Top quality Horween leather is the order of the day on the Colebrook range, which also includes darker options – but we love this tan number. The "racing" strap is punched with holes to add extra detail, and you can choose between black and silver connectors and buckles.

£77.87 | Etsy


Southern Straps NATO military green

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Of all the straps we've tried, the military green NATO from Southern Straps is one that's been getting a lot of attention. The gold lugs play nicely against our space grey Apple Watch Series 2, although you can opt for a different colour if needed.

$25, southernstraps.com


DaLuca Aereon

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Pushing the price bracket up to max is the Da Luca Aereon, with its Swiss ammo leather material and sturdy silver buckle. At 20mm it doesn't dominate the wrist, and trumps its competitors in the leather aroma department.

$230, dalucastraps.com

Coach Leather Strap

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

If you'd like something to match the rest of your Coach items, you're in luck with the Coach Leather strap. It's right up there in the price bracket, but you're getting a better quality leather strap than Apple's at the same price point. It's got genuine glove tanned leather with heat-creased ends and hand-finished tacking. There's also a bundle of charms to accent the bands. Only available for the 38mm.

£120, coach.com


TOMS Artisan Black Diamond

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

When you think desirable Apple Watch straps, your mind probably doesn't jump straight to shoemakers. TOMS, however, has put its mastery of canvas to wrist-pimping good use, and the Black Diamond Artisan model is the pick of its bunch.

Crafted from hard-wearing woven fabric, the Artisan band is finished with a supple leather back for a comfortable fit on wrists between 130-180mm. Stainless steel accents and a rounded buckle finish the look. Not only does this strap look slick, it's also being used to do some good in the world. For every strap sold, TOMS is donating a solar light to a child in a developing country.

£64.99, toms.com


Pad & Quill Field Strap

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

This is the sort of watch strap Bear Grylls would wear, but don't let that put you off. Pairing water-resistant Cordura fabric with full grain leather accents, its hard-wearing canvas build will stand up to whatever you can throw at it, day after day after day. Pairing substance with style, it looks effortlessly cool too, and is comfortable to wear all day. It's available exclusively for the 42mm Apple Watch.

$99.95, padandquill.com


Nike+ Sport Band

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Finally! You can purchase the Nike+ sports strap without buying a special Nike+ Apple Watch. You too can now enjoy that light, airy strap built especially for exercise. While the regular Sports band is perfectly fine for exercising, the perforated holes on the Nike+ variant make it much more comfortable on your sweaty wrist. If you're a runner, this band is a winner. Plus, Nike's bands are color coordinated to match its shoes so you'll always be in sync.

£49.99, nike.com


Spigen Rugged Strap

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

The best Apple Watch straps aren't just about elegance and finesse. Sometimes you need a strap that's rough, tough and up for a fight. That's the Spigen Rugged Strap you'll be after then. Perfect for those with an outdoors lifestyle, it takes the run-friendly, waterproof ways of Apple's standard Sports strap and cranks it up to 11. The 42mm strap has a pin and tuck buckle that offers a secure fit and a knock-resistant finish. It's pretty big and bulky, but whether you're walking up a mountain or throwing yourself off one, it's tough enough to keep your watch safe.

£19.99, spigen.co.uk | Amazon


LuxWoods Apple Watch Band

For those looking for something different, straps don't come much more unique than LuxWoods' range. A classic link bracelet made from black ebony wood, the strap feels delightful, with each link smoothed and polished. What's more, it's light and comes with a high quality buckle. Word of warning, however, the adjustment is really tough and it's easy to damage the band.

£47.52, luxwood.com


Casetify Classic Lady

It's hard to ignore this muted and classy Casetify strap, which puts a more feminine spin on the classic red, white and blue. Made from a refined plastic, it's durable and offers a genuine dose of class welcome among the legions of metal chainmail and leather that dominate the third party strap market. There's also a red, white and blue Classic 1970s men's version, too.

£43.73 | casetify.com


Pad & Quill Padded strap

Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

The Field strap uses delightful two-tone effect, blending leather and cordura together for an interesting ensemble. The leather is such good quality it's a shame that it's wasted on the inside, but that effect isn't lost on your skin, and it's super comfy to wear all day. Designed for 42mm Apple Watch Series 1 & Series 2 for 130-210mm wrists, there are two colours with grey/black and brown/black options available.

£83.90, padandquill.com


Pad & Quill 60 Year Luxury Lowry Cuff

A bold statement of a watch strap, the Pad&Quill leather cuff is for those who like a bit of chunk on their arm. Reminiscent of Fossil watch straps, the supple leather is top quality, which is certainly echoed with the price tag.

$129.95, padandquill.com


Choicecuts Horween leather strap


This Choicecuts strap uses Horween Coffee Bean Dublin leather with minimal stitching for a cleaner look. The Horween is far darker than normal leather straps, and comes with the clasps and connectors required for an instant fit. The strap is available in small (110/70mm), medium (120/80mm) and large (135/85mm) sizes.

£77, Etsy


Lucrin Leather

Lucrin offers a variety of sizes and colours in its leather band range, so you can pick one to suit your sartorial style and your 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch casing. Your first choice is between a Classic or a more refined Elegance design, then there's a choice of leathers – smooth, granulated, goat, real ostrich – and then you can go about picking from one of the 30 different color options. They're not cheap, but they look the part.

£123 | lucrin.com


Oittm Stainless Steel Metal

If you fancy a nice stainless steel strap for your Apple Watch but can't afford the asking price of the official link bracelet, try these cheaper alternatives for Oittm. We can't vouch personally for how good they are, but there are hundreds of reviews online attesting to their quality. The straps come with a folding clasp and there's a choice of colours for both the 38mm and the 42mm models – you can even get a gold finish if you want.

$29.99 | Amazon


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18 Comments

  • Tim007 says:

    wow..nice collections

    really helpful buying guide.

    • Boris says:

      Sweet list indeed! I have happily tried the BlackForest strap, but I have to say that right now I am very much looking forward to what strapple.co is coming up with. Their crocodile strap looks so gorgeous!

      • Strapple says:

        That is so nice to hear, Boris! Also our compliments to Wareable who have managed to compose such an extensive list! Hopefully Strapple makes it to the list too, because we're super excited to announce that ...*drum roll*... our straps are available as of today!

        You can check out our collection on www.strapple.co

        We would love to hear your feedback!

      • Strapple says:

        That is so nice to hear, Boris! Also our compliments to Wareable who have managed to compose such an extensive list! Hopefully Strapple makes it to the list too, because we're super excited to announce that ...*drumroll*... our Apple Watch straps are available as of today!

        You can check out our collection on www.strapple.co

        We would love to hear your feedback!

    • lululookstraps says:

      Thanks so much for the awesome list. Really really do a favor for unique apple watch straps.

      Lululook also offer collection of third party apple watch bands. Please check us out.

      "Lululook apple watch bands"

  • BounmySombath says:

    i think the apple watches look great and versatile but i certainly don't have the new iphone, also the matching Apple watch but the reason why i love apple so much is that they're more of a diverse company, they also have the research kit for medical research, and the Duke University medical center app for autism, plus i was thinking out loud to myself like Android doesn't do that at all and never talk about diversity at all but Apple in the other hand is that they do, and the CEO of Apple Tim Cook talked about privacy on his 2016 March event that i watched on YouTube and he said that him and his team respects that.

  • Frannbug says:

    A useful list of alternatives, thank you!

    Btw., I have to point out that leather is 'tanned, tawed or otherwise do dressed skin', according to the dictionary. It can't be made of vegetables or plastic or anything else! Speaking as someone who was once sold a 'leather' piano stool which turned out to be made of the most horrible, unabsorbent plastic, I think too many manufacturers are relaxing the definition these days and passing off cheaper materials as leather. Had they called it something else I might have been tempted to try Leathersy's offering; but if they are dishonest about their product's materials how can you trust them?

    • Bingo-handjob says:

      Frannbug - you're right. Leather must be 'tanned'. In the case of Leathersy's product, its tanned in a solution of vegetable matter, making it vegetable tanned leather. I don't think leathersy are being dishonest in any way here.

  • SouthernStraps says:

    What about our NATO straps for Apple Watch?  They're of a far higher build quality than the Nyloon band for Apple Watch and it's $10 cheaper!

    Please do check us out!

    Southern Straps

  • cestasol9 says:

    best watch

  • njcruz137 says:

    anyone find the nike band clones yet???????

  • Zbahow says:

    Good to look for alternative to Apple wrist. Just to let people know about the black stainless steel band, retail for 750$. Got it as a present about 6 month ago, I exchange it lately for the third time cause it lose his colour, wanted a credit because I really think it's a piece of crap and was poorly design, make me look like a successful hobo after a month. Customer service can't do anything for me better than exchange it again. So I'll go every month get a new band, really strange business decision and desapointing from Apple. until know I really appreciate their products and service was part of of it.

  • Cbronson says:

    Really useful buying guide

  • TJJ says:

    Wow, just killer job on this post you guys. Actually got a lot out of this. Really appreciate the effort. Thanks.

  • GreatSearsino says:

    Loved the Black Diamond one towards the top! Would highly recommend checking out a company called Clockwork Synergy.

    They sell at very low prices and have a ton of the same straps I see here on this list.

  • Spage says:

    I am very impressed with my first purchase, the ottim stainless steel band. Delivery was prompt, however the presentation of the band exceeded my "you get what you paid for" expectations. The packaging was professional and the band itself is very akin to a proper stainless steel watch.

  • 999777 says:

    I got a mettallic strap (not apple) I use it for excercise, it si all rusted and now I can not take it out from my watch, can Any One help me? It si really stuck 

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