The Best Apple Watch Bands for Working Out in 2024

Estimated read time 7 min read

The Apple Watch is one of the best fitness trackers, so you’ll want to outfit it with a strap designed specifically for working out. Regardless of how you stay active, wearing one of the best Apple Watch bands for working out is a great way to maximize your exercise time.

Some of our favorites include the Apple Sport Band. It has a comfortable design, comes in several color options, and has an easy-to-use clasp. We also like the Otterbox Terrus Band. It’s comfortable against the skin, durable, and made from recycled materials.

Below are the best Apple Watch bands for working out. Although they’re intended for the Series 9, SE, and Ultra 2, many also work with older models as far back as the first Apple Watch. It’s smart to double-check the sizing of the band and your watch before purchasing, though.

To see more of the best Apple Watch bands, check out our picks of the best metal Apple Watch bands and the best designer Apple Watch bands.

Best Apple Watch bands for working out

When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

  • Apple’s Sport Band is the tried-and-true workout option as it’s durable, flexible, and comfortable. It’s one of the options that comes with the Apple Watch but can also be purchased separately.

  • The Otterbox name is synonymous with quality accessories and its Terrus Band for Apple Watch is no different. It’s made from recycled material that’s soft to the skin, lightweight, and durable.

  • This band from Otterbox is one of the most comfortable we’ve tested. It has soft, durable rubber and comes in 11 different colors to fit anyone’s style.

  • Nomad’s Sport Band is on par quality-wise with anything you’d buy from Apple, though it features a slightly more rugged design that may be more suitable to some folks.

  • Nike’s Sport Band features an easy-to-use pin-and-tuck closure system that ensures a snug, comfortable fit, and its perforated design makes it one of the best Apple Watch bands for runners.

  • Apple’s Ultra-specific Ocean Band is best used by the active wearer who swims, surfs, kayaks, whatever. If you get active near water, the Ocean Band is what you want to wear.

  • If you’d rather work out with a nylon band instead of rubber, then the Sport Loop is for you. It’s soft against the skin, highly breathable, and lightweight — and one of Apple’s best.

  • If you want to step both your fitness and style game up, Coach’s Apple Watch Strap is what you seek. This rubber band is comfortable against the skin and is durable enough for any kind of activity.

  • The Protector Series from Pelican is an easy-off, easy-on elastic watch band that’s lightweight, comfortable against the skin, and available in a range of colors.

  • The ActionBand is a unique option as it’s a sweatband that also features a secure slot for the Apple Watch. This makes it well-suited for sports like basketball or soccer.

  • The Bounce Band from Casetify is made of a durable elastomer, making it great for the active user, plus it’s water- and sweat-resistant and features a breathable design.

  • Target’s in-house brand, heyday, makes this Sport Band knockoff that’s more than just a cheap alternative. It’s available in a variety of colors, is soft and comfortable, and incredibly lightweight.


What is the best Apple Watch band for working out? 

This mostly comes down to personal preference, as some folks may prefer to wear a rubber strap while others may like the look and feel of woven nylon. Deciding between the two comes down to which one you feel is more comfortable against your skin while wearing it normally and while working out.

It’s worth noting that a rubber strap may be a bit easier to clean as it won’t need as much time to dry off as a nylon band would.

What is the best Apple Watch band for runners?

While this is subjective based on personal preference and comfort, some Apple Watch sport bands are better than others for running, particularly those made of rubber with a design that promotes airflow.

For instance, the Nike Sport Band features a perforated design that helps keep the watch lightweight and breathable, two things that are vital to runners (especially those covering long distances).

Are Apple-branded sports bands better than third-party options?

Not necessarily. So long as the third-party option comes from a reputable brand like Nike, Nomad, Otterbox, or others. Apple-branded sports bands are premium bands, but they aren’t the only option you have when picking out one of the best Apple Watch bands for working out.

What’s the best material for an Apple Watch sports band?

The best materials to look for when shopping for an Apple Watch band for working out are either rubber (sometimes referred to as fluoroelastomer) or woven nylon.

Almost all sports bands you’ll come across feature one of these materials and the reason is that these are both highly durable, lightweight, comfortable, and (mostly) breathable. They also tend to be easy to clean.

Should you wash your Apple Watch band after working out?

While you don’t need to wash your Apple Watch band after every workout, wipe any excess sweat off of it when you’re done exercising. This means physically taking off the watch and wiping down the inside of the band and the watch itself.

However, to ensure the long-term usability of the best Apple Watch bands for working out, you should clean them often. This helps preserve its durability and also helps prevent bacteria from forming, which can potentially irritate your skin.

If you do start to see any irritation or a rash forming, take your watch off, wash the band, and let the irritation heal before putting it back on.

Can you wear an Apple Watch sports band every day?

Yes, you absolutely can. Apple Watch sports bands aren’t strictly for working out, especially if you want them to give off a sporty everyday look. They’re stylish in their own way and don’t need to be reserved for going on a run or lifting weights.

Are these Apple Watch bands compatible with all Apple Watch models? 

No, many Apple Watch bands are only compatible with certain Apple Watch models, so it’s important to check the sizing of both the band and your Apple Watch to ensure a proper fit. For instance, bands that fit the smaller Apple Watch Series 9 may not work for the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and vice versa.

Rick Stella

Fitness Tech Editor, Insider Reviews

Rick Stella is the fitness tech editor for the Insider Reviews team. He reviews and reports on all forms of wearables like activity trackers and smartwatches, as well as a variety of other fitness-related wearables. Rick has over ten years of experience covering the verticals of health & fitness, outdoors, and consumer technology.When he’s not putting digital pen to digital paper, Rick enjoys seeing live music, playing soccer, catching up on Netflix shows, and riding his bike. An Oregonian for much of his life, Rick now resides in Brooklyn, NY. He can be reached at or on Twitter @RickStella.Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here.Learn more about how we test health, fitness, and outdoor products.

Read more
Read less