I have a confession to make. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I lost the ability to wear anything “foreign” on my body. This included any kind of chain, ring, or even a watch. It was the hardest to stop wearing watches, but I did that for a long time.
When Apple came out with the watch, I finally got a watch and it was perfect… for a whole year!
For that one exquisite year, the Apple Watch sport band was perfect for me, and I had no itchiness or allergy. I was like “Wow! Apple actually solved this problem for me!”.
But after a year, unfortunately, it went bad — really bad. The allergy was so bad, there were actual cuts where my watch would be on my wrist.
Then I swapped for a new watch, and again it was perfect for a year. This year, exactly 12 months later, I had the rash. By now, I had already tried every kind of band — and concluded that a new Apple Sports Band was the best hypoallergenic band atleast for one year after purchase.
Cloth bands could not be washed (hated the wet feeling), metal was too cold and my hair would get caught between the “links”. Leather could not be washed. I had ended up “washing” the sports band everyday — but still exactly a year later, like clockwork…
This time I decided to talk to a very patient Apple Specialist over the convenient Apple Chat from the Store app on my iPhone. There is nothing we talked about specifically which I have not already mentioned. I did get some useful links though which should save you some time:
How to clean your Apple Watch
Learn how to clean your Apple Watch and band. Is it ok to use a disinfectant on my Apple Watch? Using a 70 percent…
Wearing your Apple Watch
To make sure that you have the best experience, here's some information about getting a good fit when you wear your…
Here are some interesting comments from Apple Support:
“You’re actually not the first I’ve heard about this with! I’m sorry to hear it was giving you a reaction though. Let’s see what I can find for you.”
“I wonder if it could be sweat between your waist and the band… do you notice any moisture or anything like that?”
- I do have some moisture sometimes, but not anything which directly causes the itch.
“I wonder if maybe the sport loop might work for you. You have a sport band, the more silicone feeling material. The sport loop is a nylon material with a velcro to help keep it tight on your wrist. You can wash them, and they can get wet but because of the nylon material, they’d need some drying time. You can’t just wipe them dry like the sport band.”
- Not being able to dry means having two of them. $100 for two bands??? #Wow
- I have tried nylon bands before and they always feel yucky to wear once wet. If anything it makes allergies worse.
- You really need two to make that proposition work, so you can wash one everyday, and wear the other one till it gets dry.
“it’s possible maybe there is a material that’s on those silicone bands that could be wearing away after some time.”
- Exactly, and I have heard this before. Makes total sense.
“The braided solo loop is a good idea too! Since it has that more fabric material. You still may need some extra drying time if you do get it fully wet.”
“I love the material of the new solo loops, but you do have to make sure it’s the right size when you’re ordering.”
- Yes, I agree — I like the new solo loop.
- I tried it today — not having the metal clasp definitely reduces irritation
- It is also softer and gentler on the skin.
- I would say, it feels a bit like skin when compared to the old sports band.
It was at this time that I did some research on the Apple site and concluded:
“So what I have is a fluoroelastomer strap which to me feels to degrade over time”
“The solo loop is liquid silicone rubber”
“The braided solo loop is polyester with silicone threads”
This was the response from the specialist:
“The solo loop is a slightly different material — a bit thinner feeling almost, and more stretchy, but does give a similar feel to the sport band. And then the solo loop is more of a yarn, yes.”
- I agree, this was my experience after I tried it as well.
- I loved the “yarn” look though — just beautiful the blue colored one.
Btw, they don’t recommend putting even the “cloth” bands in a washing machine. The support experience was very, very good — buying from Apple is worth the service they provide. That is what matters the most.
There is a myriad of options on the Apple website. I have taken a screenshot here, so you can see for yourself the various options available at this point in time:
I don’t know how this will work out over time. But I will be updating this article as I have been doing all the other ones as more information becomes available.
Dec 3, 2020
I returned the solo loop today because of two reasons:
- It was too tight to put on easily.
- But once “in”, it was too loose.
- It is softer than my old band, but somehow felt more irritating.
I am going to try the Nike Sport Loop next (which was my original choice, before I dropped it to try the “newer” band material first).
Dec 7, 2020
I got the Nike Sport Loop today. It feels like fabric, it is breathable, and most importantly, it is very light as compared to the older bands. That has made some difference.
Dec 8, 2020
I returned the Nike Sport Loop today because it was “prickly” and it got worse with sweat after a workout.
I was at a bit of a loss to figure out which band to try next. I think I will be getting the leather one, because I remember the old watch my Dad gave me a long time ago had a leather band and that worked great for a long time. Maybe that won’t be allergic.
Dec 10, 2020
I got the leather band today. I definitely like this better than the other bands so far.
- Feels like organic “real” natural material
- Not itchy (yet)
- Not prickly (for sure)
- Beautifully adjustable to the perfect fit.
- Everyone else liked this color — me not so much in real life. It looked better online.
I did wear the band to my workout yesterday — it was fine. Now, I leave it to dry afterwards. I also have a feeling this is a “winter only” allergy because I am fine during the summers.
I have thought about why this is a winter problem, the only reason I can think of is because snow absorbs pollutants in the air while coming down. When it melts, it gives off those chemicals into the air — that maybe why I have eye allergies specifically only during winters. Yes, I agree — it sucks! But it is not horribly bad — just irritating.
Dec 18, 2020
I think I am keeping it because it is ok.
- Very good fit
- Looks gr8 with jeans.
I think the band could be better — but I think it maybe the best I can get. If it lasts longer than a year, then it will be worth it even at $99. I would really like to wear my watch all the time.
I know the Milanese loop style is not allergic, but hairs get in it, and that can be painful.
To be continued…