How the Nike Sport Apple Watch band changed my mind and won me over

If you've listened to the iMore Show enough, you've probably heard me dismissively poo-pooing the style of the Nike Sport band for Apple Watch. I never found the style to be particularly appealing. To me, it was just the Sport band with a bunch of holes in it. Then, I got my hands on the Anthracite/Black Nike Sport band and it changed my mind completely.

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Comfort above all

Apple Watch Nike Sport band

Here's the thing. It sort of is just the standard Sport band with a bunch of holes in it.

But that's what makes this design so genius. Adding the "compression-molded perforations" to the band makes it more flexible, breathable, and lightweight — and something I found myself enjoying wearing right away.

In fact, I found it to be the second most comfortable of Apple's official watch bands, right behind the nylon Sport Loop.

Why is this particular model so comfortable? Let me explain.

Apple Watch Nike Sport band

I wore the Nike Sport band during my entire time at CES and never once felt the need to adjust, wiggle, or pry it loose from my sweaty wrist. Though it's made of the same material as the Sport band, it's more flexible. It doesn't have the same stiffness, so it moves with my arm much better.

The perforations help move a bit of air around, too. So it's got more flexibility better air pass through, and it's lighter. I mean, it's missing about a third of band thanks to all those holes, so it's going to be lighter.

The Nike Sport band offers immediate sizing variation, and in my opinion, it's one of the most important features in terms of comfort.

The overall feeling reminds me more of a soft leather band than the fluoroelastomer material.

Apple Watch Nike Sport band

The perforated design also provides significantly more variety in sizing. I don't know about you, but my wrist will swell and contract throughout the day, especially if it's warm. Las Vegas in January is the perfect storm of drastic weather changes within short periods of time with various trips in and out of convention halls and hotels that are piping warm air all over the place. As the day wore on, I could loosen the notch a fraction of an inch to a different hole to give myself some extra breathing room. When night fell and I got colder (and my skin tightened up a bit), I switched back to the tighter hole. The loop style is the only other Apple Watch band that offers this kind of immediate sizing variation, and in my opinion, it's one of the most important features in terms of comfort.

About those holes

I wasn't totally sold on the Nike Sport band design, but after wearing it for an entire week, I certainly got used to the look. So much so that I haven't even switched to a different band yet. It ultimately blends in with my hoodie-and-jeans style well enough that I don't even think about it.

I put on the Nike Sport band, thinking I'd take it right off after just a day, and found myself falling in love with the design. What do you know about that?

The Nike Sport band is available for both the 38/40mm and 42/44mm Apple Watch for $49. It comes in the following colors:

  • Celestial Teal with Black accents
  • Olive Flak with Black accents
  • Smokey Mauve with Particle Beige accents
  • Pure Platinum with Black accents
  • Anthracite with Black accents
  • Black with Volt accents

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Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).