Nickel allergy with 3rd party sport loops? Here is what you can do about it


macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2019
I am - unfortunately - pretty allergic to nickel, but still I love many of the 3rd party sport loops, especially since I prefer silicone to Apple's fluoroelastomer straps. But most of the buttons on my 3rd party straps contain nickel and it doesn't take more than a few hours for my skin to react badly. So I fixed it like this:


Measure the diameter of the strap's button. I found out that my bands have different diameters, ranging from 10.00mm to 11.00mm, with some being 10.5mm or 10.3mm or even 10.7mm... So I made a bunch of circles in various diameters from 10 - 11mm and had them cut with a vinyl cutter.
I have one at home but you can have it cut in any shop that makes signage or custom t-shirts or something. You need such a small amount of vinyl that you can most probably use scrap material and sometimes even get this for free so you only have to pay the cuts, which is like $5 or a small tip.


Briefly wipe the metal with rubbing alcohol to clean it, then apply the stickers.


Make sure the metal is completely covered.

Voilá, done!

Yes, I know that you can apply nail polish instead, but as this gets rather messy and the vinyl doesn't need any drying time and can not chip away, it's much better in my opinion.

I chose high quality outdoor vinyl that is fully colored (no dye layer on top), but clear vinyl would work exactly the same. Just make sure you don't use the cheapest of the cheap crafting vinyl because I think this won't work well with sweat. Also, make sure you use vinyl and not a paper based sticker (because, sweat...).
A little note on the side, don't go swimming with it, because the water will bring "nickel water" from the other parts of the button down to your skin and you will get skin irritations. The vinyl cover just prevents the pure metal touching your skin. Of course it won't magically make the nickel from the exposed parts of the knob disappear ;-)

I'm now wearing one of the bands with the vinyl for the third day in a row and so far, no skin irritation. 🤩
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