Can you Wear Apple Watch on Ankle?

Oct 29, 2023 - 1 Comment

Can you wear Apple Watch on the ankle

Many Apple Watch users are curious if it’s possible to wear the Apple Watch on their ankle. Whether this is because they can’t wear the Apple Watch on their wrist, or because they’re wearing gloves or hand coverings, or participating in other activities where wearing a watch is not possible or allowed, wearing an Apple Watch on the leg or ankle is a commonly asked question, and a completely reasonable one to ask.

Let’s take a look at what is known about wearing Apple Watch on the ankle or leg.

Can I wear Apple Watch on my ankle? Or leg?

Technically, yes, you can wear Apple Watch on your ankle.

However, you should know that Apple does not recommend wearing the Apple Watch anywhere but the wrist.

Apparently the Apple Watch sensors and algorithms are designed to work specifically on the wrist, and wearing the Apple Watch on an ankle, leg, bicep, or elsewhere may not allow for accurate readings of the sensors, or even for the sensors to work at all.

Specifically, in terms of wearable location for Apple Watch, Apple says the following:

“the sensors will work only if you wear your Apple Watch on the top of your wrist.”

That seems pretty definitive, right? But this is because Apple designed Apple Watch to be worn on the wrist, and not elsewhere on the body, let alone the ankle.

Now, despite Apple saying not to wear the Apple Watch anywhere but your wrist, there are still a lot of users who wear Apple Watch on their leg, ankle, or even bicep, and there are many products and ankle straps for Apple Watch that are available for purchase, where, according to the reviews anyway, people are satisfied with the experience and results of wearing the watch on their ankle.

A lot of reviews for Apple Watch ankle straps are from nurses, doctors, and people in the healthcare field, who want to track their steps and movement data, but they are not able to wear watches for hygiene reasons.

There are many Apple Watch ankle bands and leg bands available on Amazon and most are reasonably priced, so if you want to try an experiment yourself, you can do so without much commitment.

Will Apple Watch step count, measurements, and readings be accurate on the ankle?

Given that Apple says Apple Watch sensors only work on the top of the wrist, it is conceivable that Apple Watch may not generate accurate data when worn on the ankle, bicep, or leg, instead of the wrist.

For example, the Apple Watch could overcount, or undercount, your steps.

Apple Watch could also get inaccurate readings for heart rate or other measurements, if it is worn on the ankle or leg, rather than the wrist.

So keep all of this this in mind if you plan on trying this yourself. You may even want to test it yourself, by keeping the same pace while wearing Apple Watch on a track for one lap on your wrist as usual, then wear the Apple Watch on your ankle for the next lap. Do the measurements match, or are they different?

There are many questions about this on Apple Support forums and elsewhere, so you can be sure it’s a commonly asked question for many Apple Watch owners, and you’re not alone in wondering.

Do people wear Apple Watch on their ankle?

Yes! Many people do wear Apple Watch on their ankle, despite Apple suggesting not to.

Here are some insightful and potentially useful videos of people using Apple Watch on their ankle for various reasons, like using a standing walking desk:

@hauskris Reply to @marichung here’s why I put my Apple Watch on my ankle! #treadmilldesk #walkingpad #applewatch #applewatchhack #wfhhacks #wfhlife #wfhcheck #corporatelife #walkingdesk #treadmill ♬ original sound – Kristen

And a little humor about wearing Apple Watch on the ankle (the Apple Pay segment is the best part, who wouldn’t love to see that in a store?):

@shoandtech Apparently people wear Apple Watch on their ankles?? #applewatch #iphone #apple #tech #shoandtech ♬ original sound – Shomes | Tech & Lifestyle

And, at least according to some people, Apple Watch does accurately record step count when worn on the ankle, but your mileage may vary:

Will it be a little awkward to turn on Apple Watch, dismiss notifications, make calls, or perform other tasks while it’s on your ankle? Yes perhaps, but if you’re thinking about using Apple Watch elsewhere than your wrist, you have probably already considered this, and you may be mostly interested in the health tracking features like step count, heart rate, and similar information.

Does Apple Watch offer an “ankle mode”?

This is a neat idea, but it does not currently exist.

Perhaps in the future Apple will offer an ‘ankle mode’ setting, that uses different algorithms and calculations to account for the fact it is being worn on the Ankle rather than on a wrist.

But, until then, Apple only recommends wearing Apple Watch on your wrist.

Whether or not you decide to break that rule is entirely up to you, because obviously it can be done, but just keep in mind the accuracy of measurements may not be maintained.


Related articles:

Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Apple Watch

One Comment

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  1. John Ben Franz says:

    Really!? That sounds like something Borat would do.

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