When I first got engaged, I realized I had a new challenge: For the first time, I owned not only my first piece of fine jewelry, but one that I would wear every single day. I've never seen my mom take off her wedding band, but Kelly, who worked for a jewelry company before Cupcakes and Cashmere, cautioned me to not follow her example. I could risk chipping or scratching the diamonds, thinning the band to the point of breaking, or even causing a diamond to fall completely out. While I've ignored most of the advice—to take it off when showering, sleeping, or washing my hands—because a damaged ring is better than a lost ring, I only wore it a few times to the gym before realizing the risk.
I'm incredibly clumsy, and not the cute kind. At the gym, where I quickly maneuvered between a bike, weights, and floor exercises, I often hit my ring against equipment and braced myself each time for a cracked diamond or broken band. When I Googled options for protecting engagement rings, several products came up but no definitive lists, so I turned to the Facebook Community! You responded in droves—including one woman who posted a photo of her band completely worn down from using weights!—with your strategies for protecting rings at the gym (clearly, I wasn't the first to encounter this issue!). Below are the three best options I found for protecting fine rings at the gym:
What It Is: A sweatband made from odor-controlling yarn that fits on your wrist, and holds a small zipper pocket for your rings or heirloom jewelry.
The Story Behind It: RingHero was created by three women, Jess, Jessie, and Niki, who met while their husbands were attending business school together. They're all incredibly active (when I asked them to list their favorite workouts, they rattled off CorePower Yoga, Barry's Bootcamp, SoulCycle, hiking, and Peloton), and couldn't find a solution for protecting their wedding and engagement rings. They launched RingHero as the solution in 2017, via Kickstarter, and it's taken off ever since! In their own words, "We are a bootstrapped, debt-free, profitable, patent-pending, woman-owned business with 8 kids between the 3 of us, oh yeah, who also hold down full-time jobs!"
Pros: This was easily my favorite product I found. Because I didn't want to put my ring in an unlocked cubby or, really, anywhere (what if my car gets broken into while I'm at the gym?), the only place I felt safe having it was on my body. This band gave me the confidence of having my ring close while saving me the discomfort of actually wearing one while lifting weights.
Cons: It's a tiny bit tight on the wrist, so it isn't perfectly comfortable (you can see the small mark my ring made against my forearm through the band in the photo below). As a result, I had to move it around as I worked out, but it wasn't so annoying that it outweighed the pros.
Perfect if you... don't like wearing jewelry when you work out, but want to keep your rings closeby.
Similar option for keeping your jewelry on you... A ring holder necklace
What It Is: A silicone band that protects the band of your ring from being worn out, while still showing it off.
The Story Behind It: Emily Bonadies launched Buffr shortly after getting engaged. She wrote to me via email, "I am always on the go and very active so I didn't have time to stop at home in between the gym and work, and I didn't want to leave [my ring] in the locker room." The resulting band is made from silicone to create a soft barrier between your ring and weights.
Pros: This is easily the sleekest design I saw. I love the look of it and was stopped by two girls during my class, who wanted to know where I'd purchased it from. It also comes in other colors!
Cons: One of my main concerns in working out is that I could hit the top of the ring against a weight or machine, which this ring doesn't guard against—it only protects the band. Of course, it's much better than wearing nothing, but I'd only be comfortable wearing this to something low-impact like a barre class. The "buffr" on the bottom also felt uncomfortable on my hand and left me with a small hotspot on my palm by the end of class. If your hands are extra sensitive, I could see it leaving a blister.
Perfect if you... want to show off your pretty ring, but don't want it to get hurt, and aren't frequenting intense boot camp classes.
Similar option for wearing your ring... Ring Care Cover, which covers the top but isn't nearly as cute!
What It Is: A workout-friendly wedding band replacement.
My Take On It: This is clearly the most popular option out there. I see these almost every time I go to the gym, and it was highly recommended in the Facebook thread. I didn't personally test it for two reasons: I don't feel comfortable working out without my real ring closeby, because I may lose it, and even if I had a safe place to put it, I wouldn't feel the need to replace it with a silicone band. Maybe I just look that scary at the gym, but I've never been approached by someone who wants to flirt with me—ring or no ring :) That being said, I can totally see why you'd want to wear them if you're extremely active and want to wear this instead of your wedding band for a longer period of time—or if you're a fitness trainer! I've heard Qalo is the best silicone gym band, and I'd consider this sleek white option if I ever want to leave my ring at home for something like travel.
Pros: You can go hard at the gym, while still wearing a ring.
Cons: You still have to find a place to secure your actual ring—this keychain jewelry box is the best I've found!
Perfect if you... workout often, but don't want to do it ringless.