While the symbolism of a traditional wedding band’s precious metal strength is certainly romantic (unbreakable like the bonds of matrimony!), in practice, that very strength can be a liability in the outdoors. Google terms like “ring avulsion” or “finger degloving” at your own peril. Also, countless professionals, from electricians to medical, discourage the use of metal rings for their own safety reasons. As such, silicone rings have had a moment in recent years as an alternative to metal rings because they’re safer, high on comfort, and easier on the wallet to replace if lost or stolen.
Being that silicone rings have surged in popularity, the space has become crowded with all manners of styles, colors, patterns, and price points. We’ve sampled a wide array of rings from various manufacturers — putting them through their paces in the water while surfing and stand-up paddleboarding, pulling parent duty building sandcastles at the beach, projecting boulder problems at the rock climbing gym, and on the ski hill. Through all of those pursuits, we’ve come up with the following list of our favorites.
The Best Silicone Rings
Best All-Around Silicone Ring: Groove Life Nomad ($40)
Best Luxury Pick for Hard Chargers: Groove Life Zeus ($55)
Most Realistic Precious Metal Look: Enso Elements Classic ($40)
Best Budget Silicone Ring: ROQ Action Rings Beveled 4-Pack ($12)
Best Stackable Silicone Ring: QALO Stackables ($36)
How We Tested the Best Silicone Rings
Silicone rings are a pretty straightforward product. They need to feel good for all-day wear, they need to last us through a variety of adventures, and they need to look good. As such, we rated each silicone ring on this list on its comfort, durability, and style. There really isn’t much else to choosing the best silicone ring on the market.
Best All-Around Silicone Ring
Groove Life Nomad ($40)
Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s (Aspire)
Easily the most comfortable ring we put through testing was Groove Life’s Nomad. While stretch is sort of an inherent feature of silicone rings, too much give allows a ring to stretch out over time. The Nomad had the right amount of stretch so that it didn’t feel flimsy, without so much that it wore out. What we liked most about the Nomad, though, was the outer texture was ideal for surfers that spend countless days at the beach. In testing, we noticed that most silicone rings have a sort of latent rubbery texture that causes lint and sand to stick to them, the worst offender being the Groove Life Zeus (see below). However, the Nomad had the least amount of rubbery stick out of all the rings we tested. It does come in at a higher price point than other rings on the list ($39.95 at time of writing), but Groove Life offers one of the better warranty programs out there and will replace damaged or torn rings in most cases.
For women interested in a thinner band, we recommend checking out Groove Life’s Aspire series, which is virtually the same as the Nomad series but offers a thin version with a boatload of patterns to choose from. For even thinner, check out Groove Life’s line of stackable rings.
Best Luxury Pick for Hard Chargers
Groove Life Zeus ($55)
Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s (Zeus Thin)
If you spend hours per week in the gym training, are an avid climber, work with your hands, or do any other physical outdoor activity with such regularity that the callouses on your hands are the size of boulders, you need a silicone ring that can keep up. The Zeus and Zeus Thin are our picks for the guy and gal that are looking for the highest-performing, most durable ring out there. Groove Life’s Zeus line features an inner nylon layer that prevents stretching over time but will still break safely if put under extreme stress. In testing, we noticed the Zeus, while soft and comfortable like every other ring we tested, had hardly any give when trying to take it off. This thing was super strong.
The only downside we found about the Zeus was that its rubbery texture made it more susceptible than any other ring we tested to get lint, fine sand, and climbing chalk stuck to it. Dealing with this was not a huge deal — a simple rinse did the trick, normally. But this fact was what kept us from recommending the Zeus as the top pick all-around for surfers who tend to spend countless hours at the beach. That, and the price. The Zeus is the most expensive ring to make our list ($54.95 at time of writing). As we mentioned above, Groove Life offers a generous warranty for all of its rings. And if performance, quality, and durability are high on your list, the Zeus is your best bet.CHECK PRICE ON Amazon
Most Realistic Precious Metal Look
Enso Elements Classic ($40)
Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s (Halo)
For those keen to enjoy the benefits of a silicone ring but less interested in the silicone look or patterned style, Enso rings have our pick for the most realistic precious metal look. Infused with precious metals, Enso’s Elements Classic in gold had an uncanny glint that very much resembled the author’s own metal wedding band. Overall, Enso Elements had a little more give than Groove Life’s offerings but still felt much sturdier than the budget-friendly options we tested.
Best Budget Silicone Ring
ROQ Action Rings Beveled 4-Pack ($12)
Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s
That ROQ’s rings come in packs of four should tell you all you need to know about how the brand has cornered the market on affordability. At time of writing, a four-pack of the beveled edge rings we tested was on sale for $11.99 from a typical retail price of $42.99. While ROQ’s rings were far from the most durable we tested, they certainly fit the bill for those looking for utility at the right price.CHECK PRICE ON Amazon
Best Stackable Silicone Ring
QALO Stackables ($36)
QALO is head and shoulders above the competition with its offering of stackable rings based on the sheer variety, from standard to twist to bead to geometric pattern. Stackables typically come in a pack of two or three thin bands and can be worn together or separately. Women who typically wear an engagement ring and a wedding band on any given day will appreciate the flexibility of being able to stack multiple silicone rings as they do with their precious metal ones or just wear one. QALO’s stackable rings come in sets, but they also offer the ability to build your own stack, which other companies do not.CHECK PRICE ON Amazon
Other Rings We Loved
Thunderfit Breathable ($15)
Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s
One ring that didn’t make our list of top picks was Thunderfit’s Breathable ring. Of all the rings we tested, the Thunderfit was the stretchiest and most flimsy feeling. While it was comfortable, we also noted that upon receipt, it had some nicks along the edges when it arrived that only worsened over time.CHECK PRICE ON Amazon
QALO Metallic Strata ($30)
Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s
QALO’s Metallic Strata was high on comfort but unfortunately lost out to Enso’s Elements for most realistic precious metal look. The Strata is also a bit stretchier than the others on our list, which lost points for long term durability.CHECK PRICE ON Amazon
|Men’s Ring||Women’s Ring||Price||Overall Score||Warranty?|
|Groove Life Nomad||Groove Life Aspire||$40||9.3||Yes, 94 years|
|Groove Life Zeus||Groove Life Zeus Thin||$55||9.3||Yes, 94 years|
|Enso Elements Classic||Enso Elements Halo||$40||8.6||Yes, lifetime|
|ROQ Beveled||ROQ Dome||$12||6.3/10||Yes, lifetime|
|Qalo Stackables||$36||8.3/10||Yes, one time, lifetime|
|Thunderfit Breathable||Thunderfit Breathable||$15||4.6/10||Yes, one year|
|Qalo Metallic Strata||Qalo Metallic Strata||$30||6.7/10||Yes, one time, lifetime|
Brands and Other Silicone Ring Options
What we quickly became aware of when testing rings for this article is just how many different shapes, patterns, colors, constructions, and price points silicone rings come in these days. While the list above represents our top picks of all the rings we tested, in the event that none of these fit the bill, we also thought we’d categorize the brands we tested based on what makes them unique among others.
It’s fitting that Groove Life took two of the categories on our list, as the style and functionality of their rings are geared specifically toward active and outdoorsy folks with a high demand for quality equipment. We recommend Groove’s offerings for those willing to fork over a little more cash on the front end for a quality product with a generous warranty program.
For those whose self-expression tops the list of needs for a silicone ring, we recommend looking at Enso Rings. As we mentioned, they offer rings with the most realistic precious metal look. But they also have numerous collections from patterned rings with etchings based on trail maps to Star Wars and Harry Potter (seriously), and everything in between.
As mentioned above, QALO’s stackable sets are the best out there because of the sheer number of options. And our pick for affordability goes to ROQ.
Sizing and Returns
By and large, the most frustrating thing about carrying out this test was getting ring size dialed. As with clothing and other manufactured goods that vary in size and shape, manufacturing differences, material, and human error can all result in difficulties in finding the right ring size. Unlike a pair of jeans, though, the margin for error for a ring fitting too loose or too snug is razor thin. And if your aim is comfort and safety, well, a ring that cuts off circulation to your ring finger just won’t do. In our test, I found that ordering the same size ring across different brands and styles resulted in entirely different fits, some perfect, some a tad big.
For such a small item, shipping a poorly-fitting band back even once can be a headache. Imagine if you didn’t read the fine print, and you’re now stuck with an ill-fitting ring and a migraine. That’s why our best buying advice after carrying out this test is to double and triple-check the manufacturer’s return and exchange policy before buying. Some policies are fairly generous. ROQ offers free exchanges within 30 days. Others, like Groove Life, will pay for shipping for a new product on exchanges if the customer pays for shipping on the item being returned.
The bottom line here is it pays to read the fine print. It’s also probably worthwhile to pop into your local jeweler to determine your ring size if you don’t know it instead of using the other popular methods, like measuring a piece of string that wraps around your finger.
Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.