Ankle Holsters Overview and Top Choices

If you are in need of a holster for concealed carry, an ankle holster has probably crossed your mind.  You may also be considering other concealment holsters, such as shoulder holsters or inside the waistband holsters, but ankle holsters are an excellent option and an enduring method of proper concealed carry.

ankle holsterMany people choose to go with the ankle holster because of what they see in the movies; a lot of our favorite film heroes carry their backup gun, such as a .380 automatic or a .38 snubbie, in an ankle holster and draw and fire just when all hope seems lost and the bad guy is about to win.

In reality, an ankle holster can serve you well as a place for you to conceal your backup weapon (as many cops choose to do), but more importantly, it is a viable option for you to pack your primary concealed carry weapon when you are out in town and having fun.

There are some challenges that you should be aware of if you are considering an ankle holster, and an ankle holster will only be suited well to people who meet this criteria.


Considerations to Wearing an Ankle Holster

  • As obvious as it sounds, you can’t wear shorts. You can try concealing the holster by wrapping your sock or boots around it, but that’s going to be noticeable.
  • You also need a wide pair of pants (ex. skinny jeans won’t work). In pants that aren’t wider than usual, the holster and gun can be exposed or bulge in the pants, especially when you walk or sit down.
  • If you have skinny legs, the ankle holster probably isn’t the best option of concealed carry for you. Ankle holsters will be uncomfortable to everyone one time or another, but they tend to be more frequently on people who have thin legs.  Nonetheless, everyone is different when it comes to guns and how to carry them, so be sure to test it out first.
  • Last but not least, you need to be comfortable with ankle holster being wrapped around your lower leg throughout the day. Try practicing it at home first before heading out into town.  High quality ankle holsters will wrap themselves securely around your ankle with another strap that will wrap around your calf to prevent the holster from abruptly moving.  Most ankle holsters are made out of reinforced nylon, leather or soft knit fabric for added comfort.

With this being said, also be aware that you’re going to be walking around with a good amount of weight on your ankle. For instance, a compact Glock 26 9mm still weighs around twenty four ounces, and a Smith & Wesson 642 .38 snub nose around fifteen.  If you aren’t comfortable walking around with extra weight around your lower leg, then the ankle holster probably isn’t for you.


The Best Ankle Holsters

Fortunately for gun owners, there a handful of really good options for ankle holsters, each having their very own custom spin on making them accessible for a quick draw and comfortable for a long shift. Let’s take a look at the best ankle holsters available:


1. Galco Ankle Lite Ankle Holster

Galco Ankle Lite Ankle HolsterAt this point, you know you want an ankle holster for concealed carry, but probably haven’t found the right holster that works for you. You don’t want just another bad choice in your holster drawer so taking a serious look at the Galco Ankle Lite holster is a smart proposition.

If your concealed carry firearm of choice is a semiautomatic pistol or double-action revolver, then the Galco Ankle Lite holster might be what you’re looking for.  Designed specifically for those types of pistols, the Galco Ankle Lite is equipped with sheepskin padding that will make it ever the more comfortable to wear on a day to day basis.

The Velcro closure and reinforced thumb break retention strap allow for a fast draw and extra security.  The Galco Ankle Lite holster also fits all ankles with a circumference of thirteen inches. There is also an optional adjustable calf strap that can be purchased for additional reinforcement.

The Ankle Lite holsters come specific to the following firearms:

Glock 26, 27, 33 — also opt for Galco Ankle Glove Ankle Holster for 26, 27, 33
Glock 19, 23, 32
Ruger LCP
Ruger LC9
Ruger LCR
KelTec P3AT, P32, KAHR MK40, MK9, PM40, PM9
Tauras 709
Walther PPS 9mm
1911 3-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield
Sig-Sauer P239 .40


2. Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster

Uncle Mike's Off-Duty and Concealment Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster (Black, Size 0, Left Hand)
  • Quality materials used for all uncle mike's products
  • 100 percent designed and tested for the toughest situations and environments
  • Whether you are a professional, recreational user, or even casual, uncle mike's will fit the mold for all types of people
  • Kodra nylon holster conceals small and medium firearms, even some compact large frame autos inside pant leg
  • Soft knit fabric is comfortable enough to be worn right against skin; closed cell foam acts as a moisture barrier and padding for comfort

The Law Enforcement Ankle holster from Uncle Mike’s is an excellent fit for small, medium, and compact large frame handguns.  This means that you can conceal carry everything from pocket sized .32 autos to revolvers to even compact sized .45 auto pistols.  The thumb break that sits over the handgun is also reinforced but also very easy to undo.

This holster has a very tight fit with a extra top web retention strap to wrap around your calf above the holster for greater support.  This will prevent the holster form slipping down your leg while you walk or sit which is a frequent complaint.

The aforementioned wraparound design comes with a Velcro adjustment for ideal attachment and the soft knit fabric padding makes this holster extra comfortable to wear.

To determine which of the 5 sizes you need, please refer to this chart.


3. UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

UTG Concealed Ankle Holster, Black
  • Heavy Duty Adjustable Elastic Holster Integrally Constructed with Padding
  • Padded Wraparound Strap with Hook & Loop Adjustment for a Secure Fit
  • Additional Adjustable Calf Strap & Double Vertical Security Straps for Most Demanding Applications
  • Fits All Compact/Subcompact Pistols

The UTG Concealed Ankle holster is an excellent option for anyone who wants to go with a comfortable and practical way of concealing their back-up or CC handgun around their ankle.

This holster also fits a wide variety of different guns, ranging from little .32 or .380 automatics to .38 snub nose revolvers to compact 9mm pistols.  In other words, there’s a wide variety of handguns that this holster will accept.

The holster also comes equipped with a soft strap that wraps around the calf for greater support, which is also adjustable to fit your particular needs with a hook and loop method.

The UTG concealed carry holster is also integrally equipped with special padding to make it much more comfortable to wear even in the most demanding situations.

Besides these characteristics, the price is unbeatable at under $20, with hundreds of positive reviews to boot. It’s a wonderful choice if you’re on a budget.


4. Bulldog Ankle Holster

Bulldog Cases Right Hand Black Ankle Holster Fits Most Mini Semi Auto's (Ruger LCP ect.), One Size
  • Elastic Nylon
  • Adjustable thumb break
  • For right hand
  • Fits most mini semi autos

The Ankle Holster by Bulldog is another affordable and flexible option due to the contents being nylon, elastic and Velcro, offering you great “give” to set the holster to maximum comfort.

The Velcro strap does a great job setting the gun in place. It’s lightweight with an adjustment thumb break, a hook and loop elastic band, and has a relatively generic fit making it perfect for many different types of guns:

  • most mini semi automatics like the Beretta Bobcat
  • most revolvers with 2 – 2 1/2 inch barrels like the Ruger SP 101
  • most compact autos with 2 1/2 – 3 3/4 inch barrels like the Tauras PT-111

The Desantis Ankle Apache is the last option we recommend.


How to Wear and Practice With an Ankle Holster

Something that many people also overlook is which leg they will be strapping their ankle holster on, and whether the holster should be worn on the inside or outside of the ankle. Generally, the inside of the leg is more comfortable for most people, and allows for better concealment and a quicker draw.  Ankle holsters will be strapped on by having the primary piece with the holster wrapped around the lower leg just above the ankle, and then having a support strap run up the leg and be tied around the calf.

So let’s say that an ankle holster works for you and you decide to try it out.

You’ve even practiced wearing it around your house, and are perfectly comfortable with it.  Are you ready to wear it out into town or other public locations yet? Not quite. There’s still one more thing that you need to practice: drawing.  You don’t want to find yourself in a bad situation where you or someone else in your vicinity is being threatened by a bad guy with a gun or a knife and you struggle with drawing yours. That can be a life or death scenario.

You need to practice, to the point of repetition, of drawing your pistol from the holster until you can perform it quickly. If you can draw and have your handgun aimed at your target from your ankle holster in 1.5 seconds, then you can call yourself proficient.

In addition, you also need to practice drawing from more than just one position, and again, you need to practice to the point of repetition, until it becomes muscle memory.  If you can perform an action one thousand times in subsequent order, then it will start to become muscle memory and you’ll be able to draw and aim your handgun from your ankle holster based on instinct rather than action.

The fastest way to draw your gun from your ankle holster is to kneel down on one leg, with your holster leg up, and use your non-shooting hand to pull away the pant material covering your holster.  Then, use your shooting hand to snap apart the thumb break and draw your handgun.  Assume the shooting stance of your choice (so if you have to stand back up, then do so, but this will slow you) and aim at your target.

With lots of practice, you should be able to accomplish the goal of performing this action in 1.5 seconds. While challenging, it should be a reasonable goal to to target.

But Are Ankle Holsters Comfortable?

If there is one notable flaw to the ankle holster, it is that they can be uncomfortable.  Shuffling around at work all day is tiring enough, and have an ankle holster with a one pound (or more) gun strapped to your lower leg isn’t going to help.  New developments have been made in ankle holsters by various companies in order to make them more comfortable, such as adding greater support to the calves or using softer materials, but it’s still going to feel uncomfortable one time or another.

Know your limits and again, be sure to practice wearing it repeatedly at home first.

All in all, ankle holsters are among the most popular ways to conceal carry today.  Police officers and ordinary citizens alike have depended on having their back-up weapon strapped and concealed to their ankle.  Every person is different, but there are still a very large variety of different types of ankle holsters to choose from.