Best Shield Holster of 2020

Even though it’s almost a decade old, Smith and Wesson’s Shield is still among the most popular firearms to this day. Due to its neat petite size, there are people who figured they’d carry it in their pockets alone. Of course, this is the worst way to carry a handgun, especially if the market offers tons of affordable, yet high-quality holsters.

That’s precisely what we are here to talk about today. We’ve scoured the market for the best Shield holsters and have come up with the following list:

Best Shield Holster of 2020


Best OWB Holsters for S&W Shield

Bama Belts and Leathers Nylon S&W Shield Holster

Let’s start off with Bama Belts and Leather Holster for Smith and Wesson’s Shield. First of all, this is an ambidextrous holster, which means that it is equally useful to both left and right-handed types of carrying.

It sports a clip-on mechanism that you can use to attach it to your belt (or alternatively clip it onto your waistband). It also comes supplied with a side magazine pouch. Furthermore, it comes equipped with an adjustable thumb-retention strap for easy un-holstering.

The Bama B&L Shield holster is made from durable fabric material and is incredibly light, but it’s somewhat bulkier than average.


  • Equipped with a side magazine pouch
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Clip-on mechanism
  • Made from quality nylon and fabric materials


  • Slightly bulkier than average


SideFire Holsters Belt Side S&W Shield Holster

Belt Side Holster fits Smith & Wesson - S&W M&P Shield 380 EZ with 3.68" Barrel with Crimson Trace Rail Master
  • Made in the USA, custom tailored for the Smith & Wesson - S&W M&P Shield 380 EZ with 3.68" barrel with Crimson Trace Rail Master. Our premium OWB (outside the waistband) holsters are precision stitched using military grade poly-thread and heavy duty nylon. The holster is engineered with a soft inside lining that will save the finish on your firearm even with repeated use (kydex and leather will damage your gun finish over time). The holster is padded to give your gun a nice, tight fit.
  • Thumb break retention strap allows you to quickly draw your gun, but keeps somebody else from grabbing your gun. The thumb side is made from strong plastic allowing your thumb to easily break the retention and draw the gun in one quick, fluid motion. Other holsters made from kydex or plastic that don’t use a retention strap run the risk of an attacker being able to grab your gun. Stay safe with active retention.
  • The holster comes with a belt loop and a metal clip. You can use either to attach the holster to your pants. The metal clip is heat treated for strength. Holster is ambidextrous and can be used for right handed or left handed use. It comes configured for right handed use. If you want us to switch it to left hand before we ship please contact us and let us know.
  • Spare magazine pouch on the front of the holster. The Smith & Wesson - S&W M&P Shield 380 EZ has a sharp front sight that will tear most nylon holsters. We line the inside leading edge of the holster with leather which keeps the holster from tearing, ensures a smooth draw, and provides excellent friction retention. This holster is primarily designed for open carry.
  • Free Shipping - 100% satisfaction guarantee with 30 day returns. This holster is made specifically to fit with the Crimson Trace Rail Master. If you have a different laser or tac light please contact us before purchasing to make sure the holster will fit.

SideFire Holster’s S&W Shield holster resembles our previous pick in a lot of ways. Both of these models are made from nylon and fabric materials, feature a side magazine pouch, and a clip-on carrying mechanism.

The main difference between these two models is that SideFire’s holster is slightly more durable, but just a tad less comfortable to wear. In plain words, this model is a straight-forward holster equipped with features that are remarkably easy to use.


  • Rugged design
  • Side magazine pouch
  • Adjustable thumb break
  • Multiple carrying options, including the belt loop or the metal clip


  • Slightly less comfortable to use in comparison to an average OWB holster


Braids Holsters S&W M&P Shield 9MM Pancake Holster

S&W M&P Shield 9MM & 40 with RED CT Laser Guard Pancake owb Belt Holster
  • For Gun Make: Smith & Wesson, Handing: Right
  • Model: S&W M&P SHIELD formed pancake belt holster, Type: Concealment Holster
  • Country/Region Of Manufacture: United States, Color: Black
  • Style: Belt (OWB), For Gun Model: M&P SHIELD 9MM & 40 CAL. with ct laser guard
  • Material: Leather, Brand: Braids Holsters

If you are commonly in situations where you actually expect to draw your gun, we recommend trying out Braids Holsters’ pancake holster. It hugs the body firmly and allows you to un-holster your Shield in a split second due to its open-top design.

This particular holster model also features enough spare room to accommodate Shield gun models that were modified with laser sights. It’s made from sturdy leather and will obviously last for decades given proper use and maintenance.


  • Very easy to use
  • Hugs the body
  • Small and inconspicuous design
  • Allows for quick drawing


  • Fixed cant angle

Best IWB Holsters for S&W Shield

Muddy River Tactical Smith and Wesson Shield Leather Holster

Muddy River Tactical Smith and Wesson Shield 9/40 - Soft Sided Leather Inside The Waistband (IWB) Concealed Carry Holster- IWB Holster (Right Handed)
  • 100% Hand Crafted for Superior Quality and Attention to Detail!
  • 100% Natural Leather
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Most Comfortable IWB Leather Holster on the market!
  • FAST Shipping

Muddy River Tactical’s Shield holster is, first and foremost, rugged and reliable. It was made by hand to suit the specs of S&W pistols, and sports a natural leather construction. Due to the fact that it’s made from real leather, it is significantly more comfortable to use in comparison to Kydex holsters and models made from synthetic materials.

Generally speaking, the main benefit this holster provides is simplicity. The only feature it comes supplied with is the belt clip; it rocks an open-top design and doesn’t come equipped with a thumb-break or any similar features.


  • Very comfortable to use
  • Robust real-leather construction
  • Metal belt clip


  • No thumb-break

Vedder Holsters LightTuck IWB Kydex Gun Holster

Vedder Holsters LightTuck IWB Kydex Gun Holster - S&W M&P Shield M2.0 9mm/.40 w/Integrated Crimson Trace Laser (Red or Green) (Right Hand Draw)
  • Adjustable Ride Height, Cant Angle, and Retention, allows you to carry comfortably and confidently
  • Formed exactly to your gun model with .08” Kydex for the ultimate strength and no unnecessary bulk
  • Sleek holster body and clip makes your gun virtually disappear under your clothes and on your belt
  • Custom channels fit standard sights and indicators; sweat shield keeps slide clean and sweat-free
  • Handcrafted in the USA and backed by a 30 day money back guarantee and lifetime warranty

Vedder Holsters is a very popular holster brand, and their catalog includes a top-shelf S&W Shield holster model as well. The reason why this model is so great is that it sports a sweat shield feature, which keeps the slide clean and reduces the sweat build-up.

This holster is made from sturdy Kydex, but unlike most types of this material, this one is actually quite flexible. The holster was molded to fit Shield’s specs, ensuring a tight fit. Drawing from it is super easy, but re-holstering might take some practice if you have a modified Shield.


  • Durable and flexible Kydex build
  • Sweat-shield reduces the build-up of sweat
  • Sleek, inconspicuous design


  • Snug-fit; re-holstering modified Shield handguns will be a bit more difficult


Best Leg/Ankle Holsters for S&W Shield

Ankle Lite Galco AL652B Ankle Holster

Smith and Wesson’s Shield pistol is relatively small, so opting for an ankle holster is not such a bad idea. Fortunately, Ankle Lite is a series of ankle holsters made by Galco that brings a plethora of genuine innovations to the table.

This holster is made from top-quality neoprene material that is as flexible as it is robust. The inner side of the holster is layered with a bit of sheepskin padding that substantially enhances how comfortable it is to use it. 

It’s also packed with a ton of cool features, including the retention strap supplied with a reinforced thumb-break, and steerhide construction.


  • Incredibly comfortable to use
  • Layered with a sheepskin pad
  • Reinforced thumb-break
  • Dark-colored and inconspicuous


  • A bit heavy for an ankle strap


Pro-Tech Outdoors Concealed Boot Clip Holsters

Pro-Tech Outdoors Concealed Boot Clip Holster fits The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield
  • clips on your boot with Comfort.
  • Padded to protect your leg from sharp edges.
  • Soft outer nylon.

Pro-Tech Outdoors’ holster is meant to be used with boots rather than shoes or sneakers. It sports a clip-on mechanism that you can use to attach it to your boots quite easily, but alternatively, the clip-on can be used on a waistband or a belt.

The holster is made from quality nylon material, and the outer layers were reinforced for extra durability. Furthermore, Pro-Tech’s Outdoors holster is padded and will provide protection from rough, pointy edges, which means that it’s very comfortable to use.


  • Made from quality nylon
  • Padded to guard the leg against rough and sharp edges
  • Clip-on carrying mechanism


  • Meant to be used with boots; not so great with sneakers or shoes


Best Chest Holster for S&W Shield

Silverhorse Holsters Chest/Shoulder Gun Holster

Silverhorse Holsters Chest/Shoulder Gun Holster | Fits Smith & Wesson M&P, M2.0 and Performance Center (Compact Models) w/ 3.25" - 4" Barrel and Other Similar Sized Guns w/ 3.25" - 4" Barrel (Right)
  • SUPERIOR MATERIALS: Constructed from a high quality outer layer of Black 600 Denier Nylon fabric, a center layer of ¼” foam, and inner lined with a water resistant soft smooth layer of poly/nylon fabric. Trimmed with Black webbing. The material is sewn using heavy duty stitching with Box X and Triple + stitching in all the stress areas.
  • FLEXIBLE FIT: Designed with an adjustable single shoulder strap made of 1-1/2” webbing with 1” quick disconnect clips. An adjustable waist/chest strap made of 1” webbing with a 1” quick disconnect clip to help secure the rig to your body. The chest/waist strap is removable and is adjustable to fit a chest size from 32” to 60”.
  • EASY DRAW: Designed to be adjustable and worn low or high in the center of the chest, positioned for an easy draw of the firearm. Can also be worn to the side at the belt in a bandolier style position. Strong, adjustable and reversible thumb break style gun retention strap with metal snap. Holster includes a pouch mounted on top to hold an extra magazine.
  • FITS: Smith & Wesson M&P, M2.0 & Performance Center (Compact Models) with a 3.25" - 4" Barrel & Other Similar Sized Guns with a 3.25" - 4" Barrel
  • Silverhorse Holsters are sold and handcrafted in the USA exclusively by South Woods Tactical LLC. Shipped direct from manufacturer.

Smith and Wesson’s shield is best held close to the body, and if you’re the type of person who prefers to use chest holsters instead of a belt, leg, and ankle types, we recommend checking Silverhorse Holsters’ chest Shield holster out.

This model is made from Black 600D nylon and sports inner foam layers that provide extra softness and flexibility. There’s the adjustable thumb-break for easy un-holstering, as well as a side pouch where you can store an extra magazine.


  • Made from 600D nylon
  • Side pouch for an extra magazine
  • Highly durable construction


  • The strap hugs the body firmly


Best Pocket Holsters for S&W Shield

J&J Custom Fit Smith & Wesson 9/40 Shield

J&J Custom Formed to FIT Smith & Wesson S&W M&P 9/40 Shield Formed Wallet Style Leather Back/Cargo Pocket Holster (Black, Right)
  • Premium US Leather
  • Handcrafted By US Artisans
  • Best Custom Fitted Leather Holsters
  • Perfect Way To Carry Discreetly

J&J’s holster was custom made for portable guns, such as Smith and Wesson’s Shield. It features the wallet-style theft-proof design; should you happen to be in a situation where you’re being robbed, you can easily reach out to your ‘wallet’ and draw your gun in the stealthiest way possible.

It’s entirely made from real leather and is remarkably sturdy, although it does not come with any special features (no straps, clips, and such).


  • Custom-made to fit compact pistols
  • Made from quality leather materials
  • Anti-theft wallet design


  • Doesn’t really have any special features


Superfly Desantis Pocket Holster S&W M&P CPT 9/40 Shield Holster

The last holster in our review is Superfly’s DeSantis pocket holster for the Shield handgun. It features sticky and rubberized fabric and a removable outer flap that is supposed to completely disguise your Shield.

The sticky fabric helps keep the holster into position, ensuring superb reliability and consistency. The design of this holster is such that you can use it in your back pocket or front pockets.


  • Sticks in place
  • Durable
  • Removable outer flap
  • Made from robust rubberized fabric material


  • Hard to maintain


Best Holster for S&W Shield Buying Guide


The material from which your Shield holster is made will affect how comfortable you’ll feel about using it. For instance, you’ll feel the leather in most cases while you are probably going to completely forget that you’re even wearing a fabric (or nylon) holster.

If you value comfort above all else, you should stick with neoprene, nylon, or fabric holsters.



The type of the holster affects numerous aspects of its functionality; including how easy it is to draw the gun, how easy it is to conceal it, and how reliably it can stay inside the holster. Waistband holsters are the most popular type, as they offer the most natural drawing motion (hence the shortest drawing time), and you’ll be able to easily conceal the gun in this position.

Alternatively, you can try out chest, leg, ankle, and pocket holsters; each of these types brings different benefits to the table.


The size of the holster does not always correspond to the gun’s size. There are numerous multi-gun holsters that are not specifically made for one specific handgun; rather they’re made to fit several handguns, usually from the same brand.

On another hand, a holster can be quite bulky if it’s equipped with several features, such as for example the side magazine storage pouch. We strongly recommend sticking with smaller holsters as the S&W Shield is a small gun itself. Picking a bigger (and bulkier) holster might completely ruin the surprise element and make your concealed carry slightly less achievable.


Holsters for small arms are typically equipped with a small number of features. The thumb-break retention is the most popular feature, but high-quality models typically come equipped with magazine pouches, adjustable cant angle, or sweat shields.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is S&W Shield?

Smith and Wesson’s Shield is a compact handgun that was practically made for concealed carry due to its tiny size. Despite being one of the most petite ‘small arms’ (after derringer), it still packs quite a punch. It’s a great option for self-defense as it can be concealed pretty much anywhere.

What are the dimensions and specs of Smith and Wesson’s Shield?

This beautiful handgun uses 9 mm ammunition and sports a white dot front sight. Its magazine size is 7 bullets (plus one chambered), although it also accepts 8+1 magazines. The Shield pistol is among the lightest handguns on the market, as it weighs only 20.8 ounces.

Its barrel and slide are made of stainless steel material while its frame sports polymer construction.

What type of holster works best with S&W Shield?

Due to its compact size, Shield works great with practically every type of holster. If you don’t expect to draw your gun but still want to be prepared just in case, we recommend using pocket or ankle holsters.

People who expect a fight or police officers (and soldiers) who are off duty are recommended to use a chest or waistband holsters because these offer quicker drawing times.

Kydex or leather holster, which is better?

Generally speaking, both Kydex and Leather materials are pretty sturdy and reliable. Different people value different qualities and simply put, Kydex and leather offer different benefits that are not necessarily superior in comparison to one another.

While leather is typically a bit sturdier, Kydex provides enhanced mobility due to its lightness and flexibility. Both serve the same purpose, and it’s hard to say which is better objectively.

I modified my Shield with laser sights; can I still use a holster?

Dozens of Shield holsters feature an extension for handgun modifications – some models have a spare room for under-barrel attachments (such as for example flashlight, or laser sights) while others come supplied with over-barrel attachments (typically sights modification).

That being said, you can easily find a proper holster for your modded Shield, but make sure you pick a model with adequate extra space.