When looking for a place to holster a small handgun or double-action revolver, you’ve probably already thought of all the obvious places like the belt, the shoulder, and dropped a little lower on the leg. Of course, these are all great options for carrying, drawing, and retaining a handgun, but how do they work for concealed carry?
The more overt options like a drop-leg holster, a MOLLE vest attachment, or a shoulder rig are great choices to draw from, but are a little difficult to conceal without a large jacket. You might have a little more luck with an OWB or IWB paddle holster at a cant, a pocket holster, or even an appendix holster, but those all can print badly without the right shirts and pants, which makes the “concealed” part of concealed carry a moot point.
However, there is one option that’s particularly good for smaller handguns that most people won’t look for; an ankle or boot holster. Designed to wrap around your ankle or boot and hold your handgun on the inside of your non-dominant leg (a right handed shooter would place his handgun on the inside of his left ankle), these holsters remain out of sight, covered by your pant legs and in a place that most people wouldn’t suspect.
Already, these holsters are proving useful for professionals in law enforcement, particularly as a way to carry a backup handgun; with their duty weapon on their belt, they find it’s much easier to conceal a secondary weapon down by their ankles.
Selecting the Best Boot Holster
The ankle holster’s cousin, the boot holster, fills the same niche, but is designed to be worn outside boots instead, perfect for tactical boots, hunting boots, motorcycle boots, or just Western boots. While drawing is a bit slower on an ankle or boot holster, it’s easily one of the most concealable options on the market today. Here below, we’ve got a few great examples of the best boot and ankle holsters, perfect for anyone who still wants the best possible concealment for their means of personal protection.
Daltech Force, SafestCarry® Boot Ankle Holster
Starting us off, we have a great example of everything an outside-the-boot holster for pistol carry should be in the Daltech Force SafestCarry® Boot Ankle Holster. Sized large to fit over boots and made to expand from three inches up to a six inch diameter, this holster is made to fit around pretty much any type of boot on the market.
Of course, even stretched to its widest diameter, the exclusive stitching design will still keep everything together, even through serious wear.
Should it fail, however, you can send it back for a free replacement, so you can practice drawing and holstering with this cowboy boot gun holster for as long as you need to perfect your technique. The ambidextrous design of this holster also means that you’re free to carry on either the inside of your non-dominant side or on the outside of your dominant (right side for right handed shooters) side. In addition, left handed shooters aren’t forced to draw with their non-dominant hand, nor have any trouble releasing the simple yet effective hook-and-loop closure on their handgun.
This holster was designed with small handguns in mind, so you can get the most out of the SafestCarry® Boot Holster with small J-frame snub nose revolvers and .380 caliber semi-automatics, making this an ideal Glock 42 boot holster. Of course, you’re entirely free to pick and choose from any small frame pistol; because this holster isn’t molded, you can wear handguns interchangeably. Whatever you’re shooting, however, you know you’ve got a solid balance of form and function in this holster.
Ambidextrous Belt and Boot Holster
An interesting little concept in boot holsters, this little number from Homeland Holsters pulls double duty; just like its name suggests, it can be clipped to your belt like a traditional belt holster, or it can be clipped inside your boot like a boot holster.
This all-leather holster can even be ambidextrous, giving you even more options to carry. It’s entirely possible to wear your handgun as a crossdraw belt holster or a concealable inside-the-boot holster without changing anything at all.
Of course, like any inside-the-boot holster, this concealed carry boot holster requires that you have boots with an open top around the calf, so it really only works if you wear Western boots. However, if you do, you’ll find that this wonderful little holster frees up your belt space when you need it and clips back to your belt when you don’t, giving you a lot of carry options.
Practically, having this choice means that your concealed handgun doesn’t have to dictate your wardrobe. When the weather turns cold, you can simply wear this holster on your belt, covered by a jacket or thick sweatshirt. When it warms up again, you can simply ditch the heavy coat, place the holster inside your Western boot, and cover it with a pair of pants. In both cases, you’re not going to print noticeably, and you won’t have to go through the challenge of dressing for the handgun you’re wearing.
Gould & Goodrich Boot Lock Ankle Holster
If you want to make sure that your boot holster stays attached to your boot, you should try using the Gould & Goodrich Boot Lock holster. Rather than using a Velcro system to attach your holster, this holster loops through your boot laces, giving you an absolute lock to your body.
As for locking your Glock 26, 27, or 33 to the holster, you’ve got a molded body and a strong velcro strap that gives you good retention when you need it and comes apart easily when you don’t.
Mobility is the name of the game with this holster; having it laced into your boots, as well as using the Velcro retention strip means you can run, jump, climb, and do everything at high speeds without worrying about your handgun bouncing around. As such, it’s a great choice for law enforcement for a secondary pistol. It can hide under duty pants, and its multiple thread holes mean that it stays hooked to your leg through every footstep.
Galco Ankle Glove
Made exclusively for the Glock family of subcompact handguns (the 26, 27, and 33), this ankle holster from Galco is designed to (not surprisingly) fit like a glove. This holster has a nice wide neoprene band lined with sheepskin that makes the entire band comfortable, yet holds your Glock perfectly in place even while running.
While the body may be made of a flexible material, the holster itself is molded saddle leather, tough enough to take abuse, yet flexible enough to give your handgun a good balance of retention and draw speed.
People, including professional law enforcement, really do praise this holster for its comfort, as well as the ability to attach a calf strap (sold separately) to further increase stability. Customers agree that this Galco is one of the most comfortable holsters they’ve ever worn, and that the neoprene keeps the holster tightly, but comfortably, pressed against their skin.
Fortunately, there are few reviews that place fault in this inside the boot holster, and none of them really share a consensus, save the necessity of a calf strap with dress socks. These negative reviews are eclipsed by the positive praise for this holster that, once again, really does fit like a glove.
Each one of these holsters is designed to keep your small-frame handgun tightly hooked into your boot or ankle, giving you yet another way to conceal a means of personal protection. Whether boots are a part of your work or just your sense of style, these holsters will make sure that you can carry concealed with confidence.