Ankle holsters are becoming an increasingly popular option for gun enthusiasts who wish to conceal what they carry. Both law enforcement and civilians use ankle holsters to conceal their secondary pistols or to make less obvious what they are carrying.
In this article, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of using ankle holsters, the types of ankle holsters, and what factors to consider when making a purchase. We’ll also share our top picks for the ankle holsters you should consider buying.
Best Ankle Holsters Comparison Chart
Concealed Carrier Ankle Holster
Best Concealed Carrier Ankle Holster
Galco Cop Ankle Band
Galco Ankle Glove
Daltech Force Safestcarry Boot Wrap Ankle Holster
Best Boot Ankle Holster
Advantages of Ankles Holsters
The best thing about ankle holsters is that they are very effective at concealing a small backup weapon.
They can be quite comfortable, thanks to the new technologies and the synthetic components that allow adjustments and better security.
In comparison, the inside of the Waistband or the IWB holsters are better at concealing the gun, and also offer easier access to it when standing or walking.
For this reason, ankle holsters are recommended for secondary or backup guns in case the primary weapon is not working or is not accessible.
Disadvantages of Ankle Holsters
Firstly, ankle holsters are well-suited only for the smallest firearms. They cannot accommodate a compact or full-size pistol, which definitely requires a holster and a gun belt.
Another drawback of ankle carry is that holsters tend to attract dust and dirt, which may cause the firearm to malfunction. In this case, you will need to clean the gun regularly to ensure that the holster and the firearm operate as intended.
Additionally, drawing the firearm from the ankle holster from a standing position is awkward at best, as you need to raise your carry leg, pull the pants leg up, and facilitate the draw or drop to your knee to reach your firearm. This is impossible in a face to face conflict. Ankle holsters take more time to effect a draw than a shoulder or an IWB holster. If you want to overcome this limitation, you’ll need to put in several hours of practice to get a quick draw.
Some ankle holsters don't have the best retention properties, and the gun could fall out or come off the Velcro.
Finally, concealment is not perfect, since when you raise your leg, the pant leg could easily ride up and make the gun visible.
Types of Ankle Holsters
This type of holster consists of a neoprene band that wraps around your ankle and secures itself in place using a Velcro strap. You can wear the neoprene directly against your skin without experiencing any discomfort.
Calf straps provide a great way of making sure your ankle holster will stay in the same position when you’re wearing it. The main advantage of using this type of straps is that they will redistribute the pistol’s weight over a larger surface so your ankle won’t bear all of it on its own. This can increase your comfort, and it will also make the holster more stable while you move.
Leather ankle holsters are usually comfortable, and they are also durable. The leather often comes with a highly resistant finish that will protect it from water, and won’t scratch your handgun. These holsters have a leather lining on the interior, and they will wrap around the handgun like a glove. Also, they usually come with a retention strap that will keep the gun safely in place.
Nylon ankle holsters are cheaper than leather ones. Some nylon holsters have reinforced stitches that will protect against shocks and will increase durability while some models use retention straps to keep the handgun securely in place. While most nylon holsters are comfortable to wear, some of them have rough edges that will dig into your ankle.
Considerations When Buying an Ankle Holster
Comfort is one of the primary factors to help you determine if a holster is right for you. If an ankle holster is not comfortable, it is likely that you might end up not wearing it when it really matters.
Look for holsters with a neoprene support band because neoprene is durable but also comfortable to wear. The problem with elastic bands is that they’re very comfortable in the beginning, but they stretch and become inefficient after you wear them for a while.
Some manufacturers add an additional lining made out of sheepskin or other soft materials to the side of neoprene that comes in direct contact with your skin.
It is important that the holster maintains its position and doesn’t wobble or slide around. To achieve this, manufacturers use options like Neoprene bands with Velcro straps, as well as nylon straps and calf straps.
The neoprene band wraps around your ankle, and it’s held in place by a strap of Velcro. This is a popular solution because it’s easy to implement, and it’s also pretty comfortable.
Nylon straps are also pretty popular, but they often have sharp edges, leading to discomfort when walking or running. Calf straps provide a great way of making sure your ankle holster will stay in the same position when you’re wearing it.
Ease of drawing
Drawing from your ankle holster is not easy, and you should always make sure the holster matches your drawing hand. Practicing regularly is essential for drawing the gun quickly and safely.
While leather ankle holsters will usually be more expensive than nylon ones, they are also more comfortable and durable. In general, the more expensive models will be more comfortable to wear, and they protect your handgun better.
Review of the Best Ankle Holsters
With some many different types of ankle holsters out there, it can be a chore to select the right one for you. Luckily, we have done our research, and provide you a list of our top picks for concealed carry of guns in an ankle holster.
1. Best Concealed Carry Ankle Holster: Concealed Carrier Ankle Holster
This highly comfortable ankle holster is made out of padded and breathable surgical grade elastic neoprene with air holes that allow ventilation for your legs. The thick foam used in the construction prevents chafing and rubbing.
It can fit handguns of all sizes, ranging from a sub-compact Glock 27 all the way up to a full-size .45 1911. The leg straps will allow any size calf and ankle to fit comfortably with this holster. You can draw your gun extremely fast with a flick of the retention strap using the back of the thumb to draw the firearm quickly and effectively.
Also, the double strap prevents the holster from slipping down your leg. Another feature of this holster is the built-in elastic pouch that can be used for small equipment like an extra magazine, a folding knife, etc.
- Fits most guns.
- Good warranty.
- The elastic pouch is useful for holding small equipment.
- Velcro strap can lose its effectiveness over time.
If you want an ankle holster that is so comfortable that forget you’re wearing it, this is the one to purchase. It is going to stay put without slipping down your leg and will securely hold your gun in place. However, the Velcro strap can lose its efficacy over time.
2. Best Galco Ankle Holster: Galco Cop Ankle Band
The Cop Ankle Band is a holster that fits ankle/boot circumferences up to 13”, with the option of a boot extender for people with larger legs.
The high-grade elastic band is padded and suede-lined behind the holster area with a Velcro closure. The holster offers an adjustable Velcro safety strap, with thumb break release for autos and conventional release for revolvers.
Made for semiautomatic pistols and double-action revolvers, the Cop Ankle Band is available in right and left-hand models in black.
The 13-inch circumference of the strapping makes it a great choice to wear under your pant-leg. Or if you’d like to have better support, the extra calf strap can give it to you by keeping the gun in place.
This holster is available in both left and right-handed models. Drawing from your ankle is like a cross draw. If you’re left-handed, it will be on your right foot and vice-versa.
- It has modes for both left and right-handed users.
- The boot extender allows fitting on larger legs.
- The extra calf strap prevents the holster from sliding down.
- The strap size is not big enough for everyone.
It is a useful option for people in security and law enforcement who need to secure their secondary weapons on their legs. While it may not fit everyone, it does a good job at concealing small guns and is an effective ankle holster.
3. Best J-Frame Ankle Holster: Galco Ankle Glove
Galco is a reliable name in holsters and their Ankle Glove’s wide neoprene ankle band and Velcro closure offer extended wearing comfort and great security. The sheepskin padding provides additional comfort between the holster and the ankle.
It also features a reinforced thumb break for speed of draw and detailed molding for firearm retention. The Ankle Glove can be worn with or without the optional adjustable calf strap.
The Ankle Glove accommodates ankles up to 13" in circumference and fits semiautomatic pistols and double-action revolvers. It is available in right or left-handed draw in a black finish.
Ankle Gloves for small revolvers have an open top design, meaning they do not have a safety strap and thumb break. Instead, they have a tension unit and work with both hammered and hammerless guns.
Models AG160/AG161 have a retention strap (thumb break) that runs behind the grip frame (not behind the hammer). They work with both hammered and hammerless guns, but some guns with factory supplied custom or oversized rubber grips will not fit, because the retention strap is not long enough to wrap around them. It works best with slim wood or "boot" grips.
- The holster fits and stays on very well.
- The material stretches well, and the padding on the inside is soft.
- It doesn’t cause any rubbing marks or discomfort.
- It doesn’t work with all gun sizes.
The Galco Ankle Glove will hold your gun comfortably all day while allowing easy draws and safely keeping the gun in place when it is not needed. It comes in versions with and without retention straps to suit your firearm needs.
4. Best Boot Ankle Holster: Daltech Force Boot Wrap Ankle Holster
This ankle holster is made from black elastic material for snub-nosed guns and is designed to fit over a boot. It fits small to medium semi-autos or revolvers weighing under 25 ounces with a full magazine.
The holster’s dimensions are 4" wide, 18" long; and the diameter ranges from 3" to 6". It comes with a lifetime warranty against frayed or torn stitching, and the gun can be positioned anywhere around the left or right boot. The hook and loop closure keeps guns very secure and allows users to adjust it easily.
- Ambidextrous draw.
- Made in USA.
- Cannot be worn without a boot or padding between the ankle and the gun.
- No spare magazine slot.
It is a no-frills ankle holster for small handguns and revolvers, with a lifetime warranty and high-quality construction. Drawing with either hand makes this small holster ideal for tactical situations, and for people who wear boots like law enforcement officers.
Are Ankle Holsters Ideal for Daily Carry?
Absolutely, yes. Unless you don’t receive death threats very often.
Ankle holsters are a good option for everyday concealed carry, with the best part being that you don’t have to adjust your holster when you sit, run, squat, or simply bend over (like with tuckable holsters and OWB holsters). This fact itself is enough to prove the effectiveness of an ankle holster for EDC.
Ankle holsters don’t interfere with your job in any way. Whether it's a sedentary desk job or a strenuous field job.
These holsters also don’t limit the wardrobe (especially for men) unless you are uncomfortable with full-length trousers, pants, or jeans.
Ankle holster can be use even if you are wearing jeans (Source)
Ankle holsters also don’t promote any sort of printing, so you can rest assured that no one’s going to know you are CCW.
By and large, ankle holsters are the most comfortable method to carry a weapon. Alternatively, you can use an ankle holster to carry a secondary backup firearm.
Ankle holsters were designed especially for sub-compact handguns, which are most commonly used for concealed carry. Thus, making these holsters ideal for daily carry.
How To Wear and Draw From an Ankle Holster
Using an ankle holster requires more practice compared to any other holster design.
The video below will teach you about the proper method of wearing an ankle holster. For example, the benefits of wearing it inside the leg.
First, it offers a quick draw. Second, it protects your gun from banging into things as you move.
You’ll learn about the types of boots and pants you should wear and the best position to position the holster.
The video describes all the possible drawing positions of techniques for an ankle holster, which include kneeling down, raising your leg, and the supine position. Each of these techniques has their own benefits and drawbacks.
Ankle holsters are great for carrying backup or secondary handguns and pistols. They are also a good option if you wish to conceal a gun while wearing tight-fitting clothing.
The situations where you can use an ankle holster effectively are limited because you have to bend down to draw the gun, but the practice can make the draw faster and smoother.
Keep in mind various factors when considering which holster to purchase, such as the material, the comfort, the support and the cost to get the best value for money.