Ankle holsters are widely used by professionals and everyday carriers to concealed carry their weapon.
As the name suggests, these are worn above the ankles, over the calf, and offer a comfortable carry position. These holsters are also good for carrying a backup weapon.
To dig deeper into the details of an ankle holster, we will talk about the pros, cons, and features of an ankle holster. We will also learn about the ideal method to draw from ankle holsters.
At the end of this article, you will find our top three picks for the best ankle holsters on the market.
Our Top Three Picks for Ankle Holsters Comparison Chart
Concealed Carrier Ankle Holster for Pistol
Galco Cop Ankle Band
Galco Ankle Glove
How to Choose an Ankle Holster
You must take several factors into consideration before choosing an ankle holster. These characteristics will ensure that you stay comfortable with the holster and can use it effectively when needed. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Type of Holster
Different types of ankle holsters available on the market include single straps, double straps/calf straps, neoprene, nylon, and leather holsters. In our opinion, double strapped, nylon holsters are the most comfortable.
An ankle holster with a weapon will add a weight of one and a half pounds to your leg. Hence, it should be comfortable to wear. Nylon and neoprene made holsters are a good choice.
Your legs are the most mobile part of your body, so you must ensure that the ankle holster is properly worn so it doesn’t wobble or slip down. Ankle holsters with double straps largely solve this problem.
An ankle holster should be light in weight to be quite comfortable. Leather made ankle holsters are not a very good choice based upon this factor.
Make sure to check the size of the ankle holster before you buy. Ankle holsters are not great, in general, for skinny guys with thin calves. Additionally, some designs might not fit people with large calves.
Ease of Drawing and Retention
An ideal ankle holster should provide a quick-draw, along with a secure retention mechanism.
Extra Accessory Pouch
Many ankle holsters these days come with an extra mag/accessory pouch which lets you carry some extra ammo or other relevant stuff. Such holsters are inevitably a good option over others without extra space.
Is it designed for a particular weapon, or is it a one-size-fits-all type? Choosing this is your personal decision.
Who Wears Ankle Holsters?
If you watch action movies quite often, you must have seen special agents or on-duty officers pull out a sub-compact handgun from their ankle holster. Well, that’s true to some extent. Duty officers and defense personnel often use ankle holsters to carry a backup weapon.
Most ankle holsters on the market these days (an in this review) are ambidextrous, meaning they can be used both by righties and lefties.
Ankle holsters can be worn either inside or outside of the ankle, however, the latter is not recommended. Generally, wearing on the inside of the ankle is more comfortable and offers a quick draw for most people.
One very important thing to consider is that using an ankle holster requires you to wear somewhat loose or baggy pants, so the holster gets enough room to be carried comfortably. Plus, it is easy to pull up the pant leg when you need to draw.
Ankle holsters are not a very good option for women who have to/like to wear skirts or other short dresses.
Similarly, men shouldn’t use them with capris or half-cargo pants, since wearing an ankle holster that way will expose your weapon to dirt, and possible snagging.
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 IWB 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 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.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Ankle Holster
Using an ankle holster has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Exceptional Concealment: Ankle holsters offer unmatched concealment compared to any other holster design. They do not print and can be used for everyday carry.
Comfortable: Ankle holsters do not to be adjusted every now and then. They don’t interfere with your movement or work when you run, walk, sit, or bend over. Plus, materials like neoprene and nylon are exceptionally comfortable.
Offers a Backup: Ankle holsters can be used to carry a backup firearm in case the primary weapon malfunctions or runs out of ammo.
Tactical Advantage: When you draw, you automatically take the prone position which gives you a tactical advantage. Plus kneeling down below a desk or something provides additional cover.
Good for EDC: Ankle holsters can be worn all day, every day, as long as you decide to wear a full-length trouser. Plus for women, they are obviously a better option than concealed carry purse inserts.
Difficult to reach: No matter how much you practice, drawing from an ankle holster takes more time than any other design of holster. This is not a good thing especially during close quarter engagements when you instantly need to cover.
Frame Size: Ankle holsters were not designed to carry large or mid-sized handguns. They are only good for sub-compact weapons which have lesser round capacity.
Limited Wardrobe: Ankle holsters require you to wear baggy trousers all the time. They do not comply with short lower apparel like capris or skirts. Plus, wearing skinny pants is also not an option.
Our Top Three Picks for Ankle Holsters
Based upon the above-mentioned qualities and characteristics of an ideal ankle holster, we have handpicked and reviewed the top three best ankle holsters available on the market, which will eventually help you with your purchase.
1. Concealed Carry Ankle Holster: Concealed Carrier Ankle Holster for Pistol
This ankle holster from Concealed Carrier is made of breathable and elastic surgical grade neoprene with a thick foam inner, which makes it extremely comfortable on your skin.
The holster is worn over the calf and features double straps which prevent it from wiggling or sliding down and allows you to use it during strenuous movement.
The elastic holster fits most sub-compact guns and the snap button thumb retention strap secures retention properly. The extra pouch lets you carry an additional mag, knife, or any other non-lethal accessory.
2. Galco Ankle Holster: Galco Cop Ankle Band
When ankle holsters are concerned, Galco can’t be left behind. This Galco Cop Ankle Band holster has been made from neoprene and is widely used by law enforcement personnel. You can also order a boot extender separately in case you have a larger calf.
The holster has been made for semi-automatic, sub-compact pistols, and small-sized revolvers. The retention of the holster is secured using a thumb strap.
The Cop Ankle Band fits ankle/boot circumferences up to 13" in diameter. This ankle holster is quite comfortable and lightweight.
Plus, it prevents your gun from falling out due to its deep holster design. The ankle band holster is available in right and left-hand configurations.
3. J-Frame Ankle Holster: Galco Ankle Glove
The J-Frame Ankle Glove Holster from Galco is an exceptionally comfortable ankle holster.
The holster itself is made of premium saddle leather stitched to a neoprene band and can accommodate ankles up to 13” in circumference.
A sheepskin padding between the holster and ankle creates a soft and insulated partition between your skin and the holster.
The thumb break retention strap runs behind the grip frame and makes this holster a flawless and secure carry option. The holster accommodates most sub-compact pistols and revolvers.
The Galco Glove Ankle Holster will be a good choice if you want to wear an ankle holster all day, and every day. The holster has been tested for durability and quality and will last longer if used properly.
Ankle holsters offer good concealment and are also a good option to carry a backup weapon.
There are several different types of ankle holsters on the market. A good ankle holster must be comfortable, lightweight, adjustable, offer support, and should have a proper retention mechanism.
Ankle holsters are good for daily carry but require a lot of practice before you can use them properly.
Ankle holsters are a good concealed carry option but are not very effective for an instant-response situation.