Best Ankle Holsters

About Ankle Holsters

ankle holster draw

What is an ankle holster?

As I was getting ready to do this review of the best ankle holsters, I noticed there were plenty of write-ups on the subject.

Ironically though, most articles I read neglected to define, or give a precise definition of what ankle holsters were.

Well, first things first, we all know that holsters are defined as holders for carrying a handgun or other firearms.

Then, if we follow the logic, the name ankle holsters just take their name as related to the part of the body where these holders are worn, namely in the ankle or lower part of the body which connects the foot with the leg – as simple as that.

Primary Use of Ankle Holsters

About the very first decision we all need to consider when purchasing an ankle holster is which weapon you will be carrying: a primary or a secondary [backup] weapon.

Research shows that most ankle holsters are used to carry a secondary or backup weapon.

As such, this decision will also influence the type of weapon that you will be carrying and will also narrow down the size and type of ankle holster that you will buy.  

I will clarify, however, that even though ankle holsters are mostly used for carrying secondary or back-up weapons, it does not imply you cannot purchase an ankle holster for carrying your primary firearm as well, which, then again will be a foremost consideration as far as picking the correct size ankle holster for your weapon of choice.

Important Considerations

Regretfully, many novices in matters dealing with tactical gear, tend to dismiss important considerations needed when purchasing ankle holsters.

The fact that most ankle holster are used for carrying secondary or back-up weapons, tends to distract many as to the key role they may play at a particular point-in-time. 

All holsters, regardless of their body wearing position are used for carrying a weapon which may, in turn, make the difference in a life-or-death predicament.

Purchasing an ankle holster should then be given their deserved considerations before making your final decision on which one to buy.

One of my principal objectives in this review today is, precisely, to deal with these considerations. 


What if I told you that ankle holsters are all about concealment?

Gather you know that concealment is the practice of carrying a concealed firearm on one’s person in public.

By most accounts, ankle holsters are a highly effective means of concealing your weapon.

The fact these holsters are worn so low in your body and the fact that they are typically positioned under your pants and/or similar garments just makes them that much less noticeable than their more popular drop holster and shoulder holster counterparts – an important consideration I may add.

Appropriate Ankle Carry

One of the topmost considerations before purchasing an ankle carry is defining which gun you will use.

As I mentioned before, ankle holsters are not meant to be used for carrying primary weapons and/or full-size guns.

I recommend narrowing down your ankle carry to small frame revolvers, small single-stack 9 mm autos and small pocket autos.

As a rule-of-thumb, you may say that the smaller and lighter the weight of your weapon, the more practical for use in conjunction with an ankle holster.

I say, when dealing with ankle holsters, the weight of your firearm becomes a foremost consideration as it will have an impact on your ability to carry it for sustainable periods of time, sometimes even impairing your ability to move with ease and comfort.  

Materials And Construction

So, if there is one product-line in the tactical gear world where you do not want to be too stingy, ankle holsters are it.

Please, do yourself a favor.

Poorly designed ankle holsters will end up being uncomfortable, awkward, and painful to wear and will become intolerable to use for prolonged periods of time, thus defeating its objective to begin with. 

The better ankle holsters are made of sheepskin or similar material on the inside portion of the holster that lies against your leg.

Good ankle holsters are made using both leather and/or nylon for the holster portion itself. 

As far as construction is concerned, just make sure you use a holster that has a secure retention, that holds your firearm tightly and securely to your leg with a high-quality loop-and-hook material for fastening the holster.

I, for one, am steadfast in suggesting using exclusively designs that utilize a thumb break or strap that retain the gun inside the holster.

While the thumb-break or strap may slow down the draw, it is a tradeoff with the risk of dislodging the gun as it can get snagged on objects around your leg. 

Proper Positioning And Fit

As mentioned before, the standard location of wearing an ankle holster is inside of your leg, however, notably to be worn in the leg opposite your dominant hand, only so that you will have quick and easy access to the firearm with your dominant hand. 

As a matter of record, ankle holsters, for obvious reasons, have a tendency of sliding down.

As such, some ankle holsters incorporate the use of a calf strap, which, as implied by the name, is a band that wraps around your calf to help with the slipping down condition.

I will caution you however, this feature may or may not be to your liking depending on the holster, the gun, and your personal preference relative to your clothing. 

At the end of the day, the exact positioning or placement of your ankle holster is strictly a matter of personal preference – there is no preset or predetermined standard position. It is a matter of where it is most comfortable to you.

Pros and Cons of Ankle Carry


Have to say, one of the most compelling reasons for using an ankle holster is their effectiveness in concealment.

Ankle holsters are just an ideal way of concealing a secondary or back-up weapon.

More specially if you happen to be in a seating position.

All ankle holsters work very well when drawing from positions other than standing. 

While many contend that ankle carry is not ideal as your primary mode of carrying your weapon, it may prove to be the best solution for accommodating or carrying a weapon in less permissive environments. 

Ankle carry may be almost ideal for people who spend a great deal of time in a seating position.

In certain situations, drawing a weapon from the ankle proves to be a lot faster than drawing from the waist.

The ankle carried weapon can also be readily accessed when in a flat, on your back position which is likely a position where you can end up during a physical confrontation.


Like anything else in life, there is a down-side to everything and ankle holsters are no exception.

There are two major drawbacks to ankle carry, not necessarily in any order.

First is the slower draw of the weapon which requires a great deal of bodily motion as compared to drawing from your hip.

My other contention deals with the fact that, your weapon, being attached to your leg, makes accessing it an impossibility while moving. In a fight, this could be a great disadvantage. 

My other claim against ankle holsters has to do with your limitation as to the size of firearm that you can carry.

As I mentioned earlier, ankle holsters are not meant to be used for carrying primary firearms, thus limiting the carry to smaller caliber guns which may put you at a disadvantage in certain situations that call for the use of a larger weapon.

Selecting an Ankle Holster

As you may have gathered by now, selecting the best ankle holster for you deals with issues such as comfort, quality of materials, construction, concealability, size of your weapon, etc.

When it comes to ankle holsters, I strongly urge and suggest you do not concern yourself so much with price-point as you would with most other tactical gear items.

Having said that, however, I am pleased to report that, as of late, there have been new strides in technology and synthetic compounds used in making ankle holsters with marked improvements in adjustability, comfort, and security, offered at very affordable and competitive prices without compromising any other critical features of the rig. 

Regardless, I submit to you that, notwithstanding my recommendations as made on my top picks that follow, again, ankle holsters are a very personal decision which should, in the end, be made exclusively based on your specific preferences, requirements and desired objectives.

That said, below please find some of my top ankle holster picks, all of which I consider worthy of your consideration before making your final purchasing decision.

Best Ankle Holsters – Our Top Picks

1. Galco Ankle Glove

galco ankle glove

Galco Ankle Glove

After much research, due diligence, and many options out there to choose from, my top pick was the Galco Ankle Glove.

This system is molded in premium saddle leather, mounted to a breathable neoprene band, which is secured around your ankle with Velcro on the ends.

It is capable of accommodating ankles up to thirteen inches in circumference. 

For me personally, one of the most appealing features of the Ankle Glove was the comfort and security offered by the wide ankle band and hook-and-loop closure.

Additional comfort comes by way of the genuine sheepskin they used for padding between the holster and the ankle.

Notably, the Ankle Glove also provides for secure firearm retention featuring a reinforced thumb break strap while, at the same time, not interfering with your ability to do a fast draw. 

The Ankle Glove was specifically designed to fit Glocks 26 Gen 1-4-5, Glocks 27 and 33. 

Bottom line on this ankle holster, honestly, I cannot think of anything negative to say about it.

If you are seriously considering the purchase of an ankle holster, and I imagine you are, if you are reading this review, you must give this system a priority consideration. 

2. Uncle Mike’s Kodra Sidekick Ankle Holster

Uncle Mike’s Kodra Sidekick Ankle Holster

Uncle Mike’s Kodra Sidekick Ankle Holster

So, I told you before, price-point should not be your foremost consideration when purchasing an ankle holster and I stand by my claim, then again, Uncle Mike’s Kodra Ankle Holster may very well prove me wrong on this assertion.

This is as good and inexpensive system as you would want to leg-mount your firearm. 

For those of you, like me, who are not experts in material construction, Kodra is a ballistic nylon material comparable to the better-known brand name Cordura ™ - which offers good abrasion resistance and much softer textures than other standard nylon compositions. 

Uncle Mike’s sidekick ankle holster features a Nylon web retention strap with reinforced thumb break.

It also highlights a wrap-around, cinch-down design with hook-and-loop adjustment which snuggles comfortably around the ankle.

Uncle Mike’s Kodra Ankle Holster is just a user-friendly holster offered at an incredibly competitive price-point.

Must check this one out before making your final choice. 

3. DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig

DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig

DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig

As my third pick of top ankle holsters, I have the DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig and my choice is mostly because this rig offers better concealability than most others out there in the marketplace. 

The DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig is built from top grain saddle leather, finished on the outside with a tough polyurethane [PU] coating.

This system was designed to fit the Glock 43 and Glock 43X firearms and features a conventional thumb brake that has been attached to a neoprene leg band padded with foam and sheepskin, making this rig quite comfortable while not compromising a quick draw as needed. 

This holster was designed to be comfortably mounted on the inside of the leg opposite of your gun hand.

Right-handed shooters will order a right-handed holster which will attach to the inside of your left ankle.

I highly recommend you consider the DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig before making that final decision on your ankle rig. 

4. UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

My next pick is the UTG Concealed Ankle Holster.

This is a good rig capable of holding your firearm securely and sufficiently comfortable to wear it all day.

I can best describe this holster as a versatile, heavy duty, adjustable system, integrally constructed with padded wraparound strap and a hook-and-loop adjustment to ensure a secure fit. 

The UTG Concealed Ankle Holster features an adjustable calf strap and double vertical security straps for some of your most demanding objectives and applications.

This system was designed to fit all compact and subcompact pistols.

I have worn this rig with jeans, dress pants and have had no issues whatsoever.

Here again, this is one system very reasonably priced for all it offers.

I give this one high marks, mostly for comfort. Make sure to give the UTG the consideration which it deserves as related to what if offers relative to its price-point.

5. Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster

Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster

Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster

So, maybe I forgot to tell you, finding the right ankle holster is not as easy as many would think.

Too bulky, too revealing, too uncomfortable, etc., are among the most common objections.

For most gun owners finding the right ankle holster can result in the equivalent of a “fishing expedition” of sorts – one which can, often, take us to a wide-array of choices which may not necessarily match all of our expectations. 

For me personally, I find the Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster to be a winner that matches most of what I look for in an ankle rig.

Other than the great reputation typically associated with the name Alien Gear in the tactical gear universe of products, I must say this holster has quite a few features which make this one of my most preferred ankle rigs. 

The Alien Gear ShapeShift offers great concealment in comfort.

The soft neoprene strap is flexible enough to move and shift with your body with reduced footprint.

The neoprene works as a sweat-straining material that is breathable to eliminate skin irritation when wearing the holster for prolonged periods of time. 

This rig was designed for full adjustable retention and ride height of your firearm.

Also constructed to custom fit, among others, your S&W M&P380 Shield EZ, S&W M&p40 4.25-inch, S&W M&P 40c Compact 3.5 inch and S&W M&P9 4.25 inch, to mention a few.

Made right here in the USA, the Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster is very desirable ankle carry option which you must give thoughtful consideration before making your final purchasing decision.

Other Ankle Holsters to Consider

While I have already given you my foremost top five picks of ankle holsters, I must say, there are a few other alternatives available in the marketplace worthy of your consideration.

However, limited as I am to expand this review much beyond its present scope to cover the other options in as great of depth. 

As such, I have prepared a list of ten additional rigs, all of which, you may care to consider as follows.

Summary and Conclusions

There are, if you will, quite an array of ankle holsters out there for you to choose from, mostly as they relate to whatever ankle carry is best suited to you and your needs.

One thing, however, which I strongly recommend to all considering the purchase of an ankle holster, more specially all the novices, is to practice as much as you can to draw your pistol from your new ankle holster.

While it is not rocket science, it does take practice and remember, whenever you practice, make sure to do so with an unloaded firearm. 

Whichever system you decide to purchase in the end, just make sure it gives you the maximum level of comfort relative to the fit in your ankle.

As I said earlier, choosing an ankle carry is, at the end of the day, strictly a matter of personal preference.

That said, however, I hope that this review will in some way prove to be helpful and useful in making that especially important final decision of which ankle holster is best for you.

I wish you the best of luck in your purchasing journey. 

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