Gear, Parts and Accessories

Ankle Holsters

We’re continuing our series on holsters with a short bit about ankle holsters today. When you need a holster for deep concealment, or when you will need to access your weapon from a sitting position, ankle holsters are a great solution. Properly configured they can provide access to both your right and left hands.

We’ve all seen it in the movies: the good guy loses his gun and right before he’s about to be dispatched by the bad guy, he comes up with a little backup gun from his boot and shoots the baddie. Ankle holsters have long been a popular location to keep a backup gun. Many police officers, where departments allow the practice, regularly carry backup guns in ankle holsters.

Wearing an ankle holster presents some unique challenges when selecting footwear and trousers. Pant legs will need to be slightly longer than you’re used to, and they will need to be cut wider than most. If you use pants with your normal inseam, the holster or entire gun can be exposed when sitting, crouching or kneeling. Select pants with an inseam one size longer than you normally wear.

A good ankle holster should securely wrap around your ankle and have an additional strap that will attach above your calf to prevent the holster from slipping down. Blackhawk! ankle holsters are good example of this. In the photo above you can see the way in which the calf support strap helps to keep the weight of the pistol from dragging the holster down.

A loaded Glock 26 weighs in at just over 24 ounces, or about a pound and a half. That’s a significant amount of weight to be swinging around on your leg, and it does take some getting used to. Ankle holsters aren’t for everybody, and some folks just find that having that additional weight strapped to their leg to be too uncomfortable or awkward. If you’re like me, you’ve got a box stuffed in the back of your closet full of holsters that just didn’t work out. Try out your holster for a week or two to see if it will work out, and if it just doesn’t suit you, send it back with Cheaper Than Dirt’s generous No-Hassle return policy.

One important decision you will have to make when selecting a holster is which leg you want to wear it on, and whether you want to have the pistol worn on the inside or outside of your ankle. Personally, I wear an ankle holster on the inside of my strong-side leg so that I can draw easily with my weak-side or slightly less easily with my strong-side.

Which brings me to my next point: practice! If you’ve read much of this blog, you know how much I emphasize frequent practice. Practice drawing from your ankle holster from a variety of positions using both your right and left hands. Remember, a backup gun is for when you’ve lost your primary weapon or are unable to use it for some reason. This could include the loss of the use of your strong-side arm or hand, so practice using your weak-side as well! Like all concealment holsters, ankle holsters are a compromise between comfort and usability. And, like other holsters, you get what you pay for so buy the best one that you can afford.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (10)

  1. Just bought a Taurus PT 709 Slim 9mm Want an ankle holster for it. Will this holster work for this gun?

    1. Gary, did you ever find out if the 709 Slim would fit this ankle holster? I also would like to know.

  2. I carried my backup (S&W J-Frame) in a ankle holster for a number of years. With the right set up, very comfortable. As far as the ankle holster or gun showing at the bottom of my pant leg, no one ever saw it. Because I would wear a second sock over the rig, covering up the rig just below grip. The extra sock never got in the way of drawing my gun. Hope it helps and keep the powder dry.

  3. Just got a Bulldog for my Sig 238. Works well with dress pants, sitting, giving presentations, in meetings. Regular jeans are too tight in the ankle, but that’s when I can wear a sweater or fleece here in NoDak.

    As for the lasers, I did see some manufacturers that make holsters for laser-equipped pieces.

  4. @Wolfwood:
    “any chance of getting upside-down ankle holsters”

    Eek! At least to my simple mind, the idea of carrying on an extremity with the muzzle always pointing roughly straight up my femoral artery and into my pelvis and abdomen pretty much seems … well … Bad.

    Ignoring the muzzle issue, the bizarre contortions that would be required to draw from such a rig would probably be best handled by one of those Russian gymnasts.

  5. Good thoughts. If I may, a few thoughts:

    1. boot-cut jeans are good for this; also, slacks and suit pants can be altered to allow a little more flare
    2. a gun worn on your ankle is going to wear a hole in your pants; sewing a small patch inside is worth considering
    3. it’s hard to conceal more than a P-3AT, and even that is very noticeable when you move
    4. think about your daily life. I’ve noticed that I usually sit with my right ankle crossed over my left knee, and so anything there can easily seen if you’re not careful

    Also, CTD, any chance of getting upside-down ankle holsters so one can actually draw without having to hitch your pants all the way up to the knee? Since there’s a strap, there’s no chance the gun will fall out.

  6. I am a smaller person (5’7”, 170 lbs), though rather physically fit, and I have no problem wearing an ankle holster with a Glock 26 (subcompact 9mm) on a regular basis. I do agree that with jeans, they must be bootcut, as the material is heavy. Practice. I do it in the car, when laying on the couch, while standing, etc. Getting used to the positions you may have to draw from is tantamount. I do disagree a bit about trousers. All of my suits are rather well custom-talored to my body, and I have never had a problem with the gun showing, or with drawing the weapon. Wool trousers pull up very easily. Even if it leaves a slight bulge: no regular person ever would think to look at an ankle for a gun…everyone looks at the waist.

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