Galco Ankle Lite Ankle Holster

Galco ankle holster with Ruger LCP inside.

A guest post written by Lori Winstead.

Finding the right holster can feel like a retelling of the classic story of Goldilocks’ and the Three Bears. This holster is too bulky while that holster doesn’t cover the trigger guard. For most gun owners, finding the right holster can result in a box of holsters sitting in a corner that don’t fit their needs. My Goldilocks’ gun is my Ruger LCP, and I have purchased several different types of holsters trying to find the holster. My most recent purchase, a Galco Ankle Lite ankle holster, seems to be the current winner. It offers a high level of comfortable concealment at a reasonable price. Of the various holsters I’ve purchased for this particular gun, this is the best option for on-body carry for the Ruger LCP.

The Ankle Lite consists of a steer hide leather holster attached to a wide neoprene band with sheepskin padding behind the holster and a sturdy Velcro closure that runs the entire width of the band. It is designed to fit up to a 13-inch circumference so make sure to measure your ankle where you intend to actually place the holster. Galco offers a boot extender, as an additional accessory, that adds 1 to 5 inches to the circumference of the band and is useful for those who wear boots higher than the ankle or have larger ankles.

The Ankle Lite offers different models to fit different groups of similar sized guns. For example, my particular holster is designed to fit a Ruger LCP, Diamondback DB380, Kahr P380 and 2 different models of Kel-Tec. They also offer options for wheel guns, offering the same quality concealment although the retention strap may cause issues with some revolver models that do not have external hammers.

A new leather holster is stiff so a little breaking in is the first thing that should be done before attempting to carry a firearm in the holster. Instructions are included with the holster and the process is fairly simple and straightforward. After making sure the gun is unloaded, check it again. Then, wrap the gun in two or three layers of plastic wrap or a plastic freezer bag. Gently attempt to holster the gun as far as it will go without forcing it. Gently twist the gun about 1/16-inch each direction while gently pushing the gun into the holster. Once you can fully holster the gun, let it sit in the holster 15-20 minutes. You might have to repeat this process a couple times to get a good fit.

The Ankle Lite has a retention strap that will also need broken in by gently twisting the strap at a 90-degree angle counterclockwise and clockwise and pulling on the strap to stretch it over the firearm to the snap closure. Again, the breaking in process is just that, a process that may take time. My holster has gone through this breaking in process and daily carry, but it still a tight fit for holstering. Holstering the gun during this break in process is easier when not actually wearing the holster. Holster the gun and then put the holster around your ankle.

I’ve often heard it said that part of carrying a defensive firearm can be sacrificing some personal comfort, but I’ve found the Ankle Lite to be more comfortable than I expected. I’m able to wear it a full day without needing to wear heavy socks for padding underneath. The neoprene is comfortable against bare skin, but if you have sensitive skin you may want to wear something underneath the holster to create a layer between it and your skin. I wore the holster empty for one entire day with no issues. Once I added the weight of a loaded firearm, the holster did slide down a little lower from where I had placed it. A quick adjustment to the holster strap stabilized the holster and I had no more issues. When wearing an ankle holster, a little thought has to be given to making sure it’s not obvious you’re wearing a concealed firearm. Crossing my legs, at the knee or at the ankle itself, has probably been the biggest adjustment for me.

Ankle holsters are typically worn on the non-dominate opposite side of the body from a waist-carried firearm, on the inside of that leg so it can still be drawn with the dominant shooting hand. So, since I am right-handed, I carry on the inside of my left leg, with the gun situated so that most of the bulk of the gun is behind the center of my calf. Once wearing the holster, there is a noticeable, but comforting, weight on that leg. Skinny jeans and an ankle holster this size doesn’t work well together. Boot cut pants would be an excellent option, as are many cargo style pants. Long dresses or skirts would also be an option for the ladies.

Other optional accessories available for the Ankle Lite are the Ankle Glove Calf Strap, which helps keep the weight of the gun from pulling the holster down to the top of your shoes, and the Cop Ankle Safe, which is designed to allow you to carry accessories on your ankle.

Every holster has some drawbacks and the Ankle Lite is no exception. Although I find it comfortable, it may not work for those with sensitive skin. It’s only concealable if you’re wearing pants or a skirt/dress so it may not be an option for those in warmer climates. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to draw while moving and any move to draw has the strong possibility of drawing attention to you unless you’re already sitting down (e.g. driving). The location limits use to smaller guns with a lower round capacity. However, when a larger gun or an alternative holster is not an option, the Galco Ankle Lite should be in every gun owner’s box of holsters.

What is your go-to holster? Tell us the make, model and what you like about it in the comment section.

Lori Winstead is a co-owner/instructor at Equality Arms LLC, based in Fishers, IN. She is an NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA Basic Pistol Instructor and Refuse to be a Victim Instructor. She is a chapter leader for The Well Armed Woman as well as Co-Chair for her county’s Friends of the NRA Committee.

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 (15)

  1. I swear by my Sneak Pete
    First, it has strong magnets on the flap not zippers or noisey velcro.
    I can open and draw with one hand. I have dropped it on a tile floor and it didn’t come open. Have worn all day, come home and eat dinner, and not realize I’m still wearing it till late evening.
    I have worn it everywhere that’s legal and no one gives it a glance.

    1. Got to agree on the Sneaky Pete. I’ve got one for my PF9 and it’s excellent. Comfortable, easy to access, very low profile.

  2. I have an older Galco ankle holster for a J-frame that is well made and works as intended. I see a problem with the one picture though. How does one get a shooting grip on the handgun when starting the draw when the safety strap goes across the grip of the pistol? I see this as a design flaw shared by many holster makers when making holsters for small auto pistols. I see no way to “cure” this problem other than doing away with the safety strap and making the “security feature” a tight friction fit, which some would not be comfortable with.

  3. I’ve had one of the for my P3-AT for about a year. I wear it nearly every day. Best part is you don’t have to find a place to stash the weapon when you hit the men’s room. I like baggy clothes so it does not show at all. It’s either my primary or backup holster. Stays put, you almost forget it’s there.

  4. I’ve worn an ankle holster for over 20 years and find it comfortable and handy. When I wear shorts I carry in a fanny pack mainly because I like my shirt tucked and and because I don’t give a damn what people think of fanny packs.

  5. If I can’t carry it in a pocket holster, I just won’t carry it. I carry two pistols ( one at a time) both in a Desantis Super fly, one a Kahr PM380 in the front pocket of about anything I wear and second a Springer XDs in .45 ACP in the hip pocket of blue jeans or anything else that will accommodate it. I just can’t get comfortable with holster carry.

  6. I own a nice ankle holster, but I just can’t seem to embrace the carry option. No slam on anyone else who does, and maybe if I worked at it harder I would get used to it as well, but for right now, I just can’t see the advantage of ankle for a small frame over a pocket holster.

    I am very open to to other’s outlooks or personal experiences.

    1. I think the idea behind it is, when you are not done making Holy Cheese and you are out of holy water in your main container, you have a smaller flask to finish.

    2. @Vector16

      Dude, partying on a Monday night? 😉 JK

      Oddly enough, I get what you mean, for whatever that says about both of us, but my smaller flask has just always been a PF9 in a pocket holster. But . . . because i am open to new concepts, I will use my ankle holster tomorrow. The wife and I are going to the range and then to an awesome all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. I will use my ankle holster and report back on how it went.

    3. How is the trigger on that kel tec? I looked at the CW9 Kahr yesterday and the trigger is about a mile pull.

    4. It’s about like clicking on a staple gun. 😉

      But, it’s very consistent. I carry it on my weak side as a BUG in case my right hand is incapacitated. Shooting it one handed with my left hand, I can consistently hit center of mass at combat ranges. Trigger pull is about 5 pounds.

      Nice little gun. Very reliable, I don’t think I’ve ever had a failure to function with it, and I can shoot a full sized HP round (9mm vs .380). Very easy to conceal. It does kick though. My wife and I call it “The Mule.” I love it.

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