12 Best Ankle Holsters – Top Quality [Reviewed 2023]

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If you're looking for a great backup carry option or a primary holster for your sub-compact or compact handgun, an ankle holster may be the perfect choice for you. We've gathered some of the most high-quality ankle holsters at each price point to highlight our favorites in terms of both ruggedness and features, with a focus on comfort, secure retention, and how concealable they are.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR RELIABILITY

Galco Ankle Glove Lite Ankle Holster

Galco Ankle Glove Lite Ankle Holster

  • Material: Leather, Neoprene
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Right
BEST FOR DURABILITY

Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster

Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster

  • Material: Cordura
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Right/Left
BEST FOR HEAVY ELASTIC

UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

  • Material: Soft Polymer
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
BEST FOR COMFORT

Bulldog Ankle Holster

Bulldog Ankle Holster

  • Material: Elastic Nylon
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Right
BEST FOR ALL SIZE FRAME

DeSantis Apache Ankle Rig

DeSantis Apache Ankle Rig

  • Material: Nylon
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Right
BEST FOR NO MOVEMENT

Bugbite Ankle Holster

Bugbite Ankle Holster

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Right
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE FIT

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE FIT

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

Bear Armz Tactical Ankle Holster

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Style: Velcro Retention
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE FIT

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

Bianchi 150 Negotiator

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Style: Adjustable
  • Hand: Right
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE FIT

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

BlitzShot Ankle Holster

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE FIT

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

ComfortTac Ankle Holster With Calf Strap

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Color: Black
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE FIT

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

LPV Ankle Holster With Calf Strap

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Style: LPV SnapHolster
  • Hand: Ambidextrous

Things To Consider When Choosing An Ankle Holster

The most important factor when shopping for an ankle holster is to make sure it's compatible with your carry weapon. Virtually every holster manufacturer will readily list compatible models for each holster, but just because a gun fits doesn't mean it's an ideal pairing for your holster—you may still run into issues with concealment or drawing speed. It's always worth poking around online for a bit to see if you can find some hands-on feedback from people with the same carry weapon as you do so you can get a clear view of what you're dealing with.

The other important factor to consider in my opinion is durability, and that largely comes down to the wearer’s available budget. Not everyone can afford a rock-solid option like a Galco holster, but just remember that if you buy cheap, you're probably going to end up replacing it at some point down the line.

There are effective, affordable options, several of which appear on this list, but for something that you are potentially trusting your life with, I always recommend saving up and getting something that you don't have to compromise on if at all possible.

There's also a handy FAQ at the end to answer any questions you might have about the pros and cons of ankle holsters and how to choose the right one to suit your needs. Without any further ado, here's what made our cut:

12 Best Ankle Holsters [Top Rated List]

1. Galco Ankle Glove Lite Ankle Holster

best ankle holster

Galco's line of ankle holsters are some of the most comfortable I've come across, and the Lite model is no exception. If you're planning to wear a holster for long stretches at a time, weight and comfort become a major factor, but I can honestly say that even after wearing this all day long, you'll be hard-pressed to even notice that it's on.

The Galco Lite ankle holster is made from high-quality steerhide with neoprene padding, making it exceptionally durable. You certainly pay a premium for that durability, but as the old saying goes, “buy once, cry once.” 

The leather construction also means that you'll need to put a bit of effort into fitting the holster to your handgun the first time, so don't expect to immediately use it out of the box. But once the leather has been properly stretched and molded, it fits very snug and allows for a smooth, easy draw without any worry about getting hung up on anything.

The reinforced thumb break, hook and loop fastener, and unexposed trigger guard combine for great retention, so there's no need to worry about any accidental releases or snagging. If your work involves a lot of activity – especially running or jumping – I'd recommend spending a little extra to get the Galco adjustable calf strap for maximum stability.

In terms of concealment, the Galco Ankle Lite holster performs very well. It has a slightly canted angle that can create some potential printing issues with longer than average grips or tall sights, but most compact carry pistols, including Glocks, will have no problems at all. And another nice incentive - like other Galco holsters, this one is made in the USA.

Galco Ankle Glove Lite Ankle Holster

The price of Galco Ankle Glove Lite Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

2. Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster

ankle holster

Designed for law enforcement personnel, this Uncle Mike's ankle holster is equally well-suited to civilian use. Though it's not as durable as leather, the nylon construction is still tough enough for duty use while being very comfortable, and a thin layer of breathable closed-cell foam creates a moisture barrier—very handy if you're like me and live in a hot or humid climate where you're likely to sweat.

The holster has a cinch-down design and a retention strap with a reinforced thumb break, an ankle band, and a calf strap to keep your gun snug and secure. The calf strap isn't really necessary if you're wearing boots, but it does provide a bit of extra padding so you don't have to deal with rubbing issues. Because it’s designed for duty use, it’s compatible with most standard-issue pistols, including the Glock 26 and Glock 43.

Compact and subcompact automatics and small-frame revolvers shouldn't have any issues with printing, but as with most ankle holsters, you're still going to need to be wearing relaxed fit or boot-cut pants—if you prefer slim fits or thin fabrics, you're probably better off looking for a waist or shoulder holster instead.

Uncle Mike’s Nylon Ankle Holster

The price of Uncle Mike’s Nylon Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

3. UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

best ankle holsters

Available for just under $15 on Amazon, the UTG Concealed Ankle Holster is certainly hard to beat in terms of price, and makes for a solid introduction for shooters who are unsure if an ankle holster is right for them.

With a padded wraparound strap, calf strap, and two vertical security straps, this holster offers a lot of room for adjustment and tightening. It will take a bit of work to get the fit set up just right, but you'll be left with an effective, economical holster.

The incredibly low price of this holster does have some downsides – durability is decent, but nothing to write home about, and heavier handguns will still bounce around if you're doing much more than walking at a normal pace. It also prints more than most other ankle holsters, so if total concealment is your goal, it's worth saving up a bit more for a slimmer, more secure holster.

It's a reasonably comfortable holster, with one major caveat – you need to wear long socks with this holster unless you want to deal with some velcro rubbing against your leg. Still, if you're on an extremely tight budget or just want to get a feel for what an ankle holster can offer, it's hard to argue with this price.

UTG Concealed Ankle Holster

The price of UTG Concealed Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

4. Bulldog Ankle Holster

ankle holsters

The Bulldog Ankle Holster is a solid, economical choice for those who prefer to carry subcompact autos that are on the slightly larger side. Some models of compact and pocket pistols will fit as well, but for the most part this holster runs a little larger than most of the competition.

The elastic nylon construction isn't quite as tough as leather or kydex, but it's durable enough to hold up to typical use. The hook and loop-style retention strap is very secure, but like all holsters that use this design, it makes an audible sound when the velcro is pulled away—not a dealbreaker for most shooters, but if you want to be able to access your weapon in complete silence, I would have to recommend looking at a different kind of holster.

Concealment is quite good, even with a back-up magazine pouch carried on the same leg. The holster isn't angled, so pistols with large magazines or long grips may be a little tricky to disguise, but for subcompact pistols specifically designed with concealed carry in mind, it does the job admirably.

It's a comfortable holster and you aren't likely to feel the weight of it even after carrying it all day long, but learn from my mistake and wear calf-length socks with this one to avoid any chafing—in fact, that's pretty good advice for almost every ankle holster.

Bulldog Ankle Holster

The price of Bulldog Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

5. DeSantis Apache Ankle Rig

best ankle gun

The Apache Ankle Rig offers a very secure, comfortable fit for most small, medium, and even large-frame pistols, though the latter may be tricky to fully conceal. The ergonomics are great and the elastic feels very robust, which is something that can't always be said for cheaper holsters that lose their elasticity after a few months of constant use.

I will say that it's not quite as comfortable as a Galco holster, which is pretty much my gold standard, but this holster is also half the price, and the genuine sheepskin padding is still quite nice, and I've never run into any issues with chafing or velcro scraping.

As with the Galco, I'd recommend buying the optional calf strap if you plan on doing any intense activities with this holster on—the calf strap will let you run at a full sprint without ever needing to worry about your holster slipping or your gun flapping around.

All in all, this is an excellent little holster at a reasonable price, and it's one I'd recommend for most shooters that don't want to spring for a luxury holster but want to avoid the downsides of a budget-priced option.

DeSantis Apache Ankle Rig

The price of DeSantis Apache Ankle Rig varies, so check the latest price at

6.Bugbite Ankle Holster

leather ankle holsters

The Bugbite Ankle Holster is one of the most unique holsters on this list, utilizing a strapless design and a friction hold that makes drawing your firearm silent and significantly faster than a traditional ankle holster. It's extremely comfortable, even rivaling a Galco holster, and it works well even in hot, humid environments without having to worry about sweat causing the holster to slip.

It conceals very well and has a low enough profile that even medium-frame pistols can be carried without printing in most pants. The only potential drawback to his holster design is that you have to remove your shoe to put it on and take it off, but that's a small price to pay for how nice this holster is to wear, in my opinion.

Keep in mind that this a cross-draw ankle holster – a right hand dominant shooter will wear it on the inside of the left leg, and vice versa for a left-handed shooter. Some people prefer keeping their holster on their dominant leg, and the choice will largely come down to comfort and what you've trained with, but I'm personally a fan of the cross-draw setup.

Bugbite Ankle Holster

The price of Bugbite Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

7. ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

best ankle guns

If you're looking for a very minimalist, low-profile, ambidextrous ankle holster that can accommodate almost any carry gun under 6.5 inches in total length, this holster from ComfortTac is a solid choice.

Because it is such a slim, compact holster, I will say that it really shines when paired with a very compact pocket pistol or something like an airweight snub-nosed revolver—if you're looking for an extremely concealable defensive carry option that won't print, that's a very hard combination to beat. This holster is more than capable of holding larger handguns as well, but in my opinion that isn't playing to the strengths of this particular holster.

Which Type of Ankle Holster is Right For Another unique feature of the ComfortTac is the button-snap style retention strap, which is much more quiet than a velcro strap. Combined with the minimalist design, it makes for a very stealthy little holster. My only reservation is that the retention strap does feel pretty thin – I didn't have any trouble with it, but I could see it being a potential point of failure later on down the line if you're especially rough on your gear.You?

ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster

The price of ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

8. Bear Armz Tactical Ankle Holster

It’s common for people to have an issue with ankle holsters sliding down their leg, especially as they get more worn in. To address this, a number of holster manufacturers have made designs that loop around the top of the calf as it gets narrower toward the knee. Since the calf muscle gets wider for a bit as it goes down, the holster stays in place instead of sliding.

The drawback of this design is that it introduces a potential problem with finding a holster that fits you well. Instead of just focusing on whether a holster will fit your gun, you also have to make sure that it isn’t too long or short to sit in the right spot on your calf and ankle. For the most part, this should only be a problem for folks who are much taller or shorter than average.

The Bear Armz gives you the choice between velcro retention and snap retention, so you can choose your preference there, and you can also order a version with an additional calf strap to keep the holster even more secure on your leg. 

As far as compatibility with firearms, Bear Armz claims that it will work with “all makes and models” of pistols, but it’s a bit small for full-size handguns like the Glock 17. The smaller the handgun you want to put in it, the better it will work and the longer it will last.

That said, the slot for the extra magazine is a bit too large and loose to hold smaller, single-stack magazines (like G43) snugly.

Bear Armz Tactical Ankle Holster

The price of Bear Armz Tactical Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

9. Bianchi 150 Negotiator

The Bianchi is a great holster, but it’s made specifically for the S&W J Frame, so you’ll only want to pick it up if you’re shopping for that specific firearm. I wanted to include it to make a point about finding a holster designed exclusively for the firearm that you’re carrying.

When a company is preparing a holster for a specific gun, they can use stiffer materials that are more durable. They then mold the material around the exact shape of that gun, which holds it tighter. They can even introduce locking mechanisms that hold the gun tight until you press a button to release it. 

Another great example of this idea is our number 1 pick - the Galco Ankle Glove Lite. Each Galco is made with a specific gun (or two) in mind, and you need to make sure to pick up the one that is the right fit for your exact model. 

This holster from Bianchi may be the best ankle holster for revolvers, and most specifically the S&W J Frame.

Bianchi 150 Negotiator

The price of Bianchi 150 Negotiator varies, so check the latest price at

10. BlitzShot Ankle Holster For Concealed Carry

At first glance, the BlitzShot might look like a clone of the Bear Armz, but there are some subtle but important differences. First, the BlitzShot is specifically designed for compact and subcompact handguns. This means that it will give you a tighter fit if you have a gun that fits it, but it also means that it may not work at all if you have a larger pistol.

It comes with a tightening calf strap to help secure it more than just the velcro would do, which is nice, but the pouch for the extra magazine doesn’t have any means of securing the magazine in place besides the natural tension of the neoprene. For this reason, I would be worried that it would bounce out if I needed to run.

The snap is solid and not too loud when you pop it open, and overall this is a great holster option if you want to keep everything secure and you’re using a compact or subcompact handgun. It may fit your gun if you have something mid-size, but you’ll want to read through the reviews to see if anyone has tried it with your exact model first.

BlitzShot Ankle Holster

The price of BlitzShot Ankle Holster varies, so check the latest price at

11. ComfortTac Ankle Holster With Calf Strap

We’ve already talked about one ComfortTac holster, but here’s another one that uses the calf strap style. This one is also designed to fit compact and subcompact handguns, but should be a bit more forgiving of midsize than the BlitzShot. It also has a snapping strap that goes over the top of the spare magazine when it’s inserted, keeping it a lot more secure.

The main issue with it is that you the calf strap only has a small section of velcro to hold the calf strap in place, so there’s not as much leeway for larger-than-normal or smaller-than-normal legs, and a lot of people who use this holster talk about how it barely fits or isn’t quite as comfortable as it could/should be.

The strap and snap give you a quick draw, which is something that should be given a high priority with any gun you’re carrying concealed. Overall, ComfortTac makes good holsters, and they do a good job of standing by their products. If you’re wanting a holster that will work for a few different handguns, this is a good one to take a look at.

Just be aware that if you’re not average-sized or close to it, you may not find this one as comfortable as one of the other options in the list.

ComfortTac Ankle Holster With Calf Strap

The price of ComfortTac Ankle Holster With Calf Strap varies, so check the latest price at

12. LPV Ankle Holster With Calf Strap

I appreciate a lot of the thought that went into the design of this LPV ankle holster. It might even be the best calf holster on this list because it has leather snaps on both the handgun and magazine slots, and an adjustable calf strap that doesn’t rely on velcro.

The extra magazine will ride on the back of your leg if you’re drawing right-handed, which I would consider to be a little more awkward in a situation where you need to reload, but the flip side is that it’s more comfortable on a day-to-day basis and less likely to print awkwardly than options where it sits on the front of your shin.

Like the BlitzShot, it has a little tail that sticks out the bottom to keep your skin protected from handguns with barrels long enough to protrude. I wouldn’t recommend trying to conceal a handgun that large on your ankle anyway, but if you are then it could be a good option for you.

LPV Ankle Holster With Calf Strap

The price of LPV Ankle Holster With Calf Strap varies, so check the latest price at

Which Type of Ankle Holster is Right For You?

When it comes to choosing the right kind of ankle holster, there aren't a whole lot of variables to consider. Most designs are pretty similar, and it will largely come down to a choice of material, size, retention strap style, and whether you are a right or left hand dominant shooter.

The most durable options are kydex or leather holsters, but those have the downside of being significantly more expensive and more stiff until they've been fully broken in. Most holsters you'll find, especially in a budget price range, are made of a combination of nylon and elastic, and if I'm being honest, those materials are more than durable enough for the average shooter.

Size is the next consideration, and that will depend on how you prefer to carry. If you don't mind people knowing you are armed, a larger holster designed for medium and large-frame handguns is a perfectly acceptable choice. If you're prioritizing concealment, a more low-profile deep concealment holster and a compact or super-compact handgun will be more your speed.

Finally, it's important to consider the different retention systems available to you when choosing a holster. The vast majority of ankle holsters use a standard hook and loop strap design, usually attached with velcro. It's a very secure system, but it does make quite a bit of sound when you're drawing your weapon.

There are also clasp or button style straps that are more quiet, or some like the Bugbite holster mentioned above that use a strapless friction-hold system for a rapid, silent draw.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ankle Holsters

Ankle holsters are most commonly used with a backup gun rather than a main carry holster, and it is crucial to keep in mind that ankle carry has some very real drawbacks. The biggest problem is that they are slow and difficult to access, especially if you have any issues with mobility, flexibility, or balance. In most cases, you're going to be dropping to one knee and using both hands to draw, which is not ideal when seconds matter.

The other big issue with ankle holsters is that they limit you to relatively small handguns if you want to avoid giving away the fact that you're carrying. Anything larger than a compact frame puts you at risk of printing, and you can forget about wearing slim-fit pants—boot-cut jeans or roomy slacks are pretty much a requirement unless you're wearing boots.

That said, ankle holsters certainly have their place. As a backup carry option they're perfect, which is why they're so commonly used among law enforcement. If you spend most of your time at a desk or in a car, where a waistband gun holster would be much trickier, slower, and more obvious to get into in an emergency situation, an ankle holster gives you a comparatively quick draw and easier access.

There are also plenty of situations where a waistband or shoulder holster just isn't an option. If your work requires you to tuck in your shirt, or if you are wearing a suit and a dress belt, a traditional holster just isn't in the cards, and that's where the ankle holster shines.

Types of Ankle Holsters

Calf Straps

One way to categorize ankle holsters would be separating those with calf straps from those without. If you’re carrying while wearing tennis shoes or other shoes that stop around your ankle, I would recommend you look first at holsters with calf straps, because it’s extremely common for a holster without them to wiggle loose and slide down all the way to your ankle joint.

If you wear taller boots while carrying, then this isn’t nearly as big of an issue because your footwear will stop them from sliding to far down. Not only that, but the holster with a calf strap may not be big enough to fit comfortably if you’re wearing taller boots.

Custom-Designed vs. One-Size-Fits-All

You can save a lot of money if you buy a holster that uses neoprene and other flexible materials to accommodate multiple sizes and brands of handguns, but the catch is that you’ll miss out on some features that a holster designed specifically for the model that you have would offer.

When a company designs a holster for a specific model of pistol, they have to make up the cost of that R&D with fewer total sales because their audience is smaller. For that reason, the custom-designed holsters tend to be more expensive. That said, they also use higher quality materials that last much longer, so you don’t have to replace them nearly as often, if ever.

Key Features of Ankle Holsters

Locking Mechanism

At a bare minimum, your gun needs to be held securely enough that it won’t fire on its own or tumble out of the holster. Ideally, you’d acquire a holster with a locking mechanism designed for your exact handgun, so all you have to do is push a button as you bring your hand down and it will let you draw straight back up. 

More likely, however, you’ll be working with a securing strap of some kind, either velcro or a snap. These work great, and as long as you practice drawing and firing at the range, you’ll be able to reduce your draw time to an acceptable level using any of the holsters on this list.

Calf Straps

At the risk of beating a dead horse, calf straps can be an integral feature for a comfortable, secure ankle holster. Having personally had the experience of ankle holsters sliding down and causing problems, I’m a firm believer in calf straps. That said, there are situations where they are either unnecessary or even cause problems.

Spare Magazine Pouch

I would like to say that this is essential, but it’s really a question of good-better-best. It’s critical to make sure that carrying will not get too much in the way of your lifestyle. If carrying disrupts your life, then eventually you’re going to choose not to carry as often, so maybe it’s better to get something slimmer that doesn’t have a spare magazine pouch.

That said, if you’re definitely going to carry either way, then having a spare magazine is even better, especially with subcompact handguns that may only have 6-9 rounds of capacity.

Pricing Considerations for Ankle Holsters

Most ankle holsters are in a similar price range, but if you’re looking to save a little money, your best bet is to look for holsters that fit multiple handgun models and use stretchy fabric to hold the gun in place. 

In terms of firearm accessories, holsters are on the cheaper side, so it’s tempting for me to just tell you to suck it up and pay the money for a good holster since it’s only $20-$30 more expensive than a passable one, but for folks who don’t write about guns for a living, it may be a lot easier to justify a $20 purchase than a $50 one.

Frequently-Asked Questions

How Comfortable Are Ankle Holsters?

Ankle holsters are pretty comfortable under the following conditions:

  1. You wear pants that are fairly loose below the knee

  2. You want to carry a compact or subcompact handgun

  3. You get a holster that is compatible with your lifestyle

If any of those conditions are not met, you may find that a different kind of holster, like a waist, belly, or vest holster will be both more comfortable and more effective.

How Practical Are Ankle Holsters?

If you are carrying compact or subcompact handguns and are generally a pants-wearer, then they’re very practical. If you find yourself frequently wearing shorts or want to carry a massive piece, then ankle holsters are probably not a practical option for you.

Which Leg Do You Wear an Ankle Holster?

A lot of holsters are ambidextrous, so you can wear them on either leg. You want to wear your holster on the same side of leg that you draw with, so if you’ve trained left-handed then you’ll want to wear the holster on your left side. If you draw right-handed then make sure it’s on your right side.

If you’re looking at a holster that is specifically designed for one model of handgun, it’s probably not ambidextrous, so you’ll want to double-check and make sure you’re buying the correct version for the side you are drawing from.

Can You Wear an Ankle Holster With Boots?

Yes, but you can’t just pick one randomly out of a hat and expect it to work. If you wear boots for work or otherwise, you just have to pick up a holster that is designed to work with boots. In this case, you probably want to avoid holsters with calf straps, since they’ll be too big to work comfortably.

You can choose to simply ride the holster higher on your leg than your ankle, or you can strap the holster to the outside of your boot. Either could work for your situation.

Parting Shots

No matter what your budget is, the ankle holsters listed above ensure that you've got a reliable, secure, and safe concealed carry option when you need it most.

Do you have any experience with one of these holsters? Did we leave off one of your favorite options? Sound off in the comments and let us know what's on your mind! We strive to provide only the best hands-on information, and your feedback helps us ensure that we maintain that quality and cover the topics that are important to you.

Reference:

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