Best Ankle Holsters – Top Quality [Reviewed 2021]

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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

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:

7 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

FAQ For Ankle Holsters

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.

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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