When you think of concealed carrying odds are you are not thinking about the ankle position. While the ankle carry position is known to conceal firearms well, it can make getting your gun difficult in certain situations.
So before we go any further, we have a few recommendations for you. If you are consistently standing while ankle carrying, we recommend you use it as a secondary concealed carry position. While ankle carrying may only add a few seconds to your draw time in this situation. Those few seconds could be the difference between life and death.
Now, if you are sitting down a lot or in a car while carrying, then the ankle position is a good option as your primary method. From a sitting, crouching, or even lying position, ankle holsters can be more accessible to draw from then IWB, OWB, or even pocket carrying. Glad to get that off our chest, or should we say ankle… now let us move on.
Our List of the Best Ankle Holsters
- Concealment Carrier’s Ankle holster
- Galco Ankle Glove
- Topmeet Ankle Pistol Holster
- DESANTIS’ Die Hard Ankle Holster
- Ghost Concealment Ankle Holster
Guide to Ankle Holster Carrying
While in the Outdoor Methods’ lab, we did a ton of research on this subject. This may or may not have included bribing my 84-year grandmom to ankle carry instead of IWB carry for a week. We took all this data and analyzed it to bring you what we feel is the critical facts about ankle carrying below.
What type of guns can you conceal carry in the ankle carry position?
As mentioned above, ankle carrying can conceal your firearm well if you dress appropriately and have the correct size firearm. The size pistol you want to use is either a micro or subcompact for this method of carrying. An excellent example of the size gun you would want to use is the Ruger LCP II or the Glock 26.
Some will say you can use something larger than a subcompact like the Glock 19. While this is true, we do not recommend it because it is too bulky and weighs too much to be a practical option.
Unlike IWB holsters, ankle holsters cannot rely on external forces to help retain the holster in place. These holsters are not attached to the center mass of your body but connected to the body part that is continuously moving to complicate the matter. This makes the support band(s) of an ankle holster very important.
Neoprene– Most ankle holsters use a combination of neoprene for their support bands. This is a cheap and very effective option that is comfortable and durable. Something to remember is neoprene does not stretch, so be sure to measurer your ankle before purchasing a holster.
Elastic – is also used for some holsters. While they are comfortable, over time, they lose their elasticity and lose the ability to hold the holster in place.
Nylon– These bands are very cheap to make and durable. Nylon will last a long time, and will not stretch out. However, they have the nasty habit of having sharp edges that may dig into you while you are carrying.
Calf Straps -You might be asking what in the world is a calf strap? Here is the best analogy I can come up with. You remember seeing movies where men have a band around their calf with suspenders attached to their socks to keep their socks from falling down? That is basically how calf strips work on an ankle holster. Yes, that’s right; all your dreams of not turning into your dad are gone…but even though these things might not look the coolest, they work really well. Once the calf straps are connected to your ankle holster, they help out in two main ways
- To help keep the holster from moving around and in place on your ankle
- Help distribute the weight of the gun and holster over a larger surface area allowing for more comfort.
The downside to calf straps is they can cause chafing and minimize the way you move your leg and the flexibility of your leg, making them feel awkward and uncomfortable.
To help increase the comfort of wearing the holster, some manufacturers add sheepskin or other soft materials like foam between the holster and your skin.
Leather-One of the most durable and comfortable material for an ankle holster. It is very durable but has a soft texture that will not scratch your gun’s finish. Just remember you may have to stretch the leather out.
Nylon– This is the cheaper alternative to leather and can actually make for a reliable holster if high-quality nylon is used. Some of these holsters have reinforced stitching to help increase durability. However, just like with nylon bands, some holsters made of nylon have a nasty habit of cutting into your ankle.
As the famous saying goes, you get what you pay for. Leather holsters, in general, will be more than nylon holsters, and if the price looks too good to be true, than it probably is.
The following video does a great job of describing how to correctly draw from an ankle holster. One thing to remember is to place the ankle holster on the inside of your non-dominant leg to accurately draw. You also want to make sure when you are drawing from this position, you practice good trigger discipline. You are aware where your muzzle is being pointed at all times.
- The two main points of this section have already been mentioned, but we want to stress them again.
- 1. Ankle carrying is strapping a firearm to the part of your body that moves the most every day. This will result in your holster and pistol taking a beating every time you strap the rig to your ankle. You need to make sure that your firearm is dropped safe, and the holster needs to stay in place while you are moving and has excellent retention on your gun.
- 2. When training from this position, you must always be aware of where your muzzle is pointing at and that you are using good trigger discipline practices.
\With the keys point out of the way, here is our list of the top 5 ankle holsters on the market.
Top Ankle Holsters Review
This holster was created by a team of combat veterans using their knowledge and experience. The anatomy of the holster is high surgical grade neoprene that is very durable but also breathable. To help with retention and to keep the holster in place, this puppy was designed with a built-in neoprene calf strap.
Both right-handed and left-handed people can use this holster, and per the manufacturer can be used with almost any pistol. The thumb break on the retention strap is another feature of this holster that will allow you quicker access to your firearm when drawing. However, we put it at the top of our list because of its price and fantastic customer experience people have with Concealed Carrier.
- Excellent retention of gun both big and small
- Can be worn 12+ hours a day with comfort
- The holster does not move around while walking or jogging.
- Extra magazine pouch
- Does not conceal guns larger than a subcompact well
- Velcro may fail after daily use over 6 months to 2 years
- The material that covers the trigger guard is thin, which could lead to accidental discharge.
If you have seen any of our other reviews, you know that Galco is one of the top brands we recommend. That is because they seem just pump out high-quality holsters.
The Galco Ankle Glove is no different. This is a leather holster with a durable 13 ” neoprene strap with a Velcro closer that should be able to fit most ankles. It also comes with a thumb break that will decrease the amount of time it takes you to draw the holster.
Where the holster excels is with a comfort level that is superior to most of the holsters out there for a few reasons.
- Neoprene Strap, and Velcro
- Sheepskin padding between the holster and ankle.
The holster’s shell is molded explicitly for specific gun models so be sure to find the one that fits your weapon.
- Easy to walk with it on
- Prevents chafing
- Stays in please while wearing and secures the pistol well.
- High-quality holster shell
- Good Retention
- Limited on the number of firearms you can use with it
Next on our list is Topmeet’s ankle holster. This bad boy is made of a high-quality neoprene that is breathable. As a result, you get a holster that is very durable but allows your skin to keep cool while wearing. The designers of the holster also ensured that it is ambidextrous so that both left and right-handed people could use it.
To help ensure the holster stays in place, it has a built-in neoprene calf strap with a nylon “belt” that helps ensure the holster is secured, and a form padding between the holster and your skin to improve comfort. It also has padding that dips right below the holster to protect the muzzle of your weapon from scratching your ankle. However, what impresses us the most is that it is a universal holster and can be used with the majority of the pistols on the market today, including 1911s.
- Conceals very well
- Adjustable Velcro straps
- Ease of use
- Extra magazine pouch
- No retention strap for the magazine pouch
- Snap retention strap has been known to pop off.
Yippee-ki-yay, mother well, you know… Desantis’ Die Hard ankle holster is a personal favorite of ours. The holster shell is made of high-quality leather with a polyurethane coating on it. The holster’s band is made of a top-quality neoprene that is very durable. Desantis created this rig for federal agents, with the top priority being performance and durability of the holster.
Soft leather lines the interior of the holster shell that will protect the finish of your firearm. To improve on comfort, Desantis added a foam pad cover with sheepskin that is between the holster and your skin. You also have the option to add a calf strap or boot extender.
- Minimalistic profile
- Thumb break strap
- Made in the USA
- Good retention on firearm
- Holster stays in place while walking, climbing, etc.
- The upper retention strap can cause printing
- The top retention strap is very thick and can rub against your leg
- Holster shells is specially molded for specific firearm models.
Last on our list is Ghost Concealment’s, Ankle Holster. Never heard of the company? Same here until this holster came along, and we are impressed. This holster is made of high-grade neoprene material and has one of the top thumb break straps in the industry. This is an ambidextrous holster, and per the manufacturer can handle any pistol on the market today.
Ghost Concealemt’s Ankle Holster also has a foam padding between the holster and your skin to help improve comfort while wearing. Just like a few others on this list, this holster also has a calf strap built into it to help with keeping the holster in place. The company states this holster has a lifetime warranty, but we do not know how long that will actually last.
- Excellent value for your money
- Good retention of your firearm
- Extra magazine
- Holster feels like it might fall down after wearing for a few hours.
- Velcro wears out easily
- Does not conceal well (even with smaller guns)
- Retention strap not long enough for larger pistols
All the holsters listed above are excellent options when it comes to ankle carrying. However, our overall top pick is Concealment Carrier’s Ankle holster. Its quality is well above what you pay for it, and will most likely be very pleased with it. However, if money is not an issue, then we recommend you get the Galco Ankle Glove be your go to. Last but not least know that no matter which holster you purchase you will need to practice at the range a lot. So what do you think? Did we miss anything, or would you recommend a different holster? If so, let us know below, and as always, keep em straight!