A boot knife conjures up images of cowboys fighting at bars, which is not a far-fetched notion.
It is possible that WWII paratroopers strapped M3 trench knives to their boots when they dropped into battle.
In an action movie, for instance, a wannabe assassin might sneak a boot knife out to kill the hero after making it past security.
The purpose of boot knives is not just to conceal weapons. Like any survival knife, they are useful in a variety of situations.
These knives are used as backups by hikers, hunters, and bushcrafters. In order to survive, you can’t just rely on one blade!
The best boot knives hide comfortably until they are needed.
Whenever you need to use an emergency weapon, you can use it.
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Wearing a boot knife is a good idea
In situations where the primary blade might be lost, boot knives make great EDC items.
If you don’t frequently get into fights, boot knives won’t be useful for the purpose most people believe boot knives serve:
Concealed weapon backup.
There may be occasions, however (such as for police officers), when they need a backup weapon.
When moments matter, boot knives aren’t as easy to draw as handguns with ankle sheaths. Nevertheless, it makes a good backup position.
In addition to that backup philosophy, the boot knife may also be useful to other people.
Despite its long lifespan, a high-quality blade is susceptible to dulling and breaking (although you can sharpen your knife anywhere).
If your main blade breaks or gets lost, you can carry an extra knife safely in your boot.
Furthermore, you can attach the sheath of the blade to your boots so you always have it when you put on your shoes, contrary to leaving your pocket knife behind.
It can be disconcerting to reach for your knife in your pocket and find none there. This embarrassment can be avoided by wearing a boot knife!
The Knife Choosing Process
Self-defense knives or survival knives can be used in boots, but they are typically smaller.
Quite rightly so.
The SOG Seal Elite isn’t something you should stuff down your boots (the SEAL Pup works better!).
In particular, if you’re hiking or making strenuous leg movements, large blades can make walking difficult.
What’s the best way to choose a boot knife?
Folding or fixed blades
The type of blade you prefer in a knife depends on your preference.
Fixed blades are better for two main reasons:
- Measurement of thickness
Knives that are thick will not be as comfortable as knives that are thin. Folding blades are thicker than fixed blades. It is therefore more comfortable to use fixed blades.
Moreover, deploying a fixed blade is as simple as drawing it.
A folding knife must be unfolded as well as drawn if you want to use it.
Because we need to reach into our boots to open a folding knife, even an assisted-opening knife will be slower than a fixed blade. I recommend carrying a fixed blade in your boot.
The outside of my boot has been clipped before with a folding blade. There was no concealment, however.
Knives for boots are generally 2.5 to 5 inches long, and they are 5 to 9 inches long overall.
If you lose your knife, it shouldn’t be impossible to fish out without removing your boots, since it will barely protrude from the top of the boot.
Likewise, don’t extend the tip too far past your ankle to prevent your foot from moving freely.
Using a huge fighting knife is okay if you are wearing calf-high boots. For me, I wear Belleview Tactical Research minimal boots. Its blade measures 3.3 inches and measures 6.9 inches long.
The best ways to carry a boot knife
Boot knives can be carried in four ways:
- Inside the boot
- Outside the boot
- Inside a pocket on the boot
- Inside the laces
The pros and cons of each method are different. Let’s look at them in detail.
Inside the Boot
The most common image of a boot knife is one inside a booth.
Place the knife tip-down in your boot after putting it in its sheath. That’s it! A boot knife can be carried in this way in the simplest way possible.
It’s also not a good idea to do that.
There is no actual securement for the knife!
The sheath will probably feel uncomfortable after half an hour if you have your laces tight enough to hold it in place. It might fall out if you climb or run with the boot lose enough that the sheath isn’t uncomfortable.
My dagger almost went missing this way.
This can be countered in two ways, both involving attachment.
Your ankle or inside of your boot can be used to attach the sheath.
Ankle holsters are available for some boot knives. Lace can be used if the sheath cannot be tied to your leg using laces.
A sheath can also be attached to the inside of your boot. The sheath can be attached to the boot with a strong clip, although it is recommended that the sheath is sewn to it.
- Easily concealable
- When properly attached, it is very secure
- Suitable for all styles of boots
- Legs may be irritated by it
- Holsters may need to be sewn in
- Without proper attachment, it is insecure
Instead of sticking the knife inside your boot, you can strap it to the outside.
Attaching your knife to the outside of your boot, however, will lose you a lot of concealment, so don’t do it in “civilized” areas!
The sheath can be strapped to the side of your boot if you have taller boots or a shorter knife. It may be necessary to strap your knife to your calf if you have a longer knife and a shorter boot.
This is even easier if you have a boot knife holster that attaches directly to the laces of your boot.
- Boots do not need to be modified
- Easily accessible
- Getting caught in the brush is possible
- Probably the least concealable
Boot pocket inside
You can compromise between inside-style and outside-style boot knives by purchasing boots that have knife pockets built in.
Certain boots include them, such as the 5.11 ATAC 2.0. Some knives, however, will not fit in them.
- Modifications are not required
- Ensure security
- Boots must be specific
- Knives must be the right size
- Lace interior
You can also tie the holster directly to the laces of your boots if you have a knife that is particularly small.
Thread your laces through the holes of the holster and place it next to the tongue.
- The boot does not need to be modified to be secured
- Some boot styles aren’t compatible
- You will need a small knife for this
The Best Ways to Carry a Boot Knife
You now know how to wear a boot knife. Additional safety tips are provided below.
- It is always a good idea to use a sheath
- There’s not enough punch in that line.
When you stick a knife in or outside of your boot without a sheath, you’re sure to get cut!
The knife can easily become infected if you carry it while hiking. It’s better to avoid cuts in the first place than to treat them later if you do get an infected wound in the wild.
Should the leg be inside or outside?
You should always carry your boot knife on your dominant leg.
How about right-handedness? The right leg side.
You should also place it on your dominant foot, so you can draw more easily.
The inside of your other leg is the best place to conceal your knife if you need to conceal it even more than normal.
Essentially, a person carrying a knife in this situation would carry it inside their left boot.
Take a look at your local laws
Knowing your local laws about concealed weapons is important.
It’s up to you to find out whether boot knives are legal where you live.
The knife should be drawn and holstered before use
There is no doubt that this is very important, but it may seem like a no-brainer.
Spend some time drawing your blade and reholstering it after you attach the sheath to your boot.
As you draw, start slow and gradually speed up. In the event that an angry animal attacks you, you may not need to worry about fumbling with your knife.
Keep your holster holstered at all times. When putting your concealed knife away, use both hands and pay full attention, just as you would with a gun.
A self-inflicted stab wound will result if you do it any other way.
Knives should never be left unattended
Although less obvious, this tip has the potential to save a life.
Be sure to remove your blade from your boots if you think a child might get close to them.
Your curious boot object will attract the attention of curious children.
It is possible to make wonderful tools out of boot knives.
Assassins aren’t the only ones who can use them. A backup to a backup should always be hidden in the boots of every woodsman or survivalist.
The knife shouldn’t just be thrown down your boots, however.
Make sure that you choose a blade that fits properly and that you attach it in a place that is comfortable and secure.
When you need a blade most, you’ll always have one with you.