Where you place your handgun is your prerogative, but it's always nice to chat about the benefits of each holster option and figure out which ones work best for your safety. Ankle holsters have a few benefits, but they should rarely be used for your primary source of self defense, unless you plan on shooting a movie and want to look cool. What are the main reasons you might use an ankle holster?
The primary reason ankle holsters are nice is for a backup weapon.
1. You can carry more ammunition and you don't have to reload as much.
2. If you fall to the ground the ankle holster is easy to access
3. If you really want to hide your weapon, since people are less likely to look down at your feet or bump into the holster
4. Reaching for an ankle holster is sometimes easier when you're driving or sitting in a chair
Frequent users primarily use the car holster argument, but ankle holsters hurt your overall effectiveness when trying to protect yourself. Let's take a look at why ankle holsters might not work as your primary concealed carry
Are You Nimble Enough?
Health issues are a major concern when using an ankle holster. My dad has no chance of bending over to reach an ankle holster with his bad back. Even just growing older makes it harder to bend over and grab a gun. An outside the waistband holster works wonders for older folks and people with health problems who want access to their gun without needing the flexibility of a gymnast or ninja. Even if you don't have health issues, it's pretty clear that bending over to grab your gun is harder and slower than strapping an inside the waistband or outside the waistband holster to your body.
Take a look at our Alien Gear Holster Review by Concealed Nation: IWB Holster Review
Comfort and Tediousness
In my experience the ankle holster is almost always harder to put on than something like an inside the waistband holster. You know when you try to put on a bracelet or watch and you need another person to come help you out? Yea...it's kind of like that.
You Can't Wear an Ankle Holster in All Situations
The point of spending money on a holster is for concealment, comfort and effectiveness. I know in the Midwest, summers get super hot. I like wearing shorts, making an ankle holster useless. You basically have to always wear pants to conceal your firearm, and female shooters can forget about skirts or dresses. That's not always fun on a summer day, we wrote a post on seasonal clothing for concealed carry. Not to mention, some pants don't work well with ankle holsters. If your pants are thick or tight around the ankle you have no chance at fitting a gun. Even if you manage it, have fun pulling it out. Inside the waistband holsters don't have this problem because you can wear a t-shirt, dress shirt, blouse, shorts, skirts, jeans or whatever you want. Why sacrifice wearing what you want? If someone attacks me I want to feel comfortable and confident to respond well.
Your Ability to Fight Decreases
Which option allows for a faster draw? An outside the waistband holster or an ankle holster? You might say an ankle holster while sitting in a chair, but most of the time your hand is just inches from a draw with inside the waistband holsters. And what happens if you have to shoot at close quarters? A thief can't rob you from 50 feet away, we wrote a lenghty post about different scenarios: Draw to Deter or Kill. Your movement is restricted if the attacker is just a few feet away, so you can't just bend over and draw the handgun. You take your eyes off the attacker and you'll be lucky if you don't bump heads.
One last point on fighting effectiveness has to do with your ability to flee or move around. When you reach down for an ankle holster your leg is rendered useless, whereas an inside the waistband holster allows you to run away or move around while you draw. Unless you plan on hopping around as you draw, your chances to flee dwindle.
Maintenance and Usability
I enjoy a good hike through the forest. I also have to walk around and ride my bike quite a bit. I'm assuming you don't plan on locking yourself inside for the rest of your life, so movement is expected. When you strap a handgun to your ankle it moves with your legs.
Share your thoughts on ankle holsters and let us know if you think there are other benefits or downsides to this style. Do you like ankle holsters or would you rather opt for something like an inside the waistband holster?
About The Author
Joe Warnimont is a writer for technology, marketing and survival/weapons companies. He manages a successful writing blog called Write With Warnimont. Ever since earning his rifle merit badge he's taken an interest in gun legislation and self defense. You can find him riding his bike in Chicago or camping in Wisconsin.