A boot knife is a pretty convenient tool as well as a convenient place to strap your knife. If you don’t know how to properly wear a boot knife, you’ll absolutely hate it. The strapping material will end up chafing your ankle, and your boot tops will probably make it all worse.
There are several methods for carrying a boot knife in or on your boot—inside the boot, on the outside of the boot top, in the laces, and inside a pocket on your boot. The method people go with is the one that is most comfortable to them, with quick access.
It’s all about concealment and comfort not necessarily about looks. The knife is hidden anyway, so how it looks is going to be personal. Another choice you should consider is whether you want to use a folding blade or a fixed blade.
Boot Knife Carry Methods
No matter what method you choose, it should be comfortable all day long. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. For instance, someone with skinny calves and ankles may be able to wear a knife inside their boot comfortably, while it would be agony for someone with thicker calves or ankles.
Inside the boot
This is generally the least preferred method, no matter what you see in the movies. It’s difficult to place a knife inside a boot in a way that it never aggravates. This method is best for very small knives and should include an interior pocket or sheath.
It’s not a good idea to keep your laces loose either. The tighter the laces, the more restrained the knife is, and the less it will rub a single spot, over and over.
Outside the boot
There are about a thousand ways to do this comfortably. It’s one of the more popular methods, but you are limited in your choice of knives based on the height of your boots. A bowie knife is a poor choice for short boots.
Concealed boot knives on the outside are best with an attached sheath. Whether the sheath is designed for attaching to the boot or you have to attach it yourself.
Inside the laces
For obvious reasons, you will have to have a sheath in there, or your laces aren’t going to last very long. Unless you have some really high-top boots, only short knives—3” or shorter—are going to work. However, it’s stylish, concealable, and it’s one of the best ways to keep the sheath from rubbing your skin raw.
The sheath should either slide inside the front laces, or you will need to replace the boots to compensate for the sheath. Just make sure the opening of the sheath isn’t too close to one of your laces, or you might accidentally cut them while securing your knife.
Pocket inside the boot
This is one of the best ways to conceal a knife in your boot. The extra padding will save the skin on your high ankle from abrasions and blisters throughout the day. It’s also more stable.
How to wear a boot knife with cowboy boots
It’s actually a whole lot easier. The only thing is, there is a “best” cowboy boot for supporting a knife, and it’s not the stylish, crazy kind of boots with high heels and everything else. The boots should have plenty of flexibility and durability, like true cowboy boots, and not something you would find at Gap.
A good pair of cowboy boots should support all of the above choices in knife location, except the laces. A good pair of cowboy boots will have plenty of space for an exterior or interior blade and sheath.
It’s even better if you can locate a leather sheath that matches the color of the leather on the boots. It’s a good way to add a layer of concealment.
For the most part, a boot knife is about self-defense, and the practicality of that is excellent. It’s only best for small and narrow-bladed knives, however, unless you have some high boots and enough room for a long blade.
You can certainly put a utility knife on your boot, but it makes sense to keep a utility knife for situational use on your waist or in your pocket. Wearing a knife on your boot is all about concealment, after all.
While some would say that wearing a knife on the outside of your boot is not concealing, you would be surprised at what you can do with a boot aesthetic and a matching sheath. No matter how you prefer to wear it, it remains one of the more efficient ways to carry a knife and keep it concealed.
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