How to Wear a Boot Knife: The Ultimate Guide

how to wear a boot knife

In the right hands, a boot knife is an incredibly useful tool. A boot knife can be concealed in your boot without anyone ever knowing that it’s there. This article will teach you how to wear a boot knife, and why this may be the perfect tool for you.

What is a Boot Knife?

A boot knife is a folding or fixed blade knife housed in a sheath that is designed specifically to be worn on the outside or inside of a boot.

Boot knives can be useful in a variety of situations. They are commonly used for self-defense and hunting. But can also be used during other outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping.

How to Wear a Boot Knife

There are a couple ways that you can wear a boot knife. Let’s look at each method individually. So, you can determine which method is best for you. 

Inside the Boot

boot knife worn on the inside of boot

Wearing a boot knife inside your boot is the simplest of all the methods. You simply put the knife in a sheath and insert it into your boot.

Although, this is the easiest and most covert way to wear a boot knife. It isn’t the most secure. The boot knife can easily fall out while you’re walking or doing any other physical activities.
Of course you could tie your boot laces tightly to try to fix this issue. This may make the knife fit more securely, but it would be very uncomfortable. In fact almost unbearable.

There are two things you can do to make it more comfortable to wear your boot knife in your boot, while also keeping it secure. The first way is to tie a strap around your ankle. The next way, which is my preferred method, is to use a clip on the inside of your boot.

Outside the Boot

boot knife on outside of boot

The next option is wearing the boot knife on the outside of your boot. While this is a much more comfortable option than wearing it inside. It’s not the most discrete method. It takes away the element of surprise, if you plan to use it for self defense. 

Some boot knives come with a sheath designed to be attached to your boots laces, making it really easy to wear them.

If your boot knife does not come with one of these sheaths, then use one of these methods:

  •  For tall boots or knives that are on the shorter side, you can strap them to the side of your boot.
  •  For longer knives or shorter boots, you may need to strap the boot knife to your calf.

Inside a Pocket on the Boot

Some boots on the market make it super easy to carry a boot knife. They come with a specially designed pocket. With these types of boots, you can simply place the knife within the pocket and you’re all set!
The only drawback with this method, is that some knives may be too big for the pockets.

Here are two examples of boots with knife pockets you can check out on Amazon.

5.11 Men's ATAC 2.0 8" Tactical Side Zip Military Boot

5.11 Men's 2 8 Inch ATAC 2.0 8" Desert

Inside the Laces

The final method is putting the boot knife inside the laces of your boot. But, this only works with knives that are on the smaller side. It also doesn’t work with every style of boot. But, if you have tall laced up boots, this may be a good option for you.

boot knife worn inside the laces of boot

To use this method, put the sheath next to the tongue of your boot and weave the laces through the holes in the sheath.

Tips for Wearing a Boot Knife

Here are a few tips for wearing a boot knife: 

  • Check your local laws to ensure that boot knives are allowed in your area. Remember it is considered a concealed weapon and boot knives are not legal in some areas.
  • Never wear a boot knife without a sheath. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it is also dangerous. You could easily cut yourself.
  • Always re-check the sheath to make sure the knife is secure and can’t fall out.
  • Practice drawing the knife. Having the knife in your boot is of no effect if you fumble or are slow to draw it when needed. Practice drawing the knife and putting it back in the holster until it becomes second nature. That way, when the time comes you’ll be ready.
  •  Store the knife securely when not wearing it. This is especially for those of you who have kids. Kids are curious and may mess with your boots. You don’t want to get an unpleasant surprise.

Why Should You Keep a Boot Knife?

There are many scenarios in which having a boot knife can be incredibly helpful. It can be an incredibly useful piece of equipment to have on hand. Especially, If you spend a lot of time outdoors or away from home.

  • When worn inside a boot, a boot knife is easily accessible and hidden from view. This makes it a great option for anyone who requires a self-defense tool that can be easily concealed.
  • A boot knife is compact, lightweight and easy to draw. Making it a great option for anyone who needs a portable self-defense tool. A boot knife can be an extremely useful tool to have in your arsenal.
  • Boot knives make excellent back up weapons.

How to Choose the Right Boot Knife for You

Choosing the right boot knife can be tricky. Here are some tips for choosing the right boot knife for you:

Folding vs Fixed Blade

Boot knives come in either folding or fixed blades. For those of you who aren’t aware of the difference. Folding boot knives have a hinged blade that folds up into the handle when not in use. While a fixed blade is one that is always stationary. 

Generally, fixed blades are the preferred choice for persons who carry boot knives. This is for two reasons. 

Comfort: Fixed blades are much thinner than folding knives. Which makes them far more lightweight and also more comfortable to wear. 

Ease of Use: Another important reason why fixed blades are preferred is the ease of use. Using a fixed blade involves only one step. Pulling the knife from the sheath in your boot.

On the other hand, using a fixed blade, will mean that you will need to draw the knife. Then press a button, or release the blade from the handle using some other mechanism. Before you are able to use it.

You don’t want to have an extra step, when your life may depend on it.

Blade Length

Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to boot knives. The best boot knives are ones that are easily concealed. Generally, boot knives are between 5 to 9 inches in overall length. With blade sizes anywhere between 2 and 5 inches.

The shorter your boot, the shorter your knife should be. You should look for knives that protrude as little as possible from the top of your boot. You wouldn’t want a knife that ends up digging into your ankles. This would be very restrictive and uncomfortable.

The only time you can get away with longer bladed knives is if you’re wearing calf high boots.


The handle of your knife should be ergonomic and made from material that’s easy to grip and doesn’t get slippery when wet. So, when the time comes you can easily pull the knife from the sheath.

I personally prefer handles made from G-10. This is an affordable fiberglass material that provides an excellent grip. The SOG Instinct Boot Knife and CRKT Compact Fixed Blade Knife are examples of boot knives with G10 handles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the purpose of a boot knife?

Boot knives are typically used as concealed weapons for self defense, EDC, or hunting. Wearers opt for boot knives because it allows them to carry a knife covertly.

Is a boot knife illegal?

The legality of a boot knife depends on your location. The laws for boot knives differ from state to state and even city to city. It is illegal to carry boot knives in certain areas. Please refer to state knife laws before you purchase a boot knife.

How do I clean my boot knife?

You should clean your boot knife regularly, removing dirt and other debris from the sheath and blade. You should also replace the sheath if it becomes worn or damaged.

Final Words

After reading this article, you should have a greater awareness of how to wear a boot knife. The options listed above are all great methods. But, you have to try them out and see which one is best for you.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, if you’re looking for concealment, then you should consider wearing the knife on the inside of the boot or in a boot with a pocket.

Otherwise, feel  free to choose the option that’s most suitable.

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Benjamin Hughes

Benjamin Hughes is a Vietnam Vet who has been camping, hunting, and fishing for most of his life. He enjoys testing out the newest tactical and survival gear and discussing survival in general.

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