The best boot knife will be discreet, lightweight, and accessible. Or the best boot knife could be large, durable, and high in utility. This will all depend on what a person needs from their boot knife on a daily basis. First, let’s talk about the origins of boot knives as it’s important to understand why and how they are designed. There is no way to work around how boot knives came into existence. They were made for close-quarters combat. Boot knives are typically used as a last resort weapon. When all other forms of self-defense had failed, or never existed, the boot knife would be concealed and ready to go. In modern times the boot knife still has its place in society. While the legality of concealed knives will differ in different states, boot knives are not just for self-defense anymore. Some people find the boot to be the most comfortable place to carry their EDC knife, while others just enjoy the aesthetic.
With that, the size, shape, and style of an ankle knife can, and will, vary greatly. Depending on the intended use, one type of knife may benefit a user more than the other. If you intend to use your boot knife for self-defense a smaller low profile design will be your best bet. If you want a boot knife for utility, a larger more traditional knife will work just fine. Of course, there are knives that are in-between that will benefit both types of users.
Finding the best manufacturer, model, and size can take some time. Even veteran boot knife collectors may find themselves at a loss as to what knife manufacturer to choose from. After all times change, a company that was once the premier knife maker may be a shell of its former self. Inside that shell, you may only find cheap steel, cheap synthetic plastics, and poor workmanship. These corner-cutting tactics will lead to lower quality knives. Consumers often find this out after buying a new knife from their favorite brand only then for it to fail. Luckily, we are here to save you from this common pitfall. Below, we have gathered a list of the 5 best boot knives that you can buy.
Best Boot Knives
1. Schrade High Carbon Stainless Steel Boot Knife – Spear Point Shape and Design
Schrade is the maker of some of the best outdoor gear on the market. Their line of products is as diverse as the planet earth. Schrade makes everything from hatchets, fire starters, to your basic pocket knife. Today we will be looking at one of their boot knives.
The Schrade high carbon boot knife is petite in size. With an overall length of 7 inches, this blade can fit comfortably in your boot. The handle is 3.40 inches long and made from TPE material. TPE is a synthetic thermoplastic, which has the durability of plastic but the comfort and softness of rubber. Overall, the handle is comfortable to hold, especially with its ergonomic design. It simply feels like a natural extension of the hand.
Moving on, the blade is something else to behold. Measuring out to 3.60 inches in length there is almost a perfect balance in length between the blade and handle. The slightly larger blade is made from high carbon steel. High carbon steel is great at resisting wear and erosion, making it great for the blade of a knife. Maintaining a knife is inevitable. That said, the less you have to think about it the better.
This Schrade knife comes with a dual boot/ belt loop sheath. While the design is intended for a boot, Schrade gives you multiple options. The Schrade high carbon is a great ankle knife. Click here to see the best price.
2. Kershaw Secret Agent Concealable Boot Knife – Rubber Handle Offers Superior Grip
When you hear the name Kershaw a hall of fame pitcher may come to mind. Well, that’s not the Kershaw we are talking about today. Because in fact there two famous Kershaw’s in the world. Kershaw knives have been producing cutlery since 1974. And their Secret Agent boot knife encapsulates all 45 years of their history.
The secret agent’s blade is a traditional spear point double-edged design. This blade is made to last with its high carbon steel construction. High carbon is naturally damage and chip resistant and is commonly used in knives large and small, in this case small. Don’t let the 8.7-inch length fool you, this boot knife is small and compact in the hands. The blade itself is only 4.4 inches long. The high carbon blade has a black finish that gives it a sleek tactical look.
The Secret Agent’s handle is made from a strong synthetic polymer. More specifically the handle is glass-filled nylon with a textured rubber over-mold. In addition to the rubber handle, the ergonomic shape will ensure your blade will stay securely in your hands at all times. For storage, a molded dual-carry sheath is part of the overall package. What one considers the best boot knife is subjective, the Secret Agent is on many lists. Click here to see the best price.
3. SOG Survival Boot Knife – Large Yet Compact Design
SOG knives have been producing high-quality blades since 1984. They are known for their military replications along with their original designs. The knife we are looking at today is one of their originals.
The SOG Field Knife is small and compact in design. The drop point blade is 4-inches in length. A longer sized blade when compared to most other boot knives. The stainless steel finish gives the blade a pristine silver coloring. The straight edge is great for slicing and piercing. With a thermoplastic rubber handle that measures in at 4.5 inches in length, dropping or losing control of your knife should not be an issue. With a unique SOG design and ergonomic grooves, the combination of blade and handle is seamless and tactical.
The Field Knife comes with a molded plastic sheath. Most times the sheath is simply used to store and clip your knife safely and comfortably, well the field knife offers more. There is a cord-cutting groove that sits at the edge of the blade. So, even when your blade is placed in its sheath, it can still be used and serve a purpose. SOG has provided an innovative feature that sets the Field Knife apart from comparable knives. While on the large side, the Field Knife is the best boot knife in its class. Click here to see the best price.
4. CRKT Sting Fixed Blade Boot Knife with Sheath – Simple and Reliable Design
CRKT is an Oregon based knife company that has been making knives since 1994. They master in the art of making combat knives, EDC knives, and tactical knives. Today we are looking at the CRKT Sting, a boot knife that will satisfy any knife collector.
The Sting is simple in its design, but that is what makes it great. The fixed blade is a traditional boot knife design. With a spear point and double-sided straight edge, the full tang build will take a beating for years to come. The 1050 carbon blade’s length is just over 3.1 inches in length and is coated with black stain-resistant powder. Overall, this blade, if properly cared for, will be ready for whatever you throw at it for years to come.
Moving on to the handle, while CRKT has not disclosed what the handle is made from, it seems to be some sort of thermoplastic. With a length of just over three inches and a smooth surface with divots, it is simple, small, and will get the job done. The Sting does come with a nylon stitched sheath that can be used on a belt or boot. No matter which way you decide to strap the Sting to your body, the sheath offers optimal protection and storage.
When it comes to tactical boot knives, the CRKT offers everything a customer will be looking for in the best boot knife they will own. Click here to see the best price.
5. Smith & Wesson High Carbon S.S. Boot Knife – Small and Seamless Design
Smith & Wesson is known for its high-quality firearms. Little do people realize they have also been making knives with the same dedication and attention to detail. Their S.S boot knife has been given the same treatment as all of the S & W products that have come before it.
While the word petite is not typically used to describe knives, no other words can describe how the FDE looks and feels. With an overall length of 6.25 inches, the S.S is indeed petite. Which for a boot knife is actually a great size. The blade is only 2.75 inches long and is made from high carbon steel. Again, high carbon steel is known for its durability and stain-resistant qualities. This blade is coated in black stain-resistant material. While the straight edge is not technically double-sided, it does wrap around the spine of the blade partially.
Conversely, the handle makes up the majority of this knife at 3.5 inches in length. The handle is made with an FDE rubber material that offers optimal comfort control. Unlike most other handles, it has a military tan coloring that sets it apart from the vast amount of black handles on the market. Along with an ergonomic shape and coupled with a handguard, the S.S. boot knife is comfortable and safe to use. The sheath is made from a hard molded plastic that will fit seamlessly in or on your boots.
The best boot knife does not need to be 7 inches long. Sometimes the smaller size like the Smith & Wesson S.S. is more efficient. Click here to see the best price.
Hopefully, the best boot knife for you was on our list of 5 knives. If so, great, now there are some things you should get familiar with. Knives can come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs. Variety is something we strive for when we test and research the knives that go on our lists. With that, it is common to have a couple of knives that you are keen on. So, making that final decision can be a difficult one. Luckily we are here to help you take that final step in buying your new boot knife. Understanding the daily uses and how that impacts a knife’s weight and how you will wear it is important. In our buyer’s guide below will cover many of these topics to help you make a more educated purchase. So, let’s get started.
Boot Knife Buyer’s Guide
Size: The best boot knife size will differ from person to person. Some will require a smaller knife that is easy to conceal. Usually, these knife owners will be using their boot knife for self-defense. A smaller boot knife is easier to conceal and remove from the sheath. Which is very important in a life or death situation. While larger boot knives are not as popular, or practical, they can still be very useful. They will commonly be used as an EDC knife for a couple of reasons. For one, they typically will have a few extra features that you can’t really fit on a smaller knife blade. Lastly larger knives are just easier to hold and use for longer durations.
Weight: The weight of a boot knife is extremely important. After all, you will be carrying the knife at your ankle the whole day. The best boot knife will only weigh a couple of ounces. This is made possible by the premium materials that go into a quality boot knife. That being said, cheaply made knives will be made with cheaper materials that are often heavier than premium steels and plastics. The idea of the best boot knife is one that is not only hidden but is also nearly weightless. A truly weightless knife is impossible, but we can get very close.
Handle: The best boot knife handle will fit nice and snug in the palm of your hand. With that, many boot knife handles differ from one to the next. Some may be short in length. This is due to the fact it will be fitted on your boot. The smaller and more compact the better. Although some boot knives handles can be large in size. Larger handles are simply easier to hold securely and safer to use overall. Some handles are untraditional in shape and are specialized for a certain task. Also, the material of a boot knife handles us typically made from a synthetic plastic rather than wood. Although boot knives do have wood handles as well.
Blade Point Design: The blade point of a boot knife is pretty distinct. It usually has a spear point with a double-sided straight edge. This design originates from the design of a saber. This is due to boot knives being mainly for self-defense and fighting when they first became popular. Spear points are really good at piercing and stabbing. That fact is a little morbid but most history is. Today boot knives can have just about any type of point, such as drop point or clip point. This is because people use boot knives for multiple reasons, not just self-defense.
Common Uses: We have eluded to what a boot knife is used throughout our buyer’s guide. If you still are not sure if a boot knife is what you need we will now put your worries to rest. Boot knives can be used for just about anything. Yes, in the past they were mainly used for self-defense and are still today. That said, boot knives can be used for everyday tasks as well, just like any other knife. Boot knives are just designed to be smaller and compact for easy storage.
How to Wear a Boot Knife: When attaching a boot knife to your boot there are several ways it can be done. The most common way is to attach a sheath to your boot, usually, it sits on the outside of the boot, but it can also fit inside. Some boots even go as far as to have a built-in sheath for a boot knife, which is pretty cool. Some sheaths can be strapped at the ankle as well for a little added comfort.
Are boot knives practical?
While boot knives were mainly intended for self-defense when they first gained popularity, they have evolved in their use. Now many people like to carry their EDC knives in their boot, mainly for comfort reasons. So nowadays boot knives can vary in the features they have, their size, and shape. That being said, many people still have them as a last resort weapon. But boot knives overall practicality has improved over its lifetime.
What are boot knives used for?
Boot knives are used for a few different reasons. The first and most common is self-defense. The reason for this is the ability to conceal the knife easily and comfortably. If an aggressor does not suspect that you are armed their guard will be down. That is until you surprise them with your hidden boot knife that is. The hard part is getting the knife from your boot and into your hands. With a little practice, you can do it in your sleep. Boot knives can also be used as EDC knives for the simple convenience of holding the knife in our boot.
Where can you hide a knife on your body?
Knives can be held on different parts of the body depending on a few things of course. The type of knife you own, the type of sheath, and the type of vest. The type of knife you have will determine the practicality of where you will want to hold your knife. If the knife is large, strapping it to your backpack, leg, or belt is the best option. I f the knife is smaller and compact you will have more options. Boot knives being one of them. The best boot knife won’t be too small or too large. Too small, and it compromises your ability to defend yourself. Too large and it can become uncomfortable.
What is the legal length of a knife blade?
The legal length of a knife blade is a tough question for a couple of reasons. For one, it will depend on where you live. The state you live in will definitely have laws determining how long a knife blade can be. Not only that but the city you reside in may have its own laws determining what length a knife can be at legally. The best rule of thumb is for the blade to be no longer than the palm of your hand. From the base of the blade to the point. It is always best to know the laws of the land in which you live to ensure you do not get into legal problems.
Can you legally conceal a boot knife?
This is a really murky issue. It will again come down to the state and city that you live in. Some knives are legal to conceal as long as it is within the legal length of the blade. In some states within the U.S., it is 100 percent illegal to conceal any knives while in public, no matter the length.
Top Selling Boot Knives
- 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade with high carbon is heat treated for performance, hardness and durability
- Handle is reinforced synthetic polymer encased by textured rubber for grip security; reinforcement provides increased strength, stiffness and stability
- Dimensions: 9 inch (22.9 centimeter) overall length with a blade length of 4.7 inches (12.1 centimeter) and a weight of 7.7 ounces
- Durable: Blade is made of reliable 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel with a black rubber wrapped handle
- DIMENSIONS: 6.25 inch (15.88 cm) overall length with a blade length of 2.75 inches (6.99 cm) and a weight of 1.6 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 8Cr13MoV black oxide coated, High Carbon Stainless Steel with an FDE rubberized handle
- Compact, skeletal 420HC steel frame.
- Black ceramic coating for minimal reflection + corrosion.
- RAZOR SHARP TANTO BLADE- 3" Tanto 154CM Stainless Steel Blade delivers excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance, and is suitable for heavy cutting applications. Overall Length 6-1/4" Weight 2.5 oz.
- STURDY, LIGHTWEIGHT- Full Tang Construction and very strong, designed for heavy use. Holds up to piercing, scraping and prying with tough materials. A great choice for a high performance knife in the field