Boot knives have been used as weapons of last resort for millenia. It’s always nice to know that you’ve got a hideaway tool that you can access when you need. Nowadays there are more choices for quality boot knives than ever before. Keep reading to see what we think about some of the best boot knives on the market today and to find out what the best boot knife for you is.
- 1 Best Boot Knives
- 1.1 Kershaw Secret Agent Concealable Boot Knife
- 1.2 SOG Snarl Small Fixed Blade Boot Knives
- 1.3 CRKT Sting Everyday Carry Boot Knife
- 1.4 Cold Steel Drop Forged Boot Knife
- 1.5 SOG Instinct Mini G10 Boot Knife
- 1.6 Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife
- 1.7 Master USA MU-1121 Tactical Half-Serrated Blade
- 1.8 Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B Dual Edge Blade
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Boot Knife
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Boot Knives
A boot knife is almost always a self-defense tool. Work knives and other utility blades don’t generally need to be kept hidden, whereas that’s pretty much the point with a boot knife.
We picked out some of the best boot knives available to help you pick out the perfect mix of features that match your needs.
Kershaw Secret Agent Concealable Boot Knife
The Kershaw Secret Agent is a highly concealable boot knife built for EDC. It uses a spear point style double edged blade made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and is a total of 8.7 in long.
The blade is 4.4 in long and has a black oxide coating to help protect it from corrosion. It’s a fixed blade knife with a glass-filled nylon handle overmolded with a highly textured rubberized grip. This makes it very slip-resistant and comfortable to use.
It comes standard with a molded polymer sheath designed for belt carry, neck carry or boot carry. This gives you plenty of options for how you carry the Secret Agent on a day to day basis.
Overall the Kershaw Secret Agent is a well-made, affordable, and reliable boot knife that’s useful both as a self-defense tool or for basic utility tasks
SOG Snarl Small Fixed Blade Boot Knives
The SOG Snarl is a pint sized self defense neck and boot knife optimized for rapid deployment. It measures just 4.3 in in total length and has a modified sheepsfoot blade with a straight edge.
It’s designed to be wielded with two fingers in dedicated slots for a secure grip. It can also be held like a standard knife for more general purpose utility work.
The blade and body are both made from stainless steel and come packed in a multipurpose molded nylon sheath. It can be worn as a neck knife or tucked into your boot.
If you’re looking for a super lightweight and easy to hide boot knife it’s hard to beat the SOG Snarl.
CRKT Sting Everyday Carry Boot Knife
The CRKT Sting is full tang EDC boot knife. It has a 3.197 in spear point blade and is a total of 6.85 in long.
It’s made from a single piece of forged 1050 carbon steel and has a black corrosion resistant coating. It was designed by A.G. Russell, one of the inventors of the modern tactical knife.
The Sting comes with a glass reinforced nylon sheath that’s designed to wrap around your calf/ankle for a comfortable and secure fit. It can also be attached to your belt or a bag.
The CRKT Sting is a well made knife that holds an edge well. The only gripe we have with it is the smooth grip. It’s definitely easier for your hand to slip while using it.
Cold Steel Drop Forged Boot Knife
The Cold Steel Drop Forged Boot Knife is a 9 in long tactical knife. It has a 5 in long blade forged from 52100 high carbon steel for a razor sharp edge.
It’s exceptionally lightweight, weighing just 6.4 oz, and is designed to be as slender as possible for a low profile carry. It comes with a Secure-Ex sheath made from molded polymer for a secure and comfortable fit.
The sheath can be slipping into your boot, attached to your calf or clipped onto your belt/bag. It gives you a lot of flexibility in how and where you carry the Cold Steel Boot Knife.
At 9 in long it’s pushing the limits of a boot knife and approaching a length more typical for a utility or combat knife. Make sure to keep this in mind when considering whether you want to carry it.
If you’re looking for a large and robust tactical boot knife, the Cold Steel Drop Forged Boot Knife is a good premium option.
SOG Instinct Mini G10 Boot Knife
The SOG Instinct Mini G10 is a 5.9 in long boot knife designed for last-ditch self defense. It has a 2.3 in stainless steel full tang blade with a pair of highly textured G10 scales.
It uses a shortened clip point style blade with a pronounced point. This makes it perfect for quick thrusting strikes to the vitals. The larger handle with its G10 grips gives you a very firm purchase that makes it easy to hold onto.
The Instinct Mini comes with a molded polymer clip designed to give you maximum flexibility with how you carry it. Out of the box it has both a neck carry lanyard and small clip attached. This lets you wear it around your neck or clip it onto your boot or belt in a variety of angles and positions.
The SOG Instinct Mini is a pint sized self defense knife at a very affordable price. It holds an edge well and can be carried just about anywhere on your person.
Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife
The Gerber Ghoststrike is a fixed blade boot knife optimized for self defense. It has a 3.3 in drop point blade made with 420HC stainless steel with a ceramic corrosion resistant coating.
The handle has an aggressive angle built into it and a rubberized diamond grip. This gives you a very secure grip under stressful conditions. The total length of the Ghoststrike is 6.9 in.
It comes with a glass filled nylon sheath that can be worn around your neck, attached to your belt/bag or worn in your boot. You also have the option to add a very comfortable ankle wrap that gives you even more flexibility in how you wear it.
The Gerber Ghoststrike is a slim and lightweight tactical knife designed for concealed carry. It’s reasonably priced, holds an edge well, and great for boot carry.
Master USA MU-1121 Tactical Half-Serrated Blade
The Master USA MU-1121 is a tactical neck and boot knife designed for self-defense on a budget. It has a combo style drop point blade made from stainless steel.
It’s a full tang boot knife without a standard grip. Instead, red or olive green paracord is wrapped tightly around the handle. This gives you a firm grip during everyday use and can also be removed for cordage in an emergency situation.
It comes standard with a hard nylon fiber sheath for neck carry, belt carry or boot carry. The blade holds an edge reasonably well but doesn’t really get up to a true razor edge.
Overall the Master USA MU-1121 is a serviceable boot knife at a very affordable price.
Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B Dual Edge Blade
The Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B is a dual edge fighting knife with a 4.7 in spear point blade. It’s made from 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel and has a black corrosion resistant coating on the blade.
The design is reminiscent of paratrooper style fighting knives with a flared guard and rubberized grip. It’s easy to hold onto and comfortable in your hand. I wouldn’t want to try throwing it but it’s otherwise well balanced.
It comes with a handsome black leather sheath that can clip to your belt or slip comfortably into your boot.
The Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B is a sturdy boot knife at a price anyone can afford.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Boot Knife
Picking out a boot knife really comes down to how you see yourself using it. If you want a purely self defense tool your perfect boot knife is going to look a lot different than if you also want some general utility usefulness from it.
As with a lot of outdoor tools there’s a pretty big range in prices of boot knives. You can get inexpensive models for under $20 or spend over $100 for high-end boot knives from exclusive manufacturers.
Size & Weight
Boot knives aren’t heavy duty blades. They need to be lightweight and slender so they can fit comfortably in your boot against your leg.
Look for knives with a thin profile and a blade designed for thrusting and light slashing. You definitely don’t want something as big and heavy as a standard backcountry utility knife.
Blade length is one of the most important factors to consider when comparing different boot knives. The length of your boot knife determines how you can use it, but more importantly can affect the legality of carrying it.
Different areas have different laws regarding knife carry. We highly recommend you check local laws in your area to see what you can and can’t carry.
The grip of a boot knife is just as important as the length and blade type. We recommend you avoid any boot knife that has a smooth/non-textured grip.
It will likely be more comfortable in your hand but it’s a whole lot easier to lose your grip in a high-stress situation. Go for highly textured grips like diamond patterns and others designed to provide you with maximum grip even when your hands are slippery.
Blade Point, Tang and Edge
Edge, tang, and blade point are all interrelated factors to consider. We’ll start off with the tang discussion.
For a boot knife we strongly recommend a full tang design fixed blade. This gives you the maximum strength and works well in the smaller size common to boot knives. There’s not really a good argument for using a folding blade knife as a boot knife.
When it comes to blade points there are literally endless varieties. Some of the most common are drop point, clip point, sheepsfoot, tanto, spear point and trailing point.
For boot knives you’ll see a lot of spear point and tanto style blades. These have an aggressive point that’s great for thrusting plus a good sized edge for slashing or utility tasks.
Edge is going to depend heavily on what blade point you choose. A single edged blade is good for utility tasks and can be batoned in a survival situation. A double edged blade is better for self-defense as it gives you twice the area to slash and strike with.
Choosing between straight edge, serrated edge or a combo edge really comes down to preference. Straight edge blades are easier to sharpen and maintain if you don’t have a lot of experience, but serrated blades can be used to cut through thicker/denser materials.
For self-defense we recommend you go with a straight edge blade. If you’re planning on using it for utility tasks as well a combo blade may be your best bet.
We don’t like to push specific brands, but it’s undeniable that some manufacturers are simply better. A boot knife is something that your life may depend upon. It’s better to spend a few more bucks and buy something from a brand with a well-earned reputation for excellence in materials, design, and craftsmanship.
Some great brands for knives include:
- Smith & Wesson
- Cold Steel
There are definitely other excellent knife makers out there, these are just a few of our favorites.
For boot knives super high-end blade steel is rarely used. They aren’t tools designed for frequent use, they’re last-ditch self defense and survival gear.
Because of that, they’re mostly made from corrosion resistant stainless steel and other alloys rather than high carbon steel. This allows them to take an edge quickly and stand up to EDC wear without a lot of upkeep.
The sheath or holster you go for needs to fit comfortably in your boot. You want a combination of stealth, comfort, and security.
It needs to be small and light enough to fit inside your boot without causing discomfort but still hold your boot knife securely.
Choosing the best boot knife really comes down to legality and purpose.
Finding a knife you can legally carry in your area is the most important thing.
Once you know your local laws you can start to compare features, concealability, and the perfect grip.