How to Wear and Secure a Boot Knife

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By Bryan Rucker •  9 min read

We all have a basic, inborn instinct to try and survive dangerous situations, but most people don’t think about those situations until it is too late. That is why it is so important to prepare yourself for the worst possible scenarios—so you will always be ready to defend yourself.

When it comes to protecting yourself against potential enemies or assailants, whether those foes are attackers bent on harming you or predatory animals in the wild, you have many options for self defense. Some of these options include guns, knives, bows (and arrows) and other non-lethal methods of self protection, such as pepper spray and mace, tasers and stun guns, and bats and batons. All of these are great options, but perhaps none is more convenient than and as easily concealed as a properly secured boot knife

If you’re truly in the market for a device/system that can prepare you for a potential attack, you should really consider a high-quality boot knife. And although this is a setup that can one day save your life, it is important that you first learn the proper way to wear and secure a boot knife. That “proper way” is what we will cover in some detail in the article below. However, before we do that, let us first discuss the best type of knife for this particular type of self-defense setup.

Choosing a Knife for Your “Boot Knife”

As we mentioned above, a boot knife can be an excellent way to protect you in dangerous, even life-threatening situations. This is why many police officers and military personnel make boot knives part of their everyday apparel. Having a knife that is both hidden yet easily accessible could end up being a life-saver. Other reasons to carry a boot knife—reasons other than self-defense—are to have a knife that is readily accessible when out camping, hunting or fishing, or when doing home improvement and craft projects.

Not every knife is appropriate for the Boot Knife setup. Here are just some guidelines when choosing the perfect blade:

Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B 9in High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade Knife with 4.7in...
  • Dimensions: 9 inch (22.9 centimeter) overall length with a blade length of 4.7 inches (12.1...
  • Durable: Blade is made of reliable 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel with a black rubber wrapped...

Last update on 2023-02-02 at 12:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Wear and Secure a Boot Knife

Boot knives have been worn for centuries by certain classes of people, but back in the “olden days,” the manner in which these knives were secured was crude, making it difficult to access the knife when it was needed most. Fortunately, there are now ways to handle the process more efficiently and effectively.

In this day and age, the method for securing and wearing a boot knife has become easier for some people thanks in large part to specially designed boots that have an integrated pocket built in for this purpose. For these types of boots, however, you often have to buy a special kind of knife that goes along with the boots, as only that certain knife will fit in the pocket. This is certainly one way to do it if you so choose. However, in this article, we will show you a more primitive, yet effective process for securing a boot knife in boots that are NOT equipped with this integrated pocket.

Things You Will Need to Secure a Boot Knife

The list of things you will need to properly wear and secure a boot knife is fairly short and easy to remember. It includes:

Securing the Knife to Your Boots

Sheath the Knife

Before you do anything in the process, remember to cover your knife with a properly sized sheath—a sheath designed to fit your style and size of knife. The knife should fit snugly into the sheath—snugly enough to prevent it from accidentally falling out, but not too snug that it will cause problems when drawing the knife out of the sheath.

Put on Your Boots

Next, put on your boots. Lace them up as you normally would, keeping in mind that one boot will be concealing a knife. If the laces are too loose, it can cause the knife to move around and even possibly fall out of the boot, so be sure to give the laces a good tug throughout.

Place the Sheathed Knife into Your Boots

You are then going to put the sheathed knife into one of your boots. If you are right-hand dominant (your strong hand), we recommend you place the knife into the outer portion of your right boot; but if you are left-handed, you should place the sheathed knife into your left boot. This will not only give you easier access to the knife, it will save you time in an emergency situation. By drawing the knife with your strong hand, it will immediately be ready to use.

If you have placed the knife in your boot correctly, only the very top portion of the sheath should be visible outside the boot. This will of course be covered by your jeans or trousers, keeping the knife very well concealed.

Tying the Knife

Now that the knife is in the boot, with the top of the sheath peeking out from outside of the boot, take one end of your string or cording and secure it to the sheath. Most sheathes have a loop at the top that you can use for this process, or you can always create a loop using any excess string or cord. This string-to-sheath connection must be very tight and secure, so be sure to wrap it around the sheath several times before finally tying it off using a square knot.

You will next tie the opposite end of the string or nylon cord to your calf, just above the boot. This connection should be tight enough (wrap it around a few times) to prevent the knot from accidentally untying, yet not too tight that it cuts off your circulation or causes you a lot of discomfort.

As you make your final tie off around the calf, you will need to periodically check the length of the string. In the end, you want a tied, sheath-to-calf connection that is not too tight (you do not want the string pulling on the sheath as you walk, as this can cause the knife to fall out of the boot). The length of the string connection should be such that, should the sheathed knife fall out of the boot, it will not hit or drag on the ground.

And that is it! You now have a secure boot knife that will always be concealed on your person, making you ultra prepared for any dangerous situation. Make sure to periodically check your knife-to-calf string connection—maybe two to three times a day—to ensure it is still holding properly.

Wearing Your Boot Knife: The Advantages

Having an easily accessible boot knife could potentially save your life in perilous and even deadly emergencies. In fact, finding a tool that is more practical and versatile than a boot knife is not easy to do. Located just outside (or inside) of your leg, a boot knife is a tool that is always ready for use. Its slim blade conceals easily and is appropriate for everyday carrying—as long as your business for that day involves wearing boots.

Known as an equalizer, a boot knife could potentially even up the odds when you’re approached by an attacker or mugger. And in instances where you may be knocked to the ground, you can easily surprise your attacker as he comes in to “finish the job.”

A boot knife can also be a great accessory to have when camping, hunting, fishing and hiking. Not only can a boot knife help protect you against wild predatory animals, you can also use it to clean and filet fish or skin other animals when hunting. Your boot knife can even be used to cut up the meats and veggies for your campfire stew or chili.

Finally, a boot knife can be very handy around the house and in the garage—any place where you may need a knife for everyday tasks.

Versatile, easy to use and potentially life-saving, a boot knife—when secured properly—makes for a great accessory for both men and women.

top image: breakermaximus/Deposit Photos

Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things wildlife. His concern grew astronomically during the previous tensions between the United States and other nations. He also has grown a substantial interest in survival and sustainability due to the current shape of the world over the years. He believes that preparation triumphs all things.