Boot knives are designed to be concealed and within reach, and primarily for the purpose of self-defense. However, they also make for great tools for utility work, camping, and hunting.
With the vast selection of boot in the market, it’s important to know what makes a decent knife. Read on to learn about the different considerations when looking for the best boot knife the market.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Best Boot Knife 2019
No knife list would be complete without a knife from Gerber.
Gerber is renowned knife making a brand, but they also make tools, multitools, and other survival gear. Many hunters, tradespeople, and members of the armed forces carry Gerber knives and tools.
The Ghostrike Fixed Deluxe Kit includes the Ghostrike knife and sheath, as well as a neoprene ankle wrap. The knife itself is ultra-light and has a 3.3-inch 420HC steel fine edge drop point blade.
It has a black ceramic coating for better corrosion resistance and minimal reflection. The handle is a skeletal frame with a rubber over mold for an excellent grip.
- You can mount the sheath sidewards or upwards on a belt.
- The ankle strap is comfortable even with frequent movement and prolonged use.
- You can wear the boot knife in a low-cut shoe as well.
- Has a lanyard for other carrying options.
- You can tell that it’s tough and durable just by the feel of it. The handle seems very sturdy and offers an excellent grip.
- It’s an excellent last resort/survival knife.
- It costs the most, but it’s a kit with knife, sheath, and ankle strap. So when you think about it, it’s reasonable and affordable.
- Sometimes my fingers slip in the large space in the handles, so taking it out is not always as smooth.
Smith and Wesson are primarily a company that makes firearms, but it also makes other accessories that focus on self-defense. The S & W H.R.T boot knife is a number 1 seller in the fixed-blade knife category.
That should speak a lot about the brand and the quality of the knife. Though it was crafted for professional use, this knife can also be used for recreational or daily use.
This knife has a 4.75-inch double edge blade with a black finish. The handle wrapped in black rubber has a length of about 4.25 inches, giving the knife a total length of 9 inches.
The knife comes with a black leather belt or boot sheath.
- The handle has a lanyard hole in case you want a different carry option.
- Simple, at the same time, sleek design. The leather sheath is also very nice.
- Easy to conceal and take out of the sheath.
- It’s both inexpensive and sturdy. In fact, you can say it’s considering how decent the knife is.
- The handle might poke or jab your belly if you clip it on vertically on your belt.
- It’s not as sturdy as some of the knives on this list. The point is narrow and not as strong as it should be.
A brand with focus is a brand that makes quality products, and that’s exactly what Columbia River Knife and Tool offers.
They’re also a brand that collaborates with top-notch knife designers so you can be sure that they’re producing high quality and reliable products.
The 2020 Sting is a knife crafted by Blade Cutlery Hall of Famer, AG Russell. It's a tactical knife with a 3.19-inch 1050 carbon steel fixed blade and is finished with a coating of black non-reflective powder.
The whole knife is about 6.85 inches, and the handle has thumb detents for better grip. The 2020 Sting Knife comes with a glass-reinforced plastic nylon sheath with a strap.
- There’s a lanyard hole if you want other carrying options.
- The knife comes with a sheath and a strap that you can attach to your belt, boot, or bag.
- I love the size for everyday carry and use. It can be ideal for self-defense, camping, and hunting.
- It’s both affordable and reliable; a great knife for the price.
- The strap isn’t very comfortable on the skin, especially with prolonged use.
Being around since the 1800s, you know that Kabar Knives have a lot of experience and knowledge in knife making. It's safe to say that their blades are reliable and of high quality.
Kabar's Becker Necker Knife features Kabar's Cro-Van steel, both on the handle and the blade. This is a type of carbon steel that's easy to sharpen and maintains edges well. The drop point blade is 3.25 inches, and the handle is 3.5 inches.
- Great size for everyday carry. It also works great as a camping and utility knife, especially with the bottle opener and wire breaker on the handle. The shape and size of the blade make it an excellent multipurpose knife.
- The sheath comes with a cord for when you want to carry it around your neck.
- The sheath doesn’t have a pocket clip so you can’t attach it to your belt or clip onto your boot. But it is compatible with the TDI Metal Belt clip, which you can purchase separately. This clip can attach to your belt, boot or a tactical vest.
- More expensive than the some of the other great quality knives on the list.
Another brand that is dedicated to crafting high-quality knives is Cold Steel Inc. They are used and trusted by the Military, some Law Enforcement Special Units, Emergency Services Personnel, and self-defense professionals.
Kobun is a Japanese underworld word that is equivalent to the word soldier. It's quite fitting for this lightweight Tanto knife, which happens to be popular in the military. The blade length is 5.5 inches, while the handle is about 4.4 inches long.
The blade is a Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel with Cold Steel’s Kraton handles. The sheath is a polymer with a boot/belt clip on the right-hand side.
- The knife is very lightweight and very sleek together with the sheath.
- The handles are slim with checkered Kraton giving it an excellent grip.
- Decent price for a great quality knife.
- Boot carry is not very simple or effective. It will depend on your footwear.
- It’s also not very comfortable to carry on your belt because the handle jabs the belly. Unless of course, it’s horizontal, but then taking it out wouldn’t be as easy if it was upright.
What Makes The Best Boot Knife?
The best boot knives are the ones that are small enough to be hidden, while still being durable and useful for a quick fix. A right size is the one with a blade that is between 3-5 inches.
The blade is one of the major components, if not the most important one. After all, the blade is half or more of the knife itself, and it’s what makes a knife work.
Most boot knives are double edged like a dagger and have a sharp tip to pierce through things easily. They are made of steel and other elements that affect hardness, corrosion resistance, edge retention, sharpening, strength, etc.
These are factors that also influence the quality of the knife or the blade.
Below are some elements you can add to the steel and a description of their effects:
- Carbon makes the steel harder.
- Chromium improves wear and corrosion resistance. It also increases hardenability.
- Nickel makes the steel tougher and harder. It also improves the corrosion resistance of steel. Nickel is commonly found in dive knives.
- Molybdenum enhances the tensile strength and corrosion resistance of the blade. It also makes steel hardenability better.
- Vanadium promotes fine grains, which plays a significant role in wear resistance and strength. The finer the grains, the better.
Types of Steel For Blades
These are just some of the many types of steel for blades. Steel properties may vary among manufacturers. Thus, if you want additional information, you can check with them.
- S30V: The best kind of steel for blades is S30V because it contains high amounts of Carbon and Vanadium. It also contains some Chromium and Molybdenum. These additional elements improve edge retention and prevents blade abrasion.
- 420HC: 420HC is common in general purpose knives. It contains high levels of Carbon and Chromium. It has higher Carbon content than a 420 stainless steel.
- AUS-8: This type of steel contains high carbon and low chromium, which proves to be a right balance of strength, edge holding, and corrosion resistance.
- 154CM: 154CM has large amounts of Carbon and some Molybdenum. It makes better blades for heavy cutting use. It also contains Chromium and Silicon.
Another factor to consider when choosing your knife is the form of the blade. Though most blades can be multi-purpose, some shapes are ideal for more specific ones. Here are some types of blade shape used in boot knives.
- Drop Point: A drop point blade is one of the most common multipurpose blades. The spine of the blade runs slowly in a curve towards the point/tip of the knife. It has a large belly and an easy-to-control point.
- Tanto: A tanto blade has an unyielding point because of the high placement of the tip. The front edge meets the back edge at a particular angle instead of a curve. It's not really for general utility, but it's perfect for piercing objects.
- Clip Point: In a clip point blade, the back edge runs straight until about halfway where it curves or slides downwards to the point. It's common in pocket knives and fixed blade knives.
The clip point is a good blade for piercing and has a large cutting edge, but the point is narrow and has a high risk of breaking.
- Dagger/Needle Point: A dagger or needlepoint has a double edged blade ideal for stabbing and thrusting. The blade has no cutting edge for slicing.
The handle is the next thing you want to look into when looking for the best boot knife. It will often be against your skin, so you will want a handle that is smooth enough for comfort.
However, you don't want it to be too smooth that it doesn't give a good grip. The best way to determine this is probably to test it out first hand.
A boot knife is meant to be concealed, so it’s important that the sheath will not get in the way of being covert.
Moreover, the sheath needs to protect you from the sharp and pointy blade. Make sure the blade will not get through the sheath. You should also check if it has a clip for boot or belt attachment.
- Lanyard holes can be handy for when you want other carry options.
- Strap material and options are also something you might want to consider. Some straps are neither comfortable nor secure enough, so look into that.
There are so many boot knives in the market, and choosing the best one can be a headache. For you to get the best value for your money, you will need to know a bit about what makes a boot knife great in the first place.
Size, blade material, blade shape, handle, and the sheath is something you should look into. Remember that a boot knife is meant to be concealed and easy to access, especially when you’re using it for self-defense.
The best knife is not the same for all people because our preferences are not all the same. For me, the best one for the money would be the Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife.
It meets concealability standards, has a comfortable strap, and overall, I think it serves the most purposes: camping, survival, self-defense, and utility work.