The 7+ Best Boot Knives of 2024

knife lying on a boot

Pockets have long been celebrated for their practical utility, and closely following in terms of innovation is the pocket knife.

However, there are scenarios where pockets might be overloaded or unsuitable for carrying folding knives, especially when engaging in activities that require more discreet or secure methods of carrying a blade.

This is where alternatives like fixed blades, neck knives, and particularly boot knives come into play. This guide delves into our top selections of boot knives, ideal for covert and everyday carry.

Rundown of The Best Boot Knives on The Market

ESEE Knives Candiru Fixed Blade Knife with Handles…
  • Overall Length: 5.13″
  • Cutting Edge Length: 2.0″
popular
Kershaw Barricade (8650) Orange Multifunction…
  • The ultimate value in multi-use rescue blades for everyday carry or storage in every automobile, glove box, tool box, garage or camp site
  • Includes bright orange handle that proves easy to find when unexpected emergencies arise
popular
Kershaw Lonerock RBK2, New Skinning and Caping…
  • Easy-to-use skinning and caping knife; new ergonomic, olive handle
  • #60A scalpel blades; safely remove with new, easy-to-use liner
Benchmade – SOCP 391BK Tacticle Knife with…
  • BUILT TO PERFORM: Rugged simplicity meets unmatched function, no matter the application; An ideal tool for piercing, cutting, and tactical functions; Made for long-lasting, everyday use.
  • AMERICAN MADE D2 STEEL: For first-rate edge retention; Precision spear-point construction for strength and versatility.
popular
SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife – Instinct Boot Knife,…
  • SMALL KNIFE WITH SHEATH: The SOG Instinct is the perfect small fixed blade knife for your EDC gear; tactical neck knife measures 5.9 inches in total length; model number: NB1002-CP
  • LIGHTWEIGHT EDC KNIFE: 2.3 oz. Slim necklace knife is a great everyday carry knife; use as a belt knife or boot knife, and quickly access this compact knife from its swivel sheath clip for any emergency
6.7″ Small Tactical EDC Fixed Blade Knife,SOCP…
  • 8Cr13Mov Blade Hunting Knife: Extremely Sharp and Sturdy, 8Cr13Mov steel blade has excellent strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for lasting durability
  • Full Tang survival knife:Anti-Slip Full Tang G10 Handle with solid stainless steel blade. Ergonomic handle made of black G10, easy to hold, has a good balance between blade and handle
Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife (4.4″ Black) 4007
  • 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
popular
Smith & Wesson SWF606 8.6in High Carbon S.S. Full…
  • DIMENSIONS: 8.6 inch (22 cm) overall length with a blade length of 4.4 inches (11.1 cm) and a weight of 5.8 ounces
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel with a black, thermoplastic elastomer handle
popular
Smith & Wesson FDE 6.25in High Carbon S.S. Boot…
  • 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

Top Knives For Boots of 2024

Kershaw’s Covert Implement: The Secret Agent

Sale
Kershaw Barricade (8650) Orange Multifunction…
  • The ultimate value in multi-use rescue blades for everyday carry or storage in every automobile, glove box, tool box, garage or camp site
  • Includes bright orange handle that proves easy to find when unexpected emergencies arise

Pros

  • Tailored for concealed carry
  • 8Cr13MoV blade with a stealthy black-oxide finish
  • Excellent value for money
  • Includes a tactical sheath

Cons

  • Single-edged despite dagger-like design
  • Could benefit from a thicker blade

Editor’s Choice: Kershaw’s Secret Agent not only boasts a playful name but stands out as an excellent choice for budget-conscious individuals. The 4.4-inch blade, made from durable 8Cr13MoV steel, features a polymer handle with a rubber overlay ensuring a secure grip in all conditions. Enhanced with a black oxide finish for both aesthetics and durability, it comes with a versatile sheath that allows for various carrying options beyond the boot.

This Kershaw model is surprisingly comfortable in hand, offering a lightweight yet solid feel. The handle is designed ergonomically, widening in the middle to enhance grip and ease of draw from a boot. Its sheath, made from tough glass-filled nylon, is designed to fit snugly inside a boot and can be lashed to it using paracord through multiple side holes.

Despite its affordability, the knife’s factory edge and build quality reflect its price point, with a thickness of only 0.122 inches. The blade, although sharp and capable, is single-edged, which might be disappointing for some but is effective for its intended defensive use.

Verdict: Kershaw’s Secret Agent offers a low-profile yet functional boot knife option, making it an exceptional value for its price.

SOG Knives Instinct: Compact and Effective

Sale
SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife – Instinct Boot Knife,…
  • SMALL KNIFE WITH SHEATH: The SOG Instinct is the perfect small fixed blade knife for your EDC gear; tactical neck knife measures 5.9 inches in total length; model number: NB1002-CP
  • LIGHTWEIGHT EDC KNIFE: 2.3 oz. Slim necklace knife is a great everyday carry knife; use as a belt knife or boot knife, and quickly access this compact knife from its swivel sheath clip for any emergency
  • FULL TANG FIXED BLADE KNIFE: Durable satin-polished 5Cr15MoV stainless steel construction handles various work tasks as a backup knife; full tang blade makes the knife more solid

Pros

  • Compact, under 6 inches overall
  • Superior grip due to G-10 scales and jimping along the spine
  • High-quality build for the price
  • Versatile sheath with a clip

Cons

  • Short blade length may limit defensive use

Best Budget Pick: The SOG Knives Instinct is an ideal choice for those needing a discreet yet effective boot knife. Its compact size, at just 5.9 inches long, and its smaller mini version at 4.8 inches, offer versatility and functionality. The full-tang 5Cr15MoV steel blade and G-10 handle ensure durability and grip, complemented by a sheath that adapts to various carrying styles, including as a neck knife.

Despite its small size, the Instinct impresses with its ergonomic design featuring a three-finger grip and a handle that provides secure purchase. The knife’s quality far surpasses expectations for its price range, demonstrating excellent control and ease of carry.

Verdict: With its solid build and ergonomic handle, the SOG Knives Instinct is not only highly concealable but also remarkably capable, offering great value for its cost.

CRKT Shrill: Elegantly Aggressive

COLUMBIA RIVER KNIFE & TOOL CRKT Shrill Fixed…
  • Useful Utility: Classic blade shape provides proven utility
  • Strong And Visual: Resin infused fiber handle combines strength with visual appeal

Pros

  • Double-edged blade for maximum effectiveness
  • Ultra-slim design for seamless boot integration
  • Exceptional ergonomics and durability
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Better suited with a hard sheath

Best Dagger Pick: The CRKT Shrill stands out with its aggressive double-edged design, perfect for those who prioritize style and effectiveness. Its 8Cr13MoV blade is complemented by sleek Micarta handles, offering both aesthetics and functionality. This knife excels in tactical applications, supported by a sturdy leather sheath with a highly functional clip.

The Shrill is specifically engineered for boot carry, with a slim profile that easily slips inside footwear without catching. Its balanced design allows for quick draws and effective use in self-defense scenarios, though the factory sharpness may require some enhancement for those seeking perfection.

Verdict: The CRKT Shrill is a top-tier boot knife, combining deadly efficiency with a discreet carry design, making it an excellent choice for tactical users.

The Versatile ESEE Candiru: A Compact Powerhouse

ESEE Knives Candiru Fixed Blade Knife with Handles…
  • Overall Length: 5.13″
  • Cutting Edge Length: 2.0″
  • Weight: 1.7 Ounces

Pros

  • Exceptionally lightweight and compact
  • Rugged design with multiple carry options
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Smaller size may reduce grip and utility

Best Skeleton Knife Pick: The ESEE Candiru is a standout for its minimalist design and exceptional functionality. Crafted from 1095 steel, this knife is both lightweight and robust, perfect for those needing a compact yet effective blade. Its versatility is enhanced by optional handle scales and a variety of sheath choices, making it suitable for numerous applications from EDC to outdoor adventures.

Despite its small size, the Candiru offers impressive cutting capabilities and a sharp factory edge. Its simple, skeletonized design is ideal for customization and easy carry, whether as a boot or neck knife.

Verdict: For those seeking a small but capable fixed blade, the ESEE Candiru offers unparalleled versatility and durability, making it a top choice for varied use.

Benchmade SOCP: Swift and Tactical

Benchmade – SOCP 391BK Tacticle Knife with…
  • BUILT TO PERFORM: Rugged simplicity meets unmatched function, no matter the application; An ideal tool for piercing, cutting, and tactical functions; Made for long-lasting, everyday use.
  • AMERICAN MADE D2 STEEL: For first-rate edge retention; Precision spear-point construction for strength and versatility.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CF ELITE HANDLE: For outrageous durability; Light as a feather and built for the long haul; Textured for extra grip.

Pros

  • Quick and easy draw
  • Includes a high-quality sheath
  • Knurled finger hole enhances grip and utility
  • Lifetime warranty and maintenance service included

Cons

  • Handle comfort could be improved
  • Pricey given the material quality

Best Tactical Pick: Designed for close-quarter combat, the Benchmade SOCP is a tactical fixed blade that excels in quick deployment. Its slender design and efficient sheath system ensure that it can be drawn swiftly and discreetly, ideal for defensive scenarios.

While the handle’s low profile aids in concealment and carry, it may lack comfort during extended use. However, the blade’s design and the included services like the LifeSharp service add significant value, assuring that the SOCP remains a reliable and effective tool throughout its lifespan.

Verdict: The Benchmade SOCP is designed for those who need a dependable and quickly accessible self-defense tool, making it an outstanding tactical choice.

GiantMouse GMF3-P: The Epitome of Craftsmanship

Pros

  • Exquisite craftsmanship and materials
  • Ergonomic, low-profile handle provides excellent grip
  • Designed for versatile carrying options

Cons

  • High price point
  • Kydex sheath sold separately

Best Premium Boot Knife: The GiantMouse GMF3-P is a premium option in the realm of boot knives, designed by Jens Ansø and Jesper Voxnaes and crafted with meticulous attention by TRC Knives in Lithuania. This knife, with a full-tang N690 steel blade and rugged Micarta handles, showcases exceptional build quality and an almost dangerously sharp edge.

Though priced on the higher end, the GMF3-P justifies its cost through superior materials and a flawless finish. The knife’s handle design allows for a secure four-finger grip, enhancing its utility whether carried normally or in a reverse grip. Optional Kydex sheaths provide added versatility, though they must be purchased separately.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a high-end boot knife that combines functionality with luxurious craftsmanship, the GiantMouse GMF3-P is an outstanding choice, offering both performance and aesthetic appeal.

The Practicalities of a Boot Knife

Boot knives, as the name suggests, are compact fixed blades designed to be worn discreetly around the ankle or inside the boot. These knives serve well as either primary or backup blades, making them excellent choices for emergency situations, tactical uses, or even everyday practicalities for those who prefer concealed carry.

How to Wear a Boot Knife

There is no one definitive method for wearing a boot knife. It varies based on the knife’s design and the wearer’s preference. Commonly, boot knives are attached on the outside of the boot, either on the inner or outer side of the ankle, utilizing clips or mounts. Some prefer to integrate their boot knife into the boot’s lacing, especially if the knife is particularly slim and compact. Using a clip like a Utiliclip can enhance the security and accessibility of the knife.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Boot Knife

When selecting a boot knife, consider these essential factors:

  • Materials: The quality of the steel used in the blade and the construction of the handle are paramount. High-quality materials enhance the knife’s durability and performance.
  • Concealability: The knife should be slim enough for discreet carry but robust enough to remain durable under stress.
  • Ease of Deployment: The knife should be accessible and easy to draw, with ergonomic features that aid quick deployment.
  • Grip and Ergonomics: A secure grip is critical, especially for a knife used in tactical or defensive situations. The handle should be designed to provide stability and control during use.
  • Size and Sheath: Opt for a knife that balances concealability with functionality. The sheath is just as important as the knife itself, as it secures the knife to the boot and facilitates quick access.

Honorable Mentions

Several other knives almost made the list due to their specific features or unique designs:

  • Skallywag Tactical MDV Plus One: Designed for rapid deployment, this knife features a unique hook at the base for quick draw, ideal for self-defense.
  • Toor Knives Specter R: This tactical knife features a ring-equipped handle and a double-edged blade, making it a formidable option for close-quarter combat.
  • Böker Applegate-Fairbairn: A double-edged dagger with solid construction and materials, offering reliable performance at a premium price.
  • Klotzli Model 22: The official knife of the Swiss Border Guard, it offers excellent durability and performance but is slightly larger for typical boot carry.
  • TOPS Knives Street Scalpel 2.0: A compact and sharp knife ideal for both everyday carry and self-defense, though availability issues limited its testing.

FAQs About Boot Knives

What is a boot knife?

A boot knife is a small, fixed-blade knife that is typically carried inside a boot. These knives are designed for easy concealment and quick access, making them popular for self-defense and tactical situations.

How is a boot knife typically worn?

Boot knives can be worn in several ways depending on personal preference and the design of the knife and sheath. Commonly, they are attached to the inside or outside of the boot using a sheath with a clip or strap. Some boot knives can also be integrated into the boot’s lacing system for added security.

What are the legal considerations for carrying a boot knife?

The legality of carrying a boot knife varies by location. Some areas have specific laws regarding the blade length, the concealment of weapons, and the intent behind carrying a blade. It is essential to check local laws and regulations before carrying a boot knife to ensure compliance.

What should I look for in a boot knife sheath?

A good boot knife sheath should securely hold the knife in place while allowing for quick and easy access. It should be made of durable materials like leather, nylon, or Kydex. Additionally, the sheath should have a strong clip or straps that can attach firmly to your boot without slipping.

Can boot knives be used for everyday tasks?

While boot knives are primarily designed for self-defense or tactical use, they can certainly be used for everyday tasks like opening packages or cutting materials. However, their small size and the specific design of the blade might limit their utility for more extensive or demanding tasks.

Are there different types of boot knives?

Yes, there are several types of boot knives, differing in size, blade shape, and handle design. Some boot knives have double-edged blades for more versatile applications in self-defense, while others might have single-edged blades better suited for general cutting tasks.

How do I maintain my boot knife?

Maintaining a boot knife involves regular cleaning and sharpening. After use, clean the blade with soap and water, dry it thoroughly, and apply a light coat of oil to prevent rust. Sharpening should be done with a whetstone or a suitable sharpening tool as needed to keep the edge sharp.

What materials are boot knives typically made from?

Boot knives are usually made from high-quality steel types like 440C, 1095, or stainless steels designed for durability and rust resistance. Handles may be made from materials like Micarta, G10, or rubber to provide a firm grip even in wet conditions.

How do I choose the right size boot knife?

Choosing the right size boot knife depends on your specific needs and how you plan to carry it. A smaller knife might be more comfortable and easier to conceal in a boot, while a larger knife could provide more versatility and ease of use. Typically, a blade length of 2 to 4 inches is suitable for boot carry.

Is it possible to customize a boot knife?

Many boot knives come with customizable options, especially in the choice of handle materials or sheath design. Some manufacturers also offer services to modify the blade, handle, or sheath to suit individual preferences for an additional fee.

What are some reputable brands of boot knives?

Several reputable brands produce high-quality boot knives, including Benchmade, CRKT, SOG, ESEE, and Kershaw. These manufacturers are known for their craftsmanship and the use of premium materials, ensuring that their boot knives are reliable and durable.

Conclusion

Boot knives are versatile, discreet, and can be crucial tools for personal defense or as part of a tactical kit. Whether you choose a budget-friendly model or invest in a premium design, the right boot knife can provide reliability, ease of access, and peace of mind.

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